Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.
For this highly energized week of astrological influences and ancient magic, we are visited by an old friend who seems to like showing up around the Sabbats, and who has much to teach us at this one. Welcome this week to the Nine of Cups.
As you may know, the Tarot’s Cups suit is concerned with our rich tapestry of human emotions. The Cups cards address the gamut of our joys and sorrows, as well as intuition, dreams, and love.
And the Nines of the Tarot are about completion, when the gifts and lessons of the Ace — Eights have been fulfilled and integrated. (The Tens, as I have often noted, are an overflow, and foreshadow the suit’s next cycle). The Nines are also known as very magical numbers, for nine is the result of the lucky three, multiplied three times.
We can assume from his clothing that this is a man of some means, yet the setting is quite simple. He sits on a small bench, smiling straight at us, his arms crossed. Behind him, we see a curved table, covered in a cloth of blue that could remind one of a waterfall. On it, as if for a banquet, there are nine cups lined up.
Although many people feel that Pixie Smith’s depiction of the gentleman in the card reveals a smug self-righteousness, I have not found him to be so.
Arthur Waite describes him as “a goodly personage [who] has feasted to his heart’s content, and abundant refreshment of wine is on the arched counter behind him, seeming to indicate that the future is also assured.”
While his crossed arms may invite an interpretation of intimidation or keeping the seeker away from his table, I prefer the idea that his posture is yet another depiction of the cosmic lemniscate — the sideways figure eight — symbol of infinity.
It’s a symbol used in The Magician, Strength, The World, and the Two of Pentacles. I believe it is also implied in Temperance, and here in the Nine of Cups.
The seated figure suggests that our emotions may manifest in the physical world, and thus, contentment arrives. After all, the yellow sky and land beneath him point to the magical truth of “as above, so below.”
If seen in the context of the suit’s “story,” the Nine shows us the successful outcome of the Eight’s quest. Here on this draped table, we are shown the Cups of emotional satisfaction and longings fulfilled. The arched table, in turn, foretells of the rainbow in the final pips card, the Ten of Cups.
While Waite admits this card “offers the material side … there are other aspects.” Here we are reminded that love is the truest wealth.
This is an interesting angle in light of the Tarot messages we’ve been getting all month regarding work, money, and abundance, for here we have tremendous emotional gratification.
You may know that the Nine of Cups is also traditionally known as the Wishing Card. So under this Full Moon, for this the Solstice week, we are invited to make a wish. Or two. Or nine.
What is your most tender desire? “Where intention goes, energy flows,” according to the old magical saying. Consider well your intentions for the days of power this week.
And yet, once you have applied your wisdom to your wish, I have always liked the fact that this card is in contrast to the usual cautionary children’s tales. You know the ones — where some foolish or selfish person makes a “wrong” wish and then must use up any additional wishes to undo their dilemma.
Instead, there is an assumption here of goodness and plenty of it. As proof, this card offers not one, not three, but nine wishes (at least).
Thus, if this is a magical card for making wishes, let its power contradict the scarcity thinking that wishes are dangerous and that our human longings are a tricksy trap.
Again, like last week’s card, we are nudged away from the old stories of lack and not enough.
Let us rather learn from this affluent, smiling gatekeeper that for the Wise, wishes are sacred, our desires are welcomed, and the more the merrier — as long as they are authentic and from our truest heart of hearts.
Solstice and the Litha Moon
Above the equator, we have arrived at the brightest confluence of the year, combining Monday’s fiery Sagittarius Full Moon with the peak of the daylight hours as the Sun moves from Gemini to the sign of Cancer the Crab on Summer Solstice.
My friend, Cate Kerr, wrote several years ago of this most magical Full Moon:
It is the quintessential northern summer moon, this magnificent glowing creature rising out of the warm June night over a meandering river in the Lanark highlands. I always feel that this moon craves a rite of some kind, a bow, a benediction, a song of praise.
Litha is not far off now, and there is a touch of pathos, a sense of things moving onward and away, always in a fluid cosmic spiral.
When the full moon of July makes its appearance [next month], those of us who live in the northern hemisphere will have begun our slow, honeyed, inexorable descent toward the time of long nights, cold short days, rest and introspection.
Annie Heese in Cafe Astrology notes:
The Full Moon is a time of culmination and the promise of fulfillment of that which was started at the New Moon approximately two weeks ago. It is an emotional time—a time of romance, fertilization, and relationships.
[This Moon’s] Gemini-Sagittarius polarity is a mental axis, where Gemini represents the “lower mind” and Sagittarius represents the “higher mind.” The Gemini Sun encourages us to think logically, while the Sagittarius Moon persuades us to intuit and to think in a broader manner…
This Full Moon is about communication, attitude, and sense of adventure. Something has been building inside of us, and now is the time when the energy of the cosmos fairly demands that we let it out. Over the next two weeks, we will discover what this means for us. For now, we can’t sit on our feelings. We need to express them…
With the Moon full and bright in the sky, symbolic “illumination” occurs in our own lives. However, these new feelings and revelations are emotional ones, as there is a sense of emotions bursting forth into our consciousness. It’s time to express ourselves and to let things out of our systems.
Of course, we might want to exercise some care while doing so, knowing that what is coming out of us is fresh, unrefined, and not particularly rational as yet.
Just like the best, most authentic wishes usually are, wouldn’t you agree?
Astrologer Simone Butler goes a step further, encouraging us to renounce old habits of paucity and playing small. Instead, this is a fateful time for filling each golden cup with our fondest dreams, as long as we remain, like the gentleman in our card, steadfastly earth-bound. This is, she explains:
…An opportunity to dream big, with Jupiter so prominent in the heavens. Through the end of this month, the largest planet in our solar system is at his closest point to Earth – making him extra bright and easy to see with the naked eye. Look for him near the Moon as she starts to swell. Jupiter exactly squares Neptune the day before this Full Moon, magnifying dreams and visions (as well as, perhaps, illusions).
Things could feel exaggerated, from your thoughts and feelings to dealings with others and world events. With Jupiter retrograde, look to the past for guidance and keep your wits about you.
Adding some spice to the mix, Mercury conjuncts Mars in sensitive Cancer (exact the day after the Full Moon) as they both oppose Saturn and Pluto in brass-tacks Capricorn. This configuration can be testy, so avoid being overly critical or blaming others, no matter how wrong they may seem. We’re receiving a strong message about protecting what we care about, from people and places to our own autonomy. [Simone’s boldface emphasis, not mine.]
Since the Nodes are nearby, there is a sense of destiny in the air – so listen closely for a call from Spirit, and say No to anything that doesn’t work for you.
Last but not least, Judy Joyce admonishes, “We are being given an opportunity to blend imagination and inspiration with reality and responsibility in order to come up with a new and structure and organization in our lives. The entire four day period from Jun 17 – 20 will be crackling with energy…”
Tending the Children of Your Soul
If our visions and hopes are the children of our soul, then perhaps it’s time to lavish them with affection. This week, love, empathy, and healing are available in lush, benevolent ways. Who or what offers you deep contentment and the satisfaction of your spirit’s yearnings?
Remember to share your happiness and good fortune, for you yourself are like the man sitting before the table — a gatekeeper for others who are seeking their heart’s fulfillment. How can you help someone’s sweetest, most loving wishes come true?
Give thanks. Taste, savor, and drink deeply from the loving cups that are offered so freely this week.
May you always cherish your dreams. May you never thirst.