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9 of Cups - 1 Cup missing?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 16 Apr 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Lady Mary  16 Apr 2003 
When I saw the 9 of Cups in a reading (relationship spread) I did for myself my first thought was:
One cup is missing!
The 10th cup!
The 10 of Cups = Happy Family Card

Emotionally I had given up this relationship, but there was this positive card.

If this had been a reading for someone else, I guess I would never have come up with this interpretation.

Maybe the cards wanted to tell me something different, maybe you can give me your opinion? 


Belladonna  16 Apr 2003 
To me, the nine of cups always implies healing. Perhaps giving up the relationship you were in has allowed finally for a true emotional healing to begin for you, or that your heart is now on the mend. 


Centaur  16 Apr 2003 
Depending on the position of the card in a spread, the Nine of Cups can refer to numerous things.

Just a few;

The chance of a new relationship
The chance of happiness in the offing if one looks for it
The resolution of problems between two lovers if one tries to make amends

etc...

It depends. Likewise, I would never have thought to interpret the Nine of Cups as you did Lady Mary. However, that is the beauty of tarot. The cards can give birth to new ideas and interpretations depending on the positioning of the reader and querent.




Thirteen  16 Apr 2003 
I'm with Centaur--I've never interpeted the 9-cups that way. And I think it's only because you have emotionally given up on this relationship and are blue that you're thinking this way. Afterall, there's no guarantee that you'd ended up with 10-cups if you were still emotionally into the relationship, is there? To the contrary, you might have pulled the 4-cups (not emotionally happy and yearning for something more).

Here's what you have to remember. It's not that 9 is one short of 10, it's that 9 is on it's way to being 10. 9 is often a physical fulfilment of the card--like the 9-pentacles, where the lady in the garden has all the material goods and beauty she could wish for. Or, alas, 9-swords, where the person has so many trouble they're experiencing nightmares.

10 is the spiritual as well as the physical fulfilment of the card. As in 10-pentacles, where you not only have the material goods, but can pass them on as a legacy, insuring you are remembered to future generations. Or, again, 10-swords where, well, the problems have ended in death of body and soul (not literally, but figuratively).

9 cups is often depicted as a tavern of drinking cups and is sometimes known as the "wish" card. You get what you wish for. Dear friends and family will call on you, bring you gifts, show their love for you. It may not have reached that final stage of complete love where you feel transendent, spiritual love for all. But right now, during this doubtful, blue time, you have abundant, earthly love around you. Friends, family, support, comfort. That's what I'd say the 9-cups is telling you. 


Centaur  16 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Thirteen
Here's what you have to remember. It's not that 9 is one short of 10, it's that 9 is on it's way to being 10.


Rather a bit deciding whether one's glass is half empty or half full!!! 


jema  16 Apr 2003 
i think it is Kliegman in her book about the tarot and the tree of life that asks us to consider what is behind the tablecloth in this image of 9 of cups. just why is it so long? what things have we swept under the rug/cloth? it doesn't have to be something nasty, it can very well be just what you write about here - giving something up - for me this card can sometimes speak to me about my loneliness, how i have chosen to cut myself off from intimacy. i may show a whole lot of emotions, but some of them i lack access to and while that is ok - most days, there are days when this card can point it out to me instead of showing me what i have.
so yes, indeed, half full or half empty... that is the question.

ps - a disclaimer, this is all from my own personal perspective and i am not really saying that this applies to anyone else 


Centaur  16 Apr 2003 
I have never interpreted the nine of cups as referring to sad or negative feelings. It is interesting to see the variations of interpretation.

I suppose in the presence of other cards it could refer to something that someone dearly wants yet cannot have.




jema  16 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by centaur20
I have never interpreted the nine of cups as referring to sad or negative feelings. It is interesting to see the variations of interpretation.


but does not every card have a shadow?
some find it when the cards are reversed, some when the cards surrounding it makes it ill-dignified

i guess you could read the shadow of the 9 to be about excess and overindulgence or lazyness but i find that is just one aspect of the shadow of the card. for me it is less about excess then it is about denial or cutting off of emotions.
both are of course valid. 


Centaur  16 Apr 2003 
I agree. I do not read reversals, but I see what you mean with regards to the placement of any specific card within a constellation of other cards. 


Diana  16 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by jema
for me this card can sometimes speak to me about my loneliness


jema: indeed, this card can sometimes show such loneliness, that it can make my heart ache when I see it (if it is read in it's "reversed" position). But it indicates that there is a way to solve the loneliness, otherwise it wouldn't appear. The message it gives is perhaps, as Lady Mary points out (if I understand her post correctly) to look for that missing cup. It's not really missing - it is just mislaid, or not looked for in the right places. 


Umbrae  16 Apr 2003 
I have always taken this card as…you can be as happy as you allow yourself to be. You can sit back and mope, whining about everyone else having fun; you can jump in and enjoy yourself; or go completely overboard – throw restraint to the wind, and still be miserable.

This missing cup…may be too much at this time. So lighten up and enjoy yourself…but show a little moderation. 


jema  16 Apr 2003 
but is it not more about the opposit of whining?
about that happy-face we put up when we don't want pity, when we miss that 10:th cup in our secret room?
there are 9 happy cups on the table - yet the sadness can live there too - but hidden, never seen.
i think thirteen has a good point there too - this is the card before the 10 - before the fulfillment, to jump up and be cheerful would be to simply skip this card and it's gift and instead try to transform it into something it is not - the 10 of cups.

but this is still just me rambling on about the shadow of the card.
it was interesting to read how different we can see it:)

*and especially interesting for me today when i am super-duper-whiny* 


Thirteen  16 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by jema

i think thirteen has a good point there too - this is the card before the 10 - before the fulfillment, to jump up and be cheerful would be to simply skip this card and it's gift and instead try to transform it into something it is not - the 10 of cups.


Nicely put! Yes, that's pretty much what I was trying to say. You have 9 cups overflowing with love, support, comfort, joy--but all you can think is: "Where's the 10th?"

As for the shadow aspect of this card, I think I'd go with more traditional--overindulgence, over-doing it. This only because I've had spooky-accurate readings where cups stand for aspects overindulgence--either emotional (sinking depression or drama-obsession--like stalking someone, or waving a gun around) or narcotic related (alcholism, drugs). From my p.o.v., the shadow of any cup card is pretty darn scary. You start to drown in some very dark waters. The 9 of cups in this regard would be very scary indeed--and very, very serious.

Which is why, I think, that I can't quite give this card the sad outlook it's been given. Lonliness? Loss? Not to undercut very real and painful feelings, but this is the 9 of Cups. Unless you tell me you're sinking into a black depression, or starting on a 3-day drinking binge, it's far more likely this card comes with a positive message--or at the very least, a reminder that however bad you're feeling over this failed relationship, there are still those out there who love you, who you can talk to. You don't have to be alone. 9 cups are on the table--how long are you going to obsess about the missing 10th? 


The 9 of Cups - 1 Cup missing? thread was originally posted on 16 Apr 2003 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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