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World Spirit: Nine of Pentacles

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Talisman  Talisman is offline
Join Date: 18 Aug 2001
Location: Travelin' . . . like a ball of twine unravelin'
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World Spirit: Nine of Pentacles

To look at an individual card like this I like to begin with the Golden Dawn Tableau. So, here we have the Nine of Swords, Nine of Wands, Nine of Cups, the ~ Nine of Pentacles ~ and Major Arcana 9, The Hermit.

Key words often associated with the Nines are fruition, attainment, revelation, abundance.

This is one of the cards in the World Spirit deck where artist Lauren O'Leary has created a scene that is entirely different from the familiar Rider-Waite-Smith card. The RWS card shows a richly-dressed woman standing in front of fruited grape vines and holding a hooded falcon.

In the World Spirit card the woman is leaning on the window sill of her cottage. Eight pentacles are worked into the trim of the cottage. The ninth pentacle is at the center of the web of a dream catcher.

The Sioux see the dream catcher as holding the destiny of their future. It is placed over the bed where you sleep, and positioned to catch the morning sun, so the cottage window faces east and the woman is obviously enjoying her morning. The idea of this Lakota medicine device is to capture the good in dreams and visions in the web of life, while allowing the bad to escape so it is no longer part of you. So, we see that this woman is successful on a material plane, and, as shown by the dream catcher which may have been created a long way from her island home, on a spiritual plane.

With her left hand, the hand of the instinct and the unconscious mind, she is stroking a tabby cat who is also soaking up the dawn sun. Cats are not only connoisseur's of comfort, but also symbols of fierce independence. This special lady shares that trait. With the company of her cat the woman is enjoying her solitary pleasures and understands the true values of life. Her security is mated with self control.

The lush plants and flowers show growth and abundance. On the left are purple clusters of flowers hanging over red flowers. Beneath the cottage window are more flowers in a flower bed surrounded by white stones. On the right there is a large yellow rose, symbol of joy and laughter, while a butterfly, symbol of rebirth, rejuvenation and metamorphosis, flits above it. Part of a picket fence is seen, and you know that picket fence has a gate if the woman should choose to walk away from her comforable home and her solitude.

The woman is facing east and the rising sun, and this can be seen where the sun reflects a rosy tint in the cloudless blue of a patch of sky where it meets the sea, close enough to the cottage so the sounds of the surf can be heard.

This is generally seen as a card of "success," but in the World Spirit deck it does not seem to be necessarily or only material success. It also reflects self-awareness and the ability to achieve success by concentrating on what really matters, the true values of life, and the comfort that comes from making right choices. If you look at the woman in the card, she looks right back at you with confidence that whatever her worldly achievement she has been successful in creating the most out of the circumstances and conditions of her life.

Going back to the image of the dream catcher that hangs over her head with the ninth pentacle, the image carries the idea further that she enjoys the self-awareness that is not an anchor holding her down, but a liberating influence that allows her mind and spirit to soar.

In the tiny treasure of a book, "The World Spirit Tarot," Jessica Godino writes:

"Knowing your own worth from an inner place, regardless of how others view your achievements, is priceless. With a strong sense of your own unique abilities and the knowledge that you can take care of yourself, you will bloom in a well-tended garden. The ability to love and appreciate oneself is the ultimate success."

A wonderful match of words with card image.

As usual with the World Spirit cards, I probably missed some things, maybe even some obvious things. That's why I love this deck. I am always seeing new things in the cards when I look at them. Are there things or associations you've seen that I've missed ?

~ Talisman
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Talisman  Talisman is offline
Join Date: 18 Aug 2001
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Well, things not missed but not mentioned

Honestly, when I am reading Tarot cards this may be the very last thing I ever notice or think about, but . . .

The stylized initials of the artist in these cards are not always apparent. The first place to look in the World Spirit cards is the lower right hand corner, and that's where they are in this card, inscribed on a leaf. (This is one of the things people talk about in the RWS deck; where Pamela Coleman Smith initialed the card. I find this stuff interesting, but does this ever influence the way you read the cards ?)

If I weren't so incredibly weak in botony, such is the skill with which these cards were created -- inspite of the way they were made -- it would probably be possible to identify the plants/flowers. I can't.

In the RWS deck, the woman has female symbols on her gown. In the Robin Wood deck, the Venus symbol is on the woman's glove. Some see this as a card of feminity, among other things. I think the World Spirit deck kind'a skips that stuff, buy maybe I'm missing something here, huh ?

~ Talisman
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Sulis  Sulis is offline
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Join Date: 03 Feb 2002
Location: UK
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I love this card, it says 'home comforts' to me.

She looks as if she has everything she could ever want.
She has a beautiful garden, she's protected by her house and even in her sleep by the dreamcatcher hanging in the window. She looks contented standing there, admiring her garden and stroking her pet cat.

In the distance we can see water, beyond the fence - maybe this could signify some emotional detachment, she's got all that she needs and any bad or uncontrollable feelings have been neatly fenced off and locked away.

Although she looks happy, there is no door that we can see so she may be a prisoner for all we know. Maybe she's so pre-occupied with material and physical comfort that she doesn't (or tries not to) feel too deeply. Our possessions can tie us down and become mill-stones if we let them.
Having said all that (because every card has a light and a dark side in my opinion), the butterfly that's fluttering around does make me think of freedom.
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