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LovelyMissAries 
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9 of Cups


Does the 9 of Cups always indicate selfishness? I used to love that card but ever since I read it indicates selfishness, I'm weary of it when it appears and that's always the first thing that pops in my mind.



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veniteangeli 
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I've heard it referred to as the "Wish" card - a sign of your wishes coming true. I've also seen it described as a warning against overindulgence.
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LovelyMissAries 
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Well, I drew it twice in a row for a question of describing someone about to enter my life. I'm worried this person won't be open to anything that doesn't benefit himself. This is mainly because all the RWS images are imprinted in my mind even though I'm using a different deck. So in the RWS image, the man's arms are folded across his chest and that closed off body language always reminds me of negative traits.



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Thirteen 
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Arrow And in the end....


I've never heard it as referring to selfishness. Where did you see that?

Now, all cards can be negative and perhaps one of the negatives of 9/Cups is not only over-indulgence (a selfish thing) but being selfish. But if the card is not ill-aspected, then I think it's a misinterpretation to see it as "selfish." It may indicate a person becoming the center of attention, being the favorite for a moment in time, but that doesn't equate to selfishness. Especially as I don't think anyone outside, perhaps of a baby or someone celebrating a birthday gets that kind of attention for nothing.

Like all the 9's, there is an element in the 9/Cups of everything coming back to the person who put it out into the world. So, 9/Swords--all ideas and thoughts seem to come back at once to the person and the person ends up in the nightmarish position of having to deal with them all at once, think them all though. 9/Wands, all the creations the person put out into the world come back and the person feels that they alone can complete and protect them. 9/Pents, all the little investments and work and effort put out by the person pays off and, at last, they can buy that little retreat.

9/Cups, all the emotion you gave out to others comes back and YOU are celebrated, loved, indulged. This isn't "selfishness" but a reward for being selfless. For giving to others. The show of affection has been earned, and I think anyone getting this card can indulge in it without feeling that they're being selfish in taking it all for themselves rather than sharing it. That, at least, is how I would read it if it's not ill-aspected.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make...."
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Talking Wish-Granting-Genie Position


Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight09
So in the RWS image, the man's arms are folded across his chest and that closed off body language always reminds me of negative traits.
You're reading that body language wrong. Imagine it's your birthday. You don't expect anything. You walk into your favorite bar, and there is the proprietor, a friend. He's put up a big banner saying "Happy Birthday!" and there's all your favorite foods, and all his best goblets set out on the bar behind him, along with open bottles of your favorite wine.

You gasp, "For me?"

And he, arms crossed, head up, and a smug, proud smile on his face says, "you thought I was going to forget it was your birthday and let you celebrate alone? Hah!" And at that moment all your friends start spilling in with gifts and well-wishes, and the bartender stands there, arms folded, grinning.

That isn't the body language of being "closed off" it's the body language of someone who's accomplished something, surprised someone, done something cool, like a genie who's just granted a wish. You can almost see him nodding his head over those folded arms and saying, "Done!" (Didn't you ever watch "I dream of Jeanie?" She folded her arms just like that as she nodded her head and granted a wish).

The smug expression makes all the difference. Crossed arms with a frown are "cutting off." Crossed arms with a smug look and cups behind one, that's pride in an achievement--the genie granting a wish.
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LovelyMissAries 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
You're reading that body language wrong. Imagine it's your birthday. You don't expect anything. You walk into your favorite bar, and there is the proprietor, a friend. He's put up a big banner saying "Happy Birthday!" and there's all your favorite foods, and all his best goblets set out on the bar behind him, along with open bottles of your favorite wine.

You gasp, "For me?"

And he, arms crossed, head up, and a smug, proud smile on his face says, "you thought I was going to forget it was your birthday and let you celebrate alone? Hah!" And at that moment all your friends start spilling in with gifts and well-wishes, and the bartender stands there, arms folded, grinning.

That isn't the body language of being "closed off" it's the body language of someone who's accomplished something, surprised someone, done something cool, like a genie who's just granted a wish. You can almost see him nodding his head over those folded arms and saying, "Done!" (Didn't you ever watch "I dream of Jeanie?" She folded her arms just like that as she nodded her head and granted a wish).

The smug expression makes all the difference. Crossed arms with a frown are "cutting off." Crossed arms with a smug look and cups behind one, that's pride in an achievement--the genie granting a wish.
I actually derived the "selfish" meaning from a few members here on Aeclectic during a card discussion. Although I already had my meanings for my cards, I'm always looking for new ones. After thinking about it, I could see how they interpreted "selfishness" from that card. I didn't mean for it to stick so strongly, but it did.

It reminded me of selfishness because there he is all alone with 9 Cups and not offering any to anybody. He's overweight and happy because his own needs were met but you wonder about the other 8 people who are still thirsty. I suppose it's not selfish but it's not selflessness so I'm torn. It wasn't ill-dignified in this spread anyway as it appeared totally upright both times.

I also would've never thought of the Bar Birthday scenario! That's a great idea, and quite fitting! Plus it gave me an idea to add a new meaning of "preparedness" to this card becaaause all his ducks are lined in a row behind him. So we could even take it a step further and say he's got his life together, takes care of himself, etc?



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veniteangeli 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
That isn't the body language of being "closed off" it's the body language of someone who's accomplished something, surprised someone, done something cool, like a genie who's just granted a wish. You can almost see him nodding his head over those folded arms and saying, "Done!" (Didn't you ever watch "I dream of Jeanie?" She folded her arms just like that as she nodded her head and granted a wish).

The smug expression makes all the difference. Crossed arms with a frown are "cutting off." Crossed arms with a smug look and cups behind one, that's pride in an achievement--the genie granting a wish.
I LOVE this, Thirteen - you said exactly what I was thinking about the body language in the card far more eloquently than I could ever hope to put it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight09
I actually derived the "selfish" meaning from a few members here on Aeclectic during a card discussion. Although I already had my meanings for my cards, I'm always looking for new ones. After thinking about it, I could see how they interpreted "selfishness" from that card. I didn't mean for it to stick so strongly, but it did.
I personally think you have the right idea here - being open to the thoughts and interpretations of others - but I think letting this one negative meaning stick has been troublesome. In every card it's important to see the good as well as the bad - even cards that are traditionally thought of as "negative" cards (3Swords, 10Swords are good examples that come to mind) can have some positive aspect about them.

I think it all comes down to whether you're a glass half empty or glass half full kinda person. Myself? I think the glass is twice as big as it needed to be - i.e. the card by itself isn't negative or positive, it depends on the question, the cards around it, my mood when interpreting it, the prevailing winds. Lots of things

-Jim

Last edited by veniteangeli; 17-01-2011 at 15:11. Reason: hit post too soon
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Thirteen 
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Smile A Good Host


Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight09
It reminded me of selfishness because there he is all alone with 9 Cups and not offering any to anybody.
I always presumed he'd set them up in order to play host. As you say, he's got his ducks in a row. He's prepared for the party. While ill-aspected this card can certainly indicate indulgence (including in wine), I doubt he's going to drink all nine cups himself. This is a man who, to me, takes pride in being able to offer the best to his friends, and feels a sense of accomplishment in watching them enjoying such food and drink as much as he does.

Quote:
He's overweight and happy
Um, Santa Claus is overweight an happy and I don't think we'd call him selfish There are images of Buddha that show him as overweight and happy. Heck, my beloved grandmother was a big, overweight woman, happy. When she had people over for dinner, she cooked all day long, then spent all night going to and from the kitchen serving them, waiting on them hand and foot--even though everyone would urge her to "sit! sit!" She always refused, delighting more in watching us indulge then indulging herself.

The looks of the gent in the 9/Cups--his size and clothes and such--do indicate that he's well off, no argument, but that doesn't mean no sharing. Or that he's got all this because he deprived others of it. It only means that he knows how to enjoy the good things in life. Knowing how to enjoy the good things in life isn't the same as greedily depriving others of those good things. To the contrary, those who most enjoy such good things often delight in seeing others enjoy them as well, and can be the most generous, the most eager when it comes to sharing them.

Last edited by Thirteen; 17-01-2011 at 15:33.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
I've never heard it as referring to selfishness. Where did you see that?

Now, all cards can be negative and perhaps one of the negatives of 9/Cups is not only over-indulgence (a selfish thing) but being selfish. But if the card is not ill-aspected, then I think it's a misinterpretation to see it as "selfish." It may indicate a person becoming the center of attention, being the favorite for a moment in time, but that doesn't equate to selfishness. Especially as I don't think anyone outside, perhaps of a baby or someone celebrating a birthday gets that kind of attention for nothing.

Like all the 9's, there is an element in the 9/Cups of everything coming back to the person who put it out into the world. So, 9/Swords--all ideas and thoughts seem to come back at once to the person and the person ends up in the nightmarish position of having to deal with them all at once, think them all though. 9/Wands, all the creations the person put out into the world come back and the person feels that they alone can complete and protect them. 9/Pents, all the little investments and work and effort put out by the person pays off and, at last, they can buy that little retreat.

9/Cups, all the emotion you gave out to others comes back and YOU are celebrated, loved, indulged. This isn't "selfishness" but a reward for being selfless. For giving to others. The show of affection has been earned, and I think anyone getting this card can indulge in it without feeling that they're being selfish in taking it all for themselves rather than sharing it. That, at least, is how I would read it if it's not ill-aspected.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make...."
I don't see it as a sharing card of selflessness. it is all about getting what you want. Not you giving others what they want. The illustration is one person being happy over his possessions. Not him sharing his possessions with others. It looks like he is saying "Look at me, I got 9 awards on my shelf. Ain't I awesome. Yes, admire me. I got it made. Life is wonderful. You probably want to be like me. I know, the truth hurts that you can't be like me, the person who has it all."

Last edited by SirRushing; 17-01-2011 at 15:53.
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Thirteen 
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Lightbulb Just to add...


Just to add--Not all images in the Rider-Waite deck are great and I'd agree that the gent in the 9/Cups is one of the weaker images. There are people who don't like him. I, myself, view him as ambiguous, and I think that's important. He's neither unequivocally positive nor negative in my book. What I think he is, is satisfied, content, pleased. The nine cups are cups of his achievement, either trophies (gifts given to him by people who love him?) or cups that he delights in using, as a good host delights in keeping his guests goblets topped off.

What's important to remember, I think, is that this is a nine card. And in all nine cards there is a single individual dealing with an abundance of his or her suit. But as I said before, there is nothing in the nines that usually relates to greed or selfishness. I think they're rather like the Hermit who has to be alone in order to do things his way and maybe discover something new. The 9/Wands guy, for example, isn't saying, "I don't need help!" because he's selfish, but because he has a way of dealing with the situation and other people trying to help are just going to get in the way.

Likewise, I think, the 9/Cups gent needs to take a moment surrounded by those cups in order to connect with them. Like a battery drinking in power. Once it's full and charged, it can do a lot, but you've got to give it time alone with it's power source to just charge up.

We often think that it's selfish to hide away rather than being out there always giving. But always giving depletes us. Even the most generous and loving person in the world needs time to recharge their emotional batteries. And I'm not so sure that we're supposed to see those cups as cups anyway. Those cups represent emotions and emotions come from people. So maybe he's not so alone as he seems to be. Maybe all those cups represent people--or the emotions people have given him.

Taking time to bask in the love of others, if you like, fattens us up. Once done, we can go out and give that energy to those in need. I don't know for sure if that's the right interpretation, but good image or not, I think this card urges us to open up to what others want to give us--and to enjoy it rather than feeling guilty about it. If we do that, we'll not only have enough to sustain us, but to give away to others in need.

Yes? No? Maybe?

Last edited by Thirteen; 17-01-2011 at 16:21.
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