The suit of cups is about your emotions, your relationships – both romantic and otherwise – and dreams and intuition. It is associated with the element of water, so it can also indicate the subconscious, or what lies underneath.
We’ve already looked at the 10 of cups. Remember that 10 is the fulfillment, so the 9 is what comes before. In this case, what comes before the happy family? It’s also similar energetically to the 3 of cups, which we haven’t looked at yet, amplified or multiplied by three. Except there’s only one person in this card.
I often read this card as joy, happiness, and living life to the fullest. It is about indulgence, and in its extreme aspect could be over-indulgence. Behind this card (in other words, aspects of life that have led to this point) is a certain degree of success and prosperity, because to truly live it up like the 9 of cups, you generally have to have the funds to back it up.
I kind of see this card as sowing your wild oats – partying hard in college or that first job before you decide to settle down to have a family (10 of cups). It could also be networking and schmoozing before you find the right business partner.
The 9 of cups can also be an indicator that your wishes are coming true – that what you have been dreaming of is about to come to fruition.
In this card, we see a figure pouring champagne or wine into an overflowing tower of nine wine glasses. Each layer overflows to the next, filling the cups below. The person pictured is happy! Is it a celebration of achievement, or a party just for the sake of a party? What does your intuition say?
There’s a lot of yellow in this card. We actually had to do several edits on this card, because I kept asking for more yellow! Yellow is the color of the solar plexus, or will, chakra. You can even see the symbol for the solar plexus chakra behind the bottle.
The solar plexus is about manifesting your desires, self-esteem, joy (think basking in the sun!), and the will to create change in your world. When it is healthy, you feel confident, satisfied with life, and happy. So it is an important factor for the 9 of cups.
I wanted the cups to be active and feel like the central point of a party (even though the image has only one figure). In some of the higher numbered suite cards, there are so many cups, swords, wands, or pentacles, that it can be hard to integrate them into the whole picture. The champagne tower is a perfect way to involve all the cups in the action.
The pentacle on the bottle is for abundance on the physical plane. The bottle seems to be empty but continues to pour. Even when the abundance appears to come to an end, it’s always there when you need it in the form of help, clarity, guidance, or resources.
The purple lights lend a rich, royal feeling. The stage lights make this card about performance, inviting the viewer to play. The sparkles are like wishes – the presence of the cosmic.
The Nine of Cups is traditionally a male card. The model here is androgynous and identifying with the active masculine principle. Every person has both masculine and feminine energies that operate in balance when they are in an optimal state.
Nine’s as a category are aristocratic, near completion, and global awareness. In my mental map they are magenta, which is reflected by the pink in the glasses.
Get some friends together, and celebrate!
Mary and Katana