The Nine of Pentacles came into her own through a combination of experience and directed study. She is well aware of her environment and the various contributions she brings to it. While she herself is not a teacher, she will, if pressed, give you one piece of advice: “Real confidence feels satisfying even when you fail because you know you will continue on to succeed as you have previously. Real confidence is peace because once you have it you never lose who you are, even when you change. You will feel it the moment when you achieve real confidence—and achieve it you must.” While we will be served by questioning our own bias and capacity to adequately discern highly emotionally infused circumstances, we do not require approval, unlearned evaluations, or suggestions that disempower us. Our self-assurance is showing in our stride.

It is sometimes said that there is only one soul in all of existence who is eternally earthbound. In the Tarot world, we meet this mythological character in the form of The Devil. If anyone knows where he belongs, it is The Devil. He knows exactly who he is and exactly where he is and exactly how long he will be there. Today he looks up to see the bright and majestic Nine of Pentacles approach his perch high on the greenest hill in all the lands. She pays him a visit because they share a rare trait: a quality of being that makes them content no matter which way the wind blows. “There is so much grieving,” she tells him, “the kind that flows so continuously, some lose their hope.” The Devil nods and motions to his always bountiful cornucopia. “Help yourself,” he says, “The lover, of course, never considers the beloved a lost cause. Through overwhelming sorrow even, the lover dreams of better days to come.” He pauses thoughtfully, “Even when all hope is lost, the lover heals by assisting others to overcome or avoid the same fate. A fascinating truth that has held through all the ages.” The Nine of Pentacles reaches into the overflowing cornucopia and fishes out the brightest, reddest apple among them all. She enjoys the sweetness of its flavor as a few quiet tears fall down her cheeks, where they are cooled by a breeze she will promise you came from every direction all at once.

Meanwhile, the King of Wands is as lively as ever. October is one of his favorite months; it is a time when his restlessness blends in with the more general atmosphere. At present, he has plenty of work to occupy his hands and mind, and so he very nearly tells the Nine of Pentacles he doesn’t have time for a visit when she drops by unannounced. But when he sees the look in her eye, “Oh, come and sit by my fire,” he says. The King of Wands fidgets with this and that, as is his way, and finally takes a seat beside her. “You are very busy and this is good,” she says, “your inventiveness and energy is much needed right now. But I warn you, my sometimes easily-angered friend, should you fail to process bit by bit, your winter will be long and the hearts of those you most love will be wounded.” The King of Wands jumps to his feet. He feeds the fire another log and asks about the well-being of The Devil. After this flourish of energy, he sits again. “Of course, you are right. Tears are a gift. They release stresses of the soul from the body and honor the realm of water.” The Nine of Pentacles offers The King of Wands a bright, juicy apple from The Devil’s endless cornucopia and the gesture so moves him that his eyes mist just a bit. “All right then, off you go for now,” he says, and the Nine of Pentacles leaves him to tend his fires along with his feelings. May we know the wisdom required to hold love and grief as one precious heart.