Nine of Cups § Knight of Cups § Nine of Pentacles

The Nine of Cups greets the month of May in a playful but vulnerable mood. Even the most aloof people we know are likely to offer up some clarity about themselves, and it is in our best interest to listen carefully. We are developing the emotional and creative skills we require for the next phase of our life, or possibly the next phase of a specific project. In either case we need self-awareness to gain the greatest potential from what comes next. At her best, the Nine of Cups teaches us to enjoy not only our accomplishments but to revel in our own prowess, if we feel like it. Humility for the sake of itself is certainly better left to other figures in the Tarot world, but that is precisely why the Nine of Cups wants to see us for a minute. “Notice,” she says, “Not all of these cups are full. They don’t need to be full, they just need to have enough. Actually, it’s impossible to keep them all full. That’s reality and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” The Nine of Cups encourages us to recognize what we bring to the table in our working and personal lives and to assign value to those contributions.

The Suit of Cups represents the element of water and water is considered the element that holds our memories and the feelings that accompany those memories. Some know the Knight of Cups as an empathetic listener who is full of creative insight, while others know this very same Knight as the fickle lover they never really got over. One thing is certain: The Knight of Cups is most attracted to us when our emotional and artistic lives are at some kind of crossroads, or at least in a state of flux. We will know when this Knight has stepped alongside us because they will either encourage us to have a nice laugh at ourselves before our hubris becomes a public issue, or they will point out the consequences we are facing because we took someone or something for granted. This is going to be an old-fashioned ego check and most of us will feel relieved by it, honestly. There are choices that can not be made until all the pieces fall and land where they will. Until then, each of us can use the candor offered by the Knight of Cups to add a sleek self-knowledge to our already impressive stride. The Knight of Cups is good company for now, and likely to take us out for a slice or a snowball or something we enjoy. Even big feelings can turn on a dime and sometimes that turn leads to a better state of mind that is ours to keep.

By the end of the month we will have exactly what we need to step into our own embodiment of the always dignified Nine of Pentacles. If you are a fallen diva, this is you after your redemption arc. If you are just a regular person, this embodiment will appear less dramatic but that doesn’t mean it won’t feel just as good. Whether you have advanced a set of skills, gained a new social status, or reached a liberated emotional conclusion—you have something to feel good about. We can enjoy feeling simultaneously fulfilled and delightfully distracted by pleasant anticipation for what is yet to come. It must become abundantly clear to each of us what our contributions are worth, and regard with grand suspicion that which attempts to negotiate with our dignity. The Nine of Pentacles is admired by her peers and her communities because she is fair and knows how to say I don’t know when that is the case. She is her own person, too. She lives and thinks for herself. May we find the courage of our own convictions.

illustration by Gurleen Rai

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