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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nine of Cups - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)

Astrological associations for the Minor Arcana cards typically involve both a planet and a zodiac sign. The attributions established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are by far the most commonly used. However, some Tarot decks use a different set of associations. As a professional astrologer, I find it interesting to compare and contrast these associations from deck to deck. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Credits for the decks and books mentioned in this post can be found HERE.

Nine of Cups - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)

Tarot Dynamics System by Anna Burroughs Cook
(illustrated in this blog by the Universal Waite tarot deck)

In Anna Cook's TD system, cards 2 through 10 are known as Subject Cards. They are viewed as having a strong impact on our immediate agenda, on situations, moods, opportunities or obstacles that pass quickly. The number on the card reveals the situation. The suit and definition suggest the reason for the situation, along with options and the most beneficial approach to take.

The suit of Cups represents Emotion, including dreams and that which gives meaning to your life. This is a fairly standard Tarot association. The astrological aspect of this system comes into play when we start talking about the number on the card.

To interpret the number Nine, we can look at the astrological Ninth House, which is considered to be the house of mental exploration, long-distance travel, philosophy, higher education, foreign languages, and publishing. In general, the Ninth House is about traveling to distant places (physically) and exploring "distant" ideas (mentally).

The Ninth House is associated with the zodiac sign Sagittarius (a mutable Fire sign known for being freedom-loving, expansive, knowledge-seeking, and open to new ideas and places). Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter (representing good fortune, abundance, wisdom, and expansion).

In the Tarot Dynamics system, Subject Card Nine stands for understanding. Therefore, in the TD system the Nine of Cups is "Emotional/Understanding." Certainly the need to understand foreign or unknown places, ideas, and people fits very well with the Ninth House pursuit of knowledge and freedom.

(Please note: There is more to the TD astrological connections than I have included here. My intention is to convey the basic flavor and tone. A much more detailed, comprehensive discussion will be provided in Anna Cook's forthcoming book, Advanced Tarot Dynamics.)

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
For Crowley and the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD), the Nine of Cups represents the energy of Jupiter (good fortune, abundance, wisdom, and expansion) in Pisces (a Water sign ruled historically by Jupiter and/or Neptune, for many modern astrologers). Pisces is known as an emotional, romantic, impressionable, adaptable, imaginative, and intuitive sign. Crowley writes: "In this card is the pageant of the culmination and perfection of the original force of Water." He titles the card "Happiness." From an astrological perspective, Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces. Some modern astrologers assign rulership to Neptune or to Jupiter and Neptune jointly.

Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as: "happiness, growth, trust (Jupiter) in spirituality and all-encompassing love (Pisces)."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
Crystal Love associates the Nine of Cups with the second subdivision of the sign Pisces, with Jupiter/Neptune as the natural ruler and Jupiter as the subruler. She writes that this indicates "an expansive and mystical personality that is extremely creative (especially in the arts), and religious, philosophical, or mystical by nature."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens describes the Nine of Cups as follows: "Many of the addictions are very suggestive of the influence of the Water on the house of the heart, the Fifth. . . It shows goodness and a jovial disposition, not only contentment and happiness in one's self, but also. . . the love of bestowing hospitality on other people and helping them." In astrology, the Fifth house is associated with the zodiac sign Leo, ruled by the Sun. It is described by astrology.com  as the house of "Creation, Procreation, and Recreation." Joanna Martine Woolfolk tags the Fifth House as the "House of Pleasure, Creativity, and Sex."

(Note: The astrological system devised by Thierens is radically different from that of the OGD. I will not go into detail here, but will simply provide the astrological associations for the card under discussion. If you are interested in learning more about Thierens' system, I recommend his book Astrology and the Tarot.)

The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann
Like the OGD, Mann's deck associates the suit of Cups with the element Water. Mann describes Cups Eight, Nine, and Ten as "The Pools of Pisces" and associates them with the time period from 19 February to 20 March. Cup Nine is assigned to the Second Decan of Pisces -- Moon in Pisces. It represents the time period from 1 March to 10 March.

On the King Scale of Color, the colors linked with the Moon are indigo, silver and white. The color for the sign Pisces is red-violet. Mann's keywords for the Moon are "soul, unconscious, personality, instinct, emotions, fertility." For the sign Pisces, his keywords are "swelling seed; purifying rain; serenity; potential. Sensitivity; destiny; receptivity; self-sacrifice; psychic impulse; karma; seclusion; mysticism." Mann's divination meanings for Cup Nine include "extreme psychic sensitivity and moodiness. . . hopeful of positive feelings from partners. . . psychologically vulnerable to emotional pressure from loved ones. Domination of irrational emotions."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel's suit of Cups is the suit of the Water element, embodying "emotions, feelings, relationships, love, as well as the nature and consequences of emotional attachments." The Nine of Cups represents Jupiter/Pisces energy. Hazel's illustration depicts the mermaids from her Three of Cups card seated closely together, with nine cups rising above them.

Hazel notes that this card can suggest "good luck and fulfillment of wishes...happiness in love and family. Expectations exceeded...Adjustments in the past have led to great gains and progress...Serenity and peace." Ill-dignified, the card might indicate "The surface is happy, but dissatisfaction or unhappiness hides behind the fa├žade...A curse or ill-will from an older person. Wishing evil on family members; a miserable in-law."

In general, I typically see the Nines of the Tarot as representing a basis for completion, endings, preparation (for new cycle), growth through experience, perfection, integration, and fruition.

The Jupiter/Pisces designation for the Nine of Cups is the most common among the systems described above. Thierens, as usual, is different, proposing a link between the Nine of Cups and the Fifth House (Leo/Sun). A.T. Mann goes with a Jupiter/Pisces connection. An association with Water is common to all of the above-referenced sources.

The Jupiter in Pisces association give for the Nine of Cups is of particular interest to me because Jupiter is in Pisces in my birth chart. So much of what Crystal Love says in her description of this card -- both negative and positive -- resonates with me. With my Sun in Sagittarius, the Ninth Sign, I have always been attracted to philosophy and foreign languages and cultures. Thus the Nine of any suit resonates with me for that reason. I also feel a strong connection to Trump 9 (The Hermit) . Oddly enough, The Hermit is linked with the sign Virgo, which happens to be my rising sign.

All of a sudden I feel like a Nine of Cups kind of gal!

As always, I welcome your comments!



  1. Hi zanna, this card has been bothering. I have been out with this person since new year, and for abouth a month he s gone awkwardly cold but did not let me go, instead he said he was stressed because of university. Oh well, uni has finished and he did not improve, which hurts me. then he took 10 shifts in a row at work, which means we couldnt have time together. then yesterday we went for dinner together, he invited me, he was awkwardly cold and when we were heading towards his house I decided to say: look I think I m going to my place. Whiche he replied (coldly): Are you sure?

    I answered kindly: yes...have a a safe trip ( his travelling to visit his mother on monday back to his hometown)

    It hurst me a lot but I cant keep up with being treated in a cold manner, tho I have the feeling he likes me but something is keeping him distant.

    So I came home and asked the cards for some guidance and I got two cards: 6 of pentacles and 9 of cups.

    I would like to know your thoughts on it.

    I m an Aries Rising Scorpio and he s an scorpio rising saggitarius and I am six years older than him.

    what are these two cards trying to tell me?


  2. What are you thoughts on these two cards in your situation, queen-mab?


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love hearing from my readers!
~ Zanna