Nine (IX) of Cups b

Nine (IX) of Cups

9 of Cups Upright


Happiness,  Success, Wishes Coming True, Realising Dreams, The Good Life, Abundance, Prosperous, Rewards, Achievement, Accomplishments, Self-Love, Inner Happiness,  Emotional Maturity, High Self-Esteem, Self-Confident, Self Respect, Positivity, Optimism, Emotionally Fulfilled, High Mood, Happy as You Are, Crest of a Wave, Cup Runneth Over, Content, Satisfied, Cheerful, Joy, Warmth, Smiling, Laughter,Congratulations,  ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘The Cat that Got the Cream’, ‘Pleased as Punch’, ‘Made It’, ‘Sitting Pretty’, ‘Pinching Yourself’, Well Done, Smug, Gloating, Triumphant, Euphoric, Marriage Banquet, Celebrations, Exhibitions, Showcasing, Entertaining, Parties, Socialising, Host, Hospitality, Showiness, Pomp and Ceremony,  Centre Stage, In The Spotlight, Recognition, Acclaim, Applause, Awards, Showiness, Smugness, Sex, Making Love, Sensuality, Pleasure, consummation, Eating, Drinking, Over-indulging, Me-Time, Self-Care,  ‘Because Your Worth It’, Pampering, Luxury,



When the Nine of Cups appears in your Reading, life is certainly looking good for you.  This is a great Card to turn up in any Reading and is much welcomed by all. You will be going through a period of great happiness and contentment with little or nothing in the way of unpleasantness to take the smile off your face.  Yes, smiling and laughing are very strongly suggested here. You are in an emotionally strong place and in fantastic mood. Life is really looking good at present and everything is working out as hoped for. It is a time for being aware of and appreciating all your blessings and the magic of life.  Great happiness and joy accompany this Card, and in the Upright, it comes from a great depth and is heartily meant.

The Nine of Cups is traditionally known as the ‘Wish Card’ in so much as what you have wished for you will get.  Those things that were dreamed of in the Seven of Cups are now coming true, and so too might your dreams.  However, be it the fulfilment of your wish or the realisation of your dream, it will have been worked hard for.  Much effort will have gone into arriving at this day which will only make your feel more satisfied with yourself and the outcome.  It really seems that everything is at last working out in your favour.  You look like the ‘cat that got the cream’ and are delighted with yourself.  At long last you have made it to where you want to be.  It is your time to shine now, so get up on that stage, stand in the spotlight and take your applause. Your happiness has come down to you and your attitude.  Well done.

Wonderful joy and abundance come with this Card.  Abundance may be on the material level but with this being a Cup’s Card, material abundance is not worth much if it just travels on its own. Great inner happiness, self-confidence and self-esteem are expressions of abundance too and all are suggested with this Card. It heralds a time when you understand the importance of finding inner-happiness.  You may have thought you were happy at other times but the Nine of Cups takes you to another level altogether.  You are riding high at the moment; on the crest of a wave, your Cup runneth over with pure positivity and optimism.   Such is the euphoria suggested by this Card you may find it difficult to refrain from pinching yourself every now and then just to check it is not a dream but reality.

The Nine of Cups can symbolically represent being rewarded after a period of hard work and effort. Whatever you have been working on has come to successful fruition and you can sit back now and take all the praise and applause you have rightfully earned.  People now see you in a different light and many will be envious of not only your abilities and skills, but also because of the wonderful inner-light that glows in and around you. It positively oozes from your pores.  Your happiness and warmth are infectious too and many will seek you out for the positive effect you have on them. Others will see you as inspirational; someone who has relentlessly pursued their dream regardless of set backs or the opinion of others.  You must realise that you have achieved something that many, many others crave in their lives but do not have the courage or determination to go after.

This is now your time to shine and you have every right to feel rather pleased with yourself.  You can’t help but smile and feel a little smug,  now can you? However, there may also be a tendency to gloat, especially if there have been those who dissed you along the way, failed to offer support or laughed at your dream. While you have every right to feel superior and rub their noses in it, you will only taint the success you have achieved.  We are all on our own paths and each of us in turn must find our way.  This is your path and what is right for you. It must be wonderful to feel so sure of yourself and where you are going. Oh, wouldn’t we all just love to be where you are now, sitting pretty and the centre of much attention?

The Nine of Cups can suggest emotional maturity and the understanding of what is important and what is not.  There is a feeling that you have Found Your Self at long last.  It is a time for seeing the bigger picture in life and for truly knowing what it is you have been looking for, where you want to be and what you want to do. It can suggest a time for moving away from an old style of living that was based more on other’s wants, needs and expectations. The Nine of Cups suggests that it is all about you at the moment.  You have taken centre stage for the moment and consider yourself the key player in your life.  This does not mean to say that you are insensitive to others feelings or needs.  Rather it means you are in control of your life and are in a Self-Care mode.  This is a time for concentrating on your needs and what makes you happy.  Let others think what they wish for you cannot keep everyone happy.

When the Nine of Cups appears, you best prepare for getting dressed up and going out.  Your social life is likely to be very busy with invites to parties and celebrations.  Indeed, you may be throwing a big party yourself, acting as Chief Host or Hostess and are revelling in all the preparations that are involved. You love all the pomp and ceremony that goes with great social occasions so here you can let rip. This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your creative talents and everyone will notice the extra-special personal touches you have added to make it spectacular.  Occasions may be lavish and extravagant, with much money, time and effort put into making it a grand event for all who are invited.  Try not to overdo it by turning it into an overly showy circus of an event.  You are seen sitting alone in this Card, the table laid out for a banquet. Every thing looks pristine and in place.  However, you now have to let the guests in, so make sure people can relax and enjoy themselves too.

Sometimes the Nine of Cups can simply suggest a gathering of close family and friends who revel in each other’s company.  Any parties or celebrations held under the influence of this Nine will undoubtedly be a massive success and will be much talked about for some time to come.  The Nine of Cups is a card for good health and vitality, although there is a tendency to over indulge when one is feeling in so high a  mood. Try to guard against terrible hangovers.

Where Relationships are concerned, it augurs well.  You may have found your Soul Mate and understand for the first time the beauty of a good relationship.  You are certainly happy with the way things have worked out for you on a romantic level.  You may have eventually won the heart of the one you wooed for so long. There is a great sense of knowing that it has been well worth the wait.  There is a true understanding of what it is you want in a relationship and what or who will make you happy.

This Nine also suggests taking your partner out or getting out and about a bit more.  A bit of Pampering and luxury is on the Cards and strongly recommended. Time to book that fancy restaurant or 5 Star Hotel for you are Worth It.

Engagement, Marriage or Pregnancy may be on the Cards for you when the Nine of Cups appears. It can suggest parties, banquets and celebrations with those who come to share in your happiness or Big Day.  The day you have dreamed of for so long may have eventually arrived and this Card can highlight that time, when all the work has been done, and all that’s left to do is go and get changed into your special clothes before the guests arrive.

We must also look at the possibility with the Nine of Cups in a Relationship Reading that the Figure in this Card sits alone because he is happy to be alone.  He may be very content with the way things are and is not in a rush at present to get involved in any relationship.  He may be working on his career or choosing to stay single after leaving an earlier relationship.  As mentioned earlier, the Nine of Cups is very much a card about the ‘Self’ and doing what feels right for you.  You may feel just fine as you are without the need of a partner.  You may prefer to go to weddings and social occasions alone and not feel the need to catch the bouquet or become envious of the bride.  Indeed you may have had a lucky escape in the past (check surrounding cards for verification of this), and are enjoying your  new-found freedom. It can indicate a time for Loving Yourself instead of another.

Then again, because of the nature of this Card, you may also have everything in place, are happy, know who you are and what you want.  When you learn to love yourself, you put a high value on yourself and this is expressed in the type of relationships you seek or draw to you. All that is missing now is the right person to share your life with but there is no sense of urgency in this Card. You are quite willing to wait until the right person, that special someone, comes along and you will recognise them as soon as you see them.  Because this is a Nine Card, it can suggest to those who are seeking or waiting, that it won’t be long before you meet the partner of your dreams. They are just around the corner and heading your way.  In fact it is quite likely that you will meet them at a party or social occasion. No need to be on the lookout as you will find each other quite easily. As this is the Cups suit, which deals with the emotions it, won’t take you long before you set your cap at someone.

The downside of the Nine of Cups in Relationships is the possibility you may have set unrealistic expectations about romance or the ideal partner.  Your dream guy or girl may be too dreamy or unattainable.  You may have set your standards too high and are not prepared to compromise.  We shall examine this area more deeply when the Nine of Cups Reverses.

The Nine of Cups also refers to enjoying the pleasures of the flesh and feeling sexually alive.  The opposite sex will find you particularly alluring and desirable at this time as you ooze sex appeal and look pretty damn good. In relationships it suggests a healthy sex life and feeling sexually confident. You are happy in your skin and at peace with who you are.  With no personal hang-ups or distorted body image you are free to enjoy a wonderful sex life with your partner.  Passion, sensuality and making love will be high on your list of priorities right now.  Along with romance, mutual respect and communication, regular physical contact with your partner will seal the bond on a strong relationship.

The Nine of Cups suggests creativity and great happiness in your Career.  With the Cups being the most artistic and creative of all the Suits, the Cups behind the Figure may symbolically represent your creative works of art being displayed at an exhibition or book launch. You are now doing something in your career that is making you extremely happy.  You are indeed very proud of what you have achieved in your career or created and are exactly where you want to be.  You are eventually getting the recognition and praise you deserve as people see the quality and beauty of your work.  It is a true expression of who you are. You have worked hard to get to the top and are so proud of what you have achieved.  You are bound to be in much demand with invitations coming from all angles. It can be tough at the top though so make sure you balance this with plenty of rest and simple living when you can.

Things couldn’t be going better for you in work at the moment. Everything just seems to be flowing smoothly and work is a joy. Your work emotionally fulfills you. You feel incredibly lucky.

Whatever dreams you had for your Business have been realised and you are feeling quite smug with your lot. Your business may receive an award or be singled out for showcasing.  You have done it.  You have received the recognition you rightly deserve.  You have made it in the Business World and others now look to you for inspiration or as a role model. You followed your heart and it has not failed you.

This Card also suggests someone who loves to entertain and can be quite showy. Your career may involve you in being a hostess, banquet or event manager, or even an entertainer at parties.

The Nine of Cups indicates the positive rewards that are available to us all should we take the time to truly evaluate our lives and never give up on our search for inner-happiness and enlightenment.  It is hard to understand what it is we truly want in life but it is not so hard to recognise that which we do not want, especially if we are living it. What we do about it is another matter.  We are all on a Spiritual Journey and have a particular path to follow.  We must listen to our heart and inner-voice so that we make the right choices which will enable us to realise our potential instead of suffocating it through stagnation and unhappiness. The Nine of Cups shows us what we can achieve if we try.


9 of Cups Reversed


Unable to Give or Receive Love, Lack of Inner Happiness, Low Self-Esteem, Lack of Confidence, Lack of Success, CommiserationS, Being Over-Looked, No Praise, Un-accomplished, Unacknowledged, Under-Achieved, Creative Blocks, Creatively Dull, Wishing you hadn’t Wished What you Wished for, Wishes turning into Nightmares, Let-Down, Disappointed, Magic Bubble Burst, Anti-Climax, Deflated, Bad Mood, Feeling Low, Shattered Dreams, Nightmares, Pessimism, Negativity, Miserable, Unhappy, Devastated, Over Indulging, Compulsive Behaviour, Addictions, Distorted Body Image, Anorexia, Bulimia, Eating Disorders, Self-Loathing, Sex without Love, Emotionally Dysfunctional, Social Disasters, No-Show, Mistakes, Cover-Ups, Disillusioned, Being High and Mighty, Conceited, Spoilt, Brat, Immaturity,

Well, well, well, you are not at all happy with yourself when the Nine of Cups Reverses. In fact you are darn right miserable, fed up and in a real bad mood. What makes it more annoying is that no one really takes you seriously, because look at you, what have you got to be disappointed about? You seem to have it all, that is to the onlooker or observer anyway. However, from where you are sitting things look very different. I suppose it all comes down to one’s perception of things.

When the Nine of Cups appears Reversed, you may still have got what you wished for but you may now see it as a big let-down or worse.  Your wish may have turned into a nightmare or you might realise all too late you have made a huge mistake. Your dreams may have been smashed or your magic bubble burst.  You may have been wearing rose-tinted glasses all this time and can’t believe the truth of what you now see.   ‘Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it’ and ‘after you get what you want, you don’t want it at all’ are two very appropriate sayings that accompany the Reversed Nine of Cups.

With The Nine of Cups Reversed you may feel a bit of a failure or unsuccessful in your life. In fact you might easily be feeling, old, deflated and flat right now.  You may be asking yourself what you have accomplished so far and it may not be much.  You may realise that you have never realised your potential or explored your abilities. You might be comparing yourself to successful and talented people thinking, ‘I could have done that’, or ‘I would have been good at that’. You see praise going to people and it might easily have been you if things had been different or if you had pushed yourself a little.  You may feel you have little to show for yourself and might feel dull and uninteresting. You are at the end of a cycle in your life now so fresh starts are possible and it is never too late.

There is also the possibility that you are bitterly disappointed at the way things have turned out for you. You may have put a lot of effort into a particular situation, person or project only to have it fail to come about or fall apart.  You will certainly have put a lot of emotional effort, you heart and soul,  into whatever it is you have been doing and must feel devastated that it has all amounted to nothing. The smile has certainly been wiped off your face and the carpet pulled from under your feet. Instead of people congratulating you, commiserations may be the order of the day.  Any premature smugness or gloating on your behalf may now leave you regretting your attitude or behaviour as you are forced to endure the smirks and snide comments of others. If you have being acting pompous, showy and conceited, instead of laughing with you, people may now be laughing at you.

In the Reversed Nine of Cups, the Figure looks like a spoilt child sulking at their party because they are not getting enough attention or the present they wanted.  It’s all about me, me, me and pouting and stamping your feet.  It may be impossible to please you or keep you happy. You can act high and mighty with people around you and demand your own way in everything or else there will be a big scene. Nothing is ever going to be good enough for you and you are full of your own importance.  This Card in Reverse can be a sign of immaturity. You may need to stop being such a ‘drama queen’ and grow up.

Then again the praise, recognition and acclaim for all your hard work and effort may be taken by another as you have to sit by and watch them take the credit for what should rightfully be yours.

When the Nine of Cups appears Reversed in a Spread it can highlight deep emotional issues or baggage.  You may be working very hard to hide your problems but there is a strong suggestion of self-loathing or the inability to love yourself.  If you cannot love yourself, you will find it impossible to love another.  Generally when the Nine of Cups appears Reversed you are not fully aware of this but will have adopted some coping formula to help you get through your daily life.  I say daily life because deep personal unhappiness will infect every area of your life.  From the moment you get out of bed in the morning and look in the mirror at yourself to the moment you get back into bed that night, you will have been exposed to several incidents or situations in the day that will have fed your dark inner feelings.

For a start, there will be how you look in the mirror, the body that will not conform to your ideal of how it should be, feeling uncomfortable in your clothes, catching sight of your reflection in the shop window as you go for the bus, feeling self-conscious on the bus for all the wrong reasons, taking all comments personally in work, constantly comparing yourself to others, no one ever seems to be attracted to you, everyone else seems to be having a life, feeling awkward when you go for a drink with your work mates, coming alive and chatty when you get a few drinks into you and then a few more, picking up the wrong signals from the guy or girl who is sitting next to you, making a clumsy pass, getting rejected in front of everyone, getting sick in the taxi on the way home, waking up the next morning hung over, feeling terribly depressed but everyone thought you were great fun.  You are managing to get by but you are living a lie and certainly not enjoying yourself.

The Nine of Cups Reversed often points to trying to hide unpleasant or nasty things from general view or concealing the real truth of the situation.  Instead of doing something about it; seeking help, counselling, self-development etc. you continue to operate in a ‘getting by’ mode. Before you know it, your life will be half over and you will still be waiting for happiness to find you and to feel good about yourself.  Yes, at this stage, you are on automatic pilot and not fully aware of the dis-ease within, but there will come a time when you will ‘just know’ that you are self-sabotaging your potential to be happy and emotionally free.  If you find yourself locked into the Nine of Cups Reversed, have had enough of it, are fed up feeling the way you do (Four of Cups) and want to do something about it, then you must go back to first to the Seven of Cups to identify where all this inner unhappiness is coming from.  Once you have done that, it is up to you as to what you want to do about it but I would suggest that the lessons and advice contained within the Eight of Cups may not be a bad direction to take. Look to The Hermit to guide you on your journey and to face any deep fears or inner demons that may surface under the influence of The Moon Energy.

The Nine of Cups Reversed can suggest that you seek worldly pleasures to supplement the love you are denied or deny yourself. Alcohol, drugs, sex or food may be used addictively or you may develop compulsive behaviour disorder. Outwardly, you may appear to have everything and be happy but behind this showy exterior lies low self-esteem, lack of confidence, lack of self-worth and self-respect.  You may have a distorted body/self-image which could lead to anorexia or bulimia. Emotionally, you are dysfunctional. To find the root cause of this may involve reviewing your childhood and upbringing.

When it comes to the social aspect of The Nine of Cups Reversed then you may be in for more upset here. Party or function planning may not go according to plan or is cancelled.  Your VIP Guest could let you down, there may be a poor turnout on the night or low acceptance of your invitations. Something is wrong here.  You may think that you are the centre of the universe and therefore all should be ecstatic to attend your party but your date may clash with something of equal importance.  A party that coincides with a ‘Big Game’ has been the ruination of many a Host’s months and months of  meticulous planning.  It can be that simple! Another thing to guard against when the Nine of Cups appears Reversed and you are hosting a social occasion or gathering, is to make sure you have everything covered. There may be a chance you have forgotten something very important.  Social disasters do go hand in hand with this Card Reversed so double-check all your bookings, make sure there is enough wine and place settings for all invited, re-confirm your date with the venue and ensure you have not left out any obvious guests on the invitation list.  Where entertainment is concerned, it is advisable to check them out before booking, as you could be bitterly disappointed on the night.  Worse still, the band may fail to turn up and the only entertainment open to you is your drunken uncle singing some ‘old dirger’, refusing to relinquish his hold on the microphone or get off the stage.

Where Relationships are concerned, everything may not be as it seems.  Behind the polished exterior of the happy couple or relationship lies another story. There may be deep unhappiness within the relationship.  This may be one-sided or mutual. The partner and relationship you hankered after and wished for, for so long, has turned out to be a complete disaster or a massive disappointment. This is not something you can easily broadcast, as after all, this is what you have always wanted.  You may have married, worn the big dress and drove everyone mad talking about it for months and months. You possibly had hundreds of guests to witness it all and share in the happiness of your Big Day,  so how can you change your mind now? How can you say you are not happy? You may have thought that marriage would offer security and make you happy but after all the pomp and ceremony has died down, you feel flat and a sense of anti-climax.

You very possibly felt it, sitting right there in the middle of your wedding banquet after one too many glasses of bubbly.  You may have been looking externally for happiness instead of within. You should have been sure of what you really wanted in a relationship and your own emotional needs. Instead, you just went with the flow and got caught up in the superficiality and shallowness of it all. Deep down, you know that you should never have got married but somehow or other, you thought it would all work out.  You may have been afraid to be on your own (The Hermit) or too terrified of facing your own inner fears (The Moon).  The time to do all this was back in the Seven and Eight of Cups. Now you can regret at leisure. When the Nine of Cups Reverses, it tells you to take a long hard look at yourself and the situation as something has got to be done about it. You are at the end of a cycle in your life and so should be looking forward to a new dawn but you may feel there is little to look forward to and that you are now stuck where you are.  That cycle has had its day and should have been winding down instead of becoming entrenched.  It will take much effort on your part to free yourself from this one but it can be done.

Another aspect of the Nine of Cups Reversed in Relationships is the problem of putting a low price or value on your heart and self. You might have a tendency to give your love away to undeserving souls. Due to lack of self-esteem and self-worth you may fall into relationships based on sex alone with very little love or respect. You may have an inability to give or receive love on a normal basis due to conditioning from childhood.  However, in your emotionally dysfunctional way, you still hunger for love and will use any means to fill the void.  Behaviour can become promiscuous and hedonistic leading to further emotional destruction.

However in the extreme aspect of The Nine of Cups Reversed, you may have set such a high price on yourself that no one can possibly come up to scratch. You may be overly idealistic or delusional about relationships or the perfect partner.  Your dream partner may be based on fairy tales and romantic novels or a certain zodiac sign. If you do not wish to stay single forever, you may have to compromise or relax some of your higher demands.  You will need to give this some deep thought. On the other hand, it may not be you who is so picky and particular. Parents may be causing issues with your relationships or disapprove of your choice of partner. No one is ever going to be good enough for their Prince or Princess.

Work Wise, the career or job position you dreamed of, in reality, now turns out to be the complete opposite. Then again you may be finding it difficult to identify what type of career you might be most suitable for.  You can’t seem to find the right career or the one that will make you happy. Perhaps you are listening to others instead of following your own heart. Make sure to take your feelings into consideration when making your career choice, as emotional fulfilment is just as important as financial gain.

If you have been hoping or wishing for that promotion or  dream job then the appearance of the Nine of Cups Reversed may suggest that you are going to be disappointed. You may have put your all into working for it and given it your best but someone else has been chosen instead of you.  This will leave you feeling very low in yourself, demoralised or not good enough.

If you are exhibiting your works of art or crafts, they may not be well received or very few people attend. You may not be happy with what you have created.  Your work may have lost its sparkle and dazzle, or has become dated in the eyes of the public. The Reversed Nine of Cups in this situation can suggest that you are creatively blocked at present and are trying to force your work rather than letting it evolve naturally.  This is easily seen by those who have an eye for style and design.  You may need to step back for a while and reflect on your work. Is it still making you happy, are you creating for yourself or to please others all the time.  Perhaps a retreat from the limelight for a while may take the pressure off you and allow your inspiration to return. Earlier success in your career may have made you complacent but it is now time to face the truth. You are only as good as your last piece of successful work and how long ago was that. It may be time to totally overhaul your work and move in a new direction as your party piece may have gone a bit stale.

The Nine of Cups Reversed can also symbolise shunning the limelight, spotlight and fame in favour of a quiet and simple life.  You may turn your back on the material world and see it as the root of all evil, superficial and shallow. You may be determined to start a new way of life and even a new location.

All in all, you may need to go back to the Eight of Cups and spend time finding what it is that is missing in your life.

Ace of Cups    Two (II)  of Cups    Three (III) of Cups   Four (IV) of Cups   Five (V) of Cups  Six (VI) of Cups  Seven (VII) of Cups  Eight (VIII) of Cups  Nine (IX) of Cups  Ten (X) of Cups

Wands  Cups Swords   Pentacles

Back to 78 Cards – Brief Page

The 78 Cards – Detailed Study Version (Card Description, Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

The 78 Cards – Shortened Version (Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)


Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn
Truly Teach Me Tarot Part I

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