The Four Nines – Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles
The Four Nines of The Minor Arcana represent the final stage of action, reflection, thoughts and deeds of the Four Suits. It heralds the end of a cycle and the natural winding down or closing stages of a period of your life, incident, situation, relationship or stage of a relationship . This does not mean that the situation is over and done with or gone forever. What is does mean is that it has run its natural course and is the total culmination of all you have done, all the effort put in and all your hopes, wishes and dreams. The Goals that each have struggled long and hard for are now in sight and ready to be claimed. Wishes are just about to come true and dreams realised. Of course for the Swords it is the end of the road for them with stress and conflict, they too will experience the culmination of all that has come to be throughout their journey.
For all the Suits involved, it is now time to review and reflect on the consequences of their actions. Their journey is over, but not just yet, for they must now take a long hard look back and be totally honest with themselves. They all started out on the same footing; with the same advantages, the same innocence and the same quality of Gift from Spirit. They were all bursting with potential as they accepted and grasped their Gift firmly in their hand. They were all equal and full of promise as they stood before Spirit, receiving their blessings and advice. They had held such high hopes for their futures.
Some, were already formulating plans and goals as they instinctually knew what they wanted of their Elemental Gift (Pentacles). Others had wonderful ideas and visions but preferred not to settle on anything too soon. Bursting with their Fiery Elemental Gift, they would try to experience as much as possible (Wands). Then there were some who held high and noble hopes of love and happiness, not just for one, but for all. They offered their Cup to share with another and set goals of happiness, love and joy (Cups). Of course we had one who fretted and worried over what to do with theirs. Their Gift weighed heavily on them and often wondered why they had drawn the short straw? Their Gift was a potentially dangerous weapon and possibly they felt too inexperienced to know how to handle it adequately. Starting off with such worries and unsettling thoughts did put a dampener on the excitement of the occasion. It did not augur well for the future (Swords). It is a pity they did not understand its beauty for when handle correctly it is a wonder of magic and might.
The Nines are now here to tell you that you have done all you can in this situation, and for better or worse, you must now make ready to move into a whole new cycle. This one is done and dusted, and to be honest we are probably all jaded with the storyline and waiting to move on to something new. It is a bit similar to watching a Movie or Soap Opera. In a Movie, it is very easy to tell, (apart from the time duration) when the story is nearing its conclusion. Loose ends are being tied up and characters settle into position for the Grand Finale. If it did not go through this stage then the Movie would just stop abruptly, leaving us all wondering what the hell happened? In a Soap Opera, they are constantly heading off on journeys similar to our Tarot friends. They run with a particular storyline for a period of time; building it up as they go, and then winding it down sufficiently so that it is no longer the big drama it started out as. They can also choose to bring it to an abrupt and explosive end. They are then free to move onto a new storyline and do the same all over again. A book is no different. I am sure many of you understand that feeling of incredible frustration when we have spent days reading a book only to get to the last couple of chapters and discover that several pages are missing. We have missed out on how all the characters turned out and what became of them. Reading the last page is not enough for it has all happened by then.
The closing down stages are very important and help us understand many things. They help ease us out of our current, aged cycle and into a brand new fresh one. Like The Death Card, we are forever caught up in the ever-turning wheel of birth, death and rebirth. Sudden death can cause a terrible shock to our systems and likewise, moving from an old cycle of life to a new one without going through the winding down phase can also cause a jolt to the system.
We generally sense when something is coming to an end. Friends drift apart as social circles break up in favour of new friends, directions and commitments. Time is moving everyone on and what seemed so important for so long, begins to dissipate. Our feelings towards a job slowly begins to wane as we no longer feel excited about our work. It is time to move on. A relationship runs its course and no longer fulfills us. A stage of a relationship may be coming to an end as a couple decide to move it on by getting married and having children. Regardless, change is coming and an old way of life is being left behind. A house you have lived in for years is now too large for your needs as children move out or a partner dies. You may have aged and are no longer able to climb the stairs. The writing is on the wall and this particular cycle of your life is coming to an end. It will involve closing the door on the old cycle before opening the door to the new one. You have done all that you can and there is precious little else for you to do.
With the Nines, The Four Suits enter a spring cleaning mode and must carefully sift through all that they have accumulated on their journey or cycle. They must be quite ruthless about certain things, for not all can be taken forward into their new cycle. They must only take what was discovered to be useful and valuable and of course what has extreme sentimental or emotional attachment. There must be a thorough cleansing of their mind, body, emotions and spirit before moving into their next cycle.
The Four Suits will be expected to have gained much experience, which can be utilised and applied in their next cycle. They are almost at the end of their Journey with their Goals and dreams in sight but have yet to carry out one last task. These tasks are related to their individual Suits and Governing Element. Their tasks are also based on how they managed their Journey and how close they have come to realising their individual Goals.
In the Nines, they are all allowed to stop for a moment before taking any more action. They should be relieved they are so close to the finish line with their quests and endeavours for it has been a long and difficult journey. Introspection, Retrospection and Reflection are some of the strongest associated words with The Four Nines of The Minor Arcana. They must look back now and objectively analyse each stage of it. They must decide on whether they successfully achieved their aims or fell short of the mark? They must know their weaknesses and strengths, and whether they took them into consideration where relevant. They must determine whether their journey was worth the effort and whether it lived up to their expectations or not. They must ask if they are proud of their achievements or ashamed of their failures? How have the journeys affected their personalities? Do they consider themselves better people with more rounded qualities than before they set out, or has it made them less tolerant and unfriendly. Do they feel strong and vigorous, ready to take on the world or are they weak and dithering, fearful of all that is new or different? Should they have the chance to do it all again, would they change anything, would they handle things differently? Are they all glad it is over?
Yes indeed, much thought and inner-work is needed before they take the final step over the Finish-Line to be awarded their Goal and new cycle. It will be interesting to see how the Four Suits have ranked themselves and their journeys.
The Wands will give much thought to the extent of energy and exhaustion experienced after so much action, the Cups must dwell on the happiness they have craved so much. The Swords must begin to understand the process of unresolved issues that has led them to breaking point, and the Pentacles, close to the financial security they desire, now have time to reflect on their journey and the personal cost involved in attaining their goal.
On the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, The Four Nines reside in the 9th Sephira – Yesod (Foundation) Translates spiritual concepts into actions. It is linked to the imagination and The Moon, with the energies of reflection and illumination. The Nines use this energy to shine a bright light on any dark areas of their journey and soul. All will be exposed and reflected upon. This deals more in the unconscious realm rather than the conscious. A time for being held to account and taking personal responsibility for their actions. A time for deep understanding and knowledge. This will lay strong foundations for eventual manifestation in Ten and any new cycles thereafter.
Astrologically – Corresponds with The Moon
In The Major Arcana, The Four Nines correspond with The Hermit (IX). The Hermit’s solitary presence and long grey beard suggest his maturity and understanding. He is the ultimate Seeker of Self-Knowledge and knows, that to hear the inner-voice, and to find your true purpose, involves retreat and withdrawal from distraction, din and noise. The Hermit retreats into the inner-planes, far from where he will be disturbed. He is the driving force behind the Nines in the Final Stage of their Journey. They will all ask the same questions of themselves, ‘What was it all about?’ , ‘Who am I?’ ‘Where have I come from?’, ‘Where am I now?’, ‘Where do I want to go next? and ‘Why’?
The Hermit has seen many cycles come and go and resembles Old Father Time. His knowledge and wisdom is infinite. What he has learned, has not come easy. He advises the Four Suits that should they not have found the answers they were looking for in their current cycle, they just might in the next. The idea is not to give up, even if what they look back on does not, in their estimation, amount to much. There is no such thing as failure or mistakes, for all is knowledge and experience.
The Moon Card (XVIII) of the Major Arcana 1+8 = 9 also corresponds with Nines of The Four Suits. The Moon helps them to analyse, reflect and review, by illuminating their memories and any deep hidden areas they may otherwise choose to ignore. The lessons of the Nines, The Hermit and The Moon are all solitary lessons. They do not come easily but are a necessary stage on the journey to self-realisation and manifestation. The Four Nines came into this world alone and will leave it alone too. The Hermit and Moon drive them to seek self-reliancy, self-understanding and self-knowledge, for it is the only real thing that will support them on their journey. The Nines may fear the implications of The Hermit and The Moon as it involves a solitary and often un-nerving journey. However, this must be conquered before they reach their final destination. It is their last ordeal, trial or task. Most of the Suits should not worry too much for they have already put in a lot of this work along the way.
When a Single Nine is drawn in a Reading it will depend on the surrounding cards, but it suggests that a situation is reaching a conclusion or that it has run its natural course. One Nine alone does not necessarily speak of the end of a cycle or any major change. However, it does ask you to reflect on the issue it relates to. This reflection should be taken back to the beginning of the situation and not just based on recent events. The Querant could do a lot to help resolve or sort the situation as a result. The Single Nine can also indicate that you are nearing the realisation of a goal and that sometimes the going gets very tough in the final stages. The message would be to hang on in there for you are nearly there. Call on all your reserves of energy to carry you through this final stage and don’t give in to fear. Don’t even think of giving up. The same applies to several Nines appearing except the there may be several goals and a lot at stake. This is what you have worked so hard towards, so give it your final shot and you will be there before you know it.
Two or more Nines suggest that a cycle or chapter in your life is drawing to a close and that a time of reflection is needed. The More Nines, the more major the event and a strong impact will be felt. The Querant is bound to have undergone many challenges and ups and downs to have arrived at this stage. There should be a sense of relief mixed with melancholy, but also a building anticipation and excitement for the new road ahead. There may be several life changing actions being taken. Look also for the Judgement Card, Death and The Fool, for new starts, moving on, being at a crossroads, transformation, new directions and taking a chance on life.
When Nines appear Reversed, there may be a reluctance to cut the ties that bind. There may be resistance to the end of a cycle or fear about the beginning of a new one. Depending on the number of Reversed Nines, the Querant may not be giving much time to reflection or introspection. As a result, there may be repetitive patterns of negative attitudes and behaviour. They may be caught in a stale cycle, making the same mistakes over and over.
There is also the possibility with several Reversed Nines that one feels a terrible sense of anti-climax after achieving a goal or making a dream come true. You may not be happy with the Outcome. You need to give much time to understanding why this has happened. Reversed Nines also point to fear of failure at the last moment. Nerves and lack of self-belief may be delaying getting to the finish line. Working towards a goal for so long can become quite scary when the time has come to see it manifest and take responsibility for it. There may be dawdling and deliberate delays with letting something reach its finished state. Weakness and a lack of stamina could undo all the good work up until now. With several Reversed Nines we also get fear of going it alone, fear of taking responsiblity and fear of having to be self-reliant. You really do not believe in yourself or your abilities. It would be necessary to go back to the Eight and find your Strength.
Energy levels may be low with a lack of motivation .
Now Click onto The Nine (IX) of Wands, The Nine (IX) of Cups, The Nine (IX) of Swords and The Nine (IX) of Pentacles or in the Sub Menu where you will find their Descriptions, Meanings both Upright and Reversed along with all their relevant Keywords. Alternatively click on the Images above.