Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Pisces in the Minor Arcana: The Nine of Cups

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
Today we move on to the Nine of Cups, which - in the system I use - is linked to Jupiter in Pisces, as well as the  middle third of Pisces (28th February to 9th March).  Jupiter is the ruler of Pisces, so already we have a sense of how this might play out! Jupiter, the ‘Greater Benefic’, expansive, generous, jovial... and in Pisces, described so well by William Blake’s “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom" (from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell). Jupiter in Pisces is compassionate and sensitive, and has great faith or trust in a higher power (and the self).  It wants to grow by living according to its ideals – it’s high-minded, yet its generosity of spirit makes it sympathetic to everyone and everything. 

Wildwood Tarot
Jupiter’s expansiveness gives rise to overflowing watery emotions, symbolized in the Sharman-Caselli version of the card by the fountains, or the overflowing cups in the Crowley Thoth and Wildwood decks. In Pisces, it’s all about bliss, deep joy, overflowing love... without restrictions.  It’s the benevolence of Jupiter, the all-expansiveness, that gives the Wildwood’s Nine of Vessels its keyword ‘generosity’. The emotions are nourished, the senses are satisfied (symbolized by the spread of food and the embracing couple depicted in the Sharman-Caselli card) – it’s a time for indulging, to enjoy relationships.  
Shadowscapes Tarot

The Shadowscapes version has a mer-man peering down into the depths. Eight fishes swim below him, each with the image of a cup on their sides. The contents of a ninth cup appear to be flowing upwards into the heart of the mer-man. Other fish and also dolphins are in the background but again, less easily seen – plenty of Pisces symbology! They are also symbols of health, prosperity and good fortune, while the cup below the mer-man’s heart represents the idea that “all the heart desires is within reach” (Shadowscapes Companion, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, Llewellyn, 2010).   
Thoth Tarot

Often referred to as the ‘wish card’, the Nine of Cups can represents dream or wishes coming true and, through Jupiter in Pisces, the sense of ‘blessedness’ that comes from deep-rooted, absolute joy.

The shadow side of Jupiter in Pisces, and the Nine of Cups, is the tendency towards escapism, and losing focus. Not that escapism is always a bad thing, but Jupiter takes things to excess, so what might be healthy escapism runs the risk of becoming an addiction. It could be difficult to deal with the outpouring of emotions, to the point where the emotions end up becoming blocked for fear of the consequences.  

Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
 Sharman-Caselli Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
 Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections 

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