Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nine of Pentacles - “Authority, Autonomy and Flying High”

RWCS, US Games Edition©
The Nine of Pentacles
What is she whispering to the bird?

The suit of Pentacles represents the element of earth and the material world.  In tarot, nines speak to us of compromise and difficulties, but if that’s the case, why does the woman in the Nine of Pentacles look like she’s doing so well? She stands in a field of dreams made reality – calm and elegant, seemingly without a care.  Is it a facade, or does she really have a nifty investment strategy tucked away somewhere?  

The Nine of Pentacles shows us someone (in this particular case a female, though the card lesson transcends sexual definition) who no longer struggles to secure their day to day existence. As in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the basic survival levels, food, shelter, clothing, have been surpassed.  Her current level of security and comfort allows, not only the expression of grace and beauty in her life, but also the ideation of a higher self.  

Clear and sunny skies always offer
encouragement even when you turn inward
RWCS, The Sun, US Games Edition©
A clear sky in the background denotes fair weather.  Two trees frame the world of the card, acting as a gateway to a rich and fertile vineyard.  The woman in the Nine of Pentacles hasn’t passed through the gates to this land without compromises. She is alone, turned away from the sun and turned inward towards herself.  Her right hand rests on a stack of pentacles; her casual possession of them born from her sense of security.  Her head and shoulders rise above the landscape indicating a higher connection with the universal flow.  She is elegant, graceful and assured of her position in the world.  A falcon perches on her left hand.  Its head is hooded like all trained hunting birds.  The hood keeps the falcon calm while it waits the commands of its mistress and the opportunity to take flight. 

Some tarot analysts view the hooded bird as a symbol of the
The Magician reminds us that we
can combine all the elements to create the
life we want. RWCS, US Games Edition©
lady’s darker nature held in check by her strength of will.  Others believe the bird represents stifled creativity and dreams – a necessary sacrifice some would say in attaining goals.  I disagree. I prefer Alfred Hitchcock’s explanation for why the bird is there.  In his masterpiece of environmental horror, “The Birds,” Hitchcock uses a lone seagull circling high over the town of Bodaga Bay to present a bird’s eye view of the movie’s world. In the Nine of Pentacles, the hunting bird is the omnipresent eye that gives our lady a broad over-view of her territory.  Her bird symbolizes imagination, creativity and focused skills.  Instead of representing a dark side, the bird lifts the woman beyond her own limited perceptions allowing her to implement her talents.  The bird’s hood represents not only her control, but her discretion as well.

Meanings for the Nine of Pentacles include discipline, self-reliance and sacrifice to obtain a goal.  The problem with using the word ‘sacrifice’ in what otherwise is a motivational card is that people frequently misunderstand the meaning of the word.  Its root word is ‘sacred,’ not ‘suffer.’  Too often people shy away from their dreams because they believe they must sacrifice – suffer a deprivation – to reach them.  Not so.  The woman is the Nine of Pentacles knows her worth, both inside and out.  She may appear to be alone, but so for all of us who take on a new challenge in life.  Ultimately, the burden of succeeding rests upon our shoulders, no one else’s. 

Use the positive messages about success and reward in the Nine of Pentacles to keep you on target no matter what type of goal you set for yourself.  Meditate by focusing on the imagery of this card and, like the falcon in the picture, you’ll soar above your perceived limitations.


No comments:

Post a Comment