9 of Cups

Satisfaction, sensuality, luxury, pleasure

Range of meanings

Light: Being delighted with your own achievements. Recognizing your own talents and abilities. Reveling in the good things life has to offer. Indulging yourself. Relaxing and unwinding. Having everything you need in order to feel complete.

Shadow: Being smug. Satisfying yourself at the expense of others. Being selfish. Over-indulging. Avoiding work that needs to be done. Claiming achievements or skills you do not possess. Never being satisfied, no matter how much you have.

Questions to ask

  1. What outcome would delight you as much as it delights this merchant? What obstacles are in your way?
  2. In your situation, what information is being hidden or repressed in order to maintain false happiness?
  3. What kind of outcome could make you this satisfied with your life?
  4. If I could have anything, what would I have?
  5. What is my attitude toward luxury? Do I deserve it?


Personal Growth: A life of constant luxury breeds dullness. Learn when to push back; you can be satisfied with less than you think. With a little restraint in place, you’ll be better equipped to enjoy real luxury when the time for indulgence comes.

Work: Who should your work satisfy? What are the criteria used to evaluate your work’s completeness? Knowing the answer to these questions is the key to success. Resist the urge to revise and revise; know when to be happy with your best effort.

Relationships: Appreciate what you have. When things are good, it’s easy to take someone for granted. Today, emphasize the ways your friendships and relationships are working for you. What’s working? What’s comforting? What do you have to smile about?

Spirituality: Finding your center—a still point, a place of peace insulated from outer disturbances—will help you maintain an enlightened perspective. When pressured or rushed, remember to breathe. Pause, retreat, withdraw. Allow your spiritual discipline to yield practical results.

Fortune-Telling: Whatever you want, you’ll get it.


Astrological: Pisces

Planet: Jupiter

Fool's Journey: The main character expresses supreme confidence. Alternatively, the Main Character completes a task, but is denied the promised payment.

The Number 9: The Completion: fullness, readiness, ripeness.

Cups: One of the 4 suits of the tarot. Also sometimes called vessels, or chalices. Represents intuition, spirituality, affection, and motivation. As a suit marker, Cups suggest receptivity: they are vessels, waiting to be filled. Cups have long been associated with divination (remember the uproar caused when Benjamin stole King Joseph’s cup?) and, by extension, intuition.

Happy Merchant: The RWS-inspired merchant on the 9 of Cups sits in front of a raised and curtained platform, looking as happy as he can be. The Gilded Tarot’s wine maker is “in his cups,” merry as ever.