The Nine of Pentacles shows a figure enjoying the fruits of her labors. The card is bright yellow, indicating happiness and fulfillment, and the woman is surrounded by grapes and pentacles – the fruits of her labor. While there is much for the woman to celebrate, the expression on the woman’s face isn’t one of joy. She has a lonely vibe – a good indication that the abundance enjoyed from all that hard work still isn’t enough. We need to share this abundance with others for true fulfillment.
The Nine of Pentacles is especially rich with symbolism. The castle in the distance is an indication that the figure has fulfilled her goals or is close to fulfilling them. As seen in previous pentacles cards, the grapes are an indication of abundance. The snail in the card is very important – snails carry their homes on their backs, indicating security is of the utmost importance to the figure. She’s put her career first and as a result, has come to enjoy the safety and security of prosperity arising through that hard work. Snails are slow and steady moving, indicating this hard work has been the result of disciplined effort over a long period of time. That hard work has paid off. The falcon in the card is especially important. Typically birds in the tarot are about higher thought or higher meaning. More specifically, falcons symbolize higher vision. In this case, the falcon has a hood covering his eyes – the spiritual and intellectual self here has been controlled, or in some cases, even caged in order for the woman to pursue a career. There is a lasting achievement associated with the card. however, the card calls on us to consider if we’re living a life in accordance to our vision. Are we living up to our full potential?
Upright: When the Nine of Pentacles appears upright in a reading, it’s typically about self sufficiency and independence. We’re taking care of ourselves through hard work and determination. It’s been a long road, but that diligent work has paid off. This is a time when we can look back at our accomplishments – we’ve created a stable life for ourselves and an inner calm that comes from enjoying this life where we have some semblance of security. While this is a time when we’re in balance with nature, we’re also a bit restrained. We’ve achieved our goals, but is it enough if we don’t have anyone to share it with? Alternatively, the card can be a time to remain poised and in control. Stay disciplined if your on the cusp of achieving your goals.
Reversed: When the Nine of Pentacles appears in the reversed position, there is a greater emphasis on the loneliness seen in the card. We’ve over-invested in our careers and that’s caused our relationships with our family and friends to suffer. If that’s the case, the card tells us to return to nature and consider our priorities. What would happen if we reduced our dependence on living the good life? How important is living a luxurious life? Alternatively, a reversal can be a mistake that resulted in a financial setback or some kind of financial loss. This is shaking our foundation a bit, but there’s a lesson to be learned.
The falcon in the card is a message of freedom. That freedom, however, is constrained. Hard work can give us a good life with all the luxuries we desire. However, is that enough or does that money prevent us from enjoying true freedom? Instead do we give up true freedom because money and the security it provides becomes so important, to the exclusion of everyone else?