Nine of Cups (I)

September 8-10:

Natalia reaches out to Joel for an image of the Eight and Nine of Cups side by side.

She can’t remember…is Force in connection with the Nine of Cups? And was the Nine of Cups mirroring a connection to the Two of Cups, or…?

Looking at the Nine makes her feel a bit of wondering…why do two of the cups have such protecting or disturbing “guardians”, those blue almost military-like things. Who would dare to go and drink from those two cups?? Or is it an invitation to go somewhere really deep but a bit on one’s own responsibility!

Also it makes her think of the other side of Lapland; with the Eight there was the Midnight Sun, whereas with the Nine it reminds her of this untamed astrally, a bit of the Ahrimanic underground stuff as well. But also she gets a Joseph of Arimathea below the House of the Last Supper, with Nicodemus, engaged in their “night disciple” activities below the 12 and Christ above, in the upper room.

As though whatever is happening in the Nine is happening “below.” And of course, Joseph with his Cup, his Grail, is a remedy for the untamed Earth. This all points to our Footwashing theme as well.

Particularly this bottom up is alone, with the blue emphasising the depths.

And how separated every cup is in the Nine!
She shares a landscape before Witches’ Mountain. A huge swamp with many dead, dried up trees. A strange mixture of wet ground and dry wood:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dead-trees-wet-swamp.jpeg

Joel responds that yes, we’re looking at Force with the Nine of Cups…and in a way it’s the last time we’ll see Force…we’ll move backwards through the Majors now, culminating in the King of Cups, which will be the first time we get to the Lover in this particular method. The Nine reflects the Ace, actually…the Ace was the last time we looked at a Minor with Force. It was the King of Swords and Ace of Cups, we looked at both of them with Force. And now the Nine returns to that. 

All of her reflections are very interesting. Joel is finally excited to go into the Nine of Cups. He’s had these layers of responsibility lifting over the course of the summer…first being released from the care house, then finishing Star Wisdom, then finishing the retreat…and now, just last week, finally getting up to speed on the Tarot notes, getting them all posted to the website after nine months of having a backlog. Especially after this coming weekend—after he has moved into his new house in the Village—he feels he will finally be able to go back to the Tarot. Just sending the Eight and the Nine to Natalia, however, he starts to see all these interesting details, all these questions come up.

This landscape around Witches’ Mountain is a perfect picture of the Nine of Cups. Very damp, wet, overflowing, yet simultaneously the plants seem dead and woody and thorny. No longer living like in the previous Cups. 

Notes of a Hermetic Conversation between Sabrina and Natalia on the Nine of Cups, September 17, 2021

At first we shared our experiences of the past week – both of us shared time with our family of origin. We both had a quite challenging time!

Attuning to the Tarot Conversation: Sabrina guided the meditation of the “right standing between heaven and earth”.

Nine of Cups (17h of September):

N. feels that every cup is kind of isolated, feels a lot of loneliness on the soul level.

S.’s attention is very much drawn to the sharpness of the leaves and she feels a bit confused: it seems to her as if she was already very familiar with a “cup-card” that had such sharp “blades” (leaves)…she’s looking through all of them, but the Nine of Cups is the only one.

N. comments that during our conversation on the Eight of Cups we had also been looking at the Nine of Cups.

S. agrees as she remembers but remains a bit confused, though.

N. sees the plant in the middle (the upper plant) as bodyguards/guardians that protect the cups with their main hands. Then it seems to her that the upper plant also seems to be a threatening, meat-eating plant or an alien plant. Then the 13th major (Death) comes to her mind, as Sabrina mentioned the blades – the blade of the skeleton’s scythe looks much alike the “blades” here.

S. remarks that the whole plant is fully grown (she says “grown out” but that would be a literal German translation – she means that there can’t be any outer growth any more, the plant has reached its limit, is grown out).

N.: feels very much the Lapland mood on this card. There is a threatening moment: Do you dare to go so deep? (The blue “trunks” seem somehow grown together with the middle cups!) It’s hard/bitter to drink from this cup and she would rather not accept it!

S.: Age plays a role here. The plant is in the last stage of something, or rather in the next to  last stage. The whole quality of the card is rather masculine.

N.: agrees that there’s kind of an excessive amount of something. It’s overgrown, one gets the feeling of being fed up/something has to change! She then brings a recent dream of hers in: a dream of water and skeletons. Another question comes to her mind: what are the white tubes?

S. sees two seeds in the middle of the the upper plant. And as she looks at the trunk in the middle of the “lower” plant, she perceives an elemental being with a striking nose, huge ears/horns, and the the tubes are like…whiskers? Or the Eustachian tubes?

N. says that now that we take a closer look the whole expression of the cards becomes less threatening…she realizes that the white “tubes” that stream out of the middle cup form the shape of a heart!

S. wants to express a thought that isn’t related to anything of this conversation before…a thought that matured over some time and maybe is not fully grown: the Major Arcana relate on a certain level more the the vertical line, to “space”/astral realm and the Minor Arcana – with their apparent connection to metamorphosis of the plant life – relate more to time/the etheric realm. And yet, they are time-less and space-less.

N: brings the question if S. sees some relation to the 11th Major Arcana, Force? 

S. says that “Death” is still very present for her and she’s more interested in the relation of The Hermit to the Nine of Cups…

N.: states that there is something of the Force’s mightiness and tenderness…tamed…

S.: is struck by two observations: she took a look on the Ten of Cups and is struck by the fact that the plant has totally disappeared – which proves her feeling that for the plant this was the last step/and the card is the next to last one…there is an autumn feeling, maybe the plant is now on the compost? Then: she sets The Hermit on the right side of the Nine of Cups and this gives her a soothing feeling…for her, there is still something very threatening streaming forth from the card (but she also – emotionally – she has had hard times, which surely influences her perception to a great degree)

N. agrees that the card gets softer and it “feels good” to have The Hermit on the side! 

S.: sees for the first time, that the sleaves of the Hermit have the shape of leaves – a blue one and a red one!

Natalia speaks the last part of the Foundation Stone Meditation as a closing of our conversation.

The above were Sabrina’s notes. Further reflections from Natalia:

Maybe a few things I could add as I remember them. There was mentioned by Sabrina : the perspective change for the Blue seeds in the upper plant—the upper plant was perceived more from above. The lower blue trunk could be a perspective from the side.

The more we dwelt around this blue/seed perspectives, zooming in we started to feel less threatening the whole card. Then the Heart shape appeared to Natalia and it felt really heart warming to find it there in the middle!

For Natalia, that brought The Hermit card closer to the Nine of Cups too as this heart was there. We had been talking about Hermit in relation to Heart earlier with Cups. Putting Hermit next to Nine brought to Natalia this 3-fold connection with Thinking, Feeling, Willing and a question of whether the horizontal Cups could be lines of Thinking- Feeling- Willing. Sabrina immediately recognized that the upper plant has leaves upwards, the middle one creates these tubes and heart and rhythmic system, and in the lower part the leaves were going down, willing direction. So maybe that could be a sign of thinking about the card in terms of those 3 worlds. (Natalia adds maybe even having 3 possibilities in each as she now writes these notes and remembers that Joel wrote about the Hermit/Our Father Course connection earlier with 3 possibilities in each thinking/feeling/willing. Maybe it’s interesting to come back to that idea again as we come to see it on Nine of Cups!?) We talked about how it is as if the Hermit would illuminate the Nine so that one could move through Nine to Ten. He gives so much warmhearted light that you start to feel it’s possible!

And yes, we talked in the beginning how something is so “fed up” in the Nine. The only option left is change. Natalia thinks that she felt Death would be actually needed there to do something, cut off something too old.

Interesting was how both of our life situations had occurred so that we had visited our parents just lately ( as we both visit them very rarely normally) and how there was old wounds, patterns coming up. Mother/Father patterns one carries and a question how to integrate them, accept that I actually have them in me…we were both still aching. Feeling a bit low. Vulnerable.

We wondered if anything in Force reminds us of the Nine. Perhaps we only described Force as “tamed sharpness”, and that started to come up also from Nine, when the Heart and tender side was found.

(Today I would add that “sharp knives” of family members—as one could feel their words at times—were for me this Bitter Cup, but that actually I had felt a calling to visit my family in an intense way and actually wishing for this experience to also see how am I to stand it this time, can I transform/accept what comes to me.) As Sabrina said when we were sharing: we all actually adopt patterns of Father or Mother into ourselves, and only fully understanding and accepting (Mother in me!) would be a way to integrate that instead of rejecting my inherited patterns from my mother. That was interesting for me to hear as I was pondering over that: how do I feel “My Mum” so extremely strong inside of me many days after coming back? Like one knows you have patterns from parents but usually they stay a bit more under your own personality…but now I thought I can’t stand this, what do I need to understand, who and what to forgive? Maybe it is Mummy in me!?)

My dream was an underground cave where on water came swimming water elementals as I looked intensively and then skeletons started to flow into water from a tunnel. I felt a bit uncomfortable about the skeletons and started to walk away through another tunnel, not sure if skeletons were good natured or bad natured…This dream happened a day or two days after I had been visiting (with my Mum) in a swamp where a lot of old trunks had died standing:

The next night, Natalia had the Ace of Cups shown in her dream, but a very small card. So, after waking up, she looked at her old small Tarot deck (which she never uses anymore) for the Ace of Cups, and was a bit surprised to sea how the Sun and Eagle appear. She also shared the version of the Nine of Cups from this deck: