Sunday, 19 June 2016

9 of Cups

Jean Noblet Tarot by JC Flornoy
'As for the pips? To cite a 1650 text of rules for the game: 

"...from the ten to the ace, these cards bear no small resemblance to the dregs of society, people who are much more a burden than a pleasure." 

In other words, they aren't of much use in the tarot.' 

 These words are all the guidance we get about the pips in Jean-Claude Flornoy's LWB to the Jean Noblet Tarot. One wonders why he bothered including them in the deck at all, if that's his take on it.

There are many TdM readers who use only the trump cards (or majors) for reading, and who tend to stick to a basic 3-card line made up of these. Many TdM readers use only lines for their readings, and most seldom use pre-set designations for card positions.

In The Open Reading by Yoav Ben-Dov, the 'row spread' is discussed. Ben-Dov suggests that a 3-card line drawn from a complete deck might not give enough information, because the pip cards do not offer 'much detail'. 'The obvious solution is to lay a larger number of cards in a horizontal row, so that their combination is interesting and complex enough.' He recommends seven cards, or two sets of three to examine two options, or just laying out a row until we 'feel we have enough,' though there is a danger in this of stopping the spread when we get to an outcome we like.

Despite all this,  I still think a one-card draw can be useful, even from a TdM, and even with plain pips, particularly as a Card of the Day. However, you won't get much joy from the Noblet LWB about it!

A literal reading of 9 of Cups might be a 'big social gathering', because nine is 'a lot' and we see cups of wine here. Because the rows are very symmetrical, you might see it as some sort of orderly hierarchy, or everyone knowing their place. It isn't really a 'pecking order' because no one's on top and no one's picked on. You might also notice the bars and leaves create tidy little compartments, so the card might mean separate-but-equal, or it could be respecting one another's personal space and boundaries. It might be pointing to 'a lot' of enjoyment of food and drink - but not to insensibility, because of the order seen in the card.

A more figurative reading might include the concept of 3 times 3, and the fact that the cups can represent the emotions, and you get the traditional association of the 9 of Cups as the 'wish fulfilment' card.

However you look at it, 9 of Cups is most likely going to get a positive spin. Well, unless you turn it upside down. Inverted, the orderliness of the image disappears. It doesn't make sense to see upside down cups. Now the image speaks of confusion. For some reason, I suddenly see the decorative elements as red arrows pointing toward the middle of the card. It makes me think of conflict. So the card reminds me of a large group of emotional, disorderly people scuffling about. They might be drunk. A party or social gathering gone wrong. People unable to control their tempers or cope with their high level of emotion. The group is breaking up. It will fall apart as the cups drop and crash to the ground. That's how I see it, upside down, and having no question to put the card into context.

Fortunately for me, I drew the cup right side up this morning. And now I'm going to have another cup of coffee.

Have a great Sunday!


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