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The Meaning of
the "Nine of Pentacles" Tarot Card

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What is the inverted meaning of
the "Nine of Pentacles"?

The Meaning of the "Nine of Pentacles"
Tarot Card


The Symbolism of the Nine of Pentacles

A square-jawed noblewoman stands in her vineyard with a hooded falcon perched on a gloved hand.

She wears a flowing golden robe, patterned with red flowers. On her head is a stylish red hat which matches the hood worn by her falcon.

Entwined in the grape-vines behind her are nine pentacles, nestled among red grapes. She rests her free hand lightly upon the highest of the pentacles.

She has look of detached amusement on her face and doesn't seem to be paying much attention to her falcon.

The card is bursting with natural symbols including grape-vines, a falcon, and a curious snail crawling at the noblewoman's feet.

The card is bursting with natural symbols including grape-vines, a falcon, and a curious snail crawling at the noblewoman's feet.

Both the vineyard and the falcon suggest knowledge, refinement and control over the natural world. The woman is a master of all that surrounds her.

Her garden is her domain, and her power comes not only from her wealth but from her knowledge and expertise.

NOTE: What of the curious snail in the Nine of Pentacles? One theory proposes that this tiny symbol is another clue left by the artist. Snails, as it turns out, are one of the few hermaphroditic creatures in the animal world — posessing both male and female qualities over their lifetimes. In prudish Victorian England such human-qualities were not easily discussed. Is the snail hinting something about the noblewoman pictured on the card? Does that concept, in turn, give additional meaning to the falcon which cannot see, or the position of her gloved hand? And what of the flowers on her dress that look like a cross between the symbols for male and female? You decide.


How to Interpret the Nine of Pentacles

The Nine of Pentacles references not only a wealthy and luxurious lifestyle — but the tastes and activities of the wealthy and educated as well. Vineyards and falconry (both picture on the card) were historic pastimes of nobility, but they were also pastimes which required considerable knowledge and learning in their own right.

The card doesn't just reference material wealth, but the culture, hobbies, pleasures and pastimes of the wealthy...

When the Nine of Pentacles appears in a reading, the card doesn't just reference material wealth, but the culture, hobbies, pleasures and pastimes of the wealthy — some of which require considerable expertise and free time.

The Nine of Pentacles may be a favorable indicator for business and money matters — but more likely it's a reference to the refined tastes, sports, activities and cultural events enjoyed by those who have been successful.

The card is generally a very positive card, and carries overtones of arts, education, refinement and expensive tastes.


The Nine of Pentacles Inverted

There are several different interpretations for the reversed Nine of Pentacles but typically it indicates a false display of wealth or someone "putting on airs" in one way or another.

This may represent someone exaggerating their social status, or it may represent someone who is spending beyond their means...

In society this may represent someone exaggerating their social status, or it may represent someone who is spending beyond their means to project an aura of wealth and success.

In some cases however it may simply represent pitfalls along the road to success. Perhaps all the requisite pieces of success are in place; The skills and knowledge are there, but setbacks temporarily prevent attainment of one's goals.

The reversed Nine of Pentacles is a somewhat negative card. While it doesn't indicate a lack of success, or an inability to attain success — it does indicate a gap between image and reality, at least temporarily.

It may at times carry overtones of excessive credit card debt, insufficient financial savings or poor financial planning.

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