The Nine of Cups - How do we Grow?



This morning as I sat with the Nine of Cups, I had a feeling I would be at a loss for what to write about. I’ve given myself permission to skip certain cards if there is nothing much I feel called to say about it, if it doesn’t give me a message I feel needs to be shared in that moment, or if the message feels too personal and raw.

At first I didn’t think I had anything to say.

I mean, what is there to say? This is such an incredibly positive card. They say when you pull it to make a wish, because it is a card of abundance and joy. Everything is going well. Rejoice!

But then it dawned on me- there is something not readily apparent that is important, that is grabbing my attention. Something that leads very nicely into the wish I'd like to wish upon this card.

I write to share thoughts and feelings and perspectives, and sometimes they aren’t the most cheery ones. Having faced a lot of hardship, the message that I feel most called to share is one of overcoming, finding yourself, and stepping into your personal power. While these are generally positive things to feel passionate about, it’s easy to overlook the fact that all of these goals require one crucial element at its root- suffering.

So when a card like the Nine of Cups comes up and all I hear is, “All is well! Make a wish!” I fail to see the potential.

To make a wish, you say some words. But you cannot simply wish your power into being. If you make a wish to be a self-actualized individual, you will not have it handed to you on a silver platter. There is going to be difficulties to overcome to get there, and it’s not going to be fun, or pretty, and actually, it may be excruciatingly painful and traumatizing. This is why I see members of oppressed communities as full of such raw power and pure resilience. To simply continue surviving, and to do so and celebrate even the tiniest scraps of joy? To be able to laugh and love and feel compassion and those glimmers of pure connection even when everything else in the world feels so miserable? That takes a really special kind of magic.

So while I am here to celebrate the joy of this card, I also wanna take a moment to reflect what it is missing. It is a fun card, it is a positive card, but it is by no means the pinnacle of what to strive for in life. Struggle is the meat of what we are here for, and finding our strength, our truth, our purpose, and our peace amidst a world of pain and chaos is kinda what life is all about.

At least…. If you ask me, it is.


I’ll take the opportunity to make a wish on the Nine of Cups, however. I may be giving off the impression that this card bores me, but I love wishes. I love dandelions and shooting stars, I love it when my eyes shift to the clock at just the right time to catch 11:11. It awakens a giddy child in me, it makes me consider the possibilities of my life and what I most desire in that moment. So since we're working with it here, I'm gonna make that wish.

It is this:

I wish for my writings to be a beacon for all who struggle. Those who wake up some mornings and aren’t really sure what they’re doing or why they are here but they get up anyways. Those who look a challenge in the face and want to duck away, and maybe they do duck away at first, but they push their way through regardless, eventually. Those who are still laughing at the small and silly things even when everything else feels insurmountable. Those who wonder if things will ever get better. Those who wonder if they can ever love themselves the way they want to, and need to. Those on a journey through a life that is complicated, painful, terrifying. A life that kinda sucks sometimes. Or a lot of the time. We live in a world where our shot at an easy life is predicated on a lot of factors that are generally not in our favor. Wealth, beauty, privilege of skin tone, sexuality, gender. When we are born, there is no guarantee that we will be received with love an acceptance for the whole of who we are.

So my wish is that my words, for all of you doing the hard, hard work of surviving and even thriving in the face of all odds, may provide some balm, some inspiration. May they be a shining light that you'll need to keep traveling on through your darkest nights.

I’m here for you. I share my heart and my story for you.

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