The Nine of Cups speaks of wishes, the pleasure of physical comfort, joy, fulfillment, and happiness.
When this card appears in the outcome of a spread, it signifies an unequivocal green light to your plans going ahead and you getting exactly what you want.
The Rider Waite deck portrays a slightly rotund sitting figure with nine cups displayed like trophies on a shelf behind him.
His legs are spread apart, indicating receptivity and physical desire. His arms are crossed, indicating both a smug satisfaction and a certain degree of emotional reserve. The corpulent physique of the figure reflects that this card speaks of enjoyment of the pleasures of life including food and drink, as well as sins of the flesh.
In a love reading the Nine of Cups symbolises getting what you want from your partner and that they meet your criteria and vice versa. The only caution is that you must be clear on precisely what it is you want, lest you end up manifesting something which in the end does not serve your needs. In the early stages of a relationship this card can be a warning not to let physical pleasures dominate the direction of your connection and to keep your eyes clear as to what you are getting yourself into.
This card sometimes appears when one party seems to have got what they wanted out of someone, so be careful that you are not taken advantage of. In terms of feelings, this cup indicates that you or your partner both have good strong feelings for one another and there is a sense of idealism about how you perceive each other. This card frequently makes an appearance to predict engagements and deeper commitments, so if you and your partner have been together a while, do not be surprised if you cement your partnership in some way.
In a work and career context, the Nine of Cups is a brilliant omen that everything will go your way, provided that you apply yourself diligently. You can expect admiration, appreciation and recognition for your efforts and contribution. The road to success may not be easy. However, the Nine of Cups offers you the proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow after your struggles.
In a negative position, this card warns that you are much too optimistic about your chances of success and are not seeing things as they truly are. Perhaps you underestimate the work involved to achieve your ambitions. In any case, in this matter the Nine of Cups encourages you to take a more considered and down-to-earth approach.
Positive Aspects: hope, wishes fulfilled, engagements, weddings, commitment, getting precisely what you want
Negative Aspects: overly optimistic, fixation on physical pleasures, overindulgence, smug attitude, arrogance