of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
Peace family! *(If you read this post already, please note I added more at the bottom)*
The card we’re discussing today is the Nine of Pentacles, also known as Venus in Virgo. Once again, just like with the Four of Wands, we are dealing with Empress (Venus) energy, except this time with pentacles instead of wands.
If Venus (the Empress) is the expression of the Soul, & the Hermit (Virgo) is the spiritual experience of solitude & introspection- then the Nine of Pentacles (Venus + Virgo) is the soul’s expression of its most core identity, aka, the treasure-of-the-self, aka the experience of being who we think we are. If we understand that our reality is manifested from within, then the Nine of Pentacles is about the external proof of our inner worth, or showing what we are made of.
If the Four of wands was about reaching out to get what we need (my fair share!), then the Nine of Pentacles is about going within to appreciate what we have (waste not, want not!). Asking for outside help, vs. experiencing first hand what we ourselves have to offer.
Four of wands (assistance / needy) vs. Nine of Pentacles (service / fulfilled), both of them aspects of the Empress, or natural expressions of the soul.
Let’s look at the Nine of Pentacles literally:
There’s a woman standing in her garden of grapes & pentacles. Remember from the post on the Ace of Pentacles, that pentacles = pinnacles, & pinnacles are the highest & best perspective after a long climb. In other words, the reward of an obstacle, or problem. If grapes are turned to wine, then (in terms of this picture), the pentacles must also be turned into some sort of solvent in order to have value. This woman has tons of responsibility- not only is she a grape grower (has great power), & she is someone who performs pinnacle solvency (problem solver). Whew chile, that’s a lot. You would think with all that going on, she would be focused on the tasks at hand (because that’s NINE problems she has to solve + hella great (grape) ideas to be turned into fruition). But instead, she’s giving all her attention to the bird-on-a-glove (burden of love). She has a weight-on-her-glove (has to wait on her love). If you look at her huge head wrap, you can see that this love, this weight (wait?!) is heavy on her mind. It’s all consuming. It's all she can think about. It’s made everything slow down into turtle speed. Even the bottom of her dress has become the shape of a snail, as is the pace of this (where IS IT?!) love. And while she focuses on this bird burden, what does it say to her? Cheep. Cheep. (Cheap. Cheap.)
It makes sense though- of course the woman is cheap, because (like we realized in the Ace of Pentacles) time is money. Since she’s fixated on the burden of love all day (where is it??), she has no time leftover to tend to her extraordinary ideas (bring them into fruition!) & solve her everyday problems (pinnacles). A change of focus is needed. A change of hands (plans) is required.
If the woman moved her hand, she could release the bird-on-glove (burden of love), & use her time with her weighted-glove (wait on love) more wisely, to work in her own garden overgrown with ideas & issues. Instead of standing one-handed, waiting on a loverrrrrr (help mate) to assist her with her own stuff, she could use both hands & help herself. Spending time juicing her ideas & solving problems would increase the value (money!) of her garden, & before long she would be so busy being of self-service that she would realize she never needed a help-mate (assistance) at all, outside of her own focus, talents & two willing hands. She would see she turned her weighted-gloves (wait, love) into work gloves (work, love).
Sometimes love (or the wait, the infernal WANT of love) is a distraction like a mf. Not necessarily romantic love either, but love in terms of people who… give a fuck. We can get so wrapped up in wondering who cares about us that we forget how capable we are at caring for ourselves (& by extension, others). This card teaches us that if we can switch our obsession from who-can-help?? to, who-can-I-help-(starting-with-myself)??, then we can make our own pinnacles solvent, or solve our own problems, instead of showing off our great (grape) ideas that need-to-be-wine (need to whine) & revealing all our un-solvent pinnacles (unsolved problems).
Let us be so busy handling our business, solving our problems & pressing our ideas into wine that we wind up drunk from serving the ones who needed us the most: OURSELVES.
I can't help but notice those labels are super judgy, even though they make perfect sense in the context of the post. Part of the shadow of this card is that you really can't please everybody. If you think about the root of the Nine-Of-Pentacles- its about someone who showed all their great ideas & problems to the world, just waiting for someone to love them enough to come... help. But no one showed up. So finally, the person said f*** it, accepted that no one was coming, & did the work alone. Now that work is paying off in a major way, but folks still talking shit LOL! It's damned if you do & damned if you don't- either you're supposed to wait for help that's never coming (needy bish), or roll up your sleeves & make it work (show off).
Damn! Cold world.
Sis is dressed for it though. She's got herself covered.
What's y'alls Nine-of-Pentacles?
P.S. I am really tripping on this card because these placements frfr exist in our birth charts! For instance, my natal Venus (Empress) is in Cancer (Two of Cups). Remember I told y'all I can't work & have dick at the same time? From this course, I learned that's my expression of a generational sickness, where we as women completely lose our focus when sexually ignited, likely due to some fundamental, childhood sexual trauma. (Nobody's watching, let's sneak...) However I have a friend whose Venus is in Virgo, & he is the most self-reliant, self-sufficient person I know! He's also cheap af when it comes to other people, but has no problem spending plenty of money on himself. Before I understood myself & my shadows & my triggers, I used to tell him alla my problems & great ideas, expecting him to jump on board with both. He did neither! He would tell me he had complete confidence I could solve my problems, & tell me my ideas didn't mean shit to him until they were actions. It used to piss me off so bad y'all! I had all this potential & I wanted him to love me enough to bring me into fruition. Of course I needed him to do it, because how could I do it for myself when my every waking thought was occupied with when (when?!) he was gonna try to distract me & sneak me away for some irresponsible love?? But he never did. I judged him for it. I told him he didn't love me, that he was self-serving, selfish, work-a-holic. Mind you when he had problems, I had excuses. I was nowhere near able to provide the level of support I wanted (otherwise I could have just given it to MYSELF, yeah?)
If you spread out the tarot cards & put all the wands in a row, & all the cups in a row, & all the swords in a row, & all the pentacles in a row, there is a huuuge distance between the Two of Cups & the Nine of Pentacles. I'm sitting here tripping at the fact that, for the first time in my life, I resonate more with the Nine of Pentacles than the Two of Cups! My soul has matured in its expression!! Instead of unconsciously using lovers to heal things I need to heal on my own, I am consciously putting love on the back burner to fix myself! Wow! New Year who THIS?? I feel like Ms. Celie in The Color Purple when she finally pulled off with Shug- I'm poor, black, I may even be ugly, but dear God! I'm here! I'm here!!
Or Sethe at the end of Beloved when Paul D. told Sethe- You your best thing, Sethe. You are.
& then Sethe said, Me? Me?
P.S. I've been thinking about these cards a lot the last couple of days, the Four of Wands & the Nine of Pentacles. Probably because I didn't really sit with them as long as I should have, because I am just very much ready to hurry-the-fuck-up & finish up these last few posts & be done with this Shadow Work already. I feel as if I made my explanations too personal, which just resulted in all my shadows being highlighted. At the end of the Four of Wands post, I asked for a tip, & then someone (thank you!) sent me a tip, but she left the comment, 'Charge more next time...?" which is perfectly valid, right? Because if you gonna charge one amount & then turn around & ask for more, then maybe you should just charge more. But at the same time, it brought up all these feelings of fear & unworthiness. My first internal response was, ain't nobody gonna pay more. Which is a blaming response instead of owning my shit. Because the truth is, people do pay higher prices when they value what is being offered. But value is directly associated with quality, & because my focus is often scattered, the quality of my work is not what it should be / could be. I am often late with deadlines, I procrastinate, I say one thing & do another, I wait hella long to respond, I can be nice/nasty, flaky, & most importantly, I just don't put in the ass-in-seat time to PLAN before I execute, which results in mistakes & the squandering of good fortune on forgiveness. When I wrote the Four of Wands post, I saw myself as the planner with no support but truthfully, I am the non-planner with plenty of support but they can't help because I have no plan. Anyway, I feel vulnerable af, & ya'll aren't commenting & the silence is so loud, but I just had to come back & own my shit even if that's the only comment. This is my (mean/mine) shadow work project & I appreciate y'all for being here even if I wish you shared more. But I'll take what I can get (which I think is another shadow side of this card). There is a shadowy, cheap, desperate, put-up-a-good-front vibe with this energy that I am/have been guilty of.
But back to this idea of feeling like ain't nobody gonna pay more if I charge more. I have struggled with that for so long! I think alot of entrepreneurs struggle with that actually, because its like charging a little & having a little is better than charging a lot & getting nothing. There's always this question of what-do-I-do-in-the-meantime while waiting on folks to pay more? Starve? Die?? But that energy just leads to a hustling, exhausting cycle of desperation that feels gross. I don't have a solution to this & speaking on it feels uncomfortable but that's the work. I think a key to the solution lies in the grapes (great ideas) because, you can grow grapes as a human being, but you can't create a grape seed. Only God can do that. You have to remember there's a part of the process of wealth & abundance that you'll never be able to control, & relax in faith that God will do what God does, which is give life & give it more abundantly. Which means that if the abundance is in God, then the lack is within us.
Lack is a state of mind.
Thank you if you read all that, I appreciate y'all being a witness. & I'm sorry if I've rubbed any of you the wrong way.
all of us.