As a reminder, the suit of Pentacles is driven by feminine energy and represents values related to stability, growth, and material aspects in the life of the Querent or subject of a reading. Scholars and academics have connected the suit of pentacles to the classical element of earth, and most of the cards from that suit embody the symbolic attributes of this element, one way or another.
Nine of Pentacles card: Traditional meanings
The core meaning of the nine of pentacles in a tarot reading is one of confidence and assurance, a kind of mental independence and pride that does not become excessive. In a more modern context, this card also represents female empowerment and independence, marking their own decisions for themselves with enough skill and confidence to leave a mark on their environment. This skillful exercise in a world still dominated by men makes it still especially relevant and effective today. When more and more voices join together in unison, there are a few things they cannot accomplish together.
Upright: Wealth, financial independence, abundance, female authority or power, and empowerment.
Reversed: Excessive ego, pride, dissatisfaction, and shallowness.
Upright Nine of Pentacles card
The main character on the Nine of Pentacles illustration in the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck is an obviously wealthy woman in a graceful pose and long flowing robe, with a hooded bird of prey on her left wrist. In the suit of Pentacles, She stands in front of a vineyard, and the nine pentacles are piled up at her feet, six on the left side of the image and the other three on the right.
Hear wealth is obvious from her graceful pose, her fancy hat, and her bird of prey (in medieval time this was a sign of nobility, as only nobles bred and used falcons and other birds of prey on hunting trips. In most colored versions, a flower motif is repeated on the woman’s dress, another obvious sign of wealth.
Like the woman on the picture, the first obvious meaning of the nine of pentacles in a tarot drawing is wealth. She clearly is a noble with no obvious resources problems, and this is reflected in the tarot card meaning.
There is something more about her though, a sense of confidence and self-assurance that comes from two important elements: first, long-term safety against financial troubles and woes. Second, a high sense of righteousness and the conviction to be right.
Last, but not least, this is also one of the few cards on the minor arcana, that the tarot deck is celebrating women empowerment. This noble woman is carving her own destiny, using traditionally male symbols for medieval times like the hunting hawk, and sends a message of self-sufficiency and financial independence.
Reversed Nine of Pentacles card
A reversed nine of pentacles in a reading has a much different meaning from the upright one. The air of confidence and satisfaction detected on the main character now turns into excessive pride, smugness, and arrogance.
Like so many of the modern social media stars, a reversed nine of Pentacles represents someone always looking to stand in the spotlight and appearing to be someone they are not in order to draw more praise and attention from the general public.
Finally, in a professional context, a reversed nine of Pentacles might represent someone too heavily invested in their own work, an upcoming burnout unless something is done about it
Nine of Pentacles and love
When the nine of Pentacles appears in a love based reading or spread, the message is actually quite close to the more generic one. It means that love is within rich for the young woman on the card, but it will be on her own terms.
Just like the financial independence of the main reading analysis, the nine of pentacles in a love-based reading denotes the independence and sharp wit of the main character, and a woman who will make her own decisions as regards whom she decides to interact with, and why.