9 of Cups – Manspreading and Excess

9 of Cups - Manspreading and Excess

The 9 of Cups is known by many as ‘the wish card’ and you will even hear readers use that in a reading to tell their client that their wish will come true. In the Frideborg Tarot, I chose to work more with the excess end of the spectrum and ‘be careful what you wish for.’ You see the corks from many wine bottles – enough to fill multiples of nine cups. We don’t know what the result of this apparent excess was because we do not know how many people attended the event, so this leaves room for your intuition to play, taking into account the question as well as surrounding cards.

In the traditional Smith Waite Tarot, we see a rather smug-looking man who is seated in a manspreading stance, arms folded across his chest. There is a sense of entitlement about him rather than a spirit of generosity. I looks as if he feels he earned these cups, so he has lined them up and he is going to enjoy them all by himself.

So what does A.E. Waite have to say about the 9 of Cups in the Pictorial Key to the Tarot:

A goodly personage has feasted to his heart’s content, and abundant refreshment of wine is on the arched counter behind him, seeming to indicate that the future is also assured. The picture offers the material side only, but there are other aspects. Divinatory Meanings: Concord, contentment, physical bien-être; also victory, success, advantage; satisfaction for the Querent or person for whom the consultation is made. Reversed: Truth, loyalty, liberty; but the readings vary and include mistakes, imperfections, etc.

Contentment is certainly clearly visible in the Giant Rider Waite 9 of Cups. The astrological correspondence for this card is Jupiter in Pisces. Jupiter in Pisces is all about feeling good and will do whatever it takes to create that feeling of ‘bien-être,’  more often than not to the point of excess, which is why this card is associated with both drunkenness and obesity. 

Those of you who are up on your Greco Roman mythology will know that nobody could manspread like good old Jove. OK, so it might not actually say this in any of the texts but your imagination is sorely lacking if you don’t conjure an image of Jupiter manspreading on his throne in the Olymp. To me, the manspreading aspect of this card adds a sense of entitlement.

In relationship readings, the 9 of Cups can also indicate a lack of boundaries. There is an ‘urge to merge’ with the beloved in this strong Piscean current. If you combine the entitlement with the lack of boundaries, you can get the kind of toxic relationship energy that will make a better boundaried person want to run for the hills.

From a Tarot Soul Coaching perspective, other than avoiding excess and imposing oneself on others, I see this card very much as being about learning to enjoy the little things in life and to take great pleasure from them (without going overboard). Stop and smell those flowers on the way to work today my friends! It’s heartfelt gratitude for the little things that generates and perpetuates abundance.

It is the sign of a great mind to dislike greatness, and to prefer things in measure to things in excess. ~ Seneca Click To Tweet

I’m curious to see if people who read this card as ‘your wish will come true’ has actually had that manifest. Please leave a comment!



Lisa Frideborg

Tarot Soul Coach

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