Self- Reliance


9 of Pentacles – Independence

One of the most vibrant cards in the deck, the 9 of Pentacles shows a woman in a golden robe with a bird resting on her arm. Behind her are brilliant yellow skies and vines blooming with nine golden pentacles.

The colour yellow is a symbol of joy and the bird, with their signature gift of flight, represents freedom. In combination with the peaceful expression on the woman’s face, this card is definitely a card of joy.

In particular, it denotes a specific type of joy. While it is apparent that the woman possesses wealth, it is not the material possessions and status alone that brings her joy. Rather, her happiness is grounded in something much more secure – the belief in herself.

This woman knows that her success is a direct result of her own hard work and intelligence. As such, she is not indebted to anyone and is free to enjoy the fruits of her labour however she likes. She is confident in her self-sufficency and proud of her indepdence.

When this card comes up in a reading, it can be interpreted as the process or the result. As a process, it encourages us to be confident in our own abilities. Now is the time to demonstrate our capabilities to ourselves and the world. We have what it takes to attain what we want and deserve.

As a result, this card tells us that it is time to congratulate and reward ourselves for a job well done. We have worked hard to achieve success and it is okay to take time to feel proud and happy. Perhaps it is finally time to take that dream vacation or purchase those items of luxury without feeling guilty, vain or wasteful.

Having that said, just be careful of extremes. While it’s good to enjoy ourselves, it is ill advised to over indulge. Furthermore, while wealth offers comforts and luxuries, don’t be too focused on maintaining a high standard of living or social status. The true secret to enjoying material wealth is to know that, it enhances, but is not, the source of happiness. Those who are truly happy do not require luxury items; in other words, they are emotionally independent from their possessions.


Hexagram 27 – Nourishment

The literal meaning of the hexagram Nourishment is Jaws because Mountain above Thunder creates a visual image of an open mouth with teeth. This is an approprate image for the concept of Nourishment because it is through the opening and closing of our jaws that we receive and give nourishment – through the consumption of food and through the words that we speak.

How and what we choose to nourish ourselves reveal much about us. When we eat, do we consume excessively or moderately? When we speak, do we say kind and encouraging words or words that hurt and demean others? The superior person is moderate in consumption and careful with speech.

Nine on line 1:

Always looking to others for guidance and relying on them for care and protection is much cause for misfortune. Rather than allowing others to determine our morals, actions, and well-being, we should aim to be self-reliant.

Six on line 2:

Disregarding the right ways and refusing to improve because we’re not willing to put in the effort is a most abominable trait.

Six on line 3:

Sometimes, we reject the nourishment of others coming in the form of advice and guidance because what they offer is not what we need. Other times, we reject such nourishment simply because we are set in our ways. Refusing to cooperate with reason will only result in a lack of progress.

Six on line 4:

It is good to pursue desires with passion when we are certain of what we want and need. We must be persistant in staying true to ourselves.

Six on line 5:

When our forms of nourishment don’t adhere to societal standards of what is good and acceptable, it is wise not to broadcast and make spectacles of ourselves.

Nine on line 6:

Be the source of our own nourishment. This can be dangerous as there is no one else to rely  on. But once we realize this, we can learn to tread carefully. With practice, we will eventually grow strong.


Self- Reliance

Many things can satisfy us for short periods of time. But for happiness and security to be long-lasting, they must derive from our own efforts. If we rely on others, our joy and safety are at the mercy of others. If we rely on ourselves, we create our own pleasure and wealth.

To be self-reliant is to be the masters of our own fate. That is the meaning of freedom.