Looking at the 9 of Water: Manifestation, from The Body Tarot by Emma McArthur
Current and popular use of “manifestation” seems to be within the context of abundantly geeting what you want, especially without really having to work for it. Or it could simply be wishing for something other than what one has/is at the moment, and please let it be here now! Manifestation, from the Latin manifestus: palpable, clear (etc). So yes, bringing or coming into existence, as in I want to manifest more dollars in my bank account. Nothing wrong with that, but let's look a little deeper and see what else is under the surface.
Ms McArthur's suit cards are illustrated with pips rather than evocative images. No pictures worth a thousand words but each card does in fact have a prompting keyword. Decks of yore bore pips, does that mean our Tarot forebears ascribed simple, un-complex significance to the minor arcana? I personally doubt it, although that is the way in which I choose to imagine the answer. Tarot historians and scholars may have something quite different to contribute and I do welcome continued conversation on the way to discovery. Nevertheless, in the here and now, individual subjective response to cards is more the fashion, especially as I assume most of us use decks fully illustrated. Here's what I've got.
The Body Tarot1 is an ambitious work, integrating Tarot with Traditional Chinese Medicine precepts. Suits are transformed from four elements to five, leaving out court individuals to avoid an unwieldy number of cards (again, my assumumption). Chinese cosmology names five fundamental elements, Wood Fire Earth Metal Water. Pairing up Cups and Water is a no-brainer, right? So how does Manifestation fit in? We have the old adages You Are What You Eat and You Are What You Think. What an easy slide into You Are What You Feel. Ooh, and just ahead is Be Careful What You Wish For! Manifestation, in its most powerful aspect, comes from within. And what is within? Why, simply the sum of who we are: acting, eating, thinking and feeling humans. Manifestation is truly a reflection of ourselves, much truer than any mirror.
Why is Manifestation linked with the nine of pips here? Humans' primary relationship with numbers is with the base ten scheme as in two hands, five fingers each. It's how we're built. Our ancestors, premier storytellers they were, originated narratives of progression through numbers, describing human spiritual experience and development. Nine, in the penultimate place, is the stage wherein all has been experienced and it's the moment of truth. One has hopefully learned enough to sufficiently and successfully navigate this threshold in order to graduate to the next cycle.
Nine of Water, Manifestation, then is about what comes forth from the totality of yourself. What have you wrought and is that indeed your Truth? Make it a good one, make it your Best!
1 Published 2022 by CICO Books of Ryland Peters & Small Ltd, London and New York. Website accessed 10/28/2022
Here's the Nine of Cups from the Smith Waite Rider deck. The Body Tarot is copyrighted and I don't have permission and it's simply the pips anyway. This individual here is quite all set in the quantity manifestation category, isn't he?
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Linda S Davis
Sometimes I have fun pushing thoughts and words around.