A woman adorned in fine robes stands in a luscious garden. She wears a falconer’s glove on her left hand to protect her hand from the hooded bird of prey perched upon it. The hedge behind her is overrun with grape vines with full fruit. She rests her right hand on the top of six stacked pentacles. Three more hang from the grape vines behind her. In the distance are tall trees and the edge of a keep. Indistinct mountains determine the horizon. On the ground before her, a solitary snail presents itself.
When I first started learning tarot, I had this card described to me as “The Kept Woman”, as if a woman could not have property or be established on her own without some mark of ownership by a mysterious and dominating man in her life. Others have offered “The Heiress”, which at first sounds better, but still reduces the character in the card to merely be the lucky beneficiary of circumstance and greatly diminishes the likelihood to have accrued this wealth on her own. I prefer “The Self-Sufficient” as a title/keyword for this card instead. However she has gained this wealth, she is in full control over it and requires no relative to authorize her spendings or her savings.
This is a card of “quiet” plenty. There is no need to show off the wealth to have satisfaction with it. There is a sense of “enough for today, enough for tomorrow” but without the boredom that afflicts those that “have it all”. Along with the (un)common sense of responsible use is prudence, caution, accomplishment, and the discernment necessary to have kept one’s wealth secure.
Ill-dignified, the card warns of a loss of personal wealth by means of foolishness or trickery. Contracts should not be signed when this card is ill-dignified, as it indicates bad faith or hidden terms. I have also seen the ill-dignified 9 of Pentacles to warn of a relative attempting to take control of the Querent’s fortune by means of a fraudulent power-of-attorney.