A Love Potion for Valentine's Day with the Nine of Pentacles
I know, V-Day is a commercial gimmick invented to sell cards and push sugar. I get it. Over-paying for flowers and a meal doesn't feel like love to me. As a single person, this consumer spectacle can feel downright rude.
Instead of binging on chocolates and feeling alone, or performing the spectacle of courtship at a 150% mark-up, I want to invite you to recognize and reclaim this Valentine's Day as a day to explore the different meanings of love, as the Greeks understood it.
Ads may have diluted the breadth and depth of the word love to describe a car or hamburger, but it wasn't always so. The Greeks had no less than six words for six different kinds of love:
Eros - sexual passion
Philia - deep friendship
Ludus - playful love
Agape - love for everyone
Pragma - longstanding love
Philautia - love of the self
This Valentin's Day, I want to inspire you to give and receive at least one of these love expressions.
To do so, I'm sharing a recipe to make your very own love potion, inspired by the Nine of Pentacles.
Love Potion No.9
"Time for a love potion, a little sweet and spice Throw it all in a cauldron, mix it up real nice Fire in my eyes, stir counterclockwise"
- Tara Benjamin & Rajat Singh
You've heard the song Love Potion #9, but have you met the Nine of Pentacles?
She is a welcomed guest in any reading. This card is also may favorite personal anchor card. Whenever I am feeling out of sorts, ungraceful, insufficient, or over-reaching, I call upon her for support. The Nine of Pentacles epitomizes abundance, wisdom, patience, experience, and inner satisfaction.
She's like Jasmine of Aladdin. Sure, she's got a pet tiger and an aviary, but it's no big deal. She owns many nice things, because she knows how to care for them. They don't own her. She will not abandon her inner compass for anything or anyone.
In the Nines of the Minor Arcana, we've learned what it means to work with that suit and its element.
The Pentacles are earth elemented. They speak to our beliefs and our bodies.
When we arrive at the Nine of Pentacles, we're in the trophy room of what it means to be rooted in our bodies and supported by our beliefs.
We see in the Smith Rider Waite a beautiful noblewoman with a gorgeous robe inside a lush garden with ripe grapes, surrounded by Pentacles.
A falcon is perched on one gloved hand, prepared to seek whatever she may ask, but at this moment it has its blinders on. They are both content to enjoy the beauty of the day and the abundance of the garden. We also see a tiny snail in the foreground, a reminder to take things slowly. When we cultivate a garden within ourselves, we gain access to the wisdom of the Nine of Pentacles.
Though Valentine's Day might try and make you question your 'relationship status', the Nine of Pentacles teaches us how to feel taken with ourselves.
You're going to need a jar with a lid for this exercise. It can be as big or as small as you like. Smaller jars are obviously better if you want to carry your potion with you, and larger jars are great if you have a lot to contribute! It's all about the potency of your intention. Since this is a No.9 potion, you'll want to include at least nine of the ingredients, but feel free to add more. This recipe will be an expression of your love, so go ahead and change, add, or subtract any of the ingredients below.
A few drops of filtered water, for purity and intuition
Brown sugar, to make your creation sweet
Honey, to give it sticking power
Rose petals, to reflect the beauty of your love
Lavender, for calming presence and clarity
Rosemary, so you may remember who you truly are
Mint, to keep it fresh
Sage, for wisdom. Write your intentions on the leaves in red ink
Cinnamon, for heat and passion
Pink sea salt, for protection
Pink peppercorn, to give your intentions a kick
Currency, to remind you your love is valuable
A Crayon, to remind you that love is an act of creation
A Pink Candle, to seal in all that goodness
You may also want to include your favorite flower, a scent, or a lock of your lover's hair. Remember, This creation is a reflection of your love, so include whatever resonates with you.
1) Setting The Scene: Before you begin creating your love potion, it's important to get into a loving frame of mind. Start with a gentle stretch, then settle yourself into a comfortable seat and take some conscious deep breaths. Begin to observe your breath. You can think of this exercise as if you were looking at your home's interior with fresh and curious eyes. You may be as familiar with your inhale and exhale as you are with the objects on your shelf, but go ahead and revisit your breath and how it connects you to your body and spirit. Feel as if the breath was giving you a guided tour. Imagine yourself seated in a comfortable place overlooking a beautiful valley.
With the breath, go ahead and allow the word agape and the concept of love for creation to fill this beautiful space. With each inhale, take in the beauty of this vista, and with each exhale, feel into a sense of care and benevolence for all creation.
2) Feeling into Love Notice where in your body you are feeling the most resonant. What is the quality of this energy? Does it feel youthful and uplifting? Is it playful like a puppy? Is it strong? Stay in observation mode. Permission whatever shows up to just be, as you follow the breath as your tour guide. That permission and observation can extend to the inner critic too. When we perform loving-kindness meditations, it's common for feelings of fear and judgment to show up. Just observe. If sitting in agape love kicks up a narrative that you are too much, not enough, or anything scary, offer those feelings and stories love, just as they are, remembering that feelings are always valid and not always true.
3) Concoct Your Potion Now that you are in the agape energy, let go of your meditation focus and assemble your ingredients. Light your candle and take a few deep breaths before placing each item into your jar. As you place each element in, state aloud your intention for what this ingredient means to your love. For example, "| add this cinnamon for passion and heat in my eros love" or, "I add this brown sugar for the sweetness in all of my friendships." Since you are capable of experiencing all six expressions of love at once, you can add elements for all six into your jar. No matter how many expressions you choose, and if you only choose one, begin with Philautia - love of self. As Ru Paul preaches, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?"
4) Seal In That Magic
When you have all your elements inside your jar, place the lid on it and close it up. Drip the wax from your candle over the top to seal in all those juicy love vibes.
Remember that this Valentine's Day ritual is supported by the Nine of Pentacles. She is grounded in support from divine love, and she knows that her self-expression is just that, an expression of the Divine.