Nine of Coins

9 of Coins from Anecdotes Tarot: mourning doves huddled in trees in a rainy autumn landscape

where I know my violent love lays down,
in a row of silent, dove-gray days

Joanna Newsom, “Autumn” (Have One On Me, 2010)

Image Description

A red barn is tucked in a rainy autumn landscape framed by a tall tree on either side of the card. Eight light pink and gray mourning doves nestle, evenly distributed, in the two trees. Near each dove is a golden coin decorated by a cross. In the gray sky, there is a larger ninth coin, and above it a white wishbone shaped like an upside down Y.


The Nine of Coins seeks a hiding place as Winter closes in. Of all the Nines, this one is most closely tied to IX. Soft As Chalk. The doves settle to sleep, preparing to brave the cold days. Though as a species they are migratory, many of these birds will stay put year-round. The narrator of “Autumn” feels her body age along with the Earth as she watches possessions, people, and places all slip away. The cast-away wishbone, a reference to another lyric in the song, represents a wish either unfulfilled or rejected. The monotony of the days amplifies nostalgia for things lost, and this hibernation is colored with regret.