The Eight of Swords showed how we could get stuck in negative circumstances of our own making, and also that we could release ourselves if we simply used our logic and courage. The Nine of Swords is somewhat similar, except this negative situation is mostly confined to our head.
Nines are ‘the cusp of transition’; the current life cycle is coming to a close, and soon enough we’ll have another set of challenges to overcome. Swords are all about the mind and how our thoughts affect the way we live. Combine the two and you’ll see that this card precedes a new way of perception.
A gray-haired woman sits up in bed. She has either woken from a nightmare or can’t sleep because of her thoughts. Her hands are over her face in despair or terror. Her bed has carvings on the base depicting Adam and Eve being ejected from Eden. A cheerful patchwork comforter covers the woman’s legs. The pillow is yellow, which signifies wisdom. Nine swords hang on the wall beside her.
The carving is significant as it represents separation from the Creator. Some teachers believe that separation never happened, it was simply an error of perception, and that we are all as one with everything in the Universe, including the Divine. If we understand and accept that, then we can also understand that feeling alone and worrying is completely unnecessary.
When the Nine of Swords appears in a general reading, the literal meaning is that you are not getting enough sleep. Perhaps you are suffering from nightly disturbances, or you are going through a period of insomnia. Neither situation is pleasant, so it might be a good idea to put some coping mechanism in place. A huge amount of research has been carried out on sleep patterns in recent years, and there are lots of resources that can help.
What is important is the underlying issue that is preventing you sleeping. Is it endless thoughts flying round and round? Anguish about a life situation? Guilt, perhaps? Take a look at those swords. They almost look like a ladder, don’t they? It’s quite possible that the solution you seek lies within the problem (swords) itself. While you are focused on the problem, the solution is elusive.
Worrying is what keeps you focused on the problem. Think about this: in the past (think back over the years) you worried and worried about a particular problem. Do you still have that problem? Did you deal with it or did it fade away? Are you still worried about it? Unlikely. Think about all the problems you have faced over the years—you sorted them, didn’t you? As you will sort this one. Stop worrying and instead begin to think creatively about how to deal with it. Tomorrow. Tonight you will sleep.
Reversed, The Nine of Swords is weakened. The problem is not so bad and merely temporary. Everyone suffers a few nights discomfort now and then. You’ll get through it soon enough.
Interpretations in Various Areas of Life
Anxiety about work is keeping you awake. You can’t do much about it now. Resolve to sleep on it and trust that the answer will make itself clear in due course.
It seems from where you are that you will never get the job you are anxiously looking for. Try a different tack. Could you offer a service that would help people in your chosen sector? By hook or crook, you can create your own perfect job.
Worrying about a loved one is the most difficult kind of anxiety to deal with. You want to be able to help them, but you can’t. Stop trying to cope on your own and look for support. Talking to others in a similar situation can be extremely beneficial.
If you are concerned about the breakdown of a long-term relationship seek some outside help. Counseling might put your mind at ease and help you and your partner work out a solution.
Loneliness is a horrible thing to face. If you are feeling lonely, try to change your approach. ‘Alone-ness’ is not the worst thing in the world even though it might feel that way. Sometimes we need to be our own best friend. Find a way to reach out to others. Volunteer work is the perfect way to make you thankful for what you already have, and it will also be a good place from which to build connections.
Worrying about money in the short term is pointless and a waste of energy. Try this: in this very moment, do you need money? Have you all the oxygen you need? Are you relatively comfortable? Okay, so in this now moment, you are fine. Begin to train your thoughts to trust that the money will materialize. Trust that the universe will provide the opportunity for you to earn or attract sufficient funds for your requirements. It is amazing how often, as soon as you let go of anxiety about the future, the solutions appear.
Constantly worrying about your health will give you more stress and make you ill. Find a way to distract yourself in the now moment and the future will take care of itself. The Nine of Swords tells you that the problems will fade and assume less importance if you focus on something else. Climb that mental ladder and escape from your thoughts of dis-ease.
When you see the Nine of Swords in a spiritual reading, you need to meditate, walk barefoot on grass, or swim, or just do something that enables you to reconnect with your inner being. On the outside you may feel distraught — somewhere inside of you lies your calm inner self. Find a way to tap into that serenity – it’s there; you simply have to acknowledge it and breathe into it.