Mind / Thoughts / Communication
NINE OF SWORDS POWERWORDS
NINE OF SWORDS QUICK MEANING
This card means that you are going through a ‘dark night of the soul’ and right now it feels that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
NINE OF SWORDS TRADITIONAL MEANING
Traditionally the Nine of Swords means fear, anxiety, worry, insomnia, depression, death, miscarriage and suicide.
NINE OF SWORDS CARD DESCRIPTION
A person sits up in bed. They cannot sleep. They are sitting in the dark and obviously in mental/emotional pain. Their bed base is of stone and shows a murder scene. Behind them on the wall are nine swords. Wrapped over their lower body is a blanket with roses and astrological symbols.
The person is sitting up in bed and it is obvious they cannot sleep. They are in pure anguish and may be weeping as they cover their face with their hands.
Nine swords sit on the wall behind the person. Interesting to note that three swords ‘pierce’ the body at the heart, throat and head. The three places that affect us in deep anguish. The heart pain of grief and anxiety, the lump in the throat with unexpressed emotions and the thoughts that never stop in the mind.
The bed spread has a geometric pattern of roses and astrological symbols. The red of the roses remind us of the red of the pierced heart in the Three of Swords. The astrological symbols represent the cosmos in and around us. We are part of something big and these symbols allude to the spiritual development that can come from the darkest nights of our lives.
Carving on Stone
The carving is a murder taking place. A death. When we are in deep pain it can often feel easier to die and sometimes people even take that next step. At the end of this article are some resources for you if right now you feel there is no point in living anymore. Murder also has another meaning – betrayal. This card can sometimes indicate betrayal and the cards around it in a spread can give you more information.
The darkness is indicating the middle of the night. We imagine it might be 2am and the person cannot sleep because of their mental and emotional pain. When we feel like this we can feel alone in the dark – that no one else understands what we are going through. Darkness is also where we came from (womb) and where we will return (earth) and is a fact of life. ALL of us will meet the darkness at some time or other. It is impossible and actually not reasonable to believe we can always be ‘happy’. Without going into the depths we never truly appreciate the light and the height to which we can go to.
LESSONS ON THIS CARD
I think that EVERY single one of us has or will go through a ‘dark night of the soul’. Especially is we want to advance in life and become more self aware. Then we must face the Shadow. For example if this card comes with The Devil it can indicate torment from our own inner darkness as we confront it.
Believe it or not this is a common card that comes up for people. We all have our fears, our anxieties that pop up at night time. We all have our complex life issues. When women get this card I like to find out more about it. I pull cards to ask what it the source of this card. I also pull cards to see what help can the women get right now to feel supported.
I have seen the Nine of Swords come up as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in women when they get no sunlight for months on end and everything begins to feel grey. Buying natural lights that you find online, taking specific herbs and supplements and life begins to feel normal again.
I have seen the Nine of Swords appear in women who have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from their birth experience or PND (Post Natel Depression) from the crazy hormones afterwards and lack of sleep. Good support and sometimes medication and psychotherapy can help heal these times.
I see the Nine of Swords when women lose babies through miscarriage. I myself lost four babies that did not go full term and I know this card intimately. I see the Nine of Swords in women who are totally broken and feel they cannot keep going. They feel they can no longer be strong for everyone and themselves and the anxiety and panic attacks become a regular event.
I have seen this card after a terminal illness is diagnosed and the women is still in shock and grief about what is happening. I have helped women come to terms with their diagnosis and helped them talk about their fears of death and the afterlife. The Nine of Swords is an opportunity to be real with yourself or the other and talk about what is REALLY going on.
The Nine of Swords appears when depression and suicidal thoughts affect a woman. I have listened to women talk about how they are ‘cleaning up their affairs’ and getting ready to die.
I have held the space for all these scenarios and as a Tarot reader I believe that cards show what is REALLY going on and we can have the honor of holding the space for these women and perhaps guiding them to a place where they can get help.
In my Tarot readings I used to have a book with all the phone numbers I needed and I would assist women by guiding them to the right help. I often get emails or letters months or years later after a Tarot session, thanking me for ‘that Tarot reading’ that changed their life and got them back on track. Nowadays I have an online file in the cloud that I refer to because its easier than carrying around a notebook. A Tarot reader can have a lot of power in their hands and its wise to use it professionally and with wisdom and compassion. In my Diploma course, I go a lot into ethics and boundaries as well as self regulation and awareness.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU EXPLORE THIS CARD MORE
What darkness am I in right now?
Do I understand what is causing my mental/emotional/spiritual pain?
Is there anybody I can talk to about what is happening to me right now?
Are there people/books/movies that I can watch to help me understand this time more?
Am I willing to go to the doctor to do blood tests and ask for help?
Can I understand that this phase I am in will pass sooner or later?
Do I have the courage to keep going?
Can I see that there may be a teaching or healing available to me at this time?
Do I want to kill myself. If the answer is yes, can I try first to find help?
GOLDEN DAWN / QABALA
The Hermetic title for this card is ‘Lord of Despair and Cruelty’.
On the Tree of Life, the Number Nine cards sit on the Sphiroth Yesod which represents Foundation. After the energy from the Divine enters Kether at the top of the Tree of Life, it next flows to Chokhmah. Chokhmah is the place of wisdom. The energy then flows onto Binah which is the energy of understanding. Then the energy leaves this upper triangle of energy (called the Supernal) and flows down to Chesed, the energy of Mercy. Then the energy flows to Gevurah which is a difficult Sphira representing severity and possibly suffering. Then the energy flows to Tiferet which is at the center of the Tree of Life. It represents balance and harmony. Next we move to Netzach which is victory and then onto Hod which is splendor. Then we move onto Yesod which is Foundation and directly under Tiferet in the middle pillar. It is balanced. It is the place where all the above energies now have the ability to become manifest and real. What we think, we become. More importantly, what we feel and decide to think, we become. If we have anxious thoughts we will become anxious.
Ruled by the Mars in Gemini
NINE OF SWORDS REVERSED RESOURCES
When this card is reversed the card tells us that the person feels totally imprisoned in their mind. They are full of shame and fear and there may even be signs of a mental illness. These people need help. If you pull the Nine of Swords reversed for yourself, it really is time to ask for help. Reversed is an energy blockage. Upright the Nine of Swords character is crying. A reversed card cannot even cry – they are beyond expressing themselves. They are closed, broken and empty.
Two important questions to consider with a reversed Nine of Swords:
Do I really understand how bad I am feeling?
Can I take the first step to getting help? (picking up the phone or speaking to somebody)
Gerald G. May, MD, one of the great spiritual teachers and writers of our time, argues that the dark ‘shadow’ side of the true spiritual life has been trivialized and neglected to our serious detriment. Superficial and naively upbeat spirituality does not heal and enrich the soul. Nor does the other tendency to relegate deep spiritual growth to only mystics and saints. Only the honest, sometimes difficult encounters with ‘the dark night of the soul’ can lead to true spiritual wholeness.
• The healing power of melancholy
• The sexual dark night and the mysteries of matrimony
• Finding solace during illness and in aging
• Anxiety, anger, and temporary insanity
• Linking creativity, spirituality, and emotional struggles
• Finding meaning and beauty in the darkness