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Nine of Swords Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings

By Tina Gong


Nine of Swords Keywords

Upright Keywords Reversed Keywords
fear, anxiety, negativity, breaking point, despair, nightmares, isolation recovery, learning to cope, facing life, finding help, shame, guilt, mental health issues
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Swords of Swords Meaning - Original Rider Waite Tarot Depiction

Nine of Swords Tarot Card Description

The Nine of Swords depicts a woman that is sitting on her bed while she holds her head in her hands. It appears as though the woman has just awakened from a very bad nightmare. She seems to be upset, anxious and fearful. Nine swords are hanging on her wall, and a carving that depicts a person defeated by another can be found in her bed. The quilt has been decorated with various astrological symbols and roses. Here we see the same woman in that we saw earlier in the Eight of Swords - and perhaps, she was finally released, but haunted by the nightmares of the suffering she endured while she was left and deserted.

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Upright Nine of Swords Meaning

The Nine of Swords is often associated with fear and anxiety, about all the things that worry you and keep you up at night. Sometimes this card can be associated with trauma - one which may be shameful for you to confide with others about, and all the psychological responses that come from experiencing that trauma. 

Sometimes this card can be associated with trauma - one which may be shameful for you to confide with others about

When we are never released from the entrapment depicted in the Eight of Swords, we escalate into the Nine of Swords, where we are plagued by nightmares. The suit of swords is one that is concerned with the mind, with logic, with intelligence, and with communication, but somehow the Nine of Swords was caught on the destructive end of the mind, the one which turns inward on itself, multiplies and festers. Questions are plaguing you, and you find yourself reciting all the possibilities - all the things that can happen to you. You are haunted by what could be.

There is a sense of repetition within this card, that some event which has troubled you before, and one which you managed to either repress or run away from, is coming back again. Sharing your grief does at least provide an outlet for your pain and may release you from carrying this burden alone. Is there anyone that you can feel comfortable speaking to?

Sharing your grief does at least provide an outlet for your pain and may release you from carrying this burden alone.

In cases where it is less about trauma and more about general anxiety, analyze yourself and think if this is a feeling that is within your control or if there are other factors that contribute to your anxiety. Concentrate on the matters which you can control, and learn to ask for help.

Upright Love Meaning Upright Career Meaning Upright Finances Meaning
not trusting partner, suspicious of partner, regret from past anxiety, paranoia, stress from work, no coping mechanisms panic about finances, all-consuming worries, feeling deprived

Tarot Love Meaning - Upright 9 of Swords 

Anxieties and fears can escalate with the 9 of Swords tarot love meaning. Some nightmare situation may be keeping you up at night. Oftentimes, this card suggests that the fears are not as terrible as they are in your head. You may be struggling with guilt, remorse, insecurity, trusting your partner, or mental health issues. You’ll need to understand for yourself whether these feelings are truly rational. Anxiety may be causing you avoid looking at the problem and facing it head on, but if you took the effort to open your eyes, you may find that you can work through these issues. If you’re single, past relationships can be a source of remorse, sadness and regret, and these feelings must be worked through before going into another relationship.

Career Meaning - Upright 9 of Swords

Stress and anxiety are the biggest features of your current work situation right now. Sometimes this card can also point to paranoia, and that things are really not as bad as you believe they are, which can be good news. Regardless of the circumstances, work may feel incredibly overwhelming right now, and you may reach burnout if you continue without changing anything. If your stress is due to external factors, you may need to take concrete action, such as searching for somewhere else to work, or changing your career path. If your stresses are mostly due to anxiety and mental health issues, you may need to learn how to think more positively. Internal shifts may be needed, and you may benefit from the help of a professional or a trusted friend to give you a more objective view of everything.

Finances Meaning - Upright 9 of Swords

Financially, you may be under a lot of pressure and stress right now. The suffering you’re feeling is real, but the 9 of Swords often points towards anxiety and worries that come from exaggerating the situation instead of looking at it realistically. If this is the case, your panic may be from your own negative thinking. It may be helpful to enlist an outsider’s perspective to give you advice on what you can do.

Nine of Swords Reversal Meaning

To come across the Nine of Swords reversed still signals something similar to the upright version - that you may find yourself being terrorized by nightmares, by anxiety and stress. Some trauma from your past is coming back, and you find the grief of unresolved issues overwhelming.

But here we also see hope, at least there is the desire to leave this nightmare. You must understand that this suffering will not cease until you yourself put in the effort to leave it. There is much work that you must do to drag yourself towards release. But just as you have a ways out, you must understand that you can still fall deeper into despair. Your job is to avoid that outcome, if you push forward you may find yourself out, but if you do not, you may find yourself sinking deeper.

Reversed Love Meaning Reversed Career Meaning Reversed Finances Meaning
getting help from partner, alleviating stress by sharing clarity about work, finding peace, stresses becoming real clarity about finances, peace, poverty, lack of resources

Tarot Love Meaning - Reversed 9 of Swords 

You may be ready now to be honest and face the truth with the reversed 9 of Swords tarot love meaning. If you’ve been suffering quietly, being honest with your partner can be give you the release you need. It is not easy to carry the weight of your anxieties alone, and if your partner is supportive, they can be there to give you the reassurance you need. Through discussion, you may learn that the things that are keeping you up at night are not as bad as you had thought they were. If you’re single, you may be working on yourself, so that you can enter a healthy and loving relationship again. The time is almost there, and you may be feeling ready to find love again.

Career Meaning - Reversed 9 of Swords

The issues that you’re facing in your workplace can either start to lesson, or get worse. Ideally, you have figured out that your work situation isn’t as bad as it seemed, and you only needed to develop some changes in your attitude, perspective, or behavior in order to solve the problems you’ve been dealing with. The negativity you had about your work is fading away towards brighter days. Alternatively, your situation truly may have collapsed and gotten much worse. You may be truly burnt out, unable to go to work because of your stress. To understand the whole picture, look at other cards in your tarot spread. 

Finances Meaning - Reversed 9 of Swords

Sometimes, the reversed 9 of Swords can indicate the stress around your financial situation is getting better - or worse. Other cards in your tarot spread will give you an indication of which. Either you’ve learned how to get a more realistic view of your money, or it’s gotten worse, and your fears may now be realized. Find help, others can be useful for support right now.

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Nine of Swords Tarot Cheat Sheet

Nine of Swords Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings Cheat Sheet. Art from Golden Thread Tarot.

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