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Everyday Tarot Deck
Upright: Anxiety, worry, fear, depression, nightmares
Reversed: Inner turmoil, deep-seated fears, secrets, releasing worry
The Nine of Swords shows a woman sitting up in her bed with her head in her hands. She appears to have just woken up from a bad nightmare and is obviously upset, fearful and anxious following her dream. Nine swords hang horizontally on the dark wall behind her, representing the negative thoughts that weigh heavily on her mind. The base of the woman’s bed features a carving of a fight where one person is being defeated by another, and the quilt covering the woman is decorated with roses and the outlines of astrological symbols.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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Everyday Tarot Deck
The Nine of Swords indicates that you are feeling weighed down by dark thoughts and disturbing feelings. You are worrying excessively about a situation and your negative thoughts are getting the better of you, leaving you feeling stressed, anxious and fearful. The more you associate with your fears, the more they will rule your life. As you think about what’s not working in your life, the more anxious you become and the more you will worry. It quickly becomes a negative cycle where one bad thought leads to another, and another, and another, until you feel completely overwhelmed by your circumstances. Just as the nine swords are stacked upon each other on the wall behind the woman, so too are your negative thoughts.
Be careful because the fear and worry felt in the Nine of Swords can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you obsess over what may go wrong, the more likely it is you will manifest your worst-case scenario because you are inadvertently acting in ways that support your negative thoughts. For example, you may worry that your partner will cheat on you, even though there are no obvious signs of infidelity. The more you stress about this potential outcome, the more your anxiety pushes away your partner, until one day, he feels so disconnected from you that he starts a new relationship with someone else. When you are constantly repeating negative thoughts in your mind, you are at risk of manifesting them in your life, even though you don’t want to. So, the Nine of Swords asks you to break the cycle and free yourself from these negative thoughts and fears. Every time a negative thought comes up, replace it with a positive one instead.
The Nine of Swords reminds you that much of the fear and worry you are currently experiencing is in your head and not necessarily an accurate reflection of what is happening around you. You may be making things worse for yourself by over-thinking the situation or obsessing over all of the worst-case scenarios. It is time to get out of your head and look at your situation from a new perspective. Instead of looking for evidence of what is going wrong, look for evidence of what is going right. Take a deep breath and realise that life is not as bad as it seems and that the more you worry, the more harm you are doing to yourself.
The Nine of Swords often appears when worry, despair, and anxiety are quite literally keeping you up at night. You may not be sleeping well or you are experiencing frequent nightmares. Your constant thoughts are preventing you from adequately resting.
When the Nine of Swords appears in a reading, it is time to reach out for help. You don’t need to do this alone – enlist the support of others to help you get through this dark period of your life. Others will help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel and lead you towards a solution or a sense of peace about your troubles. You are struggling to see your situation clearly, as you are plagued by negative thoughts, so having an objective, third-party perspective will help you find your way out of this.
The Nine of Swords reversed indicates that you are experiencing deep inner turmoil as a result of your thoughts and mindset. Your negative thoughts are taking you in a downward spiral of despair and anxiety that is not consistent with reality; you are making things feel a lot worse than they really are.
You may be trying to keep your worries private and personal to you, but if you are struggling to keep your head above water, it may now be time to confide in others and seek their help and support. Others will be able to offer you a new perspective that will ease some of the stress and tension you’re feeling.
The Nine of Swords reversed appears when you are gripped by fear. You are allowing your fears to get in the way of your fullest potential and it is stripping you of your life force. You cannot take a step forward because you are so deeply worried about what might happen. Get a reality check and evaluate which fears are warranted, and which are not. Release your limiting beliefs, crippling fears, and self-doubt.
The reversed Nine of Swords can also indicate that you are incredibly hard on yourself, putting yourself down or engaging in negative self-talk. For every mistake you make, you blame yourself and become worked up and angry at yourself for messing up again. So, when the Nine of Swords reversed appears in a reading, ask yourself why you are being so hard on yourself, how are you putting yourself down or what is the source of your depression? What can you do to make yourself feel better? You may need to make a more conscious effort to quit the negative self-talk and replace it with positive reinforcement for a job well done.
On a more positive note, the Nine of Swords reversed can indicate that you have already worked through this period of worry and depression and are beginning to make a recovery. You may have recently come to the realisation that it is not as bad as you had made it out to be, and you are beginning to relax and calm yourself about what was once a terrifying situation.