Upright: Courage, persistence, test of faith, resilience
Reversed: On edge, defensive, hesitant, paranoia
The Nine of Wands shows a weary, injured man who holds a staff as though in a posture of final defence. He has fought the battle and won. He is protected by a number of wands behind him that appear like a wall around him. He appears drained and exhausted as he leans on his wand but he is ready to go to battle again. He has the look of determination in his eye to overcome this final challenge and reach a point of accomplishment and victory. He stands up for what he believes in and holds firm in those beliefs.
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The Nine of Wands suggests that you are so close to completing a particular project or task but at the last minute, you are faced with yet another challenge or setback. Know that you have the inner resources necessary to overcome any difficulty you encounter, even though it may seem impossible at the time. You are so close to finally achieving success, do not give up now! The Nine of Wands is a sign of hope and encouragement that if you stand firm and strong against your challenges, you will achieve your goal. The challenges before you now are only the last bit of darkness before the break of a wonderful dawn.
The Nine of Wands is like the one last test or challenge before you can reach ultimate success. You feel as if you have come to the end of your fighting powers but you have the skill and determination in reserve. You are in a position of strength and by drawing upon all of your courage and abilities, you will prevail. Once the last obstacle is overcome, you are home free.
The Nine of Wands encourages you to be resilient. You will continue to be opposed by hidden enemies and your interests will be questioned. Even in the face of such adversity, when you are feeling battled and bruised, you need to be patient and vigilant. Be assured that you will eventually prosper if you maintain your position. And remember, if you do not succeed at first, then try again.
You may have experienced setbacks that now leave you feeling distrustful of others or even yourself. The turning point will come when you are able to leave the past behind you and to cultivate a more open mind about the future. While you have experienced losses in the past, it does not mean that you have to experience further losses in the future. Turn a new leaf and push on.
Sometimes, the Nine of Wands encourages a risk-averse approach. You need to expect the worst and therefore take extra precautions to avoid any negative consequences to your plans. You need to be on guard and wary of any potential obstacles or opponents who may stand in your way.
The Nine of Wands reversed suggests that you may be hesitant to make a long-term commitment. You may be feeling as if life is all work and no play, and you may feel overcome by responsibilities or a lack of support from those around you. You may also be lacking the necessary resources, such as finances, skills or time, in order to deal with the challenges head on. As such, you are hesitant to make any commitments in fear that your responsibilities will become all too much.
You may also be more inclined to be a little ‘on edge’ and on the defensive. The boundaries you have set around yourself are now becoming your cage, locking you into your old habits and behaviours. Be careful of dwelling on past frustrations and grievances. Just try to let go.
The Nine of Wands reversed asks you to be mindful not to make assumptions or hasty judgements. Lighten up a little and return to the Eight of Wands where you take life as it comes in all its various forms. Go with the flow and release yourself of the pressures you are feeling. A holiday or a break might do you some good where you can re-energise and rejuvenate yourself.
Sometimes, the reversed Nine of Wands can indicate extreme paranoia or even schizophrenia. You may feel as though you are constantly under attack or are being watched. Oftentimes, this is indicative of a fear from within, rather than an actual external threat. Counselling or psychological help is advised.