The Nine of Swords is related to The Hermit card and emphasizes the loneliness aspect of this powerful tarot card. There is no way to sugar coat it: The Nine of Swords is one of the most challenging cards you can draw from the tarot deck. Whether upright or reversed, it’s a card that confronts you to accept responsibility for your actions even as it refuses to divulge the impact these sins will have.
Nine of Swords Tarot Card Meaning
When you realize just how horrible a situation has become, the Nine of Swords will appear in your reading. This card symbolizes waking up from a nightmare — but all too often, it is the card that reveals that our miscalculations and vices have made this nightmare all too real in our waking life.
The card’s image captures the moment this person woke up from a bad dream, sat up, and threw her hands over her face in the realization that she was living a nightmare. The checkerboard pattern of the quilt implies that the person has been playing a game, covering herself in a failed strategy — the flowers of the quilt alternate with squares that feature symbols of the zodiac. The metaphor of the quilt covering this person was the certainty that she could see the future when she did not even understand her own nature. The swords are floating above her consciousness. The fact that they do not have their points suggests unresolved problems.
Nine of Swords Reversed Meaning
The appearance of The Nine of Swords reversed in your tarot spread can seem as problematic as its upright counterpart, but it tells of a chance of peace. The strikingly disturbed figure sitting up in bed out of an apparent nightmare will never seem warm and welcoming regardless of card position. The reversed nature of the card does not remove the associations with trauma, guilt, anxiety, and other negative emotions. It does offer a path out if you are willing to take it. As with most misfortune, you must be prepared to put in a generous amount of effort to free yourself from your current situation. It will not be a walk in the park or something easily achieved. The following are a few common interpretations for the appearance of this card and some soul-soothing wisdom for dealing with its meaning.
Deep Inner Turmoil
The reversed Nine of Swords can occasionally be a reminder that your daily stress is purely a result of your inability to let something go. There are many situations in your life that you have control over, but the one you are endlessly agonizing about is not one of them. Heed the words of the famous serenity prayer and learn to accept the things you cannot change.
For those watching loved ones stubbornly continue down a road of alcoholism or other problems, this card is your wake-up call. You can not force others to do what is right, and you must stop letting them drag you down. It may be your own struggles that you are failing to move past or forgive yourself for. Free yourself from what is plaguing you and learn to truly let go.
Gripped By Fear
When you have endured everything alone for so long, it becomes easy to overlook offerings of help either by necessity or choice. You may be strong and independent, but The Nine of Swords reversed has shown itself for a reason. We are not as indestructible as we imagine, and there should be no loss of pride for accepting a hand when you need it. Some individuals have a tough time seeing offers of assistance for what they are. In this case, you will want to ask and inform others of your need.
Being Too Hard on Yourself
Are you suffering through guilt that continues to return, slowly eating at your sanity? The Nine of Swords reversed can shine a light on remorse that is stewing and hounding your steps. Unresolved guilt is often the one exception to the helpfulness of simply letting things go. It has a way of striking back, haunting you in punishment for not making amends in any way you can. It is a positive because it’s a sign of your humanity and care for those you have harmed.
The simplest way to deal with unresolved guilt is to separate your thoughts into things you can do and things you cannot and banish the former. Once you have done what you can, you must accept it. Get rid of the “It’s never enough” thought patterns to help alleviate these feelings. By choosing to make amends, you have paid your dues. Those who are hurting may not ever be satisfied, but you can not allow their pain to hold you back from a chance of life. It is not a selfish action to move forward once you have done what is reasonable to make amends.
Making A Recovery
The mere suggestion of getting professional help can be a sore spot for many people due to the cultural stigma associated with the decision. However, there are situations when it can be beneficial to look into it. Friends, family, and self-help books can only do so much for those who are genuinely suffering, but the choice is ultimately yours. What is most important above all is finding something that works and is not harmful to you. The second point is something many choose to ignore while they drown themselves in various distractions like gambling, drug use, or dangerous thrill-seeking behavior.
Want More Tarot?
The Nine of Swords reversed can be a scary card to come across. It does not tell of riches, good fortune, or freedom from pain. What it does say is that the suffering you’re experiencing now does not need to continue. The road out may be hidden, arduous, or lengthy, but that road indeed does exist. A tarot card’s meaning is unique to your specific situation, struggles, and spread.
Each tarot reading covers the past, the present, and the future. This is a chance to see the flow of events and choices you make, reinforcing particular energies. To receive insight and guidance in tune with you, consider a professional tarot reading with one of our Keen advisors. You’ve got nothing to lose and only insight to gain.