The Nine of Wands reversed indicates a messy situation that requires some major deep thinking and introspection to overcome – for the most part. It may also be a call to action, but even that will require you to look inward so you can get past an internal block. You’re being called to balance confidence and cooperation so that you or a situation can step into freedom.
Here’s the Basic Review
The number 9 in the tarot shows you’ve completed or are very close to completing something, especially a physical goal. Even the airy Swords want you to stop worrying when you get nine of those weapons staring at you in a tarot spread, thus improving your health and your ability to handle a situation. The Nine of Wands tells you that you’ve almost reached a goal or conclusion, and good discipline will see you to your destination. Don’t let your Wand energy wane – stick to your plans and your schedule.
Now Turn That Upside Down
The Nine of Wands reversed offers some really interesting imagery. In the upright version, those wands look like branches or staffs that offer support. You see leaves at the top of the wands, and the wands don’t reach the top margin of the card. Yet upside down, those wands now sprout out of the upper margin of the reversed card, and the leaves are at the bottom – as if the wands extended down to the ground in a leaf pile. Those wands now look like the bars on a prison cell.
That’s a straightforward message: You’ve locked yourself in somehow and are in a jail, likely of your own making. Or you’re dealing with someone else who’s done this. Either way, you’re trapped by perception.
Given that the main message of the Nine of Wands upright is discipline, the immediate reversed messages to look at are either laziness or stick-up-the-you-know-where stubbornness and overdone discipline. Are you in a situation that requires discipline, but you’ve been slacking off? That relaxation or procrastination is going to cost you if you don’t get real. No matter how boring or difficult the situation, face it – that will be the best way to handle it and get it over with as quickly as possible.
Has your resolve been waning instead? Maybe you’re not lazy, but just tired and unsure of how things will work out. Keep going! You’re close to your goal, but you have to stay on track. You can do it!
At the other end of the scale is being overly disciplined, stubborn, and pretty much caged in by your unwillingness to ease up. Maybe your boundaries are too harsh – boundaries are good and necessary, but they can go overboard. You’ve set restrictions that are unreasonable either for you or for other people involved. You need to back off a bit. Maybe there’s an easier way to do things, or maybe you’d find someone to help you out if you’d just have, like, one less requirement. Maybe you’re trying to hire someone for a position in a company that requires specific skills – can one or two of those skills be preferred, rather than required? You may find your best candidate that way.
Another possible interpretation is that your position, your goals, or your restrictions just aren’t defensible. You have nothing to support you, yet you just don’t want to listen to reason.
You vs. Them
Chances are this card refers to you. If the Nine of Wands reversed appears in a position that indicates someone else, like the second-from-bottom card in the staff in the Celtic Cross tarot spread, then it could be about someone else. However, whether that means that they are the ones being unreasonable or lazy, or whether they merely think you’re being unreasonable or lazy, depends on the rest of the spread and on the question. Your best bet is to see how the message of the card applies to you first before pinning it on anyone else.
This shouldn’t be that hard a tarot card to interpret. Yet, sometimes the clear, general meanings don’t apply so easily to the question at hand. A professional reading can help clear up a great deal. And remember, follow-up questions can help narrow the information you get to the necessary core. You do have to change something here, and an online tarot reader can work with you to get a clearer answer.
The Nine of Wands reversed is a fixable situation. You may have to get creative and look at options you hadn’t been considering, but it could also be as easy as just getting to work. You can solve this, but if you wait to make changes, you may find your energy has been wasted.