Thursday, 5 July 2018

Celebrating International Tarot Day: The Nine of Swords

(c) Aquatic Tarot
A year has passed, and we are celebrating International Tarot Day again on the 8th July.

On this day, tarot enthusiasts all over the world are celebrating the magic of tarot, and this is my contribution to Oephebia’s Tarot Challenge.

Cards for each participant were chosen at random, and the Nine of Swords was drawn for me. How lucky am I 😊

The Nine of Swords is all about worries, anxieties and fears.

In the image of the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) Tarot we see a woman, who seems to have just woken up from a nightmare.

The background is pitch black, no glimmer of light, as if all hope and optimism has been lost. It looks like a dark night of the soul.

Imagine lying in bed at night and you can’t sleep. What do you do? Thinking… over-thinking… small issues and negative-self-talk can easily become large shadows in the dark leading to self-inflicted suffering.

Irrational fears begin to cloud sound judgement. It’s time to switch on the light and make yourself a cup of cocoa. Or pick up an inspirational and uplifting book or magazine to calm down your racing mind.

The suit of Swords relates to the element air, which is associated with the mind, logic, reason, intellect but also life’s challenges.

The pattern on the blanket is a combination of a red rose and the symbols of the zodiac air signs, which suggests that anxiety is created in the mind based on emotional attachments.

Numerically, the number nine marks the completion of a cycle, fulfilment, conclusion, integration and attainment.

It indicates a turning point after having reached a peak, which is beautifully illustrated in the RWS Major Arcana key 9, The Hermit, who is standing on top of a mountain searching for a new direction.

Nine is also linked to Major Arcana key 18 (1 + 8), The Moon, which can indicate confusion and insecurities often on an emotional level.

There is a sense of aloneness in all the Tarot Nines, suggesting a need to be self-reliant and take sole responsibility for our situation.

Astrologically, the Nine of Swords is linked to Mars in Gemini. In Tarot terms this means an energetic influence of The Tower and the Knight of Swords, quite a stormy and destructive force.

This astrological association offers us more insight into the meaning of this card – the destructive force of the mind, cruel words, harsh criticism, restlessness, impatience, being on the verge of pressing the self-destruct button.

But not all is lost as there is another force influencing the Nine of Swords – The Lovers, also linked to Gemini and a more benevolent energy amidst all the mayhem.

Something good is hiding in the Nine of Swords
(Image: Cosmic Faery Tarot)
Love, as always, is the answer, especially self-love in this case. Be kind to yourself. Put your hand on your heart to soothe and talk lovingly to yourself. Be patient. Detach from drama.

Realise that you are creating your own suffering and can choose to think differently, in a more life-affirming way.

Crystals that can be used with the Nine of Swords are those that alleviate the destructive energies of this card. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Sunstone, which can be placed on your sacral chakra for 30 minutes while you focus on relaxing and becoming present 
  • Rose quartz, a stone that helps to nurture self-love, and Agate, which is associated with the Lovers, for clarity of mind and practicing healthy discernment 
  • Garnet, linked to the Tower, can help release outdated ideas and beliefs 
  • Peridot, linked to the Hermit, has a healing influence on the mind to find inner peace 
  • Sapphire, linked to the Knight of Swords, can help cut down on confusion and confront issues head-on to dissolve anguish 
Herbs that help to diffuse mental chatter and clutter are chamomile and valerian. Ginseng helps to resist stress and improves cognitive ability. It is also being used to reduce anxiety.

The Nine of Swords is one of the bleakest images in the Tarot, but like all the other cards, it also offers a positive message: acknowledge and face your fears; they can be blessings.

Warmest wishes,


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