Nine of Swords Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations

Nine of Swords Tarot card meaning and interpretation

To understand the fundamental nature of the Suit of Swords, and in this case the 9 of Swords, we must remember that it deals with the human mind. The human mind is a marvel of evolution. Even though it makes up only 2% of the body's weight it consumes 20% of its energy creating around 20 watts of electrical power. Enough for a small light bulb. It is capable of creating, adapting and problem solving to a level beyond anything else we know of in the natural world which has allowed humans to spread out across the planet and settle in any region or climate. This is what connects the Suit of Swords and the Element of air with the human mind. The Element of Air represents the forces of nature which have presented the challenges to our species that has evolved us. We have successfully risen to these challenges and in doing so sharpened our most useful tool, the human brain.

There is a problem though with this wonderful evolutionary endowment. Most of us can't turn it off. Now that we live in easier times, without having to use it for what mother nature throws at us, we have turned our wonderful tool on other things. To evolve further as a species we need to realise that we are not our brain. We have, and still can, exist without thinking. Thought has its place and its usefulness but too often we miss what is really going on around us because we are too trapped in our minds over thinking things or just unable to stop thinking. To continue evolving we need to learn to silence the voice in our heads, be present in the moment and appreciate and acknowledge life around us and what we have while we still have it.

A personal experience of the scene depicted in the 9 of Swords image is described in the book The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle the celebrated spiritual teacher. Ekhart describes in the book's introduction "waking up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread", a repeating thought of "I cannot live with myself any longer" causing him sleepless pain and misery until he became aware of the paradox of that thought "I'm I one or two?" ("I" and "myself") which led to his enlightenment by realising that only one of them was real, the silent watcher that is consciousness. We can exist and be conscious without thought but thought cannot exist without consciousness.

Only 3 cards in the Minor Arcana of the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) Tarot depict the character looking directly at you symbolising being in the present moment. The King Of Swords, the 9 Of Cups and the 4 Of Pentacles. In the RWS Major Arcana more than half of the cards depict front facing, consciously present, characters. These characters are at peace and content with all they have, they are not focused on the past or the future but only on the present moment with their mind quietened. The character in the 9 of Swords faces right, or East, in the direction of the future which is where their mind is and the source of their mental torture.

The 9 of Swords is a card of stress, worry, extreme mental pain and anguish and sleepless nights. The element here is Air which relates to challenges, conflicts and the mental aspects of our lives. The storms on the path of life that we have to navigate through. In numerology a number has positive, negative and destructive influences. The suite of Swords tends to focus on the negative and destructive. The negative aspects of the number 9 in numerology are emotionalism, egocentricity, sentimentality and aimless dreaming. The 9's are also card's of solitude and can indicate loneliness and a feeling of being alone in a problem or difficult times like The Hermit which is the ninth card of the Major Arcana. Card number 18 of the Major Arcana The Moon is also a numerological 9 (1+8) and this card can warn of delusions, dreams, nightmares and things not being all what they appear to be.

© Phuture Me Ltd 2010-2018. All rights reserved.


By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)

One seated on her couch in lamentation, with the swords over her. She is as one who knows no sorrow which is like unto hers. It is a card of utter desolation. Divinatory Meanings: Death, failure, miscarriage, delay, deception, disappointment, despair. Reversed: Imprisonment, suspicion, doubt, reasonable fear, shame.

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© Phuture Me Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

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