The Nine of Swords is complex in meaning, and I rely largely on my intuition to tease out what is going on for a client. However, here’s some basic things that come up!
As is plain in the symbology, this card is associated with feelings of despair, grief and overwhelm / anxiety. The person on the card is having difficulty facing her current emotional state. We can imagine many possible situations that may lead to these emotions, yet the reading is usually more about the processing of these emotions rather than the situation itself. Usually these arise due to the experience of trauma, whether recently or farther in the past.
The Swords on the wall represent a set of beliefs or stories that the person is attached to and rehearses regularly. These beliefs or storylines are not helping you move past your grief, and are only contributing to the overwhelm. Rumination runs deep. Our logical minds can be helpful in putting things to the side for a bit until we have the space to process, but right now the need to process is great, and the stories are not serving you anymore. It’s time to deal!
Now is the time to take the Swords down off the wall and move forward, basically. Put the story down, let the emotions flow freely as they are without judgment. Even though these beliefs have served you in the past, it’s time for some restructuring. Right now your anxieties and storylines are just swirling like a mental hurricane. Getting to the core of your feelings without attaching a story will allow the storm to dissipate. Continuing to over analyze the situation is only serving to perpetuate the negative thought cycle.
Stepping beyond your comfort zone so that you can leave the current negativity in the past is what’s essential now. This may mean asking for help or guidance. Even if you just need someone to hold you while you cry, having a trusted person to support you while processing is immensely helpful. Eating healing and grounding foods will be beneficial right now. Stay away from sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Even though they may temporarily satiate, the energy of these foods are not helpful when processing big emotions.
Lastly, the Nine of Swords carries some urgency to it. This is a pivotal point where things can either improve or get worse. If you continue to allow these feelings to fester and shove them to the side using your storylines, they will become more deeply rooted and more difficult to deal with later. Do not fall into this trap. If you instead choose to take the path of processing your feelings and beginning to heal, you will surely gain a much more positive outlook on your life in general. This perspective will be most helpful in the years to come ❤️
(ASIDE: In readings on health, this card can indicate struggles with insomnia or night terrors / persistent nightmares. It can also indicate chronic anxiety disorders. These mental health issues often relate to unprocessed trauma, and all of the above continues to apply. Seeing a naturopath for some soothing herbs or aminos may be needed, and turning to a mental health mentor or professional for help is key when facing these struggles.)