9 of Swords

Little Baron

A woman sits up in bed. Her hands cover her face and she holds her head. She is in panic. She may have just awoken from a bad dream, or whatever is troubling her in life, has become a nightmare. Whatever it is, it is enough to occupy all of her thoughts and make her worry. The card’s background is black, a symbolic colour of darkness, death, mystery and destruction. With the nine swords hanging above her head, the woman does not know what to do or whom to turn to.

I have suffered from many nightmares in my time, but generally, I associate this card with extreme worry in day to day life, rather than during sleep. Mainly, I worry about my health. If I am not feeling ‘right’ or I discover some sort of irregularity within the workings of my body, it can send me into extreme panic and fear. My heart will beat faster. I will feel my stomach fall and my mind will race, coming up with more and more irrational thoughts and feelings as the minutes tick by. At night, fears and worries always seem worse - they double and maximise to the point where you find yourself in the worst of states. For me, this is an image that describes those times when I lose control mentally, out of feeling frightened for one reason or another.

I remember a one-night-stand that I had many years ago. I had needed it at the time, but the next morning, I had pretty much convinced myself that I had picked up a sexually transmitted disease. In the same way that this card is overly-dramatic, I was not considering the smaller diseases on the market. By the time I had left the guys house and had made it to the railway station, almost crying, I believed I had a wacking great big disease.
Eventually, after tests, I found out that I did not, but prior to that I was 100% sure that I had caught something and the worry and fear literally tore me apart - even though I had no proof, either way. I was scared and in a panic, like the woman in the 9 of Swords, and found it hard to keep my mind on anything else - I ended up taking time off of college and going home to my parents for a little tender loving care. Of course, I did not tell them why I was so upset. This, I feel, could be another aspect of the card - the loneliness of keeping your anxieties to yourself and dealing with them alone.

Of course, I still worry - obsessively, sometimes. However rational I try to be, I always think the worst. This leads to sleepless nights, due to worry, rather than seeking out the help of a professional, through fear that I will be told something is seriously wrong.

Looking at the card upside down illustrates a release to me - the end of doubt, fear and worry. Thinking about the health tests already mentioned, the relief of finding out that nothing was wrong with me was such a great relief - it was like all of those swords literally fell off of the wall and could no longer taunt me. I could laugh again and continue my life without that fear hanging over my head.
When reversed, the card could also be telling you that you are worrying far more than you should be. Your worst fears may very well be unlikely, suggesting you are making mountains out of molehills. An upside-down 9 of Swords may signify hope or the end of worries or a problematic situation that is taking up all of your thoughts.



The situation in this card, to me at least is very "storm in a teacup" mentality. I'm your classical worrier. If im waiting on a train or bus and I arrive 5 minutes early I still think i'm late and when the train/ bus really becomes late I hyperventalate "knowing" I've missed it to, low and behold, just as im am about to walk away there it is. I always make a big deal out of the silliest things. I have an overactive imagination. This card is telling you to chill. It's to late and im to lazy to go into detail, lol.


In this card, I find interesting the astrological signs on the sheets of the bed. The swords are pointing in the same direction that the girl is facing. It's something scary she is facing? Could be an exam or any other important events in life.


The Un Real Swords

Muser257 said:
This card is telling you to chill.

In her book RW pointed out that all the swords are the same (not the case for any other sword card) and they cast no shadow, thus are not real. I definately agree with Muser, this card is trying to tell you to calm down and not worry so much. The nighttime scene also implies that maybe things will be better in the light of day.
RW also discusses the signifigance of the astrological symbols on the comforter, but as is the case for most of her imagery it was put there because it might speak to the reader.
I love the companion book because she give us readers permission to trust our own instincts.


I like the book too, the permission to trust my instincts was really freeing for me as I want to study and memorize EVERYTHING and I do say EVERYTHING!
Great point.



Nine of Swords

Being a migraine sufferer myself, and one that's particularly prone to getting this malady from a mind that won't stop rehashing the day's events even when I sleep, I can truly relate to what this woman in the "Nine of Swords" is going through in the dead of night. When troubles plague us during the day, they're often played and replayed, like a bad-trip merry-go-round in our dreams or unintentional wakefulness. It seems logical, perhaps to anyone other than ourselves, that we simply need to jump off the revolving ride, but many times logic is not part of this no-win equation and we wake up more tired (and ill) than when we began our so-called rest. Even worse is when we do fall asleep for a time but get, as Robin wrote in her book, the "...'3 A.M.-sies,' when you wake up in the dead of night, sure that everything is going wrong, and there is nothing you can do to stop it..." I'd pretty much bet that nearly everyone on this planet has, at one time or another, undergone such a nightmare of a night.

The astrological glyphs on the comforter may prove particularly important to a reader/querent (especially if they are versed in astrology beyond the ridiculous newspaper horoscopes) and especially if any one glyph stand out. On reading Robin's book regarding the glyphs, she put a range that may relate to whatever has caused the night-crisis scene to occur. For instance, Mercury is present because Robin said, "...it's probably a problem with communication in the first place." Having Aquarius rising in my own natal chart, Aquarius has stood out for me before for the very reason Robin included it, "...idealism is involved." I do like how Robin drew a crescent moon as a central pattern on the comforter, "...as a reminder that the Lady is taking care of this, too, and has not deserted us, no matter how we may feel at the moment." Very comforting, indeed!

Nine sharp swords hang above the woman and are all the same (that sweat producing endless cycle of going over what's bothering us again and again.) No matter what the issue, it is magnified in all its ugliness at present for the querent or whoever the querent is asking about. SOMETHING needs to take place to break the cycle. A new perspective from someone not so close to the issue may help. Involvement in another task can take one's mind off the issue and give the sufferer a welcome break. Any change that clears the querent's thinking may prove beneficial. However, sometimes dealing with the problem by being physically proactive, rather than just mulling the issue over and over mentally, may be what's necessary to clear the air. Perhaps other cards in the same spread (or a second spread) can lead to the best way(s) to deal with the problem at hand.