Herbal Tarot - 9 of Swords - Valerian


My herbal deck finally arrived and I was think maybe we could start a new card. I picked the 9 of Swords because I have some experience with Valerian.
I like the fact that this herb is used to fight the nightmares of the 9 of Swords by aiding in sleep. I don't sleep so well at night, I sleep better during the day unfortunately. This herb you need to take about 2 weeks before you can see any results. But it is VERY STINKY!!! I used to make my own capsules of it and I kept in a bag, in a tuperware container inside another larger tuperware container and I could still smell it when I opened my cabnet.
But I like the card. I enjoy the fact that there is just a little bit of water in the right corner. She doesn't see and isn't touching it. It is like reassurance that everything is going to be ok, she just needs to open up to it. It also looks like she is an osterage hiding her head in the sand so to speak. Covering her eyes refusing to see her problems. Sometimes our nightmares and dreams are there to show what the problems really are. I think this is an excellent 9 of Swords, what are other peoples' thoughts?


Glad you got your deck too hyatt :) I am very happy with mine, I think this is a deck I will really use.
About the 9 of swords: the card itself doesn't look too bad, the surroundings are peaceful, there is some green and some water so she is probably at a rather nice place. But she does not see it at all, and she is dressed in a dress of a very drab colour, the only drab thing on the card. She is wearing a belt with more cheerful colours though, so maybe she has not lost all hope.

About valerian:
I once had tea which was a mixture of herbs, among others valerian, and the tea was called "evening mix" or something similar, meant to drink before going to bed. We may not like the smell of valerian, but cats often do. When I had left the box on the table, they had torn open the carton box, spread all the tea bags around, some torn open, and were happily rolling around in it like junkies who had had their fix :D. One of its folkore names is "Cat's Valerian".
Valerian is an excellent choice for this card, a natural soother.
In folklore magic it was also used to protect the house and to solve conflicts between spouses. So it had an overall calming effect.


Thankyou Wolfspirit for the wonderful pic of "Cat's Valerian"!

I really like the way the Valerian flowers on the card look so soft and fluffy-maybe it's like sleeping on cloud nine....

Years ago when I was pregnant with my first child I also had trouble sleeping. I was told that this was one herb to avoid while
pregnant as it may affect the child so I reluctantly went without.
Has anyone else ever heard this?

Hyatt,I liked your image of sleep and dreams and feel that dreams
can even sometimes help us to make sense of even the most tragic situations: to sleep is to dream: to dream is to heal.

Yes,this is a very beautiful 9 of Sw card and the brightly coloured swords and the flowers glow to suggest not all will remain bleak.


After reading this thread I took out my rarely used book /Encyclopaedia:
Prescription for Nutritional Healing and quote the following about Valerian, the herb used on the 9 of swords:

Actions and Uses:" Acts as a sedative, improves circulation, and reduces mucus from colds. Good for anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrom, menstrual and muscle cramps, nerovousness, pain, spasms, stress and ulcers"

I guess I will need this book more often in order to make this deck more 'accessible' - not that I don't find it beautiful and relaxing, it is just that I was a bit intimidated by the names of some unfamiliar herbs.

If anyone else needs a hand with any of the herbs mentioned on the cards I will be glad to help.

Back to my deck/book fun


My thoughts on the card are that sometimes you just need a good cry and after said cry you need to get some sleep, it is the natural order of things. I love the symbol of a figure with her head in her hands, as a way to help yourself, if your head is too heavy to hold up, let it sit in your hands and you feel better.

I agree with others Valerian is stinky. Maybe that is why the woman is crying. ( I have a wierd sense of humor)

However I wonder why the plant has those poof poof balls instead of the pretty pale pink flowers.

So this plant root is used as a calmative. Lab tests show this plant may have antitumor activity. Lastly the plant makes good compost.

All in all not my favorite card, but it serves its purpose, even if I see a completely different meaning than the traditional ones assigned.

Soaring Eagle

I think the difference in the flowers is that this is Valeriana officinalis, and the other poster is thinking of Greek Valerian (polemonium caeruleum) which is not a true valerian.

You can see the minor arcane cards in Constellation 9.

Description: A woman is sitting, surrounded by valerian, with her head in her hands. There are nine swords above her.

Significant Details: The swords represent strength and protection. Valerian symbolizes the need for peace and quiet.

Keywords: Worry, Anxiety, Sleeplessness, Depression

Medicinal Uses: Valerian is a nervine and is used for easing pain and as an aid in sleeping. It is tranquilizing without having side effects. Culpeper’s Color Herbal. “In Medieval times valerian was considered a cure-all.” American Nature Guides Herbs by Anna Kruger.

My Interpretation: You may be worried or depressed during this time. You may suffer from anxiety right now. Take time to yourself, and relax, so that you can see the true situation.

Number Significance: 9 - Bringing things to completion, Fruition, Nearing the end. The 9 of Swords is ruled by Mars in Gemini. Valerian is ruled by Mercury. The Nines are in Constellation 9 with IX Hermit and XVIII Moon. Completion. Perfection. Patience. Integrity. Authenticity. Illusion (Delusions vs. Reality). Karma. Culmination. Journey into the Unknown. Prudence. Reason vs. Instinct.

Thoughts/Points to Ponder: The woman is in a nice quiet place where she will be able to clearly think things over.