If there is one card sure to pop up and stalk me with regularity it is the delightful 9 of swords.
Just when life seems to be going well- up it will pop- centre stage, the dark deep energy leaching into every reading.
Often it is simply a relief to see the card.
I have a habit (and I know from clients I am by far the only one) of dealing with stress and exhaustion- by ignoring it very carefully. I simply work a little harder, a little longer- in the hope the exhaustion or depression will magically dissolve.
I know when the 9 of swords starts pooping up in the present position, advice, or as a central card that the dull feeling of sadness, pain or overwhelm is real. It is a wake up card indicating that stress is building- and I need to and face that instead of burying my head and hoping it will pass.
When I finally acknowledge this I tend to place the 9 of swords in the centre of my table. Stare at the card and really breathe into it, tracking my emotions accepting them, breathing them out.
Then I shuffle and deal 3 cards for advice- how do I deal with this? (I have an entire crib-sheet dedicated to this which you can download for free HERE) I try and translate these cards into what I should best do. The answer with the 9 of swords is action- even if that is writing a list. Anything to stop that build up of stressful thoughts!
When it’s in a past position…
I look for the pattern, the journey. Often the brightest futures come from our darkest moments, when we decide to commit to something better.
I always check in and make sure its not warning me of repeating mistakes, or making fear based decisions- so I always pay attention, but I’m quite comfortable to see this card in the past. We have a long relationship.
When it’s for the future…
Mmmmm. I have to be honest and say I am never delighted to see this in a future position. It is I think the only card in the pack with no real positive message (except to accept it and allow change).
But it is a minor arcana- and I tend to think they can often be avoided, or at least navigated with a little more ease- if advice is taken.
Often the spread itself will give an indication of why the 9 of swords is in the future position. I (almost) always use advice cards so I will look carefully- is there a way to navigate this better?
I like to leave the spread out. Study it carefully whilst re-shuffling the remaining cards. Pull two action cards, and then another card to lay on top of the 9 of swords. Usually this will indicate a better course of action, and a better result. This is not scrabbling away a bad reading because I don’t like what it says. This is working on the premise that the future is not fixed- so asking the cards if there is a better way forward will often be helpful.
Sometimes the clarity reading says much the same as the first reading, with no real change. (I often use a second deck for this reading- so I have literally had two 9 of swords sat staring at me). Far enough. Sometimes it just needs a little time to sink in, sometimes that 9 of swords is coming no matter what I do.
Often I start doing regular advice spreads- helping to keep me out of that prison of negative left brain thoughts, and keep me connected to my more intuitive side.
The Rider-Waite 9 of swords is a painfully simple card.
The person is sat in a typical posture of sadness and despair- one I think most people can resonate with.
The symbols that I try to focus on are;
The astrological glyphs on the bedding. In time this to shall pass.
The red roses on the bedding. We are in physical form (I relate the blood red rose to our physical form) The anxiety, depression, overwhelm is from the logical left brain. Thoughts twirling round, and round to trap. You can not out think the 9 of swords. You need to get up and do something. Even if it is to write a list, ring a friend, or do the washing up. Action is the key to this card.