Tarot Card meaning for the Nine of Swords

In the Nine of Swords, we see a woman awake at night. The Swords symbolise the piercing thoughts that seem to keep her awake. She is covered by a colourful blanket decorated with roses and signs of the zodiac. This does not need to be a dark card, because we can have many thoughts in relation to a fantastic project. Just remember what this process is all about, or what you are doing this for. If you sense a level of despair – or sleepless nights - in this card, how can we improve the situation? How can we make the person more comfortable and more able to see the big picture (as symbolised by the blanket)?

The Nine of Swords as a day card

Today we may be kept awake by pressuring thoughts. What are these thoughts for you? What do they relate to?
The person is covered in a colourful blanket, standing for comfort but also for our hopes, dreams, even our future. What does the blanket symbolises for you?

Negative or reversed meaning for this card

The Nine of Swords, will at first sight be interpreted negatively as the background is dark and the first idea that comes to mind is most likely sleepless nights. The card can represent however much more. The challenging times make us who we are and there is still allot of comfort in this card, we might just don’t see it, if we are fully engaged in the thought process like the figure in this card.

How this card could present itself in real life

As everyone else, I sometimes have sleepless nights. They are the are the nights, that there are many thoughts flying through my head because I am very excited about either a work or creative project. On such nights I will have ideas for webpages, business ventures or find best ways to achieve a good outcome at work. Although sleep would be nice, sometimes letting the mind go off until it gets tired might be the best way to go.

How this card is represented in other Tarot decks

In the Crowley Tarot we can see the waste of energy in all nine swords as they are pointing down.

In the Voyager Tarot this card has something suffocating about it but it could also give us an indication that we need to focus and not give in to any distractions, irrespective how we feel about this as it is a card that links with the mind.


Note: Especially with the Air element in the Tarot which is represented as a Sword card in the Rider Waite deck, there is a lot of ‘argument’ and there are several different ideas about weather Swords should represent Air and what else could be used. This leads us into a fairly advanced Tarot conversation - at this stage remember that Swords in the Rider Waite deck does not necessarily mean swords in another deck. Tarot creators could have changed Swords with Wands or replaced Swords with rainbows or crystals to name a few. This is not wrong or right it is another way of thinking about the different elements used in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot cards.

If you have multiple decks, it might be interesting to have a look at how the Swords are represented.

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