Key Meaning: Anxiety
The Nine of Swords means you may be feeling anxious, depressed or lonely.
Number 9 Meaning In Tarot
All nines, including the Nine of Cups, Nine of Pentacles and Nine of Wands indicate completion. At this point in time, there is a sense that something is coming to an end. It could be the end of a phase in your life brought about by moving home, divorce, loss of a job, retirement, illness, menopause or death of a loved one. As Swords reflect the mind, it means this transition is playing on your mind. The 9 of Swords reflects uncertainty about the future, which is why the card is set at night-time, when shadows can loom like monsters.
Remember: Adjusting to the passage of time is key to being happy. Roll with the punches and find the benefits of each new era.
9 of Swords Keywords
😒 Upright: Anxiety, worry, guilt, sleepless, mourning
🥰 Reversed: Healing, problems overcome, feeling better
Nine of Swords Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. A woman sits bolt-upright in bed, waking from a nightmare in a cold sweat, both hands to her face. Nine swords hang above her, looming large and oppressive. She might not even be aware of the source of her anxiety, stress or unease when she is awake. Dreams are often of our unresolved issues kept on standby.
Traditionally, this card can refer to a number of unpleasant emotional states of mind: despair, anxiety, shame, resentment, helplessness, doubt, crises of faith or confidence.
The insecurity you feel now may have a real cause, such as a money or health problem. More often than not, however, it is your mind creating monsters out of deep-rooted fears. You may be obsessing over:
- Taking a wrong decision
- Something bad happening
- Getting hurt
- Being judged
DEPRESSION: What does This Card Mean when You Ask About Mental Health?
You are feeling cut off from other people, very separate, as though no one can see through to the real you underneath the surface you are outwardly presenting. The woman in this Tarot card is sitting up in bed alone, she is crying and represents the loss of hope, bad dreams, nightmares and desperation. She seems unable to get out of bed.
The pain and sorrow of the past will not fade away instantly, but it will fade away. Analyse the cards surrounding the nine of swords in your spread to see if they reflect more of the same or if they show a turnaround for the better. Regardless, what you can do now is begin to open up and let the sun in.
For this to happen, you must begin to dig all of the loneliness out of your present and communicate your feelings to others.
You must begin to open up if you want other people to begin to see the real you – don’t stay out there in isolation! You may well have to look around and discover new channels in which you can begin to relate effectively to those around you. You alone can do this work. It can either take a long time or it can take a very surprisingly short period of time. Which are you going to let it be?
LOVE: What does The Nine of Swords Mean when You Ask About Love?
When the 9 of Swords turns up in a love reading, the meaning will depend on whether or not you are in a relationship.
❤️ If you asked will I find love? – No, not until you make peace with yourself.
❤️ If you want to know how someone feels about you, then this card is not a positive sign. They think your life is a bit of a ‘mess’ and they are reluctant to get involved. Alternatively, it may be that you feel their life is a mess.
❤️ In love, this card can mean that your relationship is under stress. The main thing is to keep talking to each other and stay open. Remember, anxiety is habit forming. Be careful not to replace one worry with the next.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify when You Ask About Work?
If your question relates to work, business, career or study and you receive the 9 of Swords, then here is your guidance:
⭕ You feel under severe stress with your job, business or studies. While the cause of your stress may be very real, you are guided to step back and take a deep breath. It may be that you feel things are worse than they actually are, and what you need is a break and some perspective.
⭕ You worry that your boss, co-workers, clients or teacher do not like you. Or, you worry that they don’t think you are very good at what you do. The reality is, that they do like you (are you listening?). But they also think you are over-sensitive to receiving feedback. You must allow people to give you feedback without panicking, or how else will you learn?
Careers associated with the 9 of Swords include: Psychiatric care, psychology, counseling, coaching, blogging, podcasting, women’s support network, and anything in the self-help industry.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Nine of Swords in a Money Reading?
💲 If you asked the Tarot about money, and you receive the 9 of Swords, it can mean that you are worried about your finances. This may be because you have been hit with a big bill, or your income has taken a dive. You are guided to take your head out of the sand, and look at the reality of the situation. Only then can you make a plan to improve things.
💲 You are worried that you will lose your house, car or some other asset.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“9 of Swords combined with The Devil” – You are hiding your actions because you feel guilty.
“9 of Swords combined with the Ace of Cups” – Not being confident enough to follow your heart.
“9 of Swords combined with the 7 of Swords” – Concern about what others might be saying behind your back, is stressing you out.
HEALTH: What does The 9 of Swords Mean when You Ask About Health?
⭕ In a health reading, this card acts as a warning to deal with the cause of your stress in order to prevent a health problem from occurring, or to aid recovery of an existing condition.
⭕ Are you hiding unhealthy actions and feeling guilty about it? Like, smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling or theft.
⭕ You are recovering from surgery or a back injury. Try to be patient as your body needs time to heal.
⭕ Health conditions associated with this card include: Insomnia, sleep apnea, nightmares, hot flashes, TMJ and joint pain.
YES/NO: Does The 9 of Swords Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question and the 9 of Swords turns up, then the answer is NO.
TIMING: Does The Nine of Swords Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 This card is only a timing indication when you specifically asked a timeframe question. For example, if you want to know if something will happen, and when, then you need to draw two separate cards. These are in fact, two separate questions. This is a fundamental principle to understand if you want an accurate tarot reading – and it is core to my teaching in my book Tarot in 5 Minutes.
🕔 Using my timing method, the 9 of Swords is about 9 days. If the card is reversed, timing will be slightly longer – so up to 12 days.
Karina’s Timing Method:
Swords are days. Wands are weeks. Cups are months and Pentacles are years. Please note this is my personal timing method. Feel free to adopt it (or not).
What is the Meaning of The Nine of Swords Reversed?
When the 9 of Swords is upside down then the woman is shaken out of her bad dreams. This means:
✔️ Problems and bad habits are overcome. You are no longer plagued by anxiety.
✔️ You start counseling or therapy which eases your mind.
✔️ Recovery from illness or surgery.
✔️A lesson learnt: Control your thoughts, control your world.
Share This Article
Nine of Swords Symbolism
Read Next! – Nine of Swords Symbols
Complete List: Tarot Card Meanings
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.