The Tarot 9 of Swords (Mars in Gemini) tends to mostly show up to signify anxiety, worry, and negative thoughts. Here are some traditional interpretations of this card:
- Mental anguish: The 9 of Swords suggests a period of intense mental distress, where worries and fears may be overwhelming. It is a reminder to address any underlying anxieties and seek support if needed.
- Self-imposed limitations: This card may indicate excessive self-criticism or limiting beliefs that create feelings of helplessness. It advises examining these thought patterns and challenging them to overcome mental barriers.
- Sleepless nights: The Nine of Swords can symbolize insomnia or restlessness caused by stress or unsettling thoughts. Prioritizing self-care, relaxation techniques, and seeking guidance can assist in finding peace of mind.
- Overthinking and guilt: This card suggests a tendency to ruminate over past mistakes or carry feelings of guilt. It calls for self-forgiveness, learning from past experiences, and releasing negative emotions to move forward.
- Finding perspective: Despite the sombre symbolism, the 9 of Swords encourages seeking clarity and perspective. It reminds us that our fears and worries may be distorted, urging us to find ways to reframe our thoughts and find inner peace.
Tuning More Deeply Into the 9 of Swords
The 9 of Swords teaches us that the terrors we conjure in our minds are not real. However, the pain and suffering they cause are. Also, those thoughts – if entertained over extended periods of time – begin to form our personality and what we experience in the world around us. Unfortunately, when we cling to a negative mindset, it often affects our physical health too. Calming the mind and mastering worrying thoughts is the key to health and happiness.
“The largest part of what we call ‘personality’ is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.”
― Alain de Botton
The 9 of Swords focuses the passionate life force energy (Mars) in the realm of the intellect, where (when not reigned in) it will wreak havoc. This is clearly illustrated both in the Frideborg Tarot card above and in the traditional 9 of Swords imagery of the Rider Waite Tarot, where a woman is kept awake by her fears and anxiety.
I like to refer to this card as the broken nail card. If you have ever been driven to distraction by a broken nail, you know what I mean. Even though it doesn’t actually hurt or prevent us from doing anything and doing it well, it can almost make us feel paralysed. This is because the mind is emphasising the (objectively insignificant) problem rather than the solution.
It is always within our power to shift our mental focus. Try it the next time you have a snag nail type issue and choose peace. From peace springs clarity and from clarity a solution will soon occur.
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh
Talk it Through
The 9 of Swords can indicate a need for counselling/talk therapy. Or at the very least a need to write your thoughts down. They often appear less terrifying in black on white.
When the 9 of Swords shows up, it is not a good time to make important, life-changing decisions. Instead, focus on bringing yourself back into harmony first by unravelling the knots in your mind.
There is an alternative solution that may appeal to those of you who have started exploring your Higher Self and that is to talk the situation through with your Higher Self, asking what guidance s/he might have concerning the situation.
Enter into a meditative state with the intent of receiving a solution and write down whatever guidance you receive as soon as you return to ordinary consciousness. It is very easy to forget the guidance otherwise.
Affirmation: “I exhale peace and inhale love. I inhale peace and exhale love.”
9 of Swords Prayer
Dear Mother-Father God, help me centre myself in this moment, using my breath. Thank you for immersing me in the kind of perfect love that casts out all fear. Amen and so it is!
Correspondences for the 9 of Swords
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Archangel: Raphael, ruler of the Element of Air
Gemstone: Rose quartz, citrine and smokey quartz
Scent: Rose, lemon and sandalwood
The 9 of Swords in Love and Relationships
The 9 of Swords is a sign that the mind has started to loop with negative thoughts. This tends to happen when we are unwilling or unable to face our own shadow. Instead, we blame others (typically a spouse or partner) and outer circumstances for our problems. The problem is that we cannot control others. So blaming others places the solution out of reach.
That’s not to say that outer circumstances never play a role in our lives – of course they do. However, the 9 of Swords type person often fails to take action because of indecision and self-doubt. Nothing is done about the situation as they feel completely disempowered to move on.
This card is a bad sign for the relationship. One or both of you could be so terribly afflicted by negative thoughts, doubts and lack of faith that building anything sound or solid is virtually impossible. The negativity has to be transformed before positive growth is possible.
Whether the 9 of Swords is well- or ill-dignified, a negative mindset is the main issue. However, if ill-dignified, danger could also be implied. There could be a real need to remove oneself from an abusive situation that could otherwise end very badly indeed. A relationship that is full of verbal abuse tends to escalate to physical abuse. Please seek help.
None of the Swords cards are cards of intimacy but the 9 of Swords showing up with one of the Cups cards, such as the Knight of Cups, could describe how intimacy is expressed.
Any physical intimacy that takes place under the sign of this card is likely to be categorised as ‘use and abuse.’ While there may be a strong intellectual attraction, there is no meeting of hearts. Power dynamics are always a possibility when Mars is present. One or both of you could be saying whatever will get you want/need at the moment, without any intention of staying true to your word.
However, as this is mostly a card of negative thought energy, physical intimacy has to be implied by surrounding cards for this element to be present at all. Also, bear in mind that all the 9s relate to the solitary Hermit card.