Nine of Swords

Holistic Tarot card meanings and correspondences for the 9 of Swords

“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 terrors we face in our mind are not real but the pain and suffering they cause are. Also, those thoughts – if entertained over extended periods of time – begin to form our personality and our reality. To calm the mind and to master worrying thoughts is the key to health and happiness.

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 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.

It is interesting that this card of terror of the mind shows up as our daily inspiration card on 9/11 – a day of terror in history.

“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


Affirmation: “I breath out worry and breathe in peace.”


9 of Swords Prayer

Dear Mother-Father God (or whichever higher power you acknowledge), help me live in the breath, moment by moment. Relieve me of the burden of fear and anxiety. Disperse the clouds and let the sun shine in once more. So mote it be!


Correspondences for the 9 of Swords

Planet: Mars

Zodiac Sign: Gemini

Archangel: Camael (Mars) and Zadkiel (angel of Gemini)

Gemstone: Rose quartz, citrine and smokey quartz

Scent: Rose, lemon and sandalwood


The 9 of Swords in Love and Relationships

A card of worry, anxiety and despair. This is what I like to call ‘the card of the looping mind.’  The mind starts to loop when we are unwilling or unable to face our own shadow and instead choose to blame others and outer circumstance for our problems.

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 mistrust 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, negativity is the main problem, but 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.

Any physical intimacy that takes place under the sign of this card is likely to be categorised as ‘use and abuse.’  There is no meeting of hearts and one yields to the other out of obligation and fear… Sometimes out of fear of losing the other person and sometimes out of fear of being abused.

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.

As the anxiety factor is high with this card, some sort of need for professional counselling is often indicated.