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Nine of Swords

A description and interpretation of the role of The Nine of Swords in the Tarot

In a nutshell...


  • anxiety

  • appeasement


General overview

Are you passionate about the world of cartomancy and would like to find comprehensive information on the various arcana in the divination tarot? On this page you'll find everything there is to know about the Nine of Swords.

Before describing the card in detail, I thought it would be a good idea to give you some basics. Tarot specialists always associate the suit of Swords with thought, the intellect and the mind. In numerology, the number 9 is the link between the 8, symbol of perfection and infinity, and the 10, synonymous with renewal. The Nine of Swords naturally reflects this double influence. It most usually refers to a period of transition, to an intellectual crisis that must be resolved in order to enjoy new momentum.

From a visual point of view, the card depicts an oval structure containing a sword. The oval refers to your inner world and the sword to the ideas that are born in it. Note the crack on the steel blade, which indicates the concern and anxieties the seeker is currently encountering. They will need to try to get out of this problematic situation in order to make the most of life's pleasures, large and small. This is also the meaning of the sword tip protruding from the oval structure, as if it wanted to get out of its cocoon and be more open to others.

Anguish assumes the desire to communicate.


  • from an emotional viewpoint

    The Nine of Swords always testifies to the seeker's excessive worrying. Prisoner of their own psychological barriers, they are more likely to be peering anxiously into the future than enjoying the present moment. This has harmful consequences on their love life. If they are single, they will be frightened they'll never escape their emotional loneliness. If they are in a relationship, they will constantly be questioning its validity. They will have to accept the need to review how they look at life.

  • from a career viewpoint

    With the Nine of Swords, work is never perceived as a tool for personal development and fulfillment, but as a paralyzing constraint. The seeker finds their responsibilities a major source of stress and annoyance. In this context it is difficult for them to have any career development or even just to appreciate the time they spend at work. Once again, they will need to learn the virtues of taking a step back.

  • from a life path viewpoint

    The Nine of Swords is not a card that cartomancers appreciate very much. Nevertheless, its teaching is highly beneficial for your development. The card questions the relationship you have with the world, it tells you that the things that make you unhappy aren't necessarily the result of concrete problems but instead the result of your ways of thinking and acting, which are often prejudiced.

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    Its influence

    • short-term

      In the short term, the Nine of Swords indicates that today you are facing a period of crisis, during which anxiety will tend to slow down your progress. Your vision of life is distorted: you tend to look at things with too much pessimism and nurture your fears. Take a step back on your situation.

    • long-term

      In the long run, the Nine of Swords will allow you to overcome the internal conflicts that can weaken you. The card will encourage you to become aware of your distorted thought patterns and to develop new ways of living your life. It is a great asset if you want to develop from a personal point of view and enjoy a little more serenity.

    Full interpretation

    Interpretation of The Nine of Swords upright

    In its most common interpretation, the Nine of Swords translates the deep anxieties, uncontrolled fears and latent stress felt by the seeker. Imprisoned by these harmful emotions, they find it almost impossible to live their daily life in calm and to take advantage of life's numerous pleasures.

    This significant period of doubt is not the result of external events, which would make it easier to understand. On the contrary, it bears witness to the seeker's existential questioning, their uneasy view of the future and how they see the world. The Nine of Swords indicates the seeker is the creator of their own anxieties, which, without realizing it or wanting to, they are keeping alive. It is a vicious circle for them because everywhere they look they perceive validation of their distorted interpretation of the world. The more they struggle with anguish, the more anguish they feel.

    Despite this disturbing picture, it's important to bear in mind the positive influence that the Nine of Swords can have. The card allows you to understand that you are the cause of your current problems, it forces you to become aware of your weaknesses and encourages you step away from the virtual reality you have a tendency to create. The card emphasizes the value of action for the seeker and pushes them to take their destiny in hand. With it, change is really possible.

    Interpretation of The Nine of Swords reversed

    When the Nine of Swords appears upside down in a divinatory tarot draw, it usually means the end of a period of crisis and questioning. Thanks to this card, the seeker has finally managed to get rid of the deep anxiety that regularly overwhelmed them. As if they have woken up from a nightmare, they are now able to look serenely towards the future, aware of their ability to overcome the most difficult obstacles and get their life back on track.

    Thanks to the work they have done on themselves they understand their psyche better and find it easier to put their fears to one side. They agreed to question some of their certainties and learned to change their perspective. Their self-belief is growing day by day. Their uncertainties are only distant memories.

    This development often leads to changes, which the seeker welcomes with open arms. To enjoy lasting happiness, they had to accept the need to free themselves from the harmful influences in their life. Although goodbyes are always difficult, the promise of a bright future has convinced them to take the plunge!