Nine of Swords Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

Nine of Swords upright

Nine of Swords At A Glance

Keywords: Negativity, breaking point, despair, anxiety, nightmares, finding help, healing mental health, learning to cope
Season: Spring
Element: Air (thoughts, ideas and communication)

Nine of Swords Tarot Card Description

The Nine of Swords is a minor arcana card and the ninth card of the Swords suit. The traditional artwork shows a woman sitting up in bed with her head in her hands. It is clear she is upset having just awoken from a nightmare. She could also be anxious and unable to go to sleep or get back to sleep after waking.

The art makes it very clear that her emotions are very intense and negatively affecting her sleep and other areas of her life. It is also clear she is alone and unhappy in her loneliness, she needs to be comforted by a loved one.

Nine of Swords Upright Meaning

We’ve all felt anxious before. It is a very intense emotion that is impossible to ignore. Especially when it reaches a crescendo and peaks close to breaking point. In the Nine of Swords card’s art work we can not tell what the cause of her anxiety is. The background of the card is her home. Her home appears to be warm, safe and comfortable which hints that the sadness is not based on her surroundings but rather in her mind and heart.

She may be grieving or handling a very difficult situation at the moment. The advice of this card is that it is impossible to avoid the lows of life. All we can do is hunker down and wait them out.

Luckily we don’t have to experience them alone. If the woman was with a friend she would be comforted. It may not take the emotions away completely but it could definitely help to take the edge off whilst she waits it out.

“But feelings can't be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.” - Anne Frank

Nine of Swords Reversed Meaning

Nine of Swords reversed

When reversed the Nine of Swords is a positive card. It asks us to embrace the full spectrum of our emotions, the good and the bad. It is very easy to try and suppress the negative emotions we feel but in doing so we reduce our ability to feel the good ones too. The Nine of Swords points out that in life the bad times and emotions give the good ones perspective and make them all the richer.

Reversed this card is a confirmation from the universe that we are embracing our emotions and healing the apathy we used to feel. We should acknowledge how far we have come and congratulate ourselves for all the progress we have made.

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” - Oscar Wilde

Nine of Swords: Yes or No

When upright the Nine of Swords is a strong no card. It says that saying yea at this time could lead to extreme anxiety and that the negative emotions it will cause are not worth the results.

If reversed then it is a yes card. Saying yes will welcome in the chance to heal our emotional expression on a deeper level.

Let’s Break Down the Nine of Swords In Our Lives

How the Nine of Swords answers questions specific to different areas in our lives.

Nine of Swords In Love

Past regret and suspicions plague us when we meet the Nine of Swords in love queries. This could take the shape of infidelity of an ex-lover, for example. The betrayal still hangs over us by lowering our self-esteem and continues to affect our current relationships, be they platonic or romantic.

Reversed the Nine of Swords is suggesting that now is a good time to allow others to support us. They are willing but we often decline their help as we don’t want to burden them. However this means we stay anxious and the situation takes longer to fix.

By accepting their help we not only half the time it takes to work through the solution but we also deepen the love and trust within our relationship(s) at the same time.

Nine of Swords With Money

We feel deprived and are in wanting but of what we can’t really discern. This causes us to respond with mindless spending in an attempt to fill the void we feel. However all it does is waste money and potentially put us into debt. We are being guided by this card that we can’t fix how we feel with retail therapy.

We must look within and tackle the true cause of our feelings. Reversed the Nine of Swords asks us to get clear what about our financial goals. Whether big or small we can’t work on them if we don’t even know what they are. The next step is to accept and even encourage them.

It’s okay to have big goals and we shouldn’t let their size dissuade us from achieving them. We can work towards them so much easier when we have accepted them and no longer resist or downplay them.

Nine of Swords At Work

When we receive the 9 of Swords for career queries it can suggest we may need to create better coping mechanisms to handle work stress. A good place to begin is to create boundaries which better honor the balance between work and life. Making sure we keep these separate means we perform better at work and are more relaxed during down time.

Reversed regarding work matters the Nine of Swords urges us to feel the fear and do it anyway. It can be hard to put ourselves out there and really push for our goals but this card urges us to ignore the self-doubts we may have. After all not trying is the only guaranteed way to fail.

Nine of Swords With Others

Seeing this card in relation to society-based questions can indicate we have a deep fear of rejection. We purposefully hold ourselves back in social settings to avoid attention and the chance of being noticed. However we end up creating the very situation we fear the most: loneliness. We are terrified of being rejected because then we will have no one so we push others away, essentially guaranteeing it.

Reversed the Nine of Swords means we are opening up others as our confidence grows and this is growing our friendship groups and social circles. Before we may have been fearful of meeting new people and may have tried to avoid this in the past. Now we are embracing the idea of making new friends and are so much happier.

Nine of Swords With Self

Receiving the Nine of Swords for self-based questions can suggest we are plagued with self-doubt. It sits heavily on our shoulders and weighs us down. We expend a lot of energy just trying to exist with this and it tires us. We need to flip the script and speak to ourselves internally more positively. This will help combat the negativity until it is no longer our go-to response.

Reversed the 9 of Swords guides us that it is safe now to express all emotions, even the sad ones. We must not hold them in because it will do us much more harm than good.

When we express negative emotions we exorcise them from within us a little at a time. When we express positive emotions we share them with others and double them within us. It’s an emotional win/win all around.

Nine of Swords As Feelings

The Nine of Swords feels like paralyzing fear which disables our ability to think clearly. It can also feel like the relief we express when our worst fears are found to be false.