• Wren McMurdo Brignac

Nine of Swords - Minor Arcana Tarot Card

Below is an excerpt from the Dark Days Tarot Guidebook by Emily Mundy:

Nine of Swords

Querent, just as you wrestle, tense and restless, against the hellish stress that a nightmare brings upon your unconscious mind, so too can your alert self suffer. The Nine of Swords is associated with despair, dread, and worry in its most profound nature. It points to emotional addictions and self-destructive thought patterns that must be clarified. The opportunity this card brings to us is a chance to confront our worry and weaknesses so that we may summon eventual relief within. You must choose to wake from your lucid nightmare – only then will you find illumination and clarity, only then may you move forward, eyes bright and open. You do not have to be your own worst enemy.

Suggested prompts:

upright: worry; dread; despair

right: stress; self-induced anxiety

left: isolation; want of relief

reversed: opportunity to find a deeper faith in life

The nine of wands is a card referencing a mental playground left unattended. We all have egotistical voices in our heads, compounding traumas into personality scars.

There is no stopping these voices from talking to us, because they’re the voices of survival. They serve a purpose and happen on their own, just as our hearts beat and lungs breathe.

It’s important to find focal points for your brain, kind of like putting a baby in a playpen with a toy. Put worries and problems in a little zone in your life, be it a scheduled time to talk it out, journal or go to a circle or therapy.

Keep a worry list and put your worries on it. Worries left to running rampant in the mind can create a Lord of the Flies free-for-all of bad energy to build up in the body, sometimes manifesting, becoming pain or mental illness.

This card serves as a reminder to meditate, as the challenge to maintain mental health is a lifelong one for all of us. Be grateful for something. Right now. That’s an easy ‘out’ of mental strain.

All of life is not without the possibility of fear or pain, and brilliant work is not without vulnerability. Instead of letting mental wounds fester and compound, practice noticing worry for what it is, and transforming those worries into intentional moments of vulnerability.

The question is: Where can I surrender for the benefit of myself and those around me?

Pay attention to dark moon physical sensations and tears, especially, when this card appears in a reading. It may be time to let go of something. Be it a bad attitude or commitment, your health should always come first.

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