I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
Click here for a directory of all posts in my Wild Unknown series.
Creator’s keywords: nightmares, anguish
Carrie’s keywords: anxious thoughts, worries
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Nine of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
A jumbled mess of gross, horrifying confusion dominates this card. It is hard to discern what exactly you are even looking at. Eyeballs, devoid of sockets, are gazing blankly. Maggots and worms wriggle and grasp around everything. And is the center object a horn? A jawbone? Or something else entirely?
This card is a depiction of visceral horror, fear, and turmoil. If you were able to untangle your thoughts enough to calmly assess the situation, it might not seem quite as terrible. But as it is, everything is a jumbled, monochrome mess.
Considering the chaos in this picture, it is interesting to note that the nine swords are actually arranged in an orderly manner. Consider if you might be empowering your nightmares by harboring unnecessary worries. The human brain naturally dwells on perceived threats, but most of the terrible things you imagine will never come to fruition. Still, the power of your mind is intense.
When you get carried away in anxious thoughts, you may start to believe that everything is an out of control disaster. You assume that your perceived anguish is the reality of the situation. Although it is an undeniable fact that ugliness is part of life, it is necessary to discern how you might amplify that ugliness by closing yourself in your mental cave.
If you find yourself mired in this Nine of Swords energy, be gentle with yourself. Fear is a part of being human. It may help to do something to reframe your mental energy in whatever way works for you: meditation, talking to a trusted friend or therapist, and journaling are just a few ways you might sort through this heavy mental energy.
Nine of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in General
Many decks, such as the Waite-Smith tarot, show a person in a dark room, sitting up in bed, hands over their face. Nine swords hover above in the darkness, suggesting the powerful weight of anxious thoughts. In a paradoxical way, this card can offer some comfort as it validates the fear that all humans experience. Especially as some of us in the spiritual world want to “just think positively” this card shows that this is not always beneficial, and it’s not even always possible.
That said, it is one thing to validate your fear and it is another thing to assume it is warranted. Look for small ways that you can begin to shift your perspective. Just affirming yourself that you are open to a more expansive story than the one being hammered in by fear is a powerful first step.
In a reading
This card can convey a need to loosen the grip of your worries, guilt, and negative assumptions. Remember to breathe! Things are likely not as bad as they seem. You may indeed be facing struggles, but remember that you do not have to be a prisoner of your own mind. Remember that no matter how bad things seem, the wilderness of your thoughts might only make them worse.
Step back, calm down, and look at the big picture. Treat yourself with kindness and know trust that you’re doing the best you can. Remind yourself that this too shall pass.