TITLE OF CARD IN RW
DECK: 9 of Swords
ALTERNATE NAMES: Cruelty; Lord of Despair and Cruelty
RW DESCRIPTION: A figure sits up in
bed, hanging her head and covering her face with her hands. Her
nightdress and hair are white. The matress of the bed looks thin and
hard, and rests on a bier-like foundation. There's a picture carved
into the foundation which is hard to make out, but looks like one
person standing and threatening a seated person, with some trees
behind them. A colorful blanket covers the woman's legs. It has a
checkerboard pattern, with red roses on yellow squares, and
astrological sigils on sky blue squares. Against a black background,
nine blue swords hand above and behind her.
FIRST THING THAT STRUCK ME: The white nightgown is almost ghostly, and the blanket is practically a carnival by comparison. Blanket--"what covers you"
UPRIGHT MEANINGS: Death, failure,
miscarriage, delay, deception, disappointment, despair.--Waite
Despair, dark night of the soul, anguish, suffering,
misery, desolation, angst, depression, sadness, grief,
tears, loneliness, aftermath of a quarrel, a painful situation.
Negative thoughts, intense worry, burden, weight of the world
on one's shoulders, cruelty, oppression, brooding over
troubles, thinking the worst, dread, pessimism, fear, feeling of
impending doom, impotence, anxiety over a loved one, loss,
tragedy. Insomnia, sleepless nights, nightmares, prophetic
dreams, premonitions, a sudden intuition of danger, frightening
foreknowledge. Acknowledging unpleasant insights, guilt, deep
regret, overwhelming remorse, self-recrimination, punishment,
consequence of personal actions, something comes back to haunt one,
letting oneself down. Berating oneself for not communicating
effectively or for not getting all needed information. Unexpected
disappointment in someone, conflicts between personal needs and the
needs of others. Fanaticism, consuming revenge, unjustified rage,
malice, lack of lucidity, insanity.
ALSO: Pain, illness (esp. ulcers), being bedridden. Haunting, boogeyman, things that go bump in the night. Preoccupation, unanswered questions, insatiable curiosity. Time to buy a new mattress.
REVERSED MEANINGS: Imprisonment,
suspicion, doubt, reasonable fear, shame.--Waite Unable to
completely recover from bad experiences in the past. Avoiding a
painful situation, timidity, passive resistance, martyrdom.
Slanderous gossip, being a scapegoat. Swallowing anger and
resentment, self-doubt, possible disappointment. Worry and stress
negatively affect health. Implementing pharmaceutical quick-fixes
rather than lifestyle changes.
ALSO: Acceptance of reality, patience, self-realization, brilliant ideas.
BIBLICAL: I mostly keep thinking of
verses that say not to worry. Particularly Philippians 4 and Matthew
"For mine iniquities are gone over mind head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. . . . I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long." <Psalms 38>
MYTHOLOGICAL: Sword of Damocles; Princess and the Pea
HERBS/PLANTS: rue, worrywort = P
MUSIC: "Gloom, despair, and agony on me.
Deep, dark depressiion; excessive misery.
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair, and agony on me." <Hee Haw>
FILM: "Haunted Summer" (esp. the Chateau Chillon scene)
BOOK: MacBeth, Hamlet
QUOTES: "I was unable to pursue the train of thought; a thousand feelings pressed upon me, and I wept bitterly. Ever since my recovery from the fever I had been in the custom of taking every night a small quantity of laudanum, for it was by means of this drug only that I was enabled to gain the rest necessary for the preservation of life. Oppressed by the recollection of my various misfortunes, I now swallowed double my usual quantity and soon slept profoundly. But sleep did not afford me respite from thought and misery; my dreams presented a thousand objects that scared me. Towards morning I was possessed by a kind of nightmare; I felt the fiend's grasp in my neck and could not free myself from it; groans and cries rang in my ears."--Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
PUBLIC PEOPLE OR EVENTS: The mother of that toddler (Jessica?) in Texas who got stuck in an abandoned well.
PEOPLE OR SITUATIONS IN MY LIFE: When
I was in college, I used to lie awake in bed at night and do math in
my head, trying to figure out how to rob Peter to pay Paul. ("If I
cash a check at the grocery store tomorrow, and put the cash in the
bank . . .") That kind of mental activity is what I came to associate
with the 9S at that time. A difficult problem that can't be ignored
or pushed to the back of your mind, and will frustrate the heck out
of you before the solution or resolution comes.
In my TarotL days, the discussion was extremely stimulating and educational. I used to feel sometimes that too many unanswered questions were buzzing in my head like bees, distracting me. (But a different kind of distraction from the 7 of Swords--neither idle nor busy.) Many were Tarot-related, but most were only tangentially so (e.g., Pope Joan). During that time, I was inspired to create my iFAQ, with its 9S theme.
The current 9S in my life is coder's block. I think writer's block is more like the 8S and coder's block more like the 9S. You're still stuck, but you try and try and try to find that one little thing that keeps it from working. I spent a week banging my head against the wall, and I thought, soon is gonna come the 10S--I'll either have a breakthrough or a breakdown! The 10S situation is short though, as you catapult to the Ace! I added a "&" and was ready to go.
FAVORITE REPRESENTATION: I like the
Cosmic by Loesche.
COMPARISONS TO OTHER CARDS: Interesting to contrast with the Four of Swords. Also, when paired with the Hierophant: "Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thansgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and mental powers by means of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:6-7)
COMPARISONS TO OTHER DECKS:
OTHER: Subject: Nine Swords
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 20:21:23 +0100
To: tarot-l <tarot-l@TECHUNIX.TECHNION.AC.IL>
Nine Swords were hanging over my head.
Each one hanging by a [tarot-l] thread.
Then the wind began to blow
the Swords menacingly to and fro.
One fell and pinned me to the ground,
then yet NINE more came crashing down.
Woke from dream of darkest sight
amongst roses red and lilies white.
And waking in my garden, I could see
It was only thorns pricking me.
This page contains excerpts from my original contributions to an
online Tarot discussion. The
Tarot list is made possible by Valerie Sim and Yahoo! groups.
Nine of Swords IMHO page created March 2007.