One seated on her couch in lamentation, with the swords over her. She is as one who knows no sorrow which is like unto hers. It is a card of utter desolation.--A.E. Waite

Unlike the pain of the 3 of Swords which *seems* to come from without, the 9 of Swords represents the pain that we generate from within. What tortures we put ourselves through when our fears and doubts overwhelm us! Worry is probably the most common. . . . Guilt is another source of pain. When we have done something that we feel is wrong or hurtful - or failed to do something we think we should have - the distress can be very real.--Joan Bunning

In a Hitchcockian nightmare, a woman finds herself swarmed by nine swooping, flapping bats in the dead of the night. Horrified, she covers her face with her hands, as her cat peers at her with concern.
This terrifying image depicts an ugly situation that must be faced bravely. Rather than pulling the comforter over her head, the woman sits up, covering only her eyes. Sometimes it is painful to face our demons and battle them for clarity and understanding. As the rising sun on her bed indicates, tomorrow is another day.--Karin Lee

This card generally means cruelty directed at yourself. It indicates a tendency to 'put yourself down' with immense energy (Mars). Destructive accusations made by parents or teachers in your childhood continue, with undiminished harshness, to affect you. But now you, yourself, have taken over the role of accuser.
This may happen in the form of an internal debate between two 'people' or points of view. You are afraid to make a definite choice, then denigrate yourself for your indecisiveness. Or you make a choice and then torture yourself with a bad conscience: you chose wrong. The examples are endless, and you will find your own that fit the situation. You feel you are a victim of circumstances, and perhaps you find a bit of satisfaction in this role.--Gerd Ziegler

The nine of swords indicates an urgent need to assert control over negative forces, external and/or internal. Possibly one has been living in a cocoon, unaware of world events and unaware of one's own mental currents. It's time to come out, to take action and become involved. Constructive efforts will help.--Jean Huets

This card implies anxiety, worry and anguish, with the mind working overtime. Often the person is not sleeping well when this card comes up or may be experiencing bad dreams and nightmares due to stress. Also the querent may be blowing things out of proportion, especially when this card is next to the 7 of Cups. It can also mean feeling despair (notice the totally black background). Positive affirmations and emotional detachment to an outcome or person are two helpful ways of working with this card. In regards to health, this card may indicate minor surgery or stomach related problems (brought about through worry), and sometimes ulcers. It can indicate miscarriage, if other cards collaborate.--Janet Berres

The number Nine, Yesod, brings back the Energy to the central pillar of the Tree of Life. The previous disorder is now rectified.
But the general idea of the suit has been constantly degenerating. The Swords no longer represent pure intellect so much as the automatic stirring of heartless passions. Consciousness has fallen into a realm unenlightened by reason. This is the world of the unconscious primitive instincts, of the psychopath, of the fanatic.
The celestial ruler is Mars in Gemini, crude rage of hunger operating without restraint; although its form is intellectual, it is the temper of the inquisitor.--Aleister Crowley

If you have a hangover, don't look at the Nine of Swords. You won't be ready to deal with this one. Who knows what Harris was doing with the colors, but she succeeded in making them perfectly nauseating. As if to underscore the degeneration of the suit, the pinwheel wings are being washed down the wall of the background by what look like drops of poison. The whole scene induces dizziness. I can almost taste the drops of rusty blood dripping from the swords.--Lon Milo DuQuette




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