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There will come a time when all the things which are troubling you won’t hurt so deeply. They will become stories of growth and pride.’’

Karen Salmansohn


A woman is sitting on her bed at night. Walls of the room are dark; nine swords are hanging just behind her. She is holding her head in her hands, as though she is crying after being woken at night by a nightmare.

This is the same figure that was trapped in a painful state in the previous card, Eight of Swords. After then some time has passed, and she found some release. Yet when she goes to bed, the traumatic memories, nightmares and dark thoughts of the past are still haunting her.

The nine swords hanging on the wall represents lingering anxiety, sleepless nights and mental anguish. Nine is the number of conclusions; therefore, this difficult chapter must be closed mentally and emotionally in order to fully heal.

This card is not so much about what has happened in the past, but it is about how you choose to translate and express them in your life. Mind tends to exaggerate things beyond reason by keeping everything bottled up inside. When you are in the dark, hurt and confused, it is not a good idea to navigate all alone. Getting a different point of view, help and advice of others can shed a light and make you see things clearly.

Number 9 represents awakening, completion and clarity.


Nine of Swords Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Fear

  • Nightmares

  • Insomnia



  • Haunted by the past
  • Sadness
  • Emotional turmoil
  • Release

Upright Nine of Swords

Guidance: When the Nine of Swords shows up, reliving the horrors of the past in your mind doesn’t let you move forward. Perhaps you replay a scenario in your head over and over again, thinking what you should have done and eventually stressing yourself to the point of losing sleep over it. You didn’t understand what happened then, but you do now. Just let go. Instead of going through it all alone, ask for help when these thoughts are disturbing you.

Love: Whether you are in a relationship or single, this card usually shows up when you dwell on the past. The feelings attached to it are resentment, bitterness, anger or guilt. You experienced major heartbreak in your love life, which forced you to re-evaluate things. But that was then, and this is now. Haven’t you beaten yourself up enough? You will see that things are getting much better in your present if you choose to forgive the past.

Work/Finances: You seem to be deeply unsatisfied with your current state regards to your finances and work.  The reason for it may be not so much about what is happening now, but rather about you ruminating in the past. The question to ask yourself: Is the situation really as hopeless as you think? Perhaps just a positive shift in your perspective is all you need. If this card is in future position, make sure to get all your affairs in order and try to keep a clear mind.

Health: Suit of Swords symbolizes the mental realm. Therefore, this card often indicates that you are stuck in a state of grief, anxiety and sadness. You may be having difficulty sleeping as seen on the imagery. Alternatively, you may be over worrying about your health. If you are concerned, seeking medical advice can relieve some of your nervousness.

Spirituality: What has passed is past. Instead of being sad about things you can’t change, focus on if you how you can create a better future. Behind every suffering, there are great lessons for you to learn and evolve as a stronger person. One of them is to change your negative thought patterns, so that the past doesn’t repeat again. Listening to other people’s experiences and sharing your own is another great way to do it.

Guidance: Adapting to change comes with making peace with the past. Past has no control over your present moment if you don’t give in to doubt and fear. Otherwise, it will keep sucking you back by reminding you the hurt you experienced. Life never stops moving forward, why should you? Sometimes you should just trust the wind to carry you for a while in order to find your direction.

Love: A heartbreaking event has forced your life to change in some respects, and you are having difficulties coping with the new. This new direction in your life, even if it was caused by a painful situation, is necessary and good for you. To be able to move on and adapt into your present peacefully, remove the old burdens off your shoulder. Learning to love and forgive yourself will not only change your perspective, but also your love life for the better.

Work/Finances: The core issue here is that the mistakes, losses and failures of the past are still interfering with your present, because you don’t want to accept change. Number nine represents completion of a cycle, which means the cycle of new, better opportunities are already present. Reversal of the Nine of Swords advises you to approach your problems with patience, flexibility and positivity. You also need to reduce your work stress and financial worries in order to improve your situation.

Health: The Nine of Swords reversed represents having difficulty finding relief from stress, fear and grief. Sometimes it can relate to sleep disorders, such as insomnia or night terrors. Other than making some adjustments to reduce the stress and tension out of your daily life, you may also ask for medical help. Whatever you are going through, it is a healing process. Instead of being so critical, be kind to yourself.

Spirituality: The present moment has so much joy and peace to offer if you are open to experience it. Even the smallest steps you take every day away from the past will be a giant leap for your soul. You don’t have to do or think more than that. Even changing your mind’s language from ‘’I was’’ to ‘’I am now, and now I am happy.’’ will do that. Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you.

Reversed Nine of Swords

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