Fear, Worry, Anxiety, Regret, these forces have such an affect on us as human beings, and if left unchecked they can be so strong as to completely overpower us. I have definitely fallen victim to this during my life, most recently during the aftermath of my breakup, where I was constantly going over and over all the things I could have done wrong, all the things I could have changed. This got so bad that I could hardly escape from my thoughts! See this is the thing about these ‘feelings’, they are all well and good as pure emotion, some may even save us from a dangerous situation, but as soon as we feed them with our thoughts, they have the power to completely take hold off us. This fact is epitomised within my Daily Draw today, the Nine of Swords.

Nine of Swords - Radiant Rider Waite Smith Tarot
Nine of Swords – Radiant Rider Waite Smith Tarot

These forces are the keystones to the Nine of Swords. Traditionally we see a figure, lying awake in bed, head in hands, with nine swords hanging above them in the dark. This is such a powerful image, for who hasn’t sat awake in bed at 3am, filled with worries and anxieties that just won’t leave us alone. Nighttime is when our griefs and fears have the most strength as we no longer have the distractions of the day to get us by. We sit there worrying, brooding over an issue, making everything seem worse than it is, despairing over all that we could have done differently. This card represents the deepest sorrow and mental anguish that the suit of Swords represents. Unlike the Queen who has been able to turn this sorrow into wisdom, or the Three which shows pain which seems to come from something outward but with a suggestion of acceptance and cleansing, the Nine shows the moment of agony overpowering us, the pain that we generate within ourselves!! The Swords which usually represent thought, communication and action have turned into weapons against us rather than tools of progress. The fact that the swords hang directly above the figure, and not through their back like the Ten, shows that quite often this pain is not something that’s happening directly to us, but as a result of someone we love. This is further evident in the pattern on the blanket. Here we see roses, the symbol of passion, interspersed between all of the Zodiac signs. This to me represents someone who can’t help but take on the pain of others.

Nine of Swords - Shadowscapes Tarot
Nine of Swords – Shadowscapes Tarot

The Shadowscapes card above is quite a different representation of the Nine of Swords, but it is just as strong in my opinion. Here we see an Angel grasping a Sword close to his chest, looking up into an ominous spiralling storm. If this isn’t representative of a dark night of the soul then what is! The storm crows above are free, flying within the storm with no fear, and there is even one on his shoulder whispering guidance. They don’t understand his fear, for he is also a creature of the Air, he could fly free if he could just break away from the worry holding him stationary. Not only is he blind to the offer of help, but the sheathed Sword he clutches so tightly is in itself a beacon of light, it has the power to cut through this confusion and light his way out of the storm, but his fears and anxiety have gotten so strong that he can’t see it for what it is! Here I see a link to the Shadowscapes’ Eight of Swords which I wrote about here. The figure in the Nine is still trapped, but instead of it being thorns that restrict as in the Eight, it is a trap of his own making. In the Eight breaking free has a possibility of wounding the figure, whereas here struggling through this hard time will actually set the figure free!

This card has one of my favourite images of all the Shadowscapes cards! Notice the tattooed swords on his chest, these to me are an outward expression of how his internalised regrets are taking a toll. All his worrying and fear has gotten so strong that it is literally forming a permanent mark on his body. This is something that I have gone through myself, and know all too well how much of a physical affect anguish, fear and regret can have on our bodies! For those of you who haven’t read my initial posts, during the period of time after my breakup I WAS the figure in this card, stuck in a miasma of worry, regret, and anguish. I was in so much pain, and as time past this raw emotional pain became hardened by my thoughts, and I was constricted within a cyclical pain inducing mindset. It got so bad that it started to affect me physically, just like the Angel in this card however in a much less glamorous way. I lost around 7-8 kg, which for me is huge having sat at 52-55kg for all of my adult life. When we feed our feelings with obsessive thoughts, not only do we strengthen the feelings and their hold on us, but it can get so bad that we show physical signs of deterioration!

Although this card is steeped in pain and regret, their is a glimmer of hope. If you look past the tumultuous storm, you can see the smallest white light. This is a glimmer of hope within the dark night. It tells us that if we can just cast aside our worries and regrets and escape the grip of anxiety, we can be just as free as the storm crows above, flying in untroubled arcs upwards to the ray of hope! And if we look at the Nines numerologically speaking, they represent a completion and culmination. The Nine of Swords can often come up to show us that there are some deep-rooted issues trying to surface, and that if we understand why our thoughts are acting in this cyclical manner, and strive to resolve the repressed issues, the changes we make will in fact forecast a brighter future. It’s time to put an end to our cyclical thoughts and end the pain we are inflicting upon ourselves. This is the final battle with ourselves, with our mind, that must be conquered. The completion the Nine is calling for is within reach if only we realise our inner strength, and that we are in fact creating the pain ourselves!!

Until next time, live well and relax your mind xx

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