Nine of Swords
In the Nine of Swords, we are nearing the end of the suit and the final cards become very dark. The background of this card is black, behind what appears to be a woman, sitting up in bed, apparently having woken from a terrible nightmare, she covers her face, as if she is either crying, or has not fully come to the reality that it was just a bad dream at this point. The bed is covered by a quilt with an alternating pattern of roses, and astrological glyphs, the symbols for the signs and planets of the zodiac. The carved wooden base of the bed shows two figures fighting and one being down and defeated.
When the Nine of Swords appears in a reading, you are likely beset with worry and anxiety. The matter at hand is quite troubling to you, enough so that it is keeping you up at night hence the figure in this card sitting up in the middle of the night overcome by anxiety. It could even be becoming a hindrance to your daily life. You don't know how to handle the problem, and worse you don't see a way out, or an end in sight. This is a swords card, mental energy, so it could be that your mind is constantly racing with troublesome thoughts. Worry does no good, unless we use it as a motivator for change. See if there are small changes you can begin to implement now.
The fears and anxieties alluded to in this card however, like all swords card, are of a mental nature, so you must ask yourself how much these things are playing out in your external day to day reality. These are psychological fears. Are they actually manifesting, or are you simply afraid of the possibilities? You create your own reality and you must ask yourself objectively if you are creating this situation for yourself. All may not be as bad as it seems.
It's quite possible that you are worrying and getting yourself all worked up over things that are likely never going to happen. You could be getting yourself concerned with all of the "what-if's" of a situation. If you sit down in the light of day with a clear mind, you may be able to create a solid plan of action that will alleviate or mitigate any possibilities of these negative outcomes you are so fearful of experiencing. Also remember that we are creators and manifesters of our own destinies, what we think about, we bring about, the Law of Attraction at its finest. That is the scariest part of all, the more thought and attention you give to your fears, the more likely you are to actually manifest them!
This card is also indicative of depression. The worry and anxiety that you are experiencing in your life can become consuming, and lead to an overall depressed state. If you feel that this is the case for you, and are having difficulty overcoming your negative thoughts and beliefs, don't be afraid to ask for help, as this is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength to recognize when we can't do it alone and need the help of others. Sometimes just having someone to talk to, to speak our fears out loud, we may be able to identify how irrational or unlikely they sound in the light of day.
Lastly, from a shamanic perspective, this could be a time that you need to pay attention to your dreams, as they may be trying to get your attention. If you are having disturbing dreams, the kind that really do wake you up at night, try to look past the actual events of the dream itself, and see if you can identify the message. If they are recurring, look for common themes. You may have several different dreams, but upon closer inspection see a common theme running through them. What fear do you have in your daily life that you are not dealing with or acknowledging that is manifesting itself in your dreams and trying to get your attention that way? If you are unsure, start a dream journal, don't leave anything out, even if it seems silly or irrelevant, including feelings. After a while, you should be able to begin to identify a pattern.
Nine of Swords Reversed
When the Nine of Swords comes up reversed, the most likely manifestation is that your worries, fears and anxieties are out of control. Your fears become an obsession. They have overtaken your life, like a nightmare come to life. You cannot quite your mind. What was originally worry and concern have turned to irrational paralyzing fear or paranoia that are overtaking your life. You are incredibly stressed and have lost the ability to be objective regarding your dilemma. Your anxiety has become destructive in your life. Your fears are literally keeping you up at night. You can't sleep, or you have developed an irrational fear or phobia. The amount of stress this is causing you can lead to other known stress related health issues such as migraines and ulcers or even things such as cancer or a heart attack if left to go on indefinitely!
If you find that you are in this situation, you need to take a step back and determine if things are truly this bad or if you have simply left your mind to have a mind of it's own! You may be to a point where you can not deal with this on your own anymore and may need to look for outside help. Find someone you can talk to, and get these things off of your chest. A professional may be able to help you do some shadow work, and being to identify the core issues you are experiencing deep down. There could be things that you experienced a long time ago that have helped shape your patterns of belief that are not working for you now, negative experiences that have set you up to perceive current situations as worse than they really are. It may be good to try and trace back through these feelings to see if you can identify the heart of the issue if this is the case.
Alternatively, it is possible when this card comes up reversed that you are either denying a problem exists that you really need to be focusing on and clearing up before it gets worse, or you have already done this, and you are starting to move forward in a more positive direction.