Card Meanings Rider-Waite- The Nines

The nines are culmination, something coming to fruition. The Keywords here are:

  • 9 of Wands- embattled
  • 9 of Cups- satisfaction
  • 9 of Pentacles- contentment
  • 9 of Swords- worry

Going Deeper

9 of Wands

The 9 of wands is a sense of embattlement. A kind of being hemmed in from all sides. It’s not necessarily being attacked, just feeling like you can’t do as you wish. This card would appear most often when responsibilities are weighing down on you, when you feel like you aren’t free to do as you please. It can also indicate not being able to see the forest for the trees- a sense of only seeing the negative of your responsibilities and not their positives. It is one of the few wands cards that is less about action and more about head space. When this card appears first work out if you really are being hemmed in or if you just feel like you are.

In relationship readings the 9 of wands is feeling put upon, as if you are the only partner doing all the work. There is a smidgen of resentment happening. It can also appear when you or your partner has been wounded in previous relationships and is carrying those wounds into the current one. The challenge here is to take previous lessons in life and actually apply them. Sometimes things don’t always go the way you want them in life and the 9 of wands asks us to just deal with it and move on.

In negative card positions the 9 of wands really is under scrutiny. Someone around you is making sure that you are dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s. It denotes a time when you have come out of a situation slightly worse for wear but rich in experience. The trick here is not to fall into self pity.

As a person the 9 of wands represents someone who feels embattled regardless of whether the feeling is justified. This is the person who feels that others are against them or that they have worked harder then others but received less reward the they should have. There’s also a somewhat sulky feeling to this person- it’s often hard to get them to say something nice about someones else or their own situation.

9 of Cups

The 9 of cups is almost the opposite of the 9 of wands. Here is a sense of great satisfaction. This the card that appears when you are getting things right. The 9 of cups is a satisfaction that applies to every aspect of life, love life, work, health, happiness, etc. It doesn’t matter if the satisfaction is real or not- life may not in fact be perfect when this card appears, but it certainly feels that way. The only danger is to watch out for the tendency to rest on your laurels at this point. You may be satisfied with your lot but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to do.

In relationship readings it suggests that you and your partner are working well together, not just romantically but in practical aspects as well. The is a slight sense of smugness attached to this card but nothing obnoxious. More the smugness you get from achieving something someone said you couldn’t. Things are going well when this card appears. Take it as a sign to give yourself a great big pat on the back before tackling other issues. It’s NOT the be all and end all , but it’s pretty damn good.

In negative card positions the smugness inherent in this card really comes out. It’s the insufferable know-it-all who sings “na-na-na-na-na” at you. Or worse, you yourself do it to others. If this card comes up in a negative position for yourself watch out for a tendency towards arrogance or settling. The arrogance tends to come in the form of knowing better then anyone else despite their experiences and the settling comes in the form of thinking that you’ve “made it” when all you’ve really done is reach a new level.

As a person the 9 of cups is a happy and satisfied one who is rather convinced it was all due to their own brilliance. It also represents the clever business person who has worked out how to worker smarter not harder.

9 of Pentacles

The 9 of pentacles s a nice place to visit but not so nice to live in. It suggests being content with your lot and “happy” for a given level of happiness. It’s kind of like going from an income of $500 a week to an income of $600 and being happy with it despite having it within yourself to be earning twice that. The lesson here is to take it as a rest stop on your way to bigger and better things. The 9 of pentacles is happy, but only because she refuses to look at the big picture. You could happily spend your life here if you wanted to but try to remember that there really is more.

In relationship readings it’s a lovely card to have because it suggests that despite how happy you feel right now, there is more. Sometimes it about being happy in a gilded cage. Not realising that you’ve traded security for entrapment. If this card constantly came up in your relationship readings you’d need to ask yourself what it was you refused to see. Are you confusing something sure for something true?

In negative card positions the 9 of pentacles becomes the gilded cage for true. You may be happy where you are but you aren’t free to do as you please or be really true to yourself. You are selling yourself short for what you are capable in life- trading creature comforts and luxury for an authentic life. ‘Happiness’ can be as much of a trap as misery can.

As a person the 9 of pentacles is someone happy with where they are at in life, freedom is not an issue for them because they see themselves as protected. It can also represent someone with a long term plan who is prepared to put in the time it takes to get there.

9 of Swords

Not the happiest of cards. The obvious meaning is of worries , bad dreams and negative thoughts. You have to ask yourself when this card appears about your own mental state. Are you seeing things are they truly are? Often this card appears when you have had a realisation- when you have ‘woken up’ from some self delusion. So often this card appears the moment you say to yourself “OMG what was I thinking?!?” Lastly, in my experience the appearance of the 9 of swords often accompanies a time of disturbed sleep for whatever reason- dreams, insomnia, restlessness- but it is almost always a consequence of the other aspects of this card.

In relationship readings the 9 of swords suggests that you just discovered (or are about to discover) something that changes your view of the relationship. Sometimes that realisation is about yourself, sometimes about the other person. Either way the discovery changes things for you.  It is always a light bulb moment that can lead to either positive change or something less pleasant. Just be on your toes when the 9 of swords appears in a relationship reading. It may not be the end of the world but for a moment there it may feel like it.

In negative card positions its easy to see the role the 9 of swords plays. In positive card positions it’s about coming to realisations that help clear the past and pave the way for the future. It’s about “waking up” to what’s truly going on around you. Trust that any ‘bad’ discoveries made when this card appears will eventually lead to very positive life changes.

As a person the 9 of swords can represent someone with health issues such as migraines or insomnia. It can also be a person who is refusing to deal with their health issues but will describe to you (at length) everything that is wrong with them. There is something timid about this person, it sometimes feels like this person simply refuses to look at the world around them.


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