Nine of Swords – Tarot card meaning

Nine of Swords - Rider Waite Minor Arcana - Swords

The Nine of Swords is a card full of negative energy. The illustration shows a man, waking up from a nightmare, head in his hands. Sometimes, life can be too much for us, we can’t handle it anymore.

The Nine of Swords represents this; fear, grief, panic and worry are all central themes of the Nine of Swords. While the Nine of Swords is generally negative, it may not be as bad as you think; take the rest of your reading into account before you start to panic.

Card meanings


You may have had a traumatic upbringing, or have just witnesses a profoundly traumatic event when you see the Nine of Swords in the past position.

Some things can take months or years to get over. Don’t tackle these problems alone, there are support groups available, as well as friends and family to help you through. You may just need to open up.

Bad experiences can ruin our perception of the future. For now you should be reassured; the Nine of Swords has shown up in the past position, not for the present or future.


Take the Nine of Swords seriously when you see it drawn in the present position in any spread. Expect the worst, as you may just be entering a period of emotional trials.

Remember back to the times in life when you have felt completely overwhelmed. How did you react? When faced with overwhelming odds, many of us will back down.With nowhere, to go, we can panic. You may need to reassure yourself; no matter what happens, you will always pull through.


Take the Nine of Swords as a warning when you see it in the future position. If you keep doing as you are doing, you will likely live a life of stress and worry.

What can you change in your life to combat this? Identify the negative patterns you exhibit and try your best to mend them.

Don’t ignore any warning signs. Being lax now may mean you are much worse off in the future. If you do not make choices in life, those choices will be made for you.

Work, careers and education

Your professional life might not be going to plan. The Nine of Swords can remind us that sometimes our dreams, wants and expectations do not always go to plan.

If work is not going well, then you need too understand why this is. You may be working in the wrong area; with the wrong people, on the wrong thing.

Worrying about our career or education can take over our lives. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow. The Nine of Swords shows that the present may be a very painful time to experience, but remember that it will pass soon enough.

Love and Relationships

You may have just experienced one of the worst relationship experiences of you life. Sometimes we just cannot prepare for bad news. You may require a lot of time to recover. The present and near future will likely be a tough road for you to travel.

The Nine of Swords can represent your feelings within a relationship generally. Depression and despair can hit any of us, at any time. You may need a support network to help deal with things. Family, friends, or even professional help. Don’t be alone.

The Nine of Swords can also represent the pain after a relationship ends. A breakup is never easy, especially if it took you by surprise.


You may experience great loss when you see the Nine of Swords. It’s possible that you will lose something due to chance or bad luck, rather than deception or theft. Now isn’t a good time to bet your savings, as nothing is a guaranteed win.

The Nine of Swords can also represent your current feelings towards money. perhaps you don’t have enough of it, maybe you are struggling in life. You need to take control and get yourself back in shape. Despair hits us first, but we soon recover and start putting plans into action.

Let the negativity hit you, but don’t wallow; turn it into a reason to improve.

Health and well-being

Stress and worry are so debilitating in our lives, and sometimes we don’t take them seriously. Worry is a symptom of life not going to plan, helplessness reflects our lack of confidence. The Nine of Swords reflects these issues back to us.

When you see the Nine of Swords in regards to health, realise that worrying about something is just as bad as the thing itself. You are doubling your pain in life. Work through the pain, and you can recover. Life can be improved greatly with a different outlook.

Other associations

Element: Air

As a Yes or No question: No


Trauma, stress, worry, depression

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