Nine of Wands – Tarot card meaning

Nine of Wands - Rider Waite Minor Arcana

The Nine of Wands is a cautious card. In a defensive posture, the central character grasps a Wand, and looks off of the canvas. Eight other wands are erect in the background.

The Nine of Wands reflects this in it’s meaning; representing caution, fear and putting up a defence against threats.

At a glance

The Nine of Wands is a Tarot card that represents resilience, determination, and the strength to persevere through adversity. It is often associated with the idea of being “wounded but not defeated,” and suggests that even when faced with difficult challenges or setbacks, it is possible to find the inner strength and courage to keep going.

In a Tarot reading, the Nine of Wands can indicate that the querent (the person for whom the reading is being done) is currently facing a difficult or trying situation, but is also drawing on their inner reserves of strength and determination to get through it. This card can also suggest that the querent has recently overcome a significant obstacle or challenge, and is now in a position of greater resilience and strength as a result.

The Nine of Wands is often depicted as a lone figure standing guard over a row of eight wands, which are often interpreted as representing the various challenges and obstacles that the querent has faced in the past. The figure is often shown as being wounded, but also as being determined and resolute, suggesting that they have overcome adversity in the past and are now prepared to face whatever challenges come their way.

In a more general sense, the Nine of Wands can be seen as a symbol of the human spirit’s ability to endure and persevere through even the most difficult of circumstances. It suggests that even when all seems lost, it is possible to find the inner strength and courage to keep going, and that with enough determination and resilience, any obstacle can be overcome.

In terms of its associations with the Seeker’s journey, the Nine of Wands can indicate that the querent is approaching the end of a difficult or trying phase in their life, and is on the verge of achieving a major breakthrough or accomplishment. It can also suggest that the querent has recently overcome a significant challenge, and is now in a position of greater strength and resilience as a result.

Overall, the Nine of Wands is a powerful and inspiring Tarot card that encourages us to draw on our inner reserves of strength and determination, and to keep going even when faced with difficult challenges or setbacks. It reminds us that with enough resilience and perseverance, anything is possible, and that even the darkest of times can ultimately lead to growth and transformation.

Card meanings


Were you threatened, or anxious in the past? The Nine of Wands in the past position can represent this feeling; you may not always feel completely safe.

Constantly erecting barriers around ourselves is a mentally draining process. It may be time to open up. The Nine of Wands can represent your childhood, maybe it was less than ideal. Think of the good, if you can. We all learn lessons in life at different times.

Fear of the unknown can plague us until we confront it. You may have been afraid of something in the past that you’re only just coming around to tackle now.


The Nine of Wands in the present position shows how you are feeling in your day to day life. You may not be happy, and you may feel like you are threatened, or being bullied on a daily basis.

Life cannot go on when you are under constant attack. Though you may be fine now, you will always have to keep defending yourself until you find help, or find a way out.

Look again to the illustration. The man is battered and weary. If you have drawn the Nine of Wands in the present position, then remember to take care of your wounds, both physical and emotional. there may be some recovery needed.


Fear of the future and the path you are on shows when you drawn the Nine of Wands in the future position. Are you happy with where things are going? Does your life seem secure? there are always ways to change, and the future is not set in stone.

Consider what you are actually fearing when you look into the future. Work towards avoiding these issues if you can. There is always a way to change the future for the better.

Work, careers and education

Your career and education should be progressing fine, but you should be wary about the more personal aspects. Is somebody else hindering how you are doing? Are you feeling intimidated or even bullied? Avoid bullies, both at work and school. Seek help from someone who can help.

The Nine of Wands within an education or career reading tells us that we should not give up just because we feel uncomfortable. This is especially important if you are following a passion or are doing well for yourself.

Consider that the hardest part may be over. If things have been tough, then expect a level of calm for the near future at least.

Love and Relationships

The Nine of Wands within relationships and love is a tough card to see. Things may be feeling unbalanced at the moment, and one of you may be feeling particularly attacked. Time will heal some wounds, but not all. Do your best to either aid recovery, or speed it on.

It’s important to understand that not every argument is something to break up over. You may be best to have some time apart.

If you’re single, or have just started dating, then don’t push yourself. Don’t try to change anything. Be easy going and relaxed. If they are the one,then there will be no issue.


The Nine of Wands is not a great card for wealth. Generally, the Nine of Wands is not a very positive card at all. The Nine of Wands in regards to money is more about your feelings associated with it, than your actual; bank balance.

If you are anxious, then become accountable for your wealth. Spend less if you need to. Work out what is worrying you the most and tackle it.

Long term issues with money can be especially draining, and they can make us feel very insecure. It’s likely that this is a temporary issue, so take solace in the fact that one day it will be solved. You can’t hide away forever however, While the nine of wands is a worried card, you will eventually need to fight your issues head on

Health and well-being

Worrying about our health can cause is as much trouble than actually having symptoms. Consider your mental health first and foremost when you draw the Nine of Wands.

Discuss your issues with somebody whom you trust. Even a light chat can help ease tensions, if just temporarily. It may be the break you need in order to get your thoughts straight.

Other associations

Element: Fire

As a Yes or No question: No


Anxiety, defence, caution, drained