What Should You Expect From the Nine of Swords Tarot Card?

A guide to Tarot, pulling the Nine of Swords card, and more.

A layout ot tarot cards.

In life, it is only natural to get lost among the hectic rush of work, responsibilities, personal relationships, and more. When this happens, many wish to slow down and truly discover inner peace.

For many people, tarot cards are a way of doing this. Tarot provides us with a window into our inner thoughts, feelings, and desires. In doing so, it sometimes must reveal ugly truths that we may otherwise wish to keep buried. This is the case with the Nine of Swords tarot card.

The Nine of Swords, while not the most positive card, isn’t all bad. Like every tarot card, it tells us something about ourselves. Therefore, once you pull the card you’ll be able to begin working through some of your struggles.

What the tarot card means is not necessarily as important as what you do with the information you receive. That is the lesson you must remember when pulling any tarot card, but especially when you pull the more negative ones such as the Nine of Swords.

Let’s talk more about:

  • What tarot is
  • How tarot cards work
  • The upright and reversed meaning of the Nine of Swords tarot card
  • What to do if you get the Nine of Swords card

What are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards often come in decks that are used to reveal something about the individual participating in the tarot reading. Rather than give an individual a psychic interpretation regarding what’s to come in the future, the cards appeal to the individual’s subconscious thoughts.

Essentially, tarot cards make us aware of inner thoughts and feelings that we struggle to address with our conscious mind. There are several different types of tarot cards, ranging in meaning from the Nine of Pentacles all the way to the Ten of Swords.

How Tarot Cards Work

In order to do a tarot card reading for either yourself or other people, there are only a few steps in which you must take. The first of these steps being to formulate a question in which you’d like the cards to address. Next, it is important to shuffle the deck and pull the cards.

Sometimes people pull a number of cards for one question, and other times they pull just one.

The most common amount of cards to pull are either one card, two cards, or three cards.

After you pull the cards, they will either present themselves as upright or reversed. Depending on this, their meaning may slightly change.

The Nine of Swords Tarot Card  

If you pull the Nine of Swords card you will see a woman startled upright in bed, her head in her hands, as if awoken from a nightmare. In addition, there are nine horizontal laying swords in the background. As it was intended, this card feels rather ominous.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The Nine of Swords Tarot card has two slightly different meanings, depending on whether you pull the upright or reversed version. Let’s explore these two meanings.

The Nine of Swords tarot card.
The Nine of Swords’ imagery conveys the tarot card’s foreboding meaning. Image courtesy of A Little Spark of Joy.

Nine of Swords Upright Meaning

The upright position of the Nine of Swords means that you are riddled with a severe anxiety about many areas in your life. There are nine horizontal swords in order to represent your anxieties piling up inside your mind and impacting every single area of your life, even your sleeping patterns.

The card shows a woman waking up from a nightmare to symbolize the individual who pulls the card loss of sleep over their intense and negative thoughts.

When pulling the Nine of Swords card upright, it is critical to reflect on the anxieties you are having, and where in your life you are having these anxieties so you can restore peace in yourself.

Additionally, without addressing these worries, they will only continue to worsen, leading you to inject these negative thoughts into your everyday actions and possibly resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy regarding your anxiety.

Nine of Swords Reversed Meaning

When you pull the Nine of Swords reversed it may mean a number of things. The first meaning is, like the upright meaning, the presence of anxiety in your life. However, with the reversed meaning the anxiety is likely less severe. It doesn’t necessarily consume your every moment, however it is still cause for concern.

The second meaning of the Nine on Swords reversed is related to one having a negative self-image. With this meaning, the tarot card is informing the individual pulling the card that they are overly critical of themselves and must work on treating themselves with more kindness and understanding.

The Nine of Swords reversed third meaning tells us that an individual’s anxiety, depression, or worries has been addressed. Essentially, the person that pulls this version of the card has done some serious processing of emotions in order to recover from areas in their life that previously have been causing them stress.

What Should You Do if You Pull the Nine of Swords Card?

Pulling the Nine of Swords tarot card is not all bad as it brings awareness to an aspect of yourself that needs to be worked on. If you work on healing from this aspect, then you will likely be much happier in the long run. Let’s discuss some ways in which you can go about this healing.

Seek Out Professional Help

One of the best ways to handle an overwhelming amount of anxiety is to seek out help from a trained mental health professional. Doing so can be extremely important in finding a coping strategy in order to deal with a barrage of negative thoughts.

Speaking with a mental health professional provides you with a healthy outlet in which to express your feelings and fears, Furthermore, a trained mental health professional can give you tips regarding dealing with your anxieties during your everyday life. Together, you can form an individualized coping strategy that works for you.

Connect With Your Family and Friends

Connecting with family and friends is very helpful because you are reminded that there are people who love and support you through anything. That alone can make fighting your anxieties more bearable.

If you feel comfortable, telling trusted individuals close to you, such as your family and friends, about your struggles with anxiety may make you feel less alone. When opening up to them about your struggles, you may even find that some of them struggle with the same thing.

Practice Techniques to Ease Anxiety

There are a number of activities you can do to cope with your racing thoughts. Let’s discuss some specific ones.


Performing meditation is a great way to reduce anxiety. The whole focus of meditation is to concentrate on your breaths while keeping your mind solely in on that very task. In other words, your mind is not supposed to wander through different topics when meditating.

This is extremely relevant to anxiety because it allows you to take a structured break from your thoughts that oftentimes feel completely out of your control.


Exercise is another method to cope with anxiety. Studies show that exercise helps with mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression because it allows one to take their mind off it and place their focus elsewhere.

Additionally, because exercise is good for you, you likely will get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction once you complete a workout. This feeling tempers your anxiety for the time being.

Listening to Music

Listening to your favorite music can be very therapeutic. There are a number of songs you may choose to listen to in order to cope with racing thoughts. Maybe you want to listen to some comfort songs from your childhood or maybe you’d rather listen to songs that match your specific mood at the moment. You can even create playlists using apps like Spotify or Apple Music.

Take Advantage of this Opportunity

Although pulling the Nine of Swords card can be frustrating and disheartening, try and take it as an opportunity to work on yourself. Once you are consciously aware that your anxieties are a problem in your life, you can begin the coping process.

In the long-run, pulling the Nine of Swords tarot card will likely end up being better for you than having not pulled it, because you will have dealt with severe worries that have disrupted your life.

Therefore, don’t be afraid of the card. Embrace its meaning and know that you are incredibly capable of working through your anxieties with the support of yourself, family, and friends.

Elyse Endres

Elyse is a marketer, writer, and lover of dogs, dance, and reading. She resides in Columbus, Ohio.
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