(The above image is a copy of The Nine of Wands card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 5 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
After experiencing the dynamic potential of the Eight of Wands, there now comes an anxious repose. The figure in The Nine of Wands has been beaten but not defeated. The card tests your strength against adversity. While the card seems bleak, there is an undercurrent of hope that a new day will dawn and that a better future will come. To receive that hope, the card suggests that you persist through all challenges.
For more information about The Nine of Wands card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – HEAD BANDAGE
The figure in the card wears a bandage around his head. Perhaps this is the man from the seven of wands and he is recovering from the battle there. Perhaps the bandage is metaphorical, representing a fixed worldview. In any case, the bandage illustrates self-care and recovery.
Point 2 – EIGHT WANDS BEHIND FIGURE
Eight of the nine wands stand vertically behind the man. It is unclear if he is aware of them or not for he is looking the other way. If this were the case, the eight wands could represent the resources unknown to us that we need to look for. If the figure is aware of the wands, then they could represent his ability to organize his resources into a wall of protection.
Point 3 – WAND THE FIGURE IS HOLDING ONTO
The figure holds onto one of the wands with both hands. He appears to lean against it, using it for support. While the wands were used as weapons previously, the Nine of Wands reveals their versatility.
Point 4 – GREEN LANDSCAPE
The image of the Nine of Wands appears bleak as the figure is injured and in repose. Despite this, the landscape behind him is still green and fertile. The landscape can reveal that even in our darkest moments, hope persist.
Point 5 – GREY FLOOR
Juxtaposed with the green landscape is the grey floor that the figure stands on. The green landscape may be what the figure sees but the grey floor is what the figure feels. It denotes the bleakness of the figure’s injuries while also suggesting the unbiased wait of the figure’s repose.
An Upright Nine of Wands suggests that you have been battered with pressure and conflict. Something has hurt you and you are in the aftermath. An Upright Nine of Wands encourages you to persevere in this wake. Better times are ahead if you continue. An Upright Nine of Wands also illustrates the need of a support system to comfort you in these trying times. Be thankful for those around you who have your back.
A Reverse Nine of Wands can illustrate just how difficult your situation is. You are unsure if you can make it to the place you want to be. In these difficult times, a Reverse Nine of Wands reveals the importance of drawing from your interior reserves of strength and resilience.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.