Today’s card is the Nine of Fire (Swords), also known as Darkness. In the traditional tarot deck, The Suit of Swords represents the Element of Air but in the case of the Shapeshifter deck, these elements have been switched; the creators of this deck have used Wands for Air and Swords for Fire. Fire represents the Spirit as the fourth phase of our spiritual journey; it empowers creation, passion, and sexual desire, strength, courage, and power, purging and purity, forging and manipulation, the ‘AHA’ moment and the changing of one thing into another.
The keywords for this card are Suffering, Great Loss, and Desolation. This card has a definitively negative meaning. Like the scene here, the seeker’s life has become stalled in an atmosphere of negativity and depression. The scene depicted here has a distinct feeling of desolation and fear. The only light illuminating the Darkness is dim and heavily filtered through the thick stand of barren trees. Even the ground is lacking vegetation, with only a few ferns and strands of ivy struggling to exist in their surroundings. Also pictured here are many faces; they represent the various phases of the individual personality such as anguish, suffering and hopelessness in which the seeker has become trapped in their present life. A jaguar, symbol of the ability to leap past fear, crouches in the foreground, ready to spring. This ability to leap past fear at this time can only be done by actually walking through the fire and coming out the other side, thus moving from negative space into a more positive situation. As the uprooted tree is behind the jaguar, we are reminded to put past pain and sadness behind us. Only learning from them and moving past them can bring a return to happiness. What lies ahead will need to be faced with determination and courage. The large bat is a symbol of the knowledge to avoid obstacles and troublesome people. It also represents the periodic symbolic death necessary for rebirth into a new cycle of life can occur.
If you find that this awful card applies to you, you are about to go through a trying time of deep loss, suffering, and misery. This could signal an illness, loss of a loved one or close friend, or a series of negative, unfortunate circumstances that make your life super difficult for a bit Burdens, whether they be self-imposed or actual, can be heavy during this time and your tendency will be to succumb to the depression, doubt, and despair that would be the natural result. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of emotional anguish. Walk through the fire knowing that this, too, shall pass and new opportunities for growth and happiness are on the other side.
May you dodge a depression bullet and be able to manage your negative feelings at this time!