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Nine of Swords

Nine of Swords

Today’s card is the Nine of Swords. The Nine of this suit has a special resonance with the Middle Ages, because it figures the plight of a woman who is alone in the world, during the centuries when women had no personal rights, no ability to inherit property or use the law in their own defense. We generally see her sitting up in bed weeping, grieving and in fear of abandonment because of her vulnerability, wondering what will happen to her now that her protector (father, brother, husband, or son) is gone. The swords above her head may indicate that the loss has come through some cruel conflict, the outcome of which has left her behind as chattel, the spoils of war. Really what we are looking at is the price of pride, which creates losers as a side effect of glorifying winners. The woman in the picture represents the concerns of the heart, the damage to the soul and to vulnerable ones, when the ego-mind becomes so invested in control and domination that it does not count the human costs. A sensitive, subtle, heartfelt approach to Nature (the “feminine”) is being trampled and thrown aside in service to a “winner takes all” mentality. This iconography is reflective of the state of affairs for Mother Earth at this time as well.

When this card appears we are being asked to honestly admit to ourselves that we have sacrificed time and energy on a situation that simply does not or will not work. The Nine of Swords advises us to confront our fear of being alone and acknowledge the different limits we may have put on ourselves because of that fear. In order to ‘protect’ ourselves, we may have accepted a lower standard of living or performing than we are capable of achieving. We may have even resisted striking out on our own, preferring the comfort of our mom’s basement or the brief happy moments in an otherwise bad marriage because it is what we know. Perhaps we have even bargained away our creativity and joy in order to avoid being challenged. These kinds of tradeoffs never work. Now is the time to cut our losses and challenge ourselves. Recognize how much time and energy you have sacrificed to a way of being that’s not right for you. If you can do this, you will look back on this time in your life as a turning point. This can also be an opportunity to heal as you shed a heavy burden that weighs you down. Take a look at ditching bad habits and thought forms at this time and clear a path for better things.

Today, may you shake off your fears and be brave enough to put yourself first! Blessed Be!