Nine of Wands

A man stands leaning on a wand, eight other wands are standing upright behind him. A bandage is wrapped around his head. In the distance are mountains. Not for the first time in the suit of wands do we see an image depicting strife, resilience or determination. The Nine of Wands has all these. We have come through a battle, not without our own wounds, but yet we doggedly refuse to be bowed.

Nine of Wands Tarot Card
Nine of Wands Tarot Card

In the Nine of Wands, we see this wound in the form of a bandage around the man’s head. Wands are of course concerned with our mental creativity so this is an apt position to be injured. In readings, the Nine of Wands suggests we have had an argument, we may have come through a particularly challenging or stressful time, we may be feeling the bruises of conflict, but yet we remain standing. Despite the toll of the argument on us, we have won.

The Nine of Wands also hints that we may be suffering from being too stubborn or paranoid. This is a battle that we are fighting alone – where are our friends, family or support? Have we become so isolated that even in our victory it may be a lonely place to be?

There is an exception to the rule that very few of us fight alone though. Sometimes, out of necessity, we may have to fight our battles by ourselves – maybe we are the bravest and are standing up against oppression or we steadfastly refuse to compromise on our position or beliefs. In this sense, the man portrays someone who though alone, is ready for battle again.

Having come through a battle and being ready for the next one is a key element of this card. The Nine of Wands, by virtue of its position, heralds that we are close to the end of our journey. The young man stands ready for another battle – whether one comes is anybody’s guess but that we are prepared to sacrifice again shows the depth of our determination and our refusal to surrender on our ideas, motivations and beliefs.

Nine of Wands Reversed

The Nine of Wands reversed suggests that we are caving in. We may be worn down by battles, tired of the struggle and feeling lonely. It warns us that we cannot continue to fight alone, that our battle is in danger of being lost. That is not to say it is our fault – we may have put in our best efforts but having been isolated we cannot continue to fight overwhelming forces.

Paranoia, and extreme paranoia, is also hinted at in this card. We should be careful that we are not allowing our suspicions to run riot, destroying trust and relationships for no solid reason. When this card appears reversed, we should avoid jumping to rash conclusions and give people the benefit of the doubt.


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