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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Card of the Week - 9 of Wands

9 of Wands ~Rider-Waite/Smith

In most depictions of the 9 of Wands, we see a battle weary man leaning on his wand with 8 wands standing firm and tall behind him. The first and best step when the 9 of Wands appears is to take a deep breath and take stock of the situation at hand.

You may be in a situation that requires you take things one day at a time, one hour at a time if you need to. If you need help, don't hesitate to ask ~ the ability to ask for help is a hallmark of a strong person. Try to be calm and methodically pick through your situation and potential course of action. This card has come up because you are persevering under pressure and holding on despite the forces pulling you in other directions, and is either a welcome sign that you are truly holding your own or you are needlessly hanging on to a situation that is past it's time ~ the surrounding cards (as well as always, your own intuition) will let you know.

This is a card of distance; is your relationship with your lover becoming suffocating? Take a step away as nothing on Earth, no relationship, can stand up to constant dissection ~ give your partner some space, a chance to be themselves. Things tense at work? Think before you speak, be calm and unruffled (on the surface at least!) and give little of yourself to what you can't control. This idea of space is important because health wise, worry, stress and anxiety is very likely to be affecting your life when the 9 of Wands appears in a reading. Anyone who suffers from these conditions knows how crippling they can be when they take a firm hold over your life.

9 of Wands ~ Druidcraft Tarot
Quite often the 9 of Wands indicates that we are in the midst of challenging time and although a battle has been fought, we have been fighting for so long that we just keep waiting “for the next one” so to speak. You have the inner strength and resources necessary to overcome any obstacle coming your way, especially now, when you are so close to achieving your long strived for goal. Those wands behind you or surrounding you (depending on which deck you use) represent the battles you have fought, the lessons you have learned, that are now a part of you. You may be drained and weary, the 9 of Wands says, but stand firm and strong, as you have been for so long, and you will prevail. Practice patience ~ see the fellow leaning on his staff, waiting for whatever it is that is coming? He isn't rushing in, taking rash action. He's allowing himself time to gather the last of his inner reserves before going in. His patience is part of his strength. You don't always have to “jump in with two feet” to prove yourself. In fact, a break or a holiday may be just what you need (especially if the 6 of Swords is also in the spread) to get some much needed perspective; return to the 8 of Wands where you take life as it comes in all of it's various forms before returning to the field of battle as it were.

This card may also come up when you feel you have to constantly defend yourself and your decisions; take heart. You are one of those rare people who is blessed with the self confidence and wisdom to stand in your own power with strength and resilience. Always remember, by being your authentic self, you can do nothing but prosper ~ even if at the moment you are experiencing ridicule from others, or are made to feel shamed, these moments pass, and what awaits you is a place of wholeness and acceptance.

9's are numbers of completion, and what is interesting to note is that in nearly all of the representations of the 9 of Wands I have seen in various decks, the figure in the card is facing East ~ eastward directions salute new beginnings and is associated with the grounded nature of Taurus. If the figure is not facing East, he is always facing outwards at least. In a reading, while each card has it's own message, the cards themselves do often combine to give each other new meanings that you need to hear. When the 9 of Wands appears in a spread, have a quick look to see what card/s the 9 of Wands is facing ~ that will give you more of an insight as to what you will be looking forward to once this battle is over, or it could just give the 9 of Wands more meaning.

6 of Cups ~ Druidcraft Tar
Whatever the issue is that is represented here in the 9 of Wands, you are going to emerge defensive and still waiting for the next battle ~ look at the body language in this card, the physical injuries, the facial expressions ~ this is someone who has experienced some tough times and doesn't ever fully expect them not to return. It also depicts someone who has worked very hard to attain security and stability, but is afraid of commitment because once you have committed to something, there is a chance that whatever it is; a relationship, a business venture, leaving a good job for an exciting new opportunity, means risking that security. Look at the way the figure in the card has guarded himself against further attack (the Druidcraft deck illustrates this principle beautifully) we do this in our everyday lives by having our guards and defenses up constantly, building walls that no one can penetrate ~ all of these defense mechanisms mean no one can get close to us and hurt us again. This card, with this interpretation, means that sometimes we are guarding ourselves against future pain so much that we forget to live in the moment and find the joy that could be standing right in front us. If the 6 of Cups comes up in the same spread this message is particularly pertinent, and also means that you are living in the past and it is becoming destructive.

If there are a lot of Swords in the reading the 9 of Wands pops up in, a lot of sharp and hurtful words are being thrown around and the period you are going through is very destructive and tinged with great anger. When there are other wands cards dominating the spread, a creative project is at the core of this battle, be it inner or outer; likewise, you could need a big dose of creativity to get out of this situation. Have you created something that may have caused a great furore, or that others don't understand or criticism? Are you finding it difficult to accept praise for your creative achievements? If you find yourself staring at a lot of cups in the reading, chances are there is a deep emotional attachment involved in the struggle you are facing. If pentacles are dominating your reading then the material world is involved, property, money, things of this nature. Money and material matters can often be the most damning ~ the root cause of a vast majority of divorces are monetary, and the financial crisis the world is going through right now has been incredibly destructive not only to the economy but to the psyche of millions across the globe.

The Hermit ~ Druidcraft Tarot
 Numerically speaking, the 9's in the Minor Arcana relate to the Hermit in the Major Arcana, as he is numbered 9. In connection with the 9 of Wands, the Hermit represents the solitude aspect of the battle you are waging. You fight alone and for yourself and what is important to you. You have chosen this battle and persist in it to give your life meaning. To me, this can have a two fold meaning; the first is that of someone who fights battles that are worthwhile, gives them purpose, or defends something that is important to them, be it their creative freedom or their value system. The other is more of a shadow attribute, and that is someone who chooses conflict because it is the melodrama that gives them meaning. These people are often gossipy, malicious and lacking completely of any depth in their own lives, and love to create fights and dramas because it gives them a reason to exist. In other words, an interfering trouble making bitch. Goddess knows there are plenty of those around.

Other Major Arcana cards that may lend the 9 of Wands great context in a reading include the Fool, who would show that the battle, at it's heart, is about your desire for freedom. The wands may indeed represent structures that inhibit your freedom (should the 8 of Swords also appear this impediment is self created) and the battle is for you to stand your ground and stand in who you are with pride, dignity and strength.

The Empress ~ Legacy of the Divine Tarot
The Empress, who is creativity incarnate, represents a struggle with the muse when she appears with the 9 of Wands. The reason you are having a tough time with the creative aspect of yourself or your creative project is because you are on the verge of creating a masterpiece.

The 9 of Wands, at it's core, wants you to stay strong, hold on to who you are and refuse to be anyone but yourself. Don't be afraid to allow others into your life; don't be afraid of criticism ~ you have the inner strength to face any battle that comes your way. Remember to always face the East; embrace new opportunities that come by way of your hard work or the people in your life. The events and people of our lives often shape who we are, but it is up to us to be our own person and live the life we love.

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