Nine Of Swords Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

The Nine of Swords is a stark reminder of the battles we fight within our minds. It shows someone awake in the middle of the night, tormented by worries and fears. It’s a card where anxiety, and regret can overshadow our peace. Yet, it also serves as a wake-up call to confront these shadows for healing. But when reversed, it also reminds us that the dawn is near, and it encourages the release of these burdens and the beginning of emotional recovery.

If you want to know exactly what the Nine of Swords has in store for you, then keep reading to find out everything there is to know!

Numerology9, representing influence, confidence, skill, accomplishment.
Zodiac SignGemini, symbolizing the mental activity and communication that can often spiral into anxiety or overthinking.
Ruling PlanetMercury, governing communication and the mind, highlights the potential for mental distress and the need for resolution.
ElementAir, associated with thoughts, ideas, and mental challenges.
Yes or NoNo, indicating challenges that are predominantly mental or emotional, suggesting a need for addressing inner fears.
CrystalsAmethyst (for calming the mind and soothing anxiety), Black Tourmaline (for protection and grounding).

Symbolism Of The Nine Of Swords

  1. The Man in Bed: There’s a man sitting up in bed, head in hands, showing they’re awake in the middle of the night, overwhelmed by worries or nightmares. It’s a sign of the torment of overthinking, guilt, and mental anguish.
  2. The Swords Above: Nine swords are displayed above the figure. In this instance they represent negative thoughts, fears, or anxieties that weigh heavily on the person’s mind. They symbolize the mental burdens that are hard to escape, especially when you’re alone.
  3. The Dark Background: The black background brings with it themes of despair, isolation, and internal turmoil. It also represents the unknown, and the fears that lurk in the depths of one’s mind.
  4. The Quilt: The quilt is decorated with astrological or symbolic motifs, representing the complexities of the situation and the universal nature of such worries.
  5. He’s Alone: The solitude of the man underscores the personal nature of the struggle. It’s a battle with his own thoughts and fears, rather than external forces.
  6. The Absence of Light: The lack of light shows the absence of hope or clarity in the moment of despair. It reminds us of the need to confront and understand one’s fears to find a way out of the darkness.
Nine Of Swords Symbolism

The Nine Of Swords Upright Meaning

The Nine of Swords is a card that speaks deeply of the darker aspects of the human psyche. It gets drawn in a reading when you have feelings of anxiety, worry, and fear that can often seem overwhelming. It’s a reminder of the struggles we face within our minds, the sleepless nights filled with dread, and the weight of despair that can sometimes feel too heavy to bear. It’s a reflection of those moments when our fears and doubts converge, creating a landscape of isolation and pushing us toward our breaking point.

At its core, the Nine of Swords represents the battles we fight with our own thoughts. Anxiety and worry are not just fleeting concerns; here, they are persistent, gnawing at the edges of your mind and coloring your perception of reality. If you’ve drawn this card then it’s urging you to confront these feelings, to recognize them as signals from your psyche that something needs attention. It’s a call to examine the sources of your anxiety, to understand that while these fears are real to you, they may not always be based on current realities but rather on past experiences or imagined outcomes.

The Nine of Swords also brings with it themes of depression and despair that can often feel like being trapped in a cycle of negative thinking, where hope seems distant and joy feels unattainable. It’s about acknowledging the depth of such suffering and the sense of isolation that can accompany it. But also serves as a reminder that reaching out for support and expressing your vulnerabilities is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards healing.

Nine Of Swords Upright Meaning

Nightmares, both literal and metaphorical, are also associated with the Nine of Swords, representing the fears that haunt you in your most vulnerable moments. These dreams can serve as reflections of your inner turmoil, offering insights into the worries that you may be trying to suppress during your waking hours. it reminds us that facing these fears, rather than running from them, can be a powerful step towards overcoming the despair they bring.

And being at your breaking point, is the last message we can draw from the Nine of Swords. It serves as a wake-up call to acknowledge your limits and to recognize that enduring in silence is not the solution. This moment of realization is not the end but rather a turning point, urging you to seek the help and support you need, to find healthier coping mechanisms, and to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being.

So, the Nine of Swords is a stark portrayal of the struggle with inner demons and the impact of mental and emotional distress on your life. It’s a card that, while challenging, also carries the message of hope—reminding you that the first step towards alleviation of this pain is acknowledging it, talking about it, and seeking the support you need. Remember, the strength to face these shadows comes from within, and reaching out for help is a brave and important step towards healing and finding peace.

Love and Relationships

In the world of love and relationships, the Nine of Swords really puts the spotlight on how much our own inner storms can mess with our ability to get close to others. It’s like your own worries are keeping you from truly opening up. Or sometimes its stress that seems to put a damper on the good times with your partner. This card reminds you not to keep those fears to yourself. Talk about what’s bugging you. It’s amazing how sharing your worries can actually bring you closer, making your bond stronger and filled with more understanding and kindness.

Career and Finances

When it comes to work and money, the Nine of Swords shows up as a big ol’ ball of stress and anxiety. Maybe you’re freaking out about not being good enough at your job or worrying about money matters more than usual. It’s like a wake-up call, reminding you that drowning in worry isn’t going to fix anything. Instead, it’s about finding a way to snap out of that negative headspace. Look for solid advice, reach out for help, and start taking small, practical steps to tackle those career and financial worries head-on.


On a spiritual level, the Nine of Swords can feel like you’re going through a really tough patch, kind of like a dark night of the soul. It’s when all those doubts and fears really test your faith and make you wonder about everything you believe in. Tough as it is, this card tells you to hang in there and lean on your spiritual practices, whatever they may be, for some comfort. Talk to someone who gets it, and remember, this tough time isn’t going to last forever. It’s actually a chance for some deep spiritual healing and to come back to your faith stronger than before.

Yes or No

For a simple yes or no question, the Nine of Swords leans towards a ‘no.’ It’s like it’s saying the worry and anxiety you’re feeling now might be messing with your ability to make a clear decision. So, take a breather, deal with those fears first, and maybe then you’ll see things a bit more clearly. Jumping to decisions when you’re all worked up usually doesn’t end up too well.

Book Recommendation – Anxiety And Panic Attacks: The Complete Guide For Recovering Your Peace Of Mind by David Barlow

If you’re dealing with thoughts that are keeping you up at night, then you definitely need to check out this book! It provides information and strategies for managing anxiety and helping you overcome it! However, I will say it is a bit generic in it’s methods, and it can’t replace a professional.

Love what you’re reading? Make sure you check out Tarot Made Easy: A Beginners Guide To Rapid Understanding, now just $11.99!

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The Nine Of Swords Reversed Meaning

When the Nine of Swords is reversed, it signifies a turning point in the journey through darkness, marking the beginning of recovery and the process of learning to cope with the fears and anxieties that have held you captive. This card, in its inverted state, reflects a period of introspection and healing, where you start to confront and address the sources of your distress. It’s a reminder that while the path to overcoming your inner turmoil may be challenging, you are now moving towards a place of greater understanding and resilience.

The biggest meaning of the Nine of Swords is that you’re beginning to face your fears rather than allowing them to control you. This act of bravery is a crucial step in your recovery, as it involves acknowledging the presence of these fears and understanding that they do not define you. By confronting what scares you, you’re taking back control, learning that you have the strength within you to stand up to these challenges and to move beyond them.

Seeking help is another HUGE message of the Nine of Swords reversed. You need to recognize or are recognizing the importance of support in your healing journey, whether it’s reaching out to friends, family, or professionals. So continue seeking guidance and assistance, and remember that outside help is normally best for the healing process.

However, the Nine of Swords reversed also acknowledges that the roots of your anxiety and fear may run deep, and that inner turmoil can be a persistent presence. While you’re on the path to recovery, there may still be moments when the weight of your fears feels overwhelming. It’s a reminder to be patient with yourself, to recognize that healing is a process that takes time, and that it’s okay to have setbacks along the way.

Nine Of Swords Reversed Meaning

And lastly, it also touches on the theme of mental health issues, highlighting the importance of addressing and managing these challenges with care and attention. It’s a call to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being, to engage in self-care practices that support your healing, and to seek professional help when needed. The Nine of Swords reversed encourages you to continue exploring ways to manage your mental health, emphasizing that doing so is an act of courage and self-love.

In short, the Nine of Swords reversed is a beacon of hope in the midst of darkness, offering a message of recovery, resilience, and the power of facing your fears. It reminds you that the journey through anxiety and despair is not one you have to undertake alone, and that seeking help and support is a vital part of moving towards a brighter, more peaceful future. By embracing your fears, learning to cope with them, and allowing yourself the space and time to heal, you open the door to a life defined not by your anxieties, but by your strength and courage to overcome them.

Love and Relationships

The Nine of Swords reversed in the love department is like finally seeing the light at the end of a really dark tunnel. It’s about overcoming the fears and insecurities that have been messing with your relationships. Maybe you’ve been scared to really open up or trust someone fully, but now you’re starting to work through those fears. It’s a sign that healing is happening, and you’re ready to build deeper, more meaningful connections. For singles, this might mean letting go of past heartbreaks and being open to love again. It’s all about moving past the anxiety that’s been holding you back from embracing love fully.

Career and Finances

When it comes to your career and money matters, the Nine of Swords reversed is a breath of fresh air. It signals that you’re starting to shake off the stress and worry that’s been clouding your judgment. Maybe you’ve been losing sleep over job security or financial issues, but now you’re finding ways to cope and see things more clearly. This card encourages you to keep pushing through, showing that while the road to financial stability and career fulfillment might have been rocky, you’re on your way to a calmer, more confident place.


Spiritually, the Nine of Swords reversed is a powerful sign of healing and growth. It shows you’re moving out of a dark phase, where fears and doubts had you questioning everything, into a lighter, more hopeful state. You’re beginning to face those deep-seated fears and are finding strength in vulnerability. It serves to tell you that your journey through darkness can lead to profound spiritual insights and a stronger connection to your higher self. It’s a time for self-discovery, forgiveness, and learning to trust the journey, even when the path isn’t clear.

Yes or No

For a yes or no question, the Nine of Swords reversed is a ‘yes,’ especially if you’re asking about overcoming challenges or finding peace after a period of turmoil. It suggests that the worst is behind you and you’re on the path to recovery. This card encourages you to keep facing your fears and to continue seeking the support and help you need. It’s a sign that you’re moving towards a more positive outcome, so keep going—the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

Book Recommendation – The Happiness Trap: How Your Struggle Cane Become Your Strength

This book challenges the idea that happiness comes from avoiding negative emotions. Instead, it promotes acceptance and mindfulness as tools for overcoming negativity and finding peace. So if you’ve drawn the Nine of Swords it’s so complementary to the idea that you can be happy even with your negative thoughts.

Journaling Prompts For The Nine Of Swords

If you’ve drawn the Nine of Swords, then it’s definitely time to take a moment to think about your inner thoughts. I always find journaling one of the best ways to get the thoughts out and make them seem more manageable. With that in mind here are some great journaling prompts to consider using:

  1. Think about a dream or nightmare that left a strong impression on you. What do you think it was trying to communicate about your inner state or fears?
  2. Create a letter to your future self about the worries that consume you now. How would you reassure your future self about the outcomes of these concerns?
  3. Imagine a scenario where your current anxieties have been resolved. What steps did future you take to overcome them?
  4. If your inner wisdom could speak directly to your fears, what comforting truths would it reveal?
  5. Imagine designing a perfect day for your mental health. What activities would fill the day?
  6. Visualize your worries as physical objects you’re carrying in a backpack. What would each worry look like, and how would you feel setting each one down?

Final Message Of The Nine Of Swords

I know the darkness that weighs upon you, the anxieties that grip your heart and keep you awake at night. The worries dance like shadows on the wall, twisting and morphing into your deepest fears. You feel alone, burdened by the weight of your thoughts, as if trapped beneath a storm cloud that refuses to break. But take a breath, dear one. Look closer. Are those truly monsters in the shadows, or figments of your imagination playing tricks on your mind? Perhaps the storm is raging, but is it consuming you, or simply passing through?

Remember, even the darkest night eventually gives way to dawn. The sun still shines, hidden behind the clouds. You are not helpless. You have the power to face your fears, to challenge the negative thoughts that spiral in your mind. Seek the light, even if it’s just a flicker. Talk to someone you trust, share your burdens, and let them offer support. Remember, you are not alone in this darkness. And within you lies a strength you may not recognize. It’s time to quiet the storm within, to confront your anxieties, and step into the sunlight waiting beyond the clouds. It won’t be easy, but each step forward brings you closer to peace. Don’t let the darkness define you. You are braver than you think.


So just to recap, the Nine of Swords is about those overwhelming negative thoughts and emotions that keep you up at night. It asks you to confront these feelings, and reminds you they may stem from past experiences or exaggerated fears rather than current realities. It highlights the importance of acknowledging and addressing your mental health struggles, encouraging you to seek support and find healthier coping mechanisms.

Reversed, the Nine of Swords signals a shift towards healing and confronting fears. It shows you’re at the beginning of recovery from anxiety and despair, emphasizing the importance of seeking help and the gradual process of overcoming personal demons. It’s here to reassure you that while the journey through darkness is challenging, it leads to personal growth and resilience.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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