It feels like I’m being called out if I’m procrastinating and pull a Nine of Wands. The Nines cards all ask you to do the work, the kind of work depending on which one you pull. Work isn’t just what you do to make money, it’s also working on yourself to improve your mental health, or working on your relationships so that they go as smoothly as possible.
Like The Hermit, card 9 of the Major Arcana, sometimes you have to just close the study door and get stuff done. Avoid distractions, have time to introspect. In balance, this is healthy, and necessary.
Nine of Wands: After you’ve done planning and preparation, it’s time to buckle down and get on with it. Rachel Pollack interprets this card as meaning that you are trapped in conflict and can only see enemies around you. Sometimes when you have been working on something for a long time, you develop an attachment to it, and can get defensive if anyone points out any criticism. Maybe it’s because you’re exhausted and can’t face having to edit a paragraph in an essay, or you feel like you can’t practice a song or speech even one more time.
I find that in these moments, we can experience a lot of growth. When things get hard, and we persevere and do better than we expected as a result, what a huge accomplishment that is. If what you are doing is truly worth it, you can power through a little longer. And then of course you deserve the most glorious rest.
Nine of Cups: The Nine of Cups is known as a ‘wish fulfillment’ card. It’s about enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Think of the song Feeling Good by Nina Simone. Write down things that bring you joy and revisit it anytime you need a little sunshine in your day. Here’s some examples to get you started:
drinking a cold glass of water, taking a bath, watching a sunset, playing with a puppy, being in nature, smelling a new book, fresh bed sheets, hearing rain hit your window, kicking autumn leaves, eating comfort food.
Nine of Swords: I think of this as the insomnia card. It represents nightmares, not being able to sleep for worry or fear. It’s usually about something that you’ve got out of proportion, the monster under the bed. It’s a horrible feeling of dread, but when the morning comes, it often fades away a little. If you pull this card, make plans for how to cope when you get these feelings so that you are more prepared.
Insomnia is truly one of the most horrible experiences we commonly experience. If you can’t sleep because you’re worrying about something, it might help to write down what is bothering you to revisit in the morning. Don’t lie in bed tossing and turning, get up and try to do something relaxing for a while before trying to sleep again. If you get nightmares, it can help to re-frame what happened in the dream in a more positive way. Take a moment to make calming or comical changes to what happened in the dream. The killer chasing you with a knife finds that the knife spontaneously turns into a bouquet of flowers, the exam you didn’t study for turns out to have been rescheduled for next week.
Nine of Pentacles: This is the card you can think of coming after the Nine of Wands. It’s about accomplishing something, usually in a material way. You’re self-reliant and self-aware, knowing who you are and how to achieve what you want.
Think of the skills and attributes that you have and think about how you can use them to enjoy abundance in your life. Think about what you’ve achieved and how you got there. If you feel that you’re still at the beginning of your journey, this card encourages you to have self-confidence. Create your own life, and be certain that you can achieve things. Side note, it took me ages to notice the cute snail in this card! Pentacles can represent nature, so notice the natural abundance of planet Earth, and remember to be grateful for the beauty that exists all around us.