Exploring the Nine of Swords

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Nine of Swords and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.


Introduction of the Card

s9

The Nine of Swords is card number 58 in the deck and the ninth card of the Swords Suit in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.


Card Examples

L-s9Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.


My Analysis of These Cards

Again, with the exception of the Dragon Tarot card, we see emotionally rich images. We see scenes of worry, fear, and deep concern. The Universal Tarot and Tarot of Dreams also depict scenes of disrupted sleep – something which I’m sure many of us can relate to.

The dragon in the Dragon Tarot just looks lost to me. I don’t know, maybe I’m not emotionally connected or emotionally inspired by dragons in art. The artwork is good and I like it from a technical standpoint but most of the time when I look at I don’t feel anything. And that’s what’s happening with this card for me.


Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • WORRY
  • GUILT
  • ANGUISH

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • DEPRESSION
  • NIGHTMARES
  • INTENSE ANXIETY
  • DESPAIR

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.


What this Card Means to Me

This card will always and forever be the “GAD” card for me in many ways, but it’s an over simplification to its meaning. There is a sinister darkness to it after all, isn’t there? It’s all the things that keep you up at night, gives you headaches, and messes up your stomach. It’s the stress that twists you inside out and right up in knots.

Just look at the imagery of the cards above. When you feel this way you don’t know what to do with it. It’s that overwhelming. I suppose this is why the dragon in the Dragon Tarot card just looks lost in the fog. In all of this, you can’t help but feel like the very worst is going to happen even with the smallest of things.

This is why the keyword I choose for this card is: TREPIDATION.


Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.


The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.


I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!


Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

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