Exploring Character with Nine of Swords

Welcome to Exploring Emotions with Tarot! This week we will be exploring the Nine of Swords and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing as well as a means to explore character traits in readings.

It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I believe the reason for this is that visual art has a way of tapping into our symbolic and metaphoric vocabularies on a subconscious level. In doing so, it evokes emotions and creative thought within us.

This series aims to explore this phenomenon using tarot with intentional purpose. The goal is to have a personal character trait keyword bank by the end of the series inspired by the images of these cards to enhance our brainstorming in our writing and improve our reading skills.

Introduction of the Card

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

If you haven’t learned about the basic meanings of this card, you can learn about it here from my Exploring Tarot series.

If you haven’t learned about the emotional meanings of this card, you can learn about it here from my Emotional Tarot series.

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

Card Examples


Notice 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 yourself to feel something with these cards.

The Writing Exercise

The assignment for this exercise is to write a character sketch as inspired by this card. Either choose your character trait keyword first and get started from there, or start with your idea for a character to work your way towards a single keyword.

What this Card Means to Me

The keyword I choose for this card is: ANXIOUS

You can learn more about this card at this site, which also includes a list of associated jobs and careers for the card.

I’ll be using this random character generator and random name generator to get me started.

Trenton Ashley Holder

  • an anxious neurosurgeon
  • slanted red eyes
  • bald, but used to have silky, straight orange hair
  • tall, elegant build, ruddy skin, with small hands

Trenton is a neurosurgeon that worries about the responsibility he has for the well-being of others.

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

Happy writing!

~ Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway (Author), Lisa Hunt (Illustrator) © 1999
~ Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Illustrator) © 1995
~ Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2015
~ Goddess Guidance Oracle by Lisa Iris (Illustrator), Doreen Virtue (Author) © 2004
~ Mystic Dreamer Tarot by Heidi Darras (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2012
~ Mystic Faerie Tarot by Linda Ravenscroft (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2015
~ Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1986
~ Necronomicon Tarot by Anne Stokes (Illustrator), Donald Tyson (Author) © 2012
~ Panda Tarot by Severino Baraldi (Illustrator), Lo Scarabeo (Author) © 2017
~ Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2011
~ Steampunk Tarot by Aly Fell (Illustrator), Barbara Moore (Author) © 2012
~ Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
~ Credit for 3D model and assets used in this rendered image can be found here.

If you enjoyed this post, or have some thoughts about it, please let me know!

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