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The Meaning of
the "Nine of Wands" Tarot Card

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What is the inverted meaning of
the "Nine of Wands"?

The Meaning of the "Nine of Wands"
Tarot Card


The Symbolism of the Nine of Wands

On the Nine of Wands we see an injured man, perhaps a soldier, looking warily into the distance.

His head is bandaged, and he leans heavily on his wand suggesting he may have sustained other injuries as well. Even though the wounded man is clearly exhausted and in pain, he's still standing.

Rather than resting or tending to his wounds, he appears ready for the next battle. He has overcome many challenges already, but he stands ready for more.

Instead of getting rest or tending to his wounds, he appears ready for the next battle.

All the nine wands in the card, save one — which he is holding — are arrayed behind him like a fortress or a protective barrier. The injured man stands at a gap in these standing wands, signifying that he himself is part of the fortifications.

Behind the wall of wands are jagged mountain peaks signifying challenges. Their position behind the fortifications, and their bright green color (rather than the usual foreboding grey) suggest that these are challenges that have already been met.


How to Interpret the Nine of Wands

The Nine of Wands represents a courageous and persistent defense in the face of opposition.

Like the soldier standing guard pictured on the card, the card represents someone who is already battle-hardened and has made it through multiple challenges already. But another challenge is coming.

... it's a sign to stand tall and draw upon inner strength for the confrontation ahead.

When the Nine of Wands appears in a tarot reading, it's a sign to stand tall and draw upon inner strength for the confrontation ahead.

If the card is referencing a past event, it may point to a period where a valiant defense was made.

The card also offers gentle encouragement to anyone who may be thinking of abandoning a project or a relationship. The message here is simple: Stick with it. Victory will ultimately go to those who do.

Generally speaking, the Nine of Wands is a positive card and has overtones of success, responsibility, grit, determination, tenacity and courage. The card may also suggest one final conflict before a victory.


The Nine of Wands Inverted

The reversed Nine of Wands may have several possible meanings.

The reversed position for the Nine of Wands indicates a feeling of being completely lost and overwhelmed. We all know what it's like to feel like the odds of success are hopeless, and that the opposition is too great.

The temptation to quit, or run away can be irresistable.

... it's a sign that someone is feeling overloaded by work, responsibility or direct opposition.

When the Nine of Wands appears in a tarot reading, it's a sign that someone is feeling overloaded by work, responsibility or direct opposition.

The card may also as a warning to keep an eye out for a cry of help — and to offer a helping hand.

If the card is referencing a past event, it may point to a time when the odds were too great, leading to a forced retreat of sorts — or causing someone to quit.

Another possible interpretation of the Nine of Wands reversed is that it indicates an internal defense of some kind. Perhaps someone is dealing with an addiciton, a habit or just sticking to a promise of some kind.

Whatever the internal conflict, the appearance of the Nine of Wands indicates an inner confrontation — and a strong defense.

Now you're ready for a free tarot reading:

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