Nine of Sword – Trails of Trauma

From Modern Spellcasters Tarot. This card represents stress, burdens, negative thinking and deep unhappiness.

The Nine of Swords is largely regarded as a negative card to draw because of its connection with fear, anxiety, hopelessness, and despair. If upon drawing this card you have felt the desire to quickly reshuffle your deck you are not alone.

In the Rider Waite deck the figure on the Nine of Swords is in bed, suggesting that it is during the night, when the quiet darkness strips away the distractions of the day, that our griefs and regrets come to mind most intensely. Who has not lain awake at 4 A.M. filled with worries that refuse to go away? However, while the Nine of Swords may strike in the dark hours, the truth is that such feelings can strike us at any time.

Some will suggest that if you are in a 9 of Swords frame of mind you are making mountains out of molehills. Seriously! You only have to read about the trauma experienced by people dealing with domestic violence and a myriad of other abuses, to know that feelings of hopelessness, anguish, panic and despair are totally justifiable. Read, for example, about the trauma trails of the Indigenous peoples of Australia and you will be left in no doubt that so called ‘negative thinking’ is based on years of suffering which has left scars that are not so easy to palliate. For people facing such pain, the process of toxic positivity only results in denial, minimization, and invalidation of what is an authentic human emotional experience.

Professionals working with Loss and Grief will be familiar with the seminal work of Elizabeth Kubler Ross but the lesser celebrated work of Judy Atkinson, author or Trauma TrailsRecreating Song Lines and Rosemary Wanganeen offer a fresh perspective. Wanganeen’s Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief combined with We Al-li provide innovative and unique loss and grief models that we can all benefit from.

Rosemary Wanganeen is a member of the Stolen Generations. She was separated from her father and siblings and fostered after her mother’s death. Wanganeen worked with the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1987, and later established the Sacred Site Within Healing Centre to provide counselling to others who have suffered abuse and loss.

Judy Atkinson identifies as a Jiman / Bundjalung (Aboriginal Australian) woman. With a PhD from QUT, her primary academic and research focus is in the area of violence and relational trauma, and healing for Indigenous, and indeed all peoples. She was awarded the Carrick (Neville Bonner) Award in 2006 for her Innovative Curriculum Development and Teaching Practice, and in 2011 the Fritz Redlich award for Mental Health and Human Rights from the Harvard University Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery program.

First Aid To Relieve 9 of Swords Anxiety

Words associated with the 9 of Swords include: Deep Unhappiness, Joyless, Mental Anguish,  Sick with Worry, Anxiety, Stress, Worries, Burdens, Conflict, Breaking Point, Can’t Cope, At Wits End,  Can’t Think Straight, Harrowing Times, Black Depression, Sorrow, Despair, Bereft, Mentally Overwhelmed, Unable to Face Your Situation/People, Suffering, Fear, Terror, Nightmares, Ghosts from The Past, Insomnia, ‘Dark Night of The Soul’, Waiting for The Axe to Fall, Grief, Mourning, Crying.

Northern Animal Tarot

So the 9 of Swords has appeared and given how you have been feeling it appears to be mirroring exactly how you are feeling. Despite the gravity of your situation it is important to know that we can rise from the depths of despair, see some light in the day and, with help we can begin to address our deepest fears. As the work of Atkinson and Wanganeen reveals, there are many positive actions that we can take to address and palliate whatever is creating so much distress.

All the media outlets recommend contacting Life Line and this can help. How about messaging or ringing a genuine friend who will actually provide some moral support at this time.

Melinda Brown is an Australian Aboriginal Ngunnawal woman who has an online store that offers a vast range of healing cards, oracles and runes that you might turn to if you are facing a 9 of Swords period. Working with tools like these can help adjust our perspective.

These cards appear to have been retired by St Lukes Resources but you may find them available here. Like the pieces of fabric in a quilt, the cards in A Patchwork Life can be used to help describe the patchwork quilt of your life. These can be laid out to build an impression of how life is looking. 

The cards provide a starting point for reflection and discussion, whether with yourself or another person. The cards can be chosen to tell a story about a particular issue, or you might select cards that relate to thoughts, feelings or body sensations of the moment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s