The Nine of Swords shows a woman with her head in her hands, sitting up in her bed. She appears to have just woken up from a bad nightmare, and is obviously upset, fearful and anxious following her dream. Nine swords hang on the wall behind her and the base of the bed is decorated with a carving of a duel in which one person is being defeated by another. The quilt covering the woman is decorated with roses and the outlines of astrological symbols.
The Nine of Swords is the card of fear and nightmares, and has an apparently negative ‘feel’ to it. However, the troubles alluded to in the Nine of Swords are primarily of a psychological nature and do not necessarily indicate suffering in your external reality. That is, it is what is inside your mind that is creating the fear and anxiety, not your actual circumstances. Your experience of the world is greatly influenced by our expectations, desires, and fears, and therefore you are largely the creator of your own world, and your attitudes determine how you experience that world.
Although most people experience fear, frustration and uncertainty at some point in their lives, you should not allow those negative emotions to immobilise you or keep you from pursuing your goals with enthusiasm and hope. Expect at least some level of uncertainty in the future, and draw upon your inner strength to remain as flexible and adaptable to that uncertainty as possible.