Nine of Swords

When worries overtake

Everybody is familiar with that horrible feeling that comes only in the middle of the night. You’re the only person awake. And you’re filled with an overwhelming sense of fear or dread, so much that you can’t sleep. There may be something specific on your mind, or it may be an indefinable anxious feeling – either way, it’s got you lying awake, feeling terribly alone.

Though the Nine of Swords may or may not be taking place at midnight, it’s a card for being overwhelmed with worry or fear. Like the Eight of Swords, it can point to anxiety – especially the kind where things feel far worse than they really are.

On a slightly lighter note, the Nine of Swords can point to any pressing worry, anything nagging on our minds. Maybe you’ve put off doing something important and it’s about to catch up with you. Maybe you said something you shouldn’t have and can’t stop thinking about it. This card represents the way it feels when your head gets ‘taken over’ by worrisome or anxious thoughts.

In a reading…

So what to do?

Firstly, if you’re experiencing actual anxiety, take it serieously. Go careful with yourself, be kind and compassionate to yourself, read up on helpful self-care techniques, do the things that you know will help ease your mind. Take your medication if that’s right for you. Get support if you can. Let folks know where you’re at and that you’re having a tough time. Don’t judge yourself harshly but acknowledge what is happening.

If your experience is more at the ‘worry’ end of the spectrum, focus on practical ways to alleviate your mind. Sometimes writing a to-do list, or starting the very first thing, can be a really helpful way to feel like you’re gaining control.

If you’re going over something hurtful, try to let it rest. Acknowledge the way your mind is being ‘taken over’ by this event, and allow yourself to reframe it or put it down entirely. Maybe writing a letter will help (even if you never send it), or doing some simple ritual or creative practice to help you let this thing go.