Nine of Wands

It’s worth it

The Nine of Wands shows us the flip-side of so much dynamic, exciting action: tiredness. Energy comes in limited supplies, and there are times when we all feel like giving up.

This card is about that moment. It’s a recognition of weariness that necessarily comes after periods of intense work. Maybe you’ve been working on a creative project for what feels like forever. Maybe you’re sick and tired of fighting for your rights. Maybe you’re wondering if that goal that once seemed so precious and important is really worth this much energy.

But this card is essentially about keeping on. It brings a reminder: This is worth it. You are worth it.

The suit of wands teaches us that our best work comes forth form a place of real passion deep inside us. That fire in our bellies in which great ideas are formed. We birth these ideas and turn them into action, we create, we push forwards, we bring all kinds of wonderful things into the world.

But boy, does it take some effort. And if you’re feeling tired just now? That’s okay. It’s to be expected.

In the Wild Unknown Tarot, Kim Krans illustrates the Nine of Wands as a steep ladder or mountain of wands. It looks hard. It looks tough. At the top shines a crescent moon. Because this is soul work. What you’re doing is meaningful. This isn’t just about material accomplishments or a moment of fame – the work you’re doing is teaching you something about who you are, and it is making the world a better place.

Each of those wands is a big and perhaps difficult step. You have taken many, and there are more to come. Rest, of course, if you need to. But don’t give up.

In a reading…

As we’ve just seen, the Nine of Wands brings a simple message: keep going, it’s worth it.

If you’re at the start of something, this card wisely reminds you that the going will get tough at times. Every project has ups and downs built in, from the moment you get fired up and press ‘go’ to the moment you just want to give up and pack it all in. If you really believe in this thing, you have to be prepared to go through those low points too. You have to keep the faith.

There’s a celebration built in to this moment, in that it’s a ‘nearly there’ card – all nines carry within themselves the knowledge that the ten, completion, is just around the corner. In that way, there is a voice here saying ‘one last push! You’re so close! You can do it!’

On the other hand, maybe you’re starting to believe that this isn’t ‘soul work’ after all. Maybe you’ve changed, your priorities have changed, you just don’t believe in that same goal any more? The Nine of Wands itself isn’t about change, but depending on other cards in your reading, it may be encouraging you to get back to the principles at the heart of your work and check that you still truly believe in what you do.