The 9 of Wands

The 9 of Wands - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing anticipation; with the investment already made the 9 of Wands represents our anticipation of fulfilment and reward for the efforts we have made. Parity is disturbed with this odd numbered card and balance is sought, the arrival of a new element to restore parity is the focus here.

In the upright state the 9 of Wands represents vigilance and the counsel to remain observant; although we may perceive that the hard work has already been done and that our path should be simple going forward, we are advised to maintain our work ethic not to rest on our laurels until we see our efforts through to completion.

In the inverted state the 9 of Wands represents patience and the need to maintain composure. Whilst we wait for the element of completion, we must maintain what we have created so far. Where the upright state emphasises the need to continue seeking opportunity to move forward, our focus in the inverted state is to defend against elements that could derail or undermine the progress made so far, this is not an act of stagnation as it is not an idle effort, but rather one that will require a lot of energy to maintain what has been achieved. For example, when we reach our fitness goals, to abandon the routine of exercise will erode the gains we have made, maintenance is essential to preserve what we have achieved, even if we make no effort to go beyond that achievement.

In the Rider-Waite deck the 9 of Wands depicts a man standing on an even surface holding a single wand in his two hands for safety and stability. This man guards his fertility and watches over the remaining 8 wands in contemplation like a shepherd watching over his flock. The symbolism here is obvious, maintaining our awareness and state of alert is necessary even at this late stage in our journey lest our arrogance be our undoing.

In self-reflection the 9 of Wands serves as a prompt to consider what is within your grasp, what your next move might be, and plan ahead for any opportunity that might present itself. This can be an opportunity to extend the creative process or to bring it to a close soon.

Ask yourself “How close am I?” and “What is left to do?” and return to the recurring themes of recognising barriers that have been created and how those can be overcome. Here the emphasis is not so much on acting, but identifying where and when your actions will have the greatest impact. There should be a particular focus here on patience and recognising when urgency is driven by genuine pressures versus our own impatience.

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