The Nine of Wands shows a noble warrior flying downward with great strength, aiming his bow of reflection (described by the moon-arrow) towards the earth. Though tired after battle, he is full of the power of fire which rises again and again with determination and discipline. No matter how much power you have at your disposal, the real strength comes from inner resolve; true power is the power of internal change, for change is the most ultimate form of stability. It is by applying this endurance to our challenges that we succeed every time.
This card depicts a test of faith and asks the question: Can you show your resilience and stand for what you believe one more time? Though you may be tired, that does not mean that you should not be persistent. If we are able to draw on our inner strength, we can actually complete our objectives and at long last – be able to rest. Look inward, the flames of your spirit will burn bright if you know where to direct your love. Be disciplined in your spiritual practice, your faith will carry you through, and success will be yours.
The Nine of Wands poses a question: Can you stand for what you believe in one more time? This card represents persistence and a test of your faith. You may be tired after all that you have been through, you’ve worked so hard but you are being tested one more time. The Nine of Wands indicates two predominant energies – the push to draw on your inner strength yet again, and your greatest success or accomplishment from doing so. Endure, you can make it through this!
In this image, a patch faces downwards as he focuses his energy. With all of the strength of the sun moving through him, he descends into himself to recognize the power that was always within. The wands have turned into arrows, all of which point towards downwards along with the moon, which is the ninth arrow itself. This implies the true spiritual focus is an internal one, and our greatest strength comes from turning inward and mastering our willpower.
In this card is also a DNA spiral manifesting down through the character. It is building upon itself, creating itself and changing in each moment to adapt to life and all that it brings.
And so, this card may indicate the final challenge that is before you. Seeing if you are really willing to go the distance for what you’re passionate about, over and over, never saying no, until the journey is complete. It also implies that, despite your weariness – upon completion you will have a restful recovery and a solid feeling of closure.
Wherever you are at on this journey, the Nine of Wands invites you to be resilient and push through until the end, which sets the stage for a new beginning. Any setbacks you may have encountered could have led you to feel discouraged, but don’t give up because these are powerful lessons in disguise to teach you self determination and inner strength.
The energy of this card embodies the idea of “if at first you do not succeed then try, and try again.” It is only from our mistakes and challenges that we have the wisdom and awareness to foresee them in the future. Push through these final challenges and the rewards will be beautifully well deserved.
The reverse of the Nine of Wands often looks like being called to rise to a challenge, but ultimately allowing lethargy to take hold in us. By doing so we miss out on tapping into that inner strength; this takes us even further away from our inner place of power. Without the will to endure, and without sign of resolution to whatever challenge we face, we are left tired and weak. It’s also possible that a situation itself is so awful or boring that it does not compel us to bring out our strengths, which may be a task that we are simply not compatible with.
Even still though – this is just doubt manifesting further, because you are so focused on the idea that is nothing you cannot do, you feel even greater doubt. Concentrating only on our weaknesses will only cause them to seem bigger than they are, and overshadow our strengths. Finally, it speaks towards failing, that even if you “give it your all that one final push”, you are not going to make it; as if the task at hand is too great for you alone.
To turn this reversed card upright, we must take a good hard look at all the goodness inside of us and stop focusing so much on our faults. What are your strengths? What are you good at? Acknowledge all elements of this – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strengths are all factors in connecting to your inner light – for this strength applies to all aspects of you. Consider giving yourself some positive affirmations, and treat yourself well to build up your confidence. You might even ask someone who loves you for some support, and you can easily find yourself standing tall once again! You can go the distance, even if it feels like a long journey. Remember, even the longest quest begins with a single step.
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook