Thursday, 8 September 2016

Reflections on Swords in the Negative: 9 of Swords and clinical depression

So, what best to do on a cheerful sunny day than delve into the dark recesses of grief and pain.
Some keywords for the 9 of Swords:

- Stress
- Anxiety
- Despair
- Delusions
- Paranoia
- Anger issues
- Nastiness
- Mental Imbalance
- Depression
- Calculating and cold

Perhaps this is not a much touched on subject. At least from what I found while doing some research.Often it is said that many (or the majority of) Swords in a spread could signify that the person is going through untold amounts of stress or that there could be a mental imbalance.

Think of Air (the element of Swords) as being in a pressurised container. What would happen if there is no release valve? It blows up of course.
Obviously Swords embody both positive and negative qualities, but I am focusing on the negatives here. Someone presenting negative Swords aspects could be stressed, confused, almost neurotic, but also cold and often deceiving. By the way, in the Thoth deck, the 9 of Swords is known as "The Lord of Cruelty".
The following card, the 10 of Swords really isn't much better. While there is hope in the background, things cannot possibly be getting any worse.
In the 9 we can see someone starting a downward journey. Perhaps they have reached breaking point, perhaps they over think and have high anxiety. But there is no escape, unless this is recognised and addressed.
It could simply be realising and acknowledging that one needs help. And asking for it. Chances are that even with help, things will get worse before getting better. Charming eh?
We live in a culture of "I can do it". Where often recognising that one needs help is considered weak.
Let me tell you. It isn't.
The person emboding the 9 of Swords tends to internalise a lot, if not addressed though, see previous pressurised air example.
Acknowledging the 9 will bring forward a mini Tower experience in the form of the 10 of Swords.
A crisis, after the crisis, to solve the crisis.
What could be an antidote to the 9 in Tarot? I'd say perhaps the 3 of Swords. Emotional Healing. A long journey but possible.
Looking at the other suits, possibly all the 6's, moving forward after conflict and difficulties.
Recurring Swords cards in readings can signify underlying problems, very likely not addressed. Look for repeats and the surrounding cards. I know most readers do not generally read on health issues but, if a real red flag pops up, it could be the case for telling someone in a sensitive way to seek advice.
The 9 of Swords can also represent self-harm. The wish to mask unbearable pain with more pain. Often a very misunderstood (and dangerous) issue. ALL Swords cards in the right context can point to depression.
I would say that if you (or your client) get to the point of self-harm I strongly suggest to seek help and advice. Trust me, help is out there.

Also ask the Tarot for advice. You could, for example ask:
1) What is the main issue to address?
2) How do I address it?
3) What would help?
4) What action should I take
5) Advice

If you get the majority of Swords in the answers then you know it is internal and needs to be brought out and addressed.
And if you need outside help, or someone to talk to and are in the UK, the Samaritans are wonderful and you can call free on

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