When I first drew this card I wasn’t sure what it was telling me. I toyed with the traditional meanings involving nightmares, inner demons, etc. but none felt right. Then at some point during the day when I was doing something else a thought flashed in my brain – the piercing light of hope. That was this card was reminding me – that even in the darkest, most frightening times of our lives there is a piercing ray of hope which lights a path through the darkness and allows us to continue moving forward.
Looking at the image on Arnell Ando’s Transformational 9 of Swords I can see it represented by the sword-like object held in the man’s hand which seems poised above the blindfolded maiden’s throat. On Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian 9 of Air I can see it in the eyes of the wise face that is hovering above the seemingly frightened woman. In both cases these objects offer a sense that hope is near if we are able to open our eyes and face the reality around us. In some ways it reminds me of a mini Tower experience. It is perhaps not so earth-shattering but still offers insight and illumination.
Lately I have been feeling as though my life has been one long 9 of Swords experience. Things have seemed rather hopeless and depressing. On some occasions I have mourned the loss of my life. Due to circumstances beyond my control, my full-time job has become caring for my elderly mother-in-law and disabled brother-in-law. On the one hand I am glad that I am able to do this for them – putting them in a facility would be extremely detrimental to both of them. However it is relentlessly exhausting and has no end in sight. There are days when getting up is a huge chore. All of this is certainly reflected in the 9 of Swords.
However what I sometimes lose sight of is that piercing ray of hope – family and friends who do offer support and help when possible. Unfortunately some of the people who perhaps should have stepped up to help have not but we do have family and friends who are there for us.
What I have come to realize is that if I allow myself to focus on the situation it depresses my spirit and causes a sense of gloom and oppression. Focusing on those piercing rays of hope and light allow me to see there is help available and that the darkness is not permanent or irrevocable. It might not be an easy process but as long as I keep moving forward and don’t let myself get sucked into that sense of darkness and hopelessness, I can make it through. Perhaps we all need to spend more time focusing on those rays of hope and light in our lives. It may not diminish the fact that there is darkness and gloom around us but it can lessen its impact on our spirits.