The Nine of Wands hints at what can happen if we allow ourselves to become addicted to the struggles and battles of the Seven, and aren’t able to direct our energies into the focused, controlled flight of the Eight. The battle segues into a way of life, and we risk becoming inured in unnecessary conflict: we find ourselves, like the figure in the card, always looking for the next fight. This can become draining: we may have gained strength and resilience from our challenges, but they have come at a cost, too, which we must recognize.
The Nine of Wands suggests that we consider putting down our weapon, dropping our guard, and taking some time to nurture ourselves. It counsels, too, resisting the idea that asking for or accepting help indicates weakness. It may be time to take down the wall of Wands that, like the figure in the card, we have built around ourselves, and let people in.
The Nine of Wands reversed often means that it may be wise for us to consider an alternative approach to the way we face and deal with life. We can recognize and be proud of our inner strength, which has allowed us to take on the multiple challenges that have crossed our path, while also acknowledging that things have become unsustainable: we risk further emotional injury if we do not adjust our course.
The Wands behind the figure can indicate a protective fence or the resources at his disposal: the reversed Nine advises that taking a consistently defensive attitude can result in this protection becoming a prison, and suggests that the resources we have can be put to a more fulfilling use.
Suddenly tearing down what has kept us protected, and dropping all our defenses, is not necessarily the counsel that the Nine of Wands offers us: indeed, it suggests we acknowledge our hard-won battles and the personal strength that has been required to keep standing tall. The card does, however, suggest that we look at how we are using our resources and think carefully about ways that we can protect ourselves from further injury.