Courage. Persistence. Strength.
The Nine of Wands shows the courage and strength needed to face a difficult situation. Perhaps you need to become more resilient and draw on your inner strength.
The man in the card appears to have been in a fight or series of fights, but although he appears tired, he’s ready to defend what is important to him.
Although this card usually appears when a problem is present, it’s a card of great strength and power. It’s very likely that you do have the strength and resources to deal with the challenges facing you, even if doing so makes you feel uncomfortable.
This is a card of victory, but the victory only comes after sweat, effort, and probably quite a lot of apprehension.
You may be being asked to prepare well for an upcoming difficulty or challenge. The card may be telling you that now is the right time to prepare yourself for any obstacles you see in the road ahead. Be confident.
The Nine of Wands can also be indicating that persistence is needed. Perhaps you’re being told not to give up on a relationship or project—compare with the other cards drawn, whether they’re positive or negative.
If you’re not feeling well, then this card could be a good omen.
If you’re training for sports, then it’s the sign to keep going—perhaps to improve your stamina.
The Nine of Wands can also show delays or obstinate behaviour.
The Nine of Wands reversed has more traditional meanings of being defensive or of facing obstacles. It can also indicate some sort of delay or disaster.
However, when reversed, it can also hold the same meaning to the upright but with a lessening of intensity. It can indicate an inner blockage or the internalisation of the energy of the upright meaning.
The Nine of Wands shows a man leaning on a staff with eight other staves. His head is bandaged, yet he looks ready to face the enemy again.
Many other tarot decks use a very similar image. In the Animal Totem Tarot, a goat is pictured on the top of a mountain summit. In the Wild Unknown, there is an image of rising stairs made from staves.
The esoteric title for the Nine of Wands is Lord of Great Strength.
Astrologically, it represents the Moon in Sagittarius.