Nine of Wands

Element: FIRE

Upright: Overprotection, Obstinacy, Endurance
Reversed: Exhaustion, Refuse to Give up / Lack of Backbone, Not focused

Symbology, Meaning and Interpretation


Overprotection, Obstinacy, Endurance.

The entire suit of Wands deals with the energy of Fire, showing great strength and determination. This is a power sometimes hard to control and has major influences in our emotional side, creating some patterns of conflict.

In this card, a central character takes those conflicts very seriously, stuck in a combat position all the time.

Unlike the Seven of Wands, there are no visible adversaries, but still, the grotesque creature defends his territory aggressively, always alert – like a dog protecting his bone. This disquieting posture prevents us from having some rest and creates an illusory idea that everyone is conspiring against us.

It is true that the beast fought many battles as the scars and wounds may tell, but he became obsessed with it. We may say that he is so paranoid that he built a wall of wood sticks to cover the entrance of his cave, in order to avoid someone passing through. However, he is so consumed by his anxiety, he does not notice that the barrier impedes him from entering, too – creating, instead, his own jail.

The Nine of Wands advises you to relax and turn off your alert mode. Take a look around you, there is no need to be so defensive and overprotective.

From a different perspective, the card indicates that you need to endure one last test, but despite your wounds and the adverse environment, you stand strong. You may feel exhausted, but your determination and persistence inspire you to do whatever it takes to reach a successful conclusion.


Exhaustion, Refuse to Give up / Lack of Backbone, Not focused.

In reverse position, the card is centred on the idea of being exhausted from the fight. You may feel drained, and your motivation is very low to stand up.

You may see your defence failing, the opposition is too strong to hold back. The fence of sticks you build to protect your cave turns into a trap to yourself. You have nowhere to run.

However, the card suggests that you are too stubborn to surrender, preferring to get hurt than start over. There are battles we cannot win, that is a life lesson, though it is important to learn from them to get stronger and improve your skills.

Alternatively, it can underline your lack of courage to defend your position. You are not totally committed to this project, and you do not feel the inspiration to keep fighting. Maybe it is an indicator that you should leave it. Have a deep thinking about where your goals are and if this project drives you in that direction.

You may also have been out of focus and suffered an unexpected hit. If you really want to stand until the end, accept that small strike as a lesson to avoid bigger problems.