Upright: Courage, persistence, test of faith, resilience
Reversed: On edge, defensive, hesitant, paranoia

The Nine of Wands shows a weary, injured man who holds a staff as though in a posture of final defence. He has fought the battle and won. He is protected by a number of wands behind him that appear like a wall around him. He appears drained and exhausted as he leans on his wand but he is ready to go to battle again. He has the look of determination in his eye to overcome this final challenge and reach a point of accomplishment and victory. He stands up for what he believes in and holds firm in those beliefs.

The Nine of Wands suggests that you are so close to completing a particular project or task but at the last minute, you are faced with yet another challenge or setback. Know that you have the inner resources necessary to overcome any difficulty you encounter, even though it may seem impossible at the time. You are so close to finally achieving success, do not give up now! The Nine of Wands is a sign of hope and encouragement that if you stand firm and strong against your challenges, you will achieve your goal. The challenges before you now are only the last bit of darkness before the break of a wonderful dawn.
The Nine of Wands is like the one last test or challenge before you can reach ultimate success. You feel as if you have come to the end of your fighting powers but you have the skill and determination in reserve. You are in a position of strength and by drawing upon all of your courage and abilities, you will prevail. Once the last obstacle is overcome, you are home free.
The Nine of Wands encourages you to be resilient. You will continue to be opposed by hidden enemies and your interests will be questioned. Even in the face of such adversity, when you are feeling battled and bruised, you need to be patient and vigilant. Be assured that you will eventually prosper if you maintain your position. And remember, if you do not succeed at first, then try again.
You may have experienced setbacks that now leave you feeling distrustful of others or even yourself. The turning point will come when you are able to leave the past behind you and to cultivate a more open mind about the future. While you have experienced losses in the past, it does not mean that you have to experience further losses in the future. Turn a new leaf and push on.
Sometimes, the Nine of Wands encourages a risk-averse approach. You need to expect the worst and therefore take extra precautions to avoid any negative consequences to your plans. You need to be on guard and wary of any potential obstacles or opponents who may stand in your way.

The Nine of Wands reversed suggests that you may be hesitant to make a long-term commitment. You may be feeling as if life is all work and no play, and you may feel overcome by responsibilities or a lack of support from those around you. You may also be lacking the necessary resources, such as finances, skills or time, in order to deal with the challenges head on. As such, you are hesitant to make any commitments in fear that your responsibilities will become all too much.
You may also be more inclined to be a little ‘on edge’ and on the defensive. The boundaries you have set around yourself are now becoming your cage, locking you into your old habits and behaviours. Be careful of dwelling on past frustrations and grievances. Just try to let go.
The Nine of Wands reversed asks you to be mindful not to make assumptions or hasty judgements. Lighten up a little and return to the Eight of Wands where you take life as it comes in all its various forms. Go with the flow and release yourself of the pressures you are feeling. A holiday or a break might do you some good where you can re-energise and rejuvenate yourself.
Sometimes, the reversed Nine of Wands can indicate extreme paranoia or even schizophrenia. You may feel as though you are constantly under attack or are being watched. Oftentimes, this is indicative of a fear from within, rather than an actual external threat. Counselling or psychological help is advised.



The figure on the Nine of Wands has definitely been through tough times. His head and arm are bandaged, and he’s leaning on a “crutch.” This fighter has seen some battles, but he’s still standing! He’s hurt, but he’s not down. When we have had a bad experience, we feel weary and battle-scarred. Even if we aren’t hurt physically, our psyches are wounded. Our openness, innocence and trust are gone, replaced by wary defensiveness.

In readings, the Nine of Wands can be a warning that you must proceed carefully. Keep a watchful eye because there is the possibility that you will be hurt. If you have already been burned, you know what this man is feeling. Life’s lessons can be hard sometimes, especially when hopes have been dashed. It is natural to feel defensive at such times, but try to avoid becoming bitter. Your experience has wounded you, but it has strengthened you as well.

Strength is the other aspect of the Nine of Wands. This fighter is tough! He has the physical stamina and the inner drive to persist despite all setbacks. In The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays an android from the future who never gives up. In the end he is nothing but a wire framework with glowing eyes, but he still keeps coming – dragging himself along the floor to his goal. This is the spirit of the Nine of Wands. This card tells you to keep going no matter what. Even if everyone and everything seems to be against you right now, don’t give up. Within you are the hidden reserves you need to prevail.


General Meaning
This suit, most often called “Wands” and sometimes called “Rods” or “Staves,” represents initiative, ambition, drive and desire. This is the suit of enterprise and risk-taking.
The Nine of this suit usually indicates a need for rest; some time out to mend wounds and savor victories. Although it may be hard to do, this card would have you leave the field to fresher teammates for now. Release any attachment you may feel to being in a leadership role for now.
In the pictured Tarot decks, the protagonist is shown as too exhausted to be effective in defending his gains, yet resisting the suggestion to ask for help or step down. He or she hasn’t had the chance to totally heal from past blows, and is still up there taking another beating. This is the fix that comes from making oneself irreplaceable. Fight off the maniacal thought that only you can save the day! Stop rejecting loved ones who want to help you.

In the Advice Position
There is an important place for rest and recuperation in any endeavor.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
When the Nine of Wands is in this position, you have done everything you can to bring a situation to a successful conclusion. The full range of possibilities has been exhausted and all the creative energy that is available has already been put to use. This may be a great time to lay down your concerns and enjoy a rest. There is nothing more to bring to the mission unless you regenerate and restore the energy you have put into the cause.
While it is praiseworthy to give all you have for something or someone that means a lot to you, masochism and martyrdom are ill advised. Take a break. No one can fault you for it now.


Nine of Wands Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Ongoing battle, battle weary, fatigue, drained of energy, nearly there, close to success, courage, persistence, perseverance, backbone, learning from past failure, gather your strength, fight your corner, last stand, guarded, wounded, expecting trouble, holding out, not working out as planned, setbacks, strength of will

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Nine of Wands tells you that you are half way through a battle. Recent events have left you drained of all energy and feeling like you can’t go on, but you are so close to getting what you want! You just need to gather the last of your strength and push forward and you will be successful. It represents ongoing battles, being battle weary, drained of energy and fatigued. It also signifies courage, persistence, strength of will, having a backbone, holding out and perseverance. It is a Minor Arcana card of gathering your strength, learning from past failures, fighting your corner and making your last stand. You may be wounded, guarded or expecting trouble when it appears in your Tarot reading. It can suggest that things have not worked out the way you planned and there have been challenges and setbacks along the way. The Nine of Wands also tells you that you are close to success or nearly there.

In a health Tarot reading, if you have been ill for some time, the Nine of Wands can indicate that the battle with your illness up to now has used up most of your energy. This card tells you that you need to summon the last of your strength and push forward. You will get there, just don’t give up! The Nine of Swords can also represent chronic illness and old injuries or illnesses making a comeback

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Nine of Wands indicates that you and your partner have been going through a rough time. Whether that’s in how you relate to each other or just in life in general, recent events have left you sapped of all energy. You may feel like giving up and calling it quits but this Minor Arcana card tells you to keep going! You are through the worst so you just need to gather your strength and push forward and you will get to where you want to be. This card can also indicate that you or your partner has been wounded and hurt in past relationships and this may be having a negative effect on your relationship. If you are single, the Nine of Wands indicates that you are still wounded from a string of relationships that didn’t work out how you wanted and these wounds are preventing you from finding the happy and healthy relationship you deserve. It may feel like you will never get past this, but you are so close! Don’t give up on yourself! Just make sure the next person you allow into your life is worthy of your love and guard your heart until they’ve earned your trust.

Money & Career
In a career Tarot spread, the Nine of Wands represents an ongoing battle, perseverance and fighting through the tough times. The reality of the work you have taken on may be hitting home when this card appears in your Tarot reading as the Nine of Wands indicates that you are mid-way through a battle. The previous work you have put in may have left you exhausted and wondering if you have enough energy to complete the task at hand. This Minor Arcana card tells you to fight on as you will find success. In a financial Tarot reading, the Nine of Wands can indicate that you may be having a bit of a tricky time in terms of money. You may have had a lot of unexpected expenses recently that have left you a little strapped for cash. If you have savings, you may want to consider dipping into them to see you through. If you don’t have savings, try not to worry. Look at ways you can make a little extra side money until things improve. The Nine of Wands can also signify guarding your money so you may need to be a bit security conscious about cash and valuables when this appears

In a spiritual context, the Nine of Wands indicates that you have gone through a difficult time and you are feeling burnt out and worn out. However, things are looking up and you have learned your karmic lessons so you will be able to move forward on your spiritual path! Work on your energy levels first. Meditation or Reiki may help to restore them.
Nine of Wands Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Refusing to compromise/ give in, stubborn, rigid, obstinate, last one standing, not learning from past, no fight left, chronic fatigue, stalemate, retreat, withdrawal, falling at the final hurdle, lack of courage/ persistence/ perseverance/ backbone, weakness, dropping your guard, unexpected trouble, giving up, chip on shoulder

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Nine of Wands reversed represents refusing to compromise or give in, being stubborn, rigid or obstinate. It can signify being the last one standing or having a chip on your shoulder. Alternatively, this Minor Arcana card reversed can signify a stalemate, withdrawal, retreat, giving up, having no fight left or no backbone. The Nine of Wands reversed can also indicate weakness of will, chronic fatigue and lack of courage, persistence or perseverance. It can represent not learning from past mistakes or falling at the final hurdle. This card can signify dropping your guard or encountering unexpected trouble.

In a health Tarot reading, the Nine of Wands reversed can indicate being unable to continue to fight an illness or being unable to keep up the pretence that you are not suffering. It is also a stronger indication of a chronic illness or the return of an old injury or illness causing you problems.

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Nine of Wands reversed can indicate that you and your partner may have been arguing previously and have now gotten locked in a stalemate where you are both digging your heals in and refusing to compromise. Alternatively, this Minor Arcana card can suggest that you have no fight left and want to withdraw from the relationship altogether. If the relationship is to last, there needs to be some compromise and you both need to learn from past mistakes. If you find yourself in an obstinate or stubborn mood just ask yourself, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? If you are in a new relationship, the Nine of Wands reversed can indicate that your new partner may have a bit of a chip on their shoulder about how much they have been hurt in the past. You can be compassionate but remember you are not to blame for their past relationship failures so don’t tolerate them taking it out on you. If you are single, the Nine of Wands reversed indicates that you may be starting to feel ready to drop your guard when it comes to love. This is a great development! You have learned from your past relationships, grieved, gotten your strength back and are ready to move on. Alternatively, it can indicate that past relationship trauma has left you so wounded that you have completely given up on love. You need to give yourself space to get your strength back but don’t close yourself off to the possibility of meeting someone new. Not everyone out there will hurt you

Money & Career
In a career Tarot spread, the Nine of Wands reversed can represent having no fight left or stubbornly refusing to compromise or change. You may feel like are getting nowhere in your job or with a current project and that you have put everything into it but to no avail. When reversed, this card can suggest that exhaustion is affecting your perspective. Work/life balance is not only important for you in your personal life but it’s also essential to good productivity; it may be that you have simply been pushing yourself too far workwise. Try taking a step back to gather yourself together, take some time off and get your energy levels back to normal. Then decide if it’s worth pushing ahead with what you’ve been doing. Alternatively, the Nine of Wands reversed can indicate that you are relentlessly pushing forward in terms of business or career when you are, in fact, flogging a dead horse. Again, you need to take some time to consider if what you are doing is worth pursuing. In a financial Tarot reading, the Nine of Wands reversed can indicate that you may be running away from your financial responsibilities. This Minor Arcana card reversed can also signify not protecting your money so you may find cash and valuables go missing when it appears.

In a spiritual context, the Nine of Wands reversed again indicates that you have gone through a difficult time. You are feeling exhausted but there is an element of rigidity with this card that suggests you are digging your heels in and refusing to accept the lessons the universe is trying to send you. You can’t change the past but you can learn from it, if you reject the lesson, the universe will just send it back to you in a bigger way. Try to embrace it and be gentle with yourself.