In the Tarot, the Nines traditionally show how the conflicts inherent in the nature of the suit may be resolved through compromise. In the Wands, the suit of Fire, action, and power, we can see that this figure has fought his way through difficulty, and bears the scars of his struggle. He is bruised, but not defeated. Yet his defensive posture and his wary expression as he looks over his shoulder speak of his expectation that the fight may only have paused, and not yet be over. His bandaged head hints to us that his wounds may be as emotional as they are physical.
For although his Wand allies are lined up behind him, and he has won the day, his expression is that of someone who fully expects more battles yet to come. Besides, if he is no longer a warrior of Wands, who is he?
Tarot scholar Robert Place points out this is yet another example of Pamela Colman Smith, the R-W-S deck artist, placing the main figure of the card on what appears to be a stage. Behind him, the Wands defending him even resemble a curtain. Is it possible that this is a drama enacted for our benefit, rather than a literal truth?
Sometimes, when we have had to struggle and even suffer for the things we desire, we find it difficult to give up the struggling, even after our goals are achieved. Because of past experiences with loss and conflict, we continue to expect “the other shoe to drop.” This is how civilizations swallow the idea that we must be in a constant state of warfare. This is how we make our identity dependent on having an enemy to fight. How can we be the good guys if there are no bad guys lurking, waiting to strike?
This week, I would urge you to consider carefully how you compete in the worlds in which you travel. How do you accept your victories? Who is the enemy? When will you know if your own private wars are over? What drama is being enacted to influence you? Is it true that you must always be vigilant and never lower your guard?
And what does this attitude of defensiveness and fear cost you?