Nine of Wands Tarot Card Meanings

Nine of Wands Tarot Card Meanings

What does the Nine of Wands card mean in a Tarot Reading?

Nine of Wands is a defense card. It personifies a job well done, the ability to plan wisely, showing courage under fire.
The Nine of Wands has a meaning that is associated with courage. With this card, you can get ready for an important battle in which you can defend something or confront someone.

Goal: Take care of your wounds by going your own way without hindrance.
Element: Fire
Planet: Sun, Jupiter, Neptune
Astrological sign: Sagittarius


The man is facing us. He holds on tightly to the staff, as if guarding his territory. Eight other wands form behind him a barrier or palisade. There is a bandage on the man’s head, which shows that he previously participated in some conflicts and now must be ready to defend his beliefs again.
(For a detailed depiction, analysis of the Symbols and all Elements of the Nine of Wands Tarot Card, click here)

The Main Meanings of the Card In an Upright Position

Key Words and Phrases

Defending your interests. Activation of protection. Strengthening. Self-defense. Healing old wounds. The ability to resist attacks. Security. Territoriality. The last test. Militancy. Protection. Defensive behavior. Athletic physique. Fast recovery.

Nine of Wands Tarot Card

Strong immune system. Resistance to disease and infection. Prior conflict. Protection of your rights. An invulnerable position. Last fight. For the final victory, the last obstacle must be overcome. Inner strength. Determination. Perseverance. A necessary respite. The last push. Defense! Nothing is over yet, until everything is over. If you don’t succeed the first time, try again and again. Back off in time. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Don’t change horses at halfway.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

feeling of danger after the battle has ended;
willingness to defend your current situation;
success is not without struggle;
“cold heart”;
resistance any change;
closing all doors behind oneself;
hostage of the past, old fears;
fear that old wounds will open;
the world no longer harbors fears;
close success;
slowdown, slowness;
temporary calm;
financial success;
delay, distance, postponement, termination, extension;
strength in confrontation, tense anticipation;
completion is usually successful;
internal forces;
physical strength and fortitude, determination, ability to fight;
opposition, the need to protect your interests;
uncertainty of the situation, the need to wait, delay;
temporary respite.

Nine of Wands. Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan
Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan

Situation and Advice

The Nine of Wands speaks of the need to stand up for oneself. In the past, you have been offended, and this has served as an excuse for you to become defensive. Perhaps you will be called upon to fight for your rights or to protect your reputation, or they will insist on making a decision. Although the situation seems to be challenging, your position is stable. Once you get past that last hurdle, success is just a stone’s throw away, so don’t give up. Now you need to be vigilant and adhere to your convictions. You have the power at your disposal to solve any problem. Sometimes the real wisdom is to back down in time. Your position right now is not the best for making fundamental changes. You may need to solve another problem in order to achieve ultimate success. You are in a strong position with the necessary courage and determination to achieve your goals in the right time. Get ready. This is a card of the recurrence of old problems.
If you were interested in your health, the Nine of Wands tells that you have a wonderful physique, which allows you to maintain your immunity, recover quickly and provide your body with protection from various infections.

Persons designated by Upright Nine of Wands Tarot Сard

Defenders. Well protected people. Military. People who fight for their rights and defend their reputation.

The Main Meanings of the Card In a Reversed Position

Key Words and Phrases

Insufficient protection. Inability to stand up for yourself. Loss of rights. Carelessness. Silly defensive position. Weakness. Cowardice. Disease. Injury. Bad defense. Weakened immune system. Inadequacy. Impracticality. Refusal to compromise. Suspicion. Danger. Excessive desire to defend. Fear of appearing weak or helpless. Exhaustion. Misfortune. Unrealistic plans. A loss. Hitch. Obstacle. Delayed action. Insufficient preparation. Unfavorable position. Lack of initiative. Unsuccessful attempt to defend yourself. Inability to stand up for yourself. Stubbornness. Inflexibility. Indifferent attitude. Loss of property. Poor health. A position unsuitable for defense. Decrease in position. Hit below the belt. I didn’t look. Not ready.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

one blow is yet to come;
lack of initiative;
vulnerability, inability to stand up for oneself;
weak immunity;
obstacles, failure, disaster;
crossbar, delays, troubles, inconvenience, burden, misadventures;
slowdown, the chances of success are doubtful and require the exertion of all forces;
inability to adapt;
conflict, confrontation;
hindrances, obstacles in achieving the goal;
difficult (almost hopeless) situation;
inability to negotiate and find a compromise.

Situation and Advice

You are taken by surprise, you feel that you cannot deal with the situation, as it is not in your competence. Perhaps you underestimated the strength of the opposition. The difficulties that you had to face turned out to be much more difficult than you initially imagined.

Nine of Wands. The Tarot of Vampyres [With Phantasmagoria] by Ian Daniels
The Tarot of Vampyres [With Phantasmagoria] by Ian Daniels

Someone is “digging” under you, you are afraid that as a result you may lose your position. Maybe you yourself have cornered yourself into a silly self-defense pose? What if the position you are in is unfit to defend? Are you trying to defend something that doesn’t deserve it? Or are you afraid to defend your beliefs? Your defenses have been shattered. Loss or illness is possible. If you asked about health, then the card indicates a weakened immune system or reduced resistance to disease.

Persons designated by the Reversed Nine of Wands Tarot Сard

Those who are in the minority. Those who are constantly losing. Reserve players. People with an inferiority complex. People with poor immunity.

In the Spreads

The main meaning of the Nine of Wands Tarot card is in patient anticipation and readiness for any events and problems, the desire to protect what is important, to be responsible for your actions, to show self-control and determination.
Drawing of this card portends difficult times. Minor Arcana Tarot card Nine of Wands means struggle and opposition. If the Major Arcana cards are present nearby, then very serious forces are involved here.
The meaning of an upright and a reversed card is similar, only the result differs. If the upright position is a successful defense of positions, then the reversed position is unsuccessful defense of positions.

In an Upright Position

The Tarot card Nine of Wands shows the strength and resourcefulness in the character of the querent, so he should rely on these qualities in overcoming the upcoming difficulties. So far, everything is calm in life, but all sorts of personal and / or production problems are approaching. It is necessary to maintain the status quo and continue to use the solid foundation created earlier to move forward when the opportunity presents itself.
The Tarot card of Nine of Wands signifies vigor and the ability to cope with problems. Strong opposition to the enemy. Self-discipline, order, financial success in any field of yours.
The upright Nine of Wands characterizes the opposition to someone or something in order to protect their own interests. At the same time, the querent succeeds in everything, and he remains the winner.
The Nine of Wands informs that great opportunities open up before the person. He may suddenly realize that he is able to achieve much more than he believed until now and count on significant results where he could only dream of it before. A very good card of the feeling of one’s own strength, one’s capabilities, both in general and in some specific matters. Excellent condition for realizing the potential.
In the upright position, the Nine of Wands of the Tarot symbolizes such qualities as strength, courage, experience, foresight, endurance and, as a result, the readiness to withstand almost any difficulties.

Arcana predicts that difficult trials await you, but you have the strength and capabilities to get out of them with honor. Most likely, these difficulties will be associated with the business sphere (business, work, career, finance), however, depending on the spread, the Nine of Wands can predict problems in relationships, including with loved ones.
The presence of this card in the spread means that now is not the time to relax and let things go. Very soon you will need to show all the resilience that you are capable of in order to avoid losses and defend your interests.
If the Nine of Wands is surrounded by cards with a negative meaning, then its traditional meaning will be “trouble sneaking”. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that the Nine of Wands, like the Six of Wands, signifies overcoming obstacles and victory. In comparison with the Six of Wands, there are not so many emotions or a festive mood here. The Tarot card Nine of Wands rather speaks of the great inner strength of the person. If the card falls to someone who is in a dangerous situation or a cycle of difficulties, then it is considered a good sign.
The situation about which the Nine of Wands is telling about is not yet complete, the past has not yet been worked out, or the outcome of the present actions in the future has not yet been determined.

Nine of Wands. Tarot by Alphonse Mucha
Tarot by Alphonse Mucha

Such uncertainty is characteristic of all Nines in general. Sometimes the card means a delay, a tense expectation. But more often it is stubborn resistance in some difficult situation, which initially the person perceives as hostile.
Most likely, nothing really threatens the person who asked for advice, but his past experience, acquired reflexes force him to take a defensive stance.

In a Reversed Position:

The meaning of the reversed Nine of Wands is also the protection of one’s positions, however, unsuccessful. The person tries, but still loses. It may indicate a repeat of past mistakes.
The reversed Tarot card Nine of Wands speaks of a lack of initiative and the ability to adapt. In combination with stubbornness, these qualities lead the querent to unsuccessful adventures or to clearly doomed ways to achieve the desired goal. Great importance is attached to a new approach and the ability to adapt to changing conditions.
A reversed Tarot card with Nine of Wands in the spread means failure, disaster. It is possible that experience has not taught you anything. Your success is shattered or stolen by your own stubbornness. Obstacles and delays. Expect the worst.
In a reversed position, the Nine of Wands indicates significant difficulties, significant problems due to stubbornness, unwillingness to analyze the circumstances and words spoken, inability of the querent to adapt to the situation. In addition, the card may indicate withholding some important information from the querent or hiding it himself. In both cases, it will work against him.
In a reversed position, the Nine of Wands of the Tarot symbolizes a dangerous situation, difficulties and failures that can pursue a querent in his affairs.
On the one hand, the presence of this card in the spread means difficulties and obstacles that do not depend on the querent and can greatly interfere with his work or career.
On the other hand, a reversed Nine of Wands may indicate that the cause of losses and failures lies in the person himself: in his stubbornness, excessive rigidity, inability to compromise. Because of these qualities, he actually opposes himself to the people around him, and receives from them an unfriendly (to put it mildly) attitude in return.
If you have a reversed Nine of Wands, the most reasonable thing is to start showing more flexibility in dealing with people. Otherwise, only you yourself will be to blame for your difficulties.
A reversed Nine of Wands is considered bad news: there will be delays and obstacles, a bunch of minor troubles, at least. In the worst case scenario it means failure, multiple losses. You consider yourself still quite strong for this work, but your strength is at the end. A decline in business, a return to the starting point is possible.
You cannot switch to a new way of thinking in any way, your mind is closed to anything new and is filled with old, absolutely unnecessary rubbish. Perhaps you are fighting with a boulder, which can be safely bypassed, and your main enemy is standing on the sidelines and only watching you. The card gives you an advice: open your eyes.

In the Spreads for Different situation

In an Upright Position:
Be prepared to defend your interests and protect what is dear to you. It is necessary to show firmness, courage and endurance, and luck will be on your side.
In a Reversed Position:
The card advises not to rush into battle yet. Perhaps you don’t have enough strength or motivation yet, or this is not the right time. Be patient.

In the Spreads for Relationship

In an Upright Position:
It is quite difficult to interpret the Nine of Wands separately in Tator spreads for love. It will mean resistance, but this resistance can be directed both at the partner and the relationship in general, and at society, other people’s opinions, or toward the own feelings and emotions. To clarify the situation, consider the adjacent cards of the spread.
In this area, the Nine of Wands communicates harmony and mutual understanding in relationships, trust in the partner and confidence in him. However, it often denotes voluntary separation, loneliness, and restriction of communication.

Nine of Wands. New Vision Tarot
New Vision Tarot

The card often falls out as a symbol of a forced wait, either after recent changes or events, or as a harbinger of a calm time before the coming changes.
In a Reversed Position:
The meaning of the Tarot card of Nine of Wands in a reversed position in questions of love is a rivalry in which the querent does not get the desired result. Or when one of the partners protects the other too much, but he still leaves.
The reversed Nine of Wands is interpreted as a quarrelsome character, an unwillingness to take initiative, an inability to understand people and, as a result, a connection with an unworthy person with dubious personal qualities. In certain situations, the card may indicate that the person has some kind of compromising secret.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
Perhaps you are single now. In this case use this time to think about what kind of relationship you want. Later, having met the hero of your dreams in reality, you will act without doubt and without hesitation.
In a Reversed Position:
Jealousy and mistrust destroy relationships.

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
Family support helps you get through tough times. Knowing that your back is being covered, you are able to overcome any trouble.
In a Reversed Position:
It is not always easy to get the support you need in a family.

In the Spreads for Friendship

In an Upright Position:
You are a support for friends. You can be relied on in good times and bad.
In a Reversed Position:
You do not trust your friends and feel that you need to be on the defensive at all times.

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
The financial situation is consistently good, you make the budget, spend money on the right things.
In a Reversed Position:
In financial terms, there is a high risk of rash spending, monetary losses, loans.

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:
You are the kind of person who understands why you need to learn. You are aware that without education, your opportunities in life will be severely limited.

Nine of Wands. Union of Goddesses Tarot
Union of Goddesses Tarot

In a Reversed Position:
You are one of those people who stubbornly do not understand why all this cramming is needed. Stop resenting, because you spend more time and energy on this than on classes. Let’s do the opposite.

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:
Nine of Wands is a good sign in matters of career development. It means professionalism, discipline, responsibility, patient solution of problems, the desire to keep what has been achieved, self-development, correct planning of affairs.
Here the Nine of Wands speaks of reaching a new promising level, confidence in your abilities, courageous and responsible implementation of a new project. This is successful business development, stability, high profits.
In a Reversed Position:
The reversed Nine of Wands in the spreads for work symbolizes unwillingness to compete with competitors, insufficient level of professionalism, lack of control over emotions.
In the reversed form, the Nine of Wands means a lack of readiness for innovative methods in work, and sometimes a complete reluctance to make any changes in work, the conviction of one’s own infallibility and the resulting fatal mistakes, failures, miscalculations and losses.

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
In the field of health, Nine of Wands indicates a moral readiness to resist diseases, and not the fact that this disease exists at all. The card more conveys the querent’s spirit and attention to his physical condition.
Recovering from an illness. The hidden forces of the body, which are activated in stressful situations.
In a Reversed Position:
The reversed Arcana in spreads for health usually indicates a weakened immune system, when the human body is not able to cope with possible diseases on its own.
The disease is usually minor, but rather protracted. The card often indicates chronic diseases.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
Gives a vague answer, perhaps even more “no” than “yes”, but it is not yet clear.
In a Reversed Position:

Self-Development Lesson

Draw strength from your past grievances, past emotional difficulties and hostile criticism. You will become even more inventive if you learn to deal with adversity. Trust in your reserves of strength and character, as this will help you cope with difficulties.

Type of person in an upright position:

The card means a rather stubborn person. He needs strong arguments in order for him to change his mind on any issue. Silent, closed, suspicious. At the same time, he is characterized by courage, perseverance, the ability to insist on his opinion.

Type of person in a reversed position:

Nine of Wands. The Druid Craft Tarot Deck by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
The Druid Craft Tarot Deck by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

It means a person who wants to control everything around, regardless of whether others want it. He considers himself always right, not ready for any concessions. He is characterized by a complete lack of moral principles. In order to achieve goals, he goes over the heads of others.

Arcana’s warning

Avoid carelessness and haste in your actions.

Final Advice of Arcana

Be patient and careful, control your emotions and analyze your steps ahead. This will help you defend your interests and protect your values.

In an Upright Position:
Watch out day and night. Show firmness and perseverance, indicate the invariability of your position.
In a Reversed Position:
Forget about conscience for a while. If you won’t take care of yourself, nobody will take care of you.


The Nine of Wands will allow you to understand what is important to you and whether you are ready to defend it. And also whether you have enough strength, patience and motivation.
The task was completed successfully, the job is done. The person to whom the Tarot card Nine of Wands belongs has learned courage, discipline, the ability to plan wisely.
Even if there are problems pointed out by other cards in the spread, you know how to deal with them. If there is opposition, your skill, strength, and courage will make you a formidable adversary.


Discover other Minor Arcana:

2 thoughts on “Nine of Wands Tarot Card Meanings”

  1. I can’t understand the reversed 9 of Wands… 🙁 Does it mean that a person is open to something and expects the best, “has dropped his defenses” and is ready for adventure? Or does the 9 of Wands in the paragraph enhance its negative meaning? 😕

    1. I would say this – Tarot has enormous potential for reflecting human conditions. And to show that a person, for example, is really open, has dropped his defenses and is ready for adventure – the same Fool, please! The reversed Nine of Wands in my perception carries a slightly different tone. This is a victim driven into a corner who stops resisting due to exhaustion or fear. This cannot be called “open and ready” – there is simply no more strength to fight and defend oneself, either there was not enough from the beginning, or the person decided that there was no point in fighting anymore. This is a card of defeat in the fight. It is like a city that has been starved to death under siege, and it opens its doors to the victors, but not at all because it welcomes them.

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