Nine of Wands – Strength
Strength is the state of being strong and healthy. A capable corps, ability to resist, ability to maintain the state.
The Nine of Wands suggests more strengthening of the action. Whatever doubts one had, these will be dispelled.
The figure leans upon his staff and has an expectant look, as if awaiting an enemy. Behind are eight other staves – erect, in orderly disposition, like a palisade.
The card signifies strength in opposition. If attacked, the person will meet an onslaught boldly; and his build shews that he may prove a formidable antagonist. With this main significance there are all its possible adjuncts — delay, suspension, adjournment.
Additional meanings: Generally speaking, a bad card.
Obstacles, adversity, calamity.
Book of Thoth – Strength
The Nine of Wands is called Strength. It is ruled by the Moon and Yesod. In “The Vision and the Voice”, the eleventh Aethyr gives a classical account of the resolution of this antinomy of Change and Stability. The student should also consult the works of any of the better mathematical physicists. Of all important doctrines concerning equilibrium, this is the easiest to understand, that change is stability; that stability is guaranteed by change; that if anything should stop changing for the fraction of a split second, it would go to pieces. It is the intense energy of the primal elements of Nature, call them electrons, atoms, anything you will, it makes no difference; change guarantees the order of Nature. This is why, in learning to ride a bicycle, one falls in an extremely awkward and ridiculous manner. Balance is made difficult by not going fast enough. So also, one cannot draw a straight line if one’s hand shakes. This card is a sort of elementary parable to illustrate the meaning of this aphorism: “Change is Stability.”
A card of optimism – things are improving, at least there is going to be change.
Golden Dawn – Lord of Strength
Strong emotion bubbles under a calm surface. Hidden passion; rapid, unpredictable change; strength through balance.
Order, Discipline, Good Arrangement, Disposition.
Obstacles, Crosses, Delay, Displeasure.
Delay, Waiting Time, Distance, Adjournment, Deferral, Suspension, Extension, Slowness, Slowing Down.
Crossing, Obstacle, Difficulties, Vexation, Disadvantage, Adversity, Pain, Bad Luck, Misfortunes, Calamity.
- Obstacle, delay, suspense, adversity, slowness, contrariety, calamity, misfortune, renvoy, trouble. “The card signifies strength in opposition. If attacked he will meet the onslaught boldly.” (W.)
- The element of Air on the Ninth house, which is opposite to that in which the particular accent of the suit of wands lies: Gemini, the third. This opposition evidently has been the chief motive for the qualifications given in respect of this card in the past.
- There is a good deal in it, but not everything. Of course, if the third house is the typical expression of the ‘message,’ the Sagittarian is the type of the man “who is always in the opposition,” but he is more. He is also… himself. This card seems to be queerly veiled. It is at least strange to find only malific expressions of the co-ordination of the element Air and the principle of mind with the house of Sagittarius, the thinker. This looks as if the patrons of the Tarot system did not think it wise to tell much about this sign of the prophets to the fortune-telling gypsies. How this may be does not concern. us any further. Evidently the card must have to do with prophecy, fortune-telling, teaching, conducting, guiding and the persons of guides, teachers, masters; it must give the notion of travelling and far-reaching schemes, the faculty of speaking foreign languages and of writing, but it is true, that the persons indicated by this card find their “strength in opposition ” — as W. has it — and very often therefore are in search of some convenient opponent or opposing force. It means intellectual chasing, sport, hunting, journalism and the raising of spirits, that are not easily to be got rid of afterwards. The latter fact accounts for all that has been said about obstacles, etc.
- Teaching, instruction, guidance, teachers, masters, guides. Planning, travelling, sport; journalism, editors and journalists, public lecturers, orators; prophecy and predicting. On the other hand there may be unruliness, waywardness and unpractical idealism. It is certain that, where this card appears, much controversy, contradiction, antagonism, mental strife, etc., will be aroused, sometimes more than would appear necessary. There is also in it extension of thought, spreading of news, rumours, preaching, excitement of the people and revolution.
Paul Foster-Case: Nine of Wands – Preparedness
A pillar in the triangle suggests support, and thus harmonizes with 9, called Foundation or Bias in Qabalah.
Second decanate of Sagittarius, December 2nd to December 11th, under rulership of Mars. It suggests originality, independence and daring.
Strength in reserve, health after illness, success, but attended by some strife.
Danger of violence in foreign places, or on or through the course of long journeys; difficulties with the relatives of the marriage partner; conflict with persons prominent in religion or law; obstinacy.