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Mindful May Tarot: 9 of Swords

Looking at the distressed woman in bed within the 9 of Swords card, the messages seem obvious: 'get some sleep', 'stop worrying so much', 'it's just your imagination playing tricks on you'...the kind of casual advice we often give to depressed people when we don't realize just how deep their fear cuts. And while it's true that this card often represents the demons in our head as opposed to concrete threats, it's still important to treat this card with a great deal of sensitivity.

And that's because the nines in tarot are heavy; they are a kind of breaking point, before we reach the chapter turn that occurs at number 10. And when we combine the climactic weight of the nine with the problem-solving suit of the swords, we get an abundance of mental activity; that is indeed very real, because it affects the way we encounter life—or rather, don't, because our thoughts have depleted our vital energy.

There are two cards in the tarot that clearly tell me someone is ripe for meditation: the 4 of Swords and the 9 of Swords. The querent who selects the four is probably aware of this already. The soul who attracts the 9 is so overwhelmed by thoughts that meditation is a distant concept. But it's for this reason, that mindfulness can have the greatest impact on the 9 of Swords person...the greater the contrast, the richer the reward.

So, in my humble opinion, the mindful message for this card is actually much simpler than we might think: just do it. Meditate. If you've pulled this card, you're probably already doing it, just in the form of ruminating. So continue to watch those thoughts, but now let them fly, resisting the urge to judge them or figure them out. Watch them zoom on past the clouds, let them release in the form of tears, just let them be.

It might not happen overnight, but with steady practice, those frightening figures in the background will be starved of your attention and you'll return to nourishing yourself. If this mindful message speaks to your personally, I recommend a 'mindfulness of thoughts' meditation; which isn't about minimizing your thoughts, but rather noticing them with greater clarity.



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