In numerological thinking, nine is the number of completeness and culmination. So is ten. In the tarot, however, endings are actually beginnings. The ten is the last number is a suit, and therefore leads you right back to the one. Circles in the sand, cycles and seasons.
Nines, though...nines don't play that paradox game. Nines come down like a curtain. And nowhere do we see the nines' knack for utter finality than in the Swords.
The Swords are the suit of mental acuity. Like the blades that are their metaphor, Swords cut both ways. The same intellectual sharpness that we use to be logical and rational can also be used for cruelty and spite, sometimes at the same time. To paraphrase a popular saying, we always hurt the one we know best. And we know no one better than we know ourselves.
The Nine of Swords occurs during the dark night of the soul. But it doesn't reference any actual event; rather, it refers to those times when our anxiety is so strong that it becomes a force to be reckoned with all by itself. Our worries are only worries--insubstantial, wispy--but given the proper fuel, we can worry them into something three-dimensional.
So perhaps the nines do traffic in paradox after all.
This week, if you feel the cold breath of something unpleasant against the back of your neck, don't let your imagination fill in the details. Turn around and face that monster straight on. It's guaranteed to be smaller that way, less corporeal. Give it a poke and watch that soap bubble baddie go poof right in front of you. You created it after all. You can de-create it just as easily.
But if that doesn't work...brew some tea and call a friend. Nothing like flesh and blood sympathy to take the edge off a nightmare.