The 9 of Wands depicts a character in a strong position, defending what they have worked so hard to gain. Nines are near the completion of the journey through the suit numbers. The figure in this card is no longer striving towards his goal. Now he is defending what he has earned.
On the one hand, this card shows that you are in a position of strength. It recognises your achievements. But on the other hand, and what resonates most strongly with me, is the defensive elements of this card.
The wall of wands behind him keeps out those who seek to take what he has. But at the same time, it contains him. It traps him. While he stands and guards what is his, he is unable to be free.
As I examine my own feelings towards this card, I recognise that my response reflects what is important to me. To be free is one of the things I value most. Freedom, to me, means having the ability to live my life as I choose. It also means talking and behaving in the way that I choose. Being free to be me.
I once had a relationship with a man who had been hurt badly in the past, and as a result of that (and other factors) was constantly on the defence. He was so scared of being hurt again that he couldn’t allow himself to just be himself around me, or anyone. Very rarely did he let his walls come down. His persona was fake, like a mask he put on. This is the opposite of my concept of freedom.
While the 9 of Wands reminds me of these values, it also reminds me to be grateful for what I have. Too often, I lunge ahead towards the next goal, with little consideration for appreciating what I have already achieved.