The Tarot Primer (12)
NINE of WANDS
Written for Monday 31st October – Sunday 6th November (and shared here for the mirror week of six month ago, including Samhain here in the Southern Hemisphere)
✉️ The Nine as Missive
🕯 As we pause for Samhain (juxtaposed with Beltane in the Northern Hemisphere) the 9 is an invitation to consider who or what you are lighting a candle for.
🔋 9 is the energy to mourn and remember, as well as dream and manifest. Both call something to us.
🙏🏻 The 9 explores what it means to hold a vigil — literally what you are holding onto and tending in reverence.
🔦 It casts a light in the dark as to who or what you are keeping close. It calls into question, and concurrently amplifies, your call to the other side.
🔬 It asks us to qualify and clarify what “the other side is” for us, on the everyday plane, as well as a higher spiritual.
⏳The 9 beckons and whispers to you: tell me who or what you are waiting for? How long has it been?
☠️ It gently and without judgement observes the candles you have lit. The ones doggedly tended. The ones you’ve been careless with. The ones that went out.
🧚♀️ The 9 reminds us, waiting and patience are not the same thing. They tap different timelines. Different congruencies. But as children we are told to wait; be patience and our restless spirits take this as punishment. It’s not.
🔥 In the element of fire, patience is wild.
👞 Hypervigilance is a heightened state of anticipation. Of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe it was once adaptive. Is it now?
😬The 9 suggests modern life makes us worry what is coming at us. Makes us worry we are alone. Makes as though we are alone and unprotected.
🛡 We worry so much, we are perpetually prepared, carrying our armour everywhere. We miss the caress of the gentleness of life. Kindness. The afternoon breeze. We sleep in it and wonder why we wake unrested.
♀️ The nine makes room beside it and offers you a chance to light a candle for yourself.
📖 Journal Prompts
🕰 Who or what are you willing to wait for?
⏰ Who or what are you not willing to do this for?
🍽 Who is making you wait?
🦁 Where does fierceness and courage intersect patience?
❤️ What is your relationship with patience?
If you could define wild patience for yourself, what would it look/sound/feel/taste/smell like?
🍂 What have you incepted and not tended?
🗡 What keeps you awake at night?
✨ What is the glorious other side of your biggest challenge right now? Describe it in detail.
🧨 How does trying to do it alone sabotage your best efforts?
Thank you so much for your patience. It’s good to be back. See you tomorrow.
🎯 9 of Wands in Action: The Quasi List Poem
I first came across the term “wild patience” in Women Who Run With the Wolves in 2016. The phrase was shaped by feminist and poet Adrienne Rich. It immediately seized my imagination.
What could wild patience be?
My then-boyfriend and I texted back and forth across an evening, what wild patience might be. It is one of my happiest memories of our time together.
So let’s write a list poem together….
(If you have a friend you can do this with, do it. If it’s just you and your notes app or journal that’s fine too.)
You start with the phrase:
Wild patience is… and you fill that in.
If words are not your jam, cap it at 3. Let it be a process of moving through.
If words are a happy playground aim for a higher number of iterations.
Hold this lightly. Have fun.
🪶 The 9 of Wands in Poetry
Wild patience is…
…tending a grieving heart knowing it will once-again be whole and love again.
…the anticipation of a summer storm building on the horizon (before there were weather apps)
…your soul choosing time-consuming creativity paths when your impetuous humanness needs spontaneity and immediacy down the trauma-bahn.
…festina lente: make haste slowly
…threading daisy chains, winding pom poms and constructing paper chains.
…cyclic stability and it’s ever-constant shifts and changes hardwired into the wax and wane, ebb and flow, growth and decay.
…how the people who love you hold space so you can to tend yourself in your perfect timing, not theirs.
🪞 The 9 in Reflection
I know the Primer rarely delivers messages I want. But they’re always the ones I need. This week was no different.
It’s the second week of mourning the loss of someone who meant everything to me. And it’s a warped grief tangled in an exceptionally non-conventional relationship that defied possibility. I find myself trying to work out how to hold space to honour the past, be present with myself now and continue to tend to the future when the “rules”/assumptions/expectations don’t m necessarily apply here.
🕯 Thanks to Christina I was able to light a candle on the Samhain/Beltane axis to: contradictions and the wholehearted devastation of being human. The unseasonal gusting wind blew it out before it got going. But I was able to let it burn out the following night.
Who are we to say what perfect timing is? The intersection of wild patience and time is probably our capacity to let go, let be and trust in the unfolding.
Also thank you to Anna Bellissimo who reminded me that if you search for evidence of magick you will find it. (And you know — for your amusement… as I was typing that the Cure’s “Close to Me” was playing and out the corner of my eye I spied a hand-sized spider crawl up the pillar beside where I was sitting. I don’t need to be that close. Thank you!!!)
Thoughts that popped up this week, the first is mine. The next two belong to astrologer Alice Sparkly Kat:
💭 It is not just identifying who or what, it’s about knowing how you tend the memories, when and where you do, and why. But of course all of that is meaningless unless you know the what or who.
💭 (Detectives) might be extra vigilant types who don’t know how to describe the things that only they see to someone else. They might (embody) and hold the important archetype of truth.
💭 The word remember is a bit of a misnomer. We never remember things. We always reconstruct memories. Memories are just stories.
📻 Signal Boost
✨David Whyte’s The Well of Grief
✨Isabel Abbott‘s “salt + honey”
✨Adrianna Michelle — The Death Alchemist
The 9 of wands Outro
My son tells a great story of being woken in the middle of the night to me belting this out, earphones in, hidden within the dark.
Without further ado, please dance yourself into the weekend with Blondie’s “The Tide is High”
I’ve shared for entry as the mirror week of six months ago — the middle week of the eclipse portal and to honour Samhain here in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Tarot Primer is a text-based, espresso-strength infusion of tarot, channeled wisdom, journal prompts, poetry, life hacks and music delivered straight to your phone via Signal four times a week. The Primer returns Monday, 1st May.