Nine of Wands
A wounded man holding a wand stands guard over the other eight wands. This is the "failure-is-not-an-option," card. Think of climbing flight after flight of stairs to get to the top; you finally stop, panting, and wonder "Will I ever get to the top?" Unlike the Seven/Pents, however, there is no giving up, no going back after all you've done to get this high. You dig deep, find some reserve of energy and keep going.
Likewise, our soldier, wounded and tired as he is, is not going to stop protecting those wands.
Thus, the energy of the wands is invested back into ourselves for that final push. Though we may not know it, this will be our last investment, completing what we set out to create. The card predicts that the querent will get what they seek from the wands, a career goal, leadership position, whatever they've invested their energy into making real. They will, however, feel guarded and wary till it's done. And, like climbing flight after flight of stairs, they might be a little paranoid at this point. They might not believe that all they've invested is about to pay off. Or, like the soldier, they may not be willing to let someone else guard their wands even if they could use a rest.
Which means that this card often comes up for querents who are unable to delegate, worn-out mothers who won't let anyone else, not even dad, care for their baby, directors who won't let anyone else rehearse the actors, etc. The results of this will be seen in 10/Wands. In 9/Wands, however, the querent only needs to be assured that they do have reserves of energy and strength for that final push. Completion of all they've worked for is right there, all they need do is go for it!
Onto the next Tarot card, the Nine of Cups...
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