Tarot Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana cards contain answers to questions from everyday life, thus complementing to the aspects of the main Tarot cards. There are 56 cards in the Minor Arcana, divided into 4 Suits times 14 Cards. Each suit is represented by a symbol, Pentacle, Wand, Cup, or Sword. There is a one-to-one correspondence between these symbols and the four elements of the esoteric science: earth, water, air, and fire.
9 of Swords
The image is of Ananda, the cousin and disciple of Gautam Buddha. He was at Buddha's side constantly, attending to his every need for forty-two years. When Buddha died, the story is told that Ananda was still at his side, weeping. The other disciples chastised him for his misunderstanding: Buddha had died absolutely fulfilled; he should be rejoicing. But Ananda said, "You misunderstand. I'm weeping not for him but for myself, because for all these years I have been constantly at his side but I have still not attained." Ananda stayed awake for the whole night, meditating deeply and feeling his pain and sorrow. By the morning, it is said, he was enlightened.
Times of great sorrow have the potential to be times of great transformation. But in order for transformation to happen we must go deep, to the very roots of our pain, and experience it as it is, without blame or self-pity.
Quotes on 9 of Swords
This pain is not to make you sad, remember. That's where people go on missing.... This pain is just to make you more alert--because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they don't become alert.
When life is easy, comfortable, convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a friend dies, there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone--those dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone. Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when, if you use them, you can become aware. The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable, the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery disappears.