The 9 of Wands always takes me back to my Software Engineering career. Back then, it always seemed as if it took 50% of the time to complete the last 10% of the job. Nowadays, I also think about the construction of buildings. A home can look rather complete from the outside for a long time before it is actually done. The finish work can require iterations to refine up to the level of quality desired.
If I were to define the 9 of Wands, I would probably say it this way: You are nearing your desired destination, but are not yet there. At this point in the journey, you are well aware of all the struggles it took to get here. You may be tired, you may be sore, rest if you need, but know you are almost there.
If we study Tricia’s image, we see a ship heading to shore. The shore beckons; nine torches light the way.
At present, the ship is in rough waters. Rock formations jutting out of the sea appear to block its path. The ship must navigate the dangers and find a way forward.
However, once this last impediment has been surpassed, the waters beyond are completely calm. The island is well within view, inspiring the last efforts needed to reach it. Once the ship anchors there, a short but steep climb up the mountain is needed to reach the temple on top of it.
We certainly experience life this way. By this phase of a project, we are often exhausted. We can easily forget all of the obstacles we successfully surpassed when faced with the one in front of us. But now, with the destination so clearly in sight, giving up is not an option.
Clearly, not all journeys resemble this one…but some do. This archetype will resonate strongly with some of us for sure!
If you find yourself in a similar place, take inventory of the card. You are well aware of the presence of danger and the possibly of harm, or failure, or toil. But look beyond the rock formation, notice the luscious color of the water. Look closely through the torches at the buildings beyond them. There are clouds toward the horizon, but clear skies are above.
Yesterday, when I first examined this image, I saw no way through. In my mind, the ship needed to retreat from the rock formations and maybe go around them. In fact, it looked like the ship could have already crashed on them or maybe was stuck on a sandbar.
Today, I saw something I didn’t notice before. There could be a path through the formations! From this angle, one can’t be sure, but if you look closely, there does seem to be a way through. Furthermore, the ship is traveling along that exact path!
This part of the message is possibly the most important. It suddenly reminded me of last Sunday’s message:
Instead of viewing something as in the way, consider it on the way!
I am most certainly taking note. When a message in reinforced in this way, it is time to listen…and to trust!