Anxiety – Fenestra, 9 of Swords

May 12, 2010 at 8:16 am (9 of Swords, Fenestra Tarot)

Fenestra Tarot - 9 of Swords

Fenestra Tarot - 9 of Swords

Anxiety…despair… the sort of intense stress that keeps you up all night in dread.  Is there any emotion more difficult to handle?

In the Fenestra deck, we can see a woman in a grey gown girdled with a rope belt (it reminds me of prison garb) sitting on a bench, her head in her hands.  Her feet are tucked underneath her – that is, her feet aren’t on the ground.  Behind her, nine swords are either mounted on the wall as a backdrop or they may actually be racing past her without actually touching her.

The bench where she sits has a decorative wave motif, flowing in the opposite direction from the swords – emotions and thoughts clashing with one another here.

Those are the visuals – the concepts I get are a lack of groundedness, that clash of emotion and thought (leading to that oh-so-lovely anxiety symptom, racing thoughts), a sense of entrapment (the prison garb), and attempts at denial (the covered face).

And it stirs up plenty of memory of late night insomnia, with various stressors overtaking my mind no matter how well I cope when I’m awake.  I’ve experienced it during the end days of my marriage, wondering how I’ll ever manage alone, during health woes – my own and that of various family members, during times of financial uncertainty.

I sometimes think the whole world is collectively experiencing this, and the worst part of this sort of stress is that it stems from a lack of inner peace, and makes it very difficult to get to a place of peace.  The sleep you lose worsens the stress and reduces your ability to cope with it.  It is a very ugly, acutely painful cycle.

When this card shows up,  I think drastic measures are needed – end the cause of the stress, or find a way to deal with it.  Get help.  Anxiety at this level takes a tremendous toll on one’s physical and mental wellbeing, not only in the short term, but later.  Heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic illness… and the irony, I suppose, is that when you’re stuck in the throes of stress, worrying about the impact of the stress just adds to it.

Don’t minimize what you’re experiencing… get help, ask for support, seek out assistance to help fix what’s wrong.  This is a big warning sign, and needs to heard.


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