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Sagittarius and the Nine of Wands

Finishing 2023 with Strength and Vision



On Tuesday the 12th we’ll begin the final lunar cycle of 2023 with a New Moon in Sagittarius. To help us finish strong, I’m calling on the Nine of Wands for insight and perseverance.


The New Moon is normally a time for setting new intentions, but since this year is nearing its end, I‘m offering a ritual to help get us across the finish line.


The Nine of Wands is a card we can anchor to when we’ve got more commitments than time, but it all needs to get done.


By combining Sagittarius’ enthusiasm for exploration with the Nine of Wands’ strength and fortitude, I hope today’s post will support you as you tend to your inner fire and illuminate a gentler path ahead.


And as a fun bonus, you can listen to my Nine of Wands playlist here


The Nine of Wands




In the Rider-Waite deck the Nine of Wands shows an embattled man holding one large wand, while eight more wands stand behind him. His head is bandaged and his skin looks jaundiced.


He’s collected these nine wands despite hardship, and he’s prepared to stand guard. His internal fortitude is reflected in the fence or fort behind him.


Wands are ruled by fire. They represent our passions. Whatever it is we’re exploring in the Wands, we care.


The Wands ask: “What is required to build the great pyres of our dreams, without consuming all of our resources? How can we fuel great passion, without burning out?”


The overarching lesson of the Wands is meant to teach us how to sustain our passions.


Nines are the penultimate cards in each suit. When we get to the Tens, it’s more of a graduation. The energy is almost overripe. I like to think of the Nines as the trophy room of that suit.


When we find ourselves in the energy of the Nine of Wands, we’ve reached a tipping point. 

Whatever it is that we’re invested in, we’ve made meaningful progress, and if we are wise, we recognize that we’ll soon need to take a breather. 


Sagittarius




I’ve been feeling the energy of the Nine of Wands for a few weeks, and I planned to make it the focus of today’s message for that reason alone.


It wasn’t until I started my research that I learned the Nine of Wands is associated with Sagittarius. Coincidence?


The sign of Sagittarius is represented by the archer, a half-man, half-horse centaur. We’ll be in the season (Sun sign) of Sagittarius until December 22nd.


I am not an astrologer, but I can tell you that Sagittarius energy loves to travel and is fulled by thrill-seeking, soul-searching adventure. They are often willing to explore spaces that others wouldn’t dare venture.


Consider the strength it takes for an archer to pull back a bow and arrow, and the stillness required to hit the mark. The Nine of Wands is very much like that archer.



Meet The Moment


If you are an adult who still looks forward to the holidays all year long, bless your heart. I am not.

Let’s be honest, when we say holidays, we mean Christmas, and by Christmas, we’re not talking about the baby Jesus.


Here in the US, Christmas and New Year’s come no matter who you pray to. It starts in November and it involves parties, shopping, decorating, card-sending, wrapping, cooking, traveling, socializing, and those same songs every year.


If you run a small business (like me) you might be counting on December to make it into the black. If you’re grieving, having health problems, or can’t be with the people you love, this time of year can feel extra tender.


Even if you’ll be with your loving friends and family whom you’ve got nothing but happy memories with going all the way back to childhood, this time of year still adds stress.


Why? Because we care.


Publishing today’s post is a perfect example for me. I’ve been so busy entertaining at parties that my voice is a bit hoarse. I’ve got individual sessions on top of my free tutoring sessions, and I’m

prepping for the EnVision workshop on January 21st. And of course, there's all those holiday to-dos to be done.


I’m passionate about every one of those endeavors, so much so that I’m willing to burn the midnight oil.



This is what it means to work with the Nine of Wands, especially in Sagittarius. 


The archer pulls back her bow and holds that tension, while aiming to the skies for what is possible. It can be tempting to give up, but she knows that if she releases too early, her efforts will not meet their mark.


We will have a break soon, all of us. The Winter Solstice will arrive and bank holidays will follow. The confetti from New Years will be swept up and 2023 will be a memory.


For now, we must learn how to labor, and rest, then labor and rest, and labor and rest again.


Creating Your Ritual


Sagittarius’ ruling planet is Jupiter, the planet of abundance. Jupiter wants to have it all, go big or go home. It’s wonderful to have an expansive approach to life, but it can make finishing projects challenging.


When we arrive at Sagittarius season, we’ve already covered a lot of ground. Here we are in the final weeks of the year, we’ve done so much, and yet, we may still be imagining what more to tack on. 

We can’t sustain our passions with an attitude that says enough is never enough. The Nine of Wands can help.


To begin this New Moon ritual, I want to invite you to set aside a little time to prepare it, and then a separate time to preform it.


Like any New Moon, we’re going to create an intention. Take some time to answer the following five questions and find out what your intention will be..


1. What is one thing that needs to be accomplished before you can relax?


The Nine of Wands is here to make certain that you finish what you’ve started. That doesn’t mean you’ll be finish everything 100% perfectly. The Nine of Wands knows that done is better than perfect

Think about what needs to be finished and make sure you define finished only as far as it needs to be, then call it a day.


2. What can you do to make your life easier, without neglecting your fire. Where can you catch a breath and reset?


While FDR was managing WWII, he kept his cocktail hour sacred. Every day was a crisis, and every night at 6:30 he would retire into a parlor at the White House to socialize with Hollywood celebrities, sports stars, and friends. He would return to the map room later if he needed to, but every night he took a break.


Having a stroke of insight in the shower is no accident. When we allow ourselves time to rest on one wand, we can heal our heated minds long enough to recharge for the next battle.



3. Are you being over protective?


The Nine of Wands can be a fantastic teacher when it comes to setting boundaries, but is it possible you’ve mistaken defensiveness with boundary-setting? 


A client of mine recently wanted to know what she could do to avoid drama with her family while they were in town. My answer (perhaps a frustrating one) was to remember that she who has the most peace ‘wins’.


If we enter a situation with our dukes up ready to defend ourselves, we’re going to find ourselves in conflict.


If you don’t have the energy to socialize or entertain, don’t pressure yourself to go out. If you decide to push yourself because you know there is value in the endeavor, make room to be surprised and delighted.


4. Are you believing the false narrative that the only valuable lessons are ‘painful lessons’?


The story that we only learn from our mistakes is a seductive one, but it’s not true. Success is a fantastic teacher, if we take the time to learn.


Suffering is not noble. It’s not what you came here to do. It’s no wonder that we have a hard time trusting in joy when we live in a system that pays lip service to misery.


How many times have we allowed ourselves to stay up late at night worrying about things beyond our control?


As children we saw the adults in our lives excuse their bad behaviors because of ‘stress from work’. As adults many of us repeat those patterns hoping that we’ll be seen as valuable, because we are miserable.


We learn that our joy might become a liability, and so we begin to value ‘hard work’ over everything. Stop it! It’s not the truth!


If you are holding onto a shitty belief or thought pattern, drop it like a hot coal. Your life has meaning in your capacity to appreciate it. No one is paying you for your misery, so remove that requirement from all your job descriptions.


5. You’ve come so far, what have you learned about yourself? How can you deepen that self-trust?


As you take a moment to reflect, give yourself some credit for all that you’ve achieved. You have a perfect track record of not dying, well done!


Too often we look at our achievements and credit our success to luck, while falling hard on the sword of our perceived mistakes, even the ones we haven’t made yet.

 

The brain is a fantastic thief when it comes to self-esteem. You may have had enough food, shelter, clothing and more every day of your life, and still have enough for this week, but the brain wants to say that’s further evidence of your inevitable failure. Baloney. 


Taking inventory of your resilience, accomplishments, successes and wins is like basking in the glow of the Nine of Wands bonfire. Remember we want to be able to sustain our heat and not burn out, so appreciate your passion.



Conducting Your Ritual


If you want to work with this lunation, you’ll want to start after the New Moon begins at 3:32 PM PT on December 12, but you can conduct this ritual whenever you’re looking to draw strength from the Nine of Wands.


You’ll need a candle, a match, and nine silver coins (Quarters, dimes, nickles are all fine).

Based on your answers to questions above, write out your intention statement.


For example, “I will choose peace at every opportunity with my family” or “I will see this project through and I will rest completely when it is completed.”


Place a candle on an alter. That doesn't need to be complicated, just clear a space. You can put a cloth down if you like, and if you want to bring the Nine of Wands with you, by all means, but it can be very simple.


As you light your candle, connect to the energy of the flame. Observe it and bring awareness to your breath. Slow your heartbeat and ground yourself in this moment.


Know that this entire ritual can be completed in ten to fifteen minutes, but you’ll need to be mentally present the whole time.


When you are centered, read your intention statement aloud nine times, adding a coin to your alter each time.


Remember that you came here to manifest, and so by rewarding yourself for doing the work, you are honoring your fire.


When you’ve done this, close your eyes and sit in stillness for a few more minutes. Continue to feel yourself grounded and at peace, energized and alive, ready for whatever may come your way.


When you are ready, gently blow out your candle and give yourself some appreciation for giving yourself attention and peace.


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