When you get up to the later sword cards, the brain goes into overdrive in some really nasty ways. In the case of the Nine of swords, this manifests as the torment one put’s oneself through using such negative emotions as guilt, stress and worry as weapons of self-sabotage.
Guilt, worry and stress can be strong, debilitating emotions with little or no return on investment. They can convince you that you are doing something to resolve an issue or a situation when what they are really doing is enabling procrastination while draining your energy.
Guilt’s greatest value seems to be in providing control over others, as in “guilting” someone into doing something. This is not a great recommendation for an emotion. Clearly the person in the nine of swords is not the one doing the controlling. People attempting to use this device to control others should be warned that the result is sometimes the opposite of the desired effect – rebellion instead of obedience. Trust me, I have first-hand experience from my youth of being “guilted”. If you’re going to muck around with other people’s emotions, you don’t get to choose how it backfires.
Has anything ever been accomplished by worrying? My mother used to do it all the time, about me, money, the house, me, the weather and me, to name a few things. Did it change anything? No, unless you count the occasional guilting (see previous paragraph). I once knew a woman who was convinced that she could prevent bad things happening to her by worrying about them. I never saw any evidence of this. Of course, how do you prove something bad would have happened if you didn’t worry about it? It seemed as superstitious to me as not stepping on a crack in the pavement, but she was convinced it worked.
We all feel stress from time to time, but when someone is continually stressed eventually something is either going to snap or explode, maybe both. I’ve heard people go on about the positive benefits of “creative stress”. I would recommend they read the Artists Way. I would also suggest that, unless we’re talking about a block, the stress involved in the creative process isn’t the quite the same as the stress that might keep someone up at night staring at the ceiling.
If you are experiencing guilt, stress and worry maybe you should think about detoxing your emotions like you would your body. If they are associated with an issue or situation that needs to be dealt with, deal with it and move on. If they are associated with vague notions of possible scenarios that exist mainly in your imagination, process those emotions and let them go. On the other hand, these emotions might be presenting from someone else in your life. If so, and you want to help them clear those emotions, try to maintain a boundary so that you don’t get caught up in their negative feelings. You HSPs and empaths know what I’m talking about – emotions can be contagious. Protect yourselves.