I could start off with an examination of what we mean by “positive” and “negative” emotions and whether emotions deserve such labels, but I’m going to skip that abstract PC conversation and cut straight to the chase. I’m pretty sure that if I say “negative emotions”, most people are going to be in the ballpark of what I mean. And the Nine of Swords is all about negative emotions such as worry, guilt, fear and anxiety.
Even though this card came up reversed for me today, the more I considered it the more I came to believe that, for me anyway, there’s little of import in the difference. In the context of a reading the client and the surrounding cards would have more impact on the meaning than whether the swords were going up or down, although reversed could indicate that there is actually something to be worried about. Then again, that depends on context.
Either way the Nine of Swords represents the energy of emotional turmoil. And in a case where something troubling shows up the question is not “what’s going to happen” so much as it is “what are you going to do about it”?
Regardless of whether you’re paranoid or whether they really are out to get you, negative emotions usually contribute nothing worthwhile to a situation. They merely get in the way when what you really need is a clear head with which to think and a clear heart with which to feel your way through.
Quite often, negative emotions are like little sensors that go off when we get too close to the ego’s outer boundaries. They are the ego’s way of saying, “hey! I’m who you are. I’m what’s real, not this other mumbo jumbo. Stick with me kid and I’ll keep you safe in the familiar, no matter how painful or dull, and I’ll make you suspicious and afraid of everything else.” Let’s face it, if listening to your ego was enough for you, you wouldn’t be reading this.
We need a way to release these negative emotions. To truly be able to let go of them you need to work through them. Ignoring them does not make them go away any more than literally sweeping dirt under the carpet makes the dirt go away. You might start with a small, not even noticeable lump under the rug, but eventually you wind up with a small mountain of debris that starts popping out in unexpected, weird and not necessarily wonderful ways. Emotions are no different.
Let’s say you feel worried, for example. Although it might be unpleasant to do so, when you allow your body to feel and acknowledge that emotion for what it is (as opposed to dwelling on what you associate it with), it will work its way out of your body, and you will relax from it. You might still have to deal with the issue that worried you, but now you’re emotionally better able to deal with it. Or you might learn that the worry had more to do with your perception or what pushes your buttons instead of something that needs to be addressed outside yourself.
On the other hand, if you allow your worry to go unchecked, and you keep fuelling it by dwelling on the person or scenario you associate it with, the worry will continue to run you down while drawing other negative emotions to it like a snowball hurtling down a ski slope. You might pick up anger and guilt for example. You might even move into depression. Instead of processing your emotions you’ve built an abominable snow-person. This is a completely ineffective way to accomplish anything except self-sabotage.
I know that some of you are saying “My emotions are what they are, you’re mad thinking I can change them.” Sure, I’ve said it myself. But I’m not asking you to change them. I’m inviting you to try dealing with them differently. Everyone gets angry. Everyone has anxiety from time to time. The difference is in how you deal with it.
Here’s something that works for me: The next time you feel one of those negative emotions come on you, sit down and let yourself feel it. Don’t do anything, don’t speak, just feel. Now, where do you feel it in your body? Heart? Head? Solar plexus? If you look you will find it in a physical location in your body. Have you got it? Now, simply feel it. Let yourself experience it. You might want to take your hands and place them over that part of your body. If you want, you can ask what that feeling is trying to communicate to you. It’s OK if you don’t get an obvious answer. Let yourself keep feeling that emotion in your body. As you do, in a short while, that feeling should dissipate and you will feel at peace with it. You’ve acknowledged, worked through and processed the emotion.
If you want additional assistance, Reiki is very useful for releasing built up negative emotions that you might be carrying around with you.
Repeat as necessary.