Nine of Swords

Prompt: Crossroads Demon

Card description: “A man wakes from a nightmare, nine swords on the wall. It can be a good thing to find what you seek, except when it comes to ideas, words or problems. Find too many of them and they will overwhelm you. We all know this card, it is the one where we wake up at night and go over our troubles, problems, worries, thoughts, what we said, what others said. The Querent must be told that while their problems may be real, they’re blowing them out of proportion, making them worse, nightmarish. They are spending too many sleepless nights alone and awake with these words, ideas, problems. What they are really seeking is to wake from this bad dream – which they can do by realizing that it is a bad dream – most of it is in their head.”

Basic card symbols: swords, roses, defeated swordsman, astrological symbols

Artist’s notes:

Well the description of this card doesn’t have much object oriented symbolism other than the swords. The quilt though, has roses and astrological symbols on it. The bed itself has a carving of one swordsman being defeated by another.

Roses in tarot can symbolize purity, also passion and desire. But here the idea is that it appears that the only way to reach the roses (passion/desire/purity/clarity) is to cut oneself on the swords and the thorns.

The Crossroads Demon feeds on our fears and insecurities and the Nine of Swords represents the precipice of a choice. The recipient of the card may be suffering from internal pains and mental suffering they have inflicted upon themselves. They can either overcome this pain or fall prey to their fear and lose themselves. Behind the Crossroads Demon is the crossroads, bathed in the light of dusk and waiting for a choice.

The sky is full of stars, touching again on the presence of the astrological signs in the original card. I kept the Demon grey toned, I really wanted her to stand out from the neon-like colors of the background.  I’m hoping it came off as nightmareish.

Nine of Swords: The Crossroads Demon

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