Full Supermoon in Virgo: Nine of Wands

Okay, one of the first rules of Tarot (and there are hardly any rules) is that the first card you pick is the right one. That’s what I believe, anyway. Even if a card is surprising, or unwelcome, or just plain confusing, one of my central beliefs about Tarot is that whatever you pull is the right card. Sit with it for a moment, or a day. It has a message for you; we pick the cards we need to pick.

I say all this because I was surprised to see the Nine of Wands come up for today’s full moon. This full moon has brought in tons of energy and excitement for me. After a few weeks of feeling totally bogged down and blah, I finally had some breakthroughs in the past few days that brought me a brand new perspective. I’m feeling inspired and alive today— so I was expecting a happy card to reflect that! Imagine my surprise when I instead came face to face with this guy:

the classic Rider-Waite-Smith Nine of Wands

the classic Rider-Waite-Smith Nine of Wands

The Nine of Wands portrays a guy who’s pretty banged up. That’s because this is the card of resilience. It’s the card of going through the wringer and just keepin’ on keepin’ on. The message of this card is often just: you can keep going. You have reserves of strength. Keep walking. Keep trying. Your progress may be slow, but it’s progress. This is the card of the last mile of the marathon. You’re exhausted, you’re questioning why you even started this damn thing in the first place, but the end is in sight. Persevere.

After my initial resistance to this message— haven’t we done enough persevering?? Isn’t it time to enjoy ourselves?— I remembered: this card is a nine. Nines are one step before the end of the journey. In Tarot, each suit moves from the Ace to the Ten, from the seed of a new beginning to a grand completion. The tens represent completion. And so yes, this nine is difficult, but it is so damn close to the completion of a major journey. So it may not be time yet to pop the champagne and celebrate, but it will be. Soon.

It’s also a message that the travails we’ve been through recently have been worth it. I don’t think I’m alone in having had a rough past few weeks. Many people I’ve talked to have had setbacks, challenges, or just exhaustion and burnout over the past few weeks. Maybe it’s the mid-winter blues, maybe it’s us collectively purging before the newness of the full moon. I don’t know. But I do know that this card tells us it has been worth it. We’ve been through the wringer, but we’ve developed our resilience and strength. We’ve exhausted ourselves, but we’ve developed in the process, becoming more whole versions of ourselves. In this light, the past few weeks don’t seem so bad. (But I’m definitely not tryna go back there.)


The deck I’m using today is the Tattoo Tarot— a very cool deck with an interesting backstory (I’ll go into that more on another post). In the accompanying book, author Lana Zellner sums it up well: “It is important to remember that not all things come easily. Sometimes life is hard, and rarely do you get what you want without a fight. You will need to continue to push hard for what you want; harder than you might have been expecting. Your struggles will ease up soon, but right now, you still have work to do.”

The work is not over, but at least the completion is in sight. And this card is an assurance from the universe: that the effort IS worth it, that we are elevating ourselves to a better and brighter place. It just takes work to get there. And work’s not always bad. A day of hard work— if it’s fulfilling work— can feel damn good. We just have to make sure we are working for things that feel worth it, that feel fulfilling in the long run. Otherwise, you may as well put down the sticks and head back down the mountain.

So when things get difficult, remember why you’re working in the first place. That’s been a huge lesson for me recently; staying connected to the “why”. Call to mind your own “why”. Keep the end result in mind. Imagine yourself crossing the metaphorical finish line. That image should sustain you through the more difficult phases of effort. And if that final vision isn’t worth it anymore— then scrap it.

Take a short break from working to celebrate the moon tonight, though. It’s a supermoon, meaning it will appear big in the sky; always a super magical sight. The moon is in Virgo, too, a very practical sign that’s detail-oriented and great at planning. So fear not; the energy of this moon should help us as we hobble along, tired and bruised, toward our goals. It is a great time to make lists of small steps toward our larger goals; that’s totally Virgo’s jam. Having a schedule or plan in place— that includes scheduled down time— can help ease up a bit of the stress and effort. Also, keep in mind: we’re almost at the Ten. Completion is almost here. Stay strong. You got this. The moon’s on our side.

Blessed be and happy full moon!