Working with The Wooden Tarot: Nine of Stones

Just a quick one today, to document what came up when I used the Wooden Tarot for the Weather Report one day. I was a little apprehensive about pulling a card for my daily reading from this deck, since I still feel very much in student mode with it, but I decided it was better to be challenged than not! Here's what I posted on instagram:

WEATHER REPORT - NINE OF STONES. The Nine of Stones reminds us that it is often when our spiritual work feels most frustrating and limited that we're closest to a breakthrough. All that learning and ritual and meditation and yearning and inner work can be painful and draining, and often its reward is so intangible. It can be tempting to give it all up, but if you're feeling that way today, this card says, hang on. You're on the path and you're getting closer. Growing and expanding in this way can be painful and challenging, but it will be worth it. Stick with it today, no matter how much you might not want to. Trust the path!

The most striking thing about this image is the red crystals, seeming to burst out of the antlers like growths, so when I first looked at this card I became very preoccupied with the idea of organic growth, expansion, and growing pains. Traditionally, the Nine of Wands is about shouldering a heavy burden in the late stages of a journey, so in this context, I see the Nine of Stones as being about the pain and frustration and struggle of continually expanding the self on one's spiritual path.

I've often described my discovery of tarot as being like growing an extra limb, the sudden discovery of a new kind of mobility and dexterity that I didn't previously have, so seeing these crystals growing felt personally resonant to me. My discovery and growth as a tarot reader has been more of an easeful and joyful than riddled with frustration, but as in any spiritual practice, there are times when it is hard to see the road ahead. This card acknowledges how startling it can be to have that extra limb burst through the skin, and how challenging it can be to learn how to use it. It also encourages us all, no matter where we are on the road, to keep on travelling. 

What do you make of this Nine of Stones? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

Before I sign off, I wanted to let you know that The Agony Augury is taking questions! If you have a tricky problem or juicy dilemma that you'd like some insight into, please do write to me, and your question may be chosen for The Agony Augury column!

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