The Nine of Swords stands for worry, guilt, and anguish. It represents the pain and anguish we generate from within ourselves, unlike the Three of Swords where people outside are responsible for the pain and betrayal. The Nine of Swords stands for the worry that may strike the querent at any time. Worry is the most common of tortures we put ourselves through. Often, our fears and doubts overwhelm us, and they refuse to go away. We worry about whether we have done enough, whether things will work out all right, and what further course of action we can take. These thoughts trouble us like an unending record, playing over and over again.
For the querent, the appearance of the Nine of Swords card is an indication of distress, albeit not a major one. Such cards are always never pleasant to observe. The feeling of guilt, for having done something wrong, is also hurtful. So is the feeling of guilt for not having done something that should have been done.
Drawing of this card is a warning to the querent that times are going to be difficult ones. This is the time when the situation needs to be examined and judicious choices need to be made.