Nine of Stars/Nine of Wands
This is sometimes called the card of great strength, though this strength does not come from simply digging in your heels. The Nine of Stars is the card of vigilance and preparation. This strength comes from knowing the darkness is coming, and being ready for it. It is a sign of having gained experience from your previous trials, and now anticipating opposition before it even presents itself. This cards can also represent standing vigil for the final conflict, a sign that you have one final hurdle to clear before you achieve your goal. The strength to overcome it will come from what you have learned on your journey up to this point. This is the light shining in the greatest darkness – you know you’ve made it this far, and thus you know you have the power to make it to the end.
It is often hard to tell whether a period of calm marks the beginning, middle, or the end of a storm. When you’re waiting for darkness to fall, there’s a temptation to jump the gun, and take the fight out to the opponent. Or, there’s a temptation to stay inside your self-made barricade, even long past the point of darkness being over. In the case of the former, you’ll likely find your preparations undone, and your forces scattered to the winds. In the case of the latter, you’ll do that to yourself, as your hyper-wariness for an attack that will never come wears you down.