Let's take a look at the 9 of Swords from four different decks (all based on the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot).
|Legacy of the Divine, Gilded Tarot, Mystic Dream, Rider-Waite|
As you can see, each card has similarities, but they also have differences.
The basic meaning of the nine of swords, for me, is fear and doubt that manifest during bedtime hours or during sleep.
The Legacy of the Divine Tarot takes an approach that is fairly different than the others. The hands of doubt reach down to the girl tempting her to indulge in her worried thoughts. The center sword threatens to overcome her with these fears.
The Gilded Tarot adds an owl to the works, which gives the card a sense of knowledge and wisdom. The girl knows that life is not as doomed as it feels at this moment, yet the moon casts just enough doubt upon her that she continues to worry.
The Mystic Dreamer Tarot contains a full moon to shed the unknown into the room. The toy bear, books, and blanket give a sense of security to the card. If only she would gather these around her, she'd feel much better.
The Rider Tarot Deck supplies an image that cuts right to the surface. The girl has doubts and fears. Of course, it does have symbolism that can be pulled out to get a deeper meaning with its spread of roses and other symbols and colors of red, blue, and yellow. You have a a carving on the bed that can be very interesting, a man attacking another. That's something to fear.
So, as you can see each card does give a slightly different aspect on the situation.
How many times have you stayed awake thinking of the worst possible scenario of the situation?