If you are a tarot reader you might have noticed that a tarot card will never really give you an exact answer. It will rather point to a certain type of happening, mental state or action.
There are still a few cards in tarot that will have meanings that are pretty much alike. Yet they show up in different circumstances, and I am going to tell you why. I am going to talk about 5 of cups and 9 of swords.
First, I will begin with their short meanings:
9 of swords: deep depression, negative thinking.
5 of cups: disappointing event, sadness, regret, grief.
The difference between these two cards lies in what is causing the sadness, depression and negative patterns inside the person.
In the 9 of swords, the depression and negative thinking comes from inside the person. The depression in 9 of swords might come suddenly and with no need for an outside input even if the person would start to think negatively or would remember something from the past, or becoming aware of the negative circumstances in his/hers life. Often, this card is associated with some need either of therapy or of learning how to deal with life. The depression depicted in this card is pretty intense mostly.
On the other hand, the sadness and disappointment in 5 of cups, comes because something has happened around the person consulting the cards. In 5 of cups, the sadness, the grief, the disappointment in the consultant is created because of other people.
A friend of mine named Gail, pointed out that there is yet another difference to be seen. It has to do with options. In 9 of swords, she says, there are no options left. But in the 5 of cups, something good is not seen.
I must though claim that in 9 of swords, there SEEMS to be no options, and with 5 of cups, we know that we can move on and that we've learned something or that we have indeed gained something of value.