If the Nine of Wands appears as the outcome to your question it may show you’re in for a long haul and the end result will require continued effort. In simple lines and free flow methods, the easiest position is where this card ‘bridges,’ so the card following it shows to what extent the perseverance is successful.
Other cards suggesting stressful conditions tend to reinforce that aspect of the Nine of Wands if they also appear in a larger spread, particularly…
Eight of Swords, Nine of Swords, Ten of Wands, The Devil. Also, should any of these cards directly follow the Nine of Wands it shows the situation dragging them down further.
Ideally, we wish to see a positive result, so the more favourable the card following the better, for instance: Six of Wands, Three of Cups, Nine of Cups, Ace of Swords, The Chariot, The Sun, The World, etc.