The Nine of Swords
The Lord of Cruelty is never a happy card to emerge in a reading - it always indicates hardness and unkindness, a total lack of consideration or compassion. There's something almost mechanical in the way that this kind of cruelty manifests - almost as though inflicting pain is force of habit. There is no ethical responsibility for the victim of the attack, nor even any useful result from its application.
The card can come up to indicate some other person's cruelty toward you - in which case look for 'people' cards to give you a clue as to the instigator. It can come up to mark your cruelty to another person - in which case expect to find corrective cards nearby. Or it may indicate your unkindness and lack of empathy with your own inner needs and feelings.
Whatever the apparent motive may be for this type of cruelty, it is the stuff of darkness. Here we see venom dealt for venom's sake; we see the power of ill-wishing in action. And anyone who engages in such behaviour is not only fouling our world for the rest of us, but is also invoking such a level of redemptive force against themselves that they will have a hard job managing when the tidal wave hits them.
A moral and spiritual human being may not engage in this type of behaviour. And if we end up the target of spite and malice, we may not seek vengeance. Such a flow of dirty energy will be strengthened by any engagement with it. Rather, if we are unfortunate enough to find ourselves on the receiving end, whether from some-one else, or our own subconscious self-doubt, we need to use any method at our disposal to lift us away from the whole thing.