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The Tarot of Eli- Minor Arcana: Thoth- 3 of Swords-Sorrow & Gothic Tarot- III of Swords

Western Qabalistic, Tantric, and Alchemical Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Gothic Tarot

Thoth Tarot- 3 of Swords-Sorrow

Filled with understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.

The 3's of Tarot belong to Binah the 3rd Sephiroth who is called Understanding, she is also named the Sanctifying Intelligence and the Parent of Faith. Here is the implication that any religion of any sect, could not have a "church" without this underlying structure of Sanctifying Intelligence.

As Mary is the Church, in Catholic doctrine, so is Binah the Parent of Faith, not the faith itself, but its parental intelligence that is the foundation of organization, structure and sanctity. She is the Will to Form, and your body is the "church" of your spirit; a "church" you wouldn't have without the Creatrix-Binah.

You may ask, "What has this to do with sorrow?" To make this simple, she is the Crone in this card, and the Crone is the death of the “you” that you think you are. For to think, you must already have been created. Hence, your thoughts of yourself are not "you". You are the I AM, before you come up with "what you are".

As the concept of Virgin, we have Binah as Priestess, as concept of Mother we have Binah as Empress and here She is as the beginning of Crone which forms in Geburah. Hence, we have Binah representing the trinity Goddess. Trying to establish, what Sorrow is to the Supernal Mother (Upper Triangle) where there is no form, no image, no words, is really a futile endeavor. From my "below the abyss" point of view, I can only attempt to describe this profound state of consciousness that is beyond the measurement of image or time.

Let me explain: many of us think that “freedom of choice" is happiness, but we forget that in order to have "freedom of choice", we must have a beginning and an end. As Spirit, we just Are, there is no up, no down, no in and no out; we just are. But as a Spirit who runs a material body, we have the freedom to choose up, down, in or out. This freedom of psyche is really free-doom (Anglo-Saxon root word of freedom meaning,” I choose my own death”) for we also get to choose our body-death. Be it ignorant or intelligent choice, it is still our psyche’s choice. Therefore, freedom of choice also brings great sorrow and great joy, love and sadness etc. With the "Divine Creative Mind" of Imagination, this freedom also contains the burden of insanity. Again, we have bodies so that we may form the necessary "software", that is a discerning personality. Spirit doesn't discriminate/discern-----it just is!

As Master Jahaladine Rumi, the twelfth century Sufi master and poet said about sorrow; "Sorrow prepares you for joy, it violently sweeps everything out of your house, so new joy can find a space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place."

What many of us forget, to be the Only One creates a process of awareness that One is all there is and One is alone, unable to share, to express to itself as “another”, or in any way able to define existence. The “I” needs the “Am”. Therefore, a great sorrow of loneliness was realized before the WILL TO FORM (“Am”-Binah who is understanding) was thought of and thus creating EXISTENCE, without form..

This card is a 3, the number of the major arcana--key 3- The Empress and to her the great Sorrow of the Mother is felt. For she has given birth to Beautiful Children who often think themselves into acting as Monsters. This hurts a loving mother. Also the fact that those beautiful children must end because to begin is to end. Because of the need to transform we know that sorrow arrives with every loving attachment in this world of matter. To receive is to lose. To begin is to end. To love is to expand and liberate the mind from the body, yet needing a body to be felt; the mind must return to sensuality in order to develop discerning thought. Many of us know that to love is to end in loss...but we will love after loss anyway. Love is our nature and loss, is the beginning of a new gain. This understanding, doesn't lessen sorrow, it just helps us move forward with tears running down our face. Thus there is strength gained in understanding sorrow, whereas, fear of sorrow weakens us.

THE 3 OF SWORDS-SORROW:

Is also called the Lord of Sorrow, so once again we get confused by sexual connotations. But energy is male in expression and female in reception. The Planet attributed to the 3 of Swords is Saturn in the sign of Libra. The Angels of the Decan are Hayayel and Hoquiam.

Here we have the influence of Binah in the Astral World of Yetzirah; the Formative world. Yet there is no form beyond the Abyss. The Power of Saturn is destructive and initiatory bringing a presence of pain and hardship as Saturn is also Chronos, “Grandfather Time”. But as we may know, hardship and suffering are often where we learn life's greatest lessons. So the Dark Sterile Mother, is not evil, she is a Sanctifying Intelligence. In the 3 of Swords, Saturn unbalances the Scales of Libra, in order that they may be rebalanced in an improved way. So the Crone is the perpetrator of "Tough Love, "and for a Mother having to use tough love to teach her beautiful vulnerable children, brings a sorrow as well. This is implied as the Rose of Five Petals illustrated in the Thoth Card. Her heart, if you will, is torn apart by the piercing of the three swords. This card suggests the Dark Sea of Binah, a Womb of chaos, where things are deconstructed to be reconstructed.

However, there I go trying on an exercise in futility. Intellect and reason do not exist above the abyss in the Supernal Consciousness. As I reason, I know that forms, or ratioation (rationality) does not exist in the Higher 3 of the Supernal, Hence, the "Mind" must give away to something higher than itself. We call this state of Higher Consciousness, "The Great Sea of Binah", as yet an Ocean of "no-thing" , which would also be a sorrow to one who understands "something". Maybe, this 3 of Swords represents the wonderous trance of sorrow that first enlightened Buddha. But of this I couldn't say. However, when I left the eternal Bliss of no-thing, when achieving a state of Self-Introspection where there was no attachment to anything, even thought, and once again arriving into the waking consciousness, I felt a deep and profound sorrow that I never felt before.

Gothic Tarot- III of Swords

The Gothic Tarot-3 of Swords, displays one sword and 3 feathers. Again the feathers represent Maat, the Goddess of Judgment, who weights the "soul" of the dead against a feather on a balance scale. If the heart/soul weighs more than the feather, the soul is devoured by the "crocodile god" and taken to a dark and fearful place.

In this context, sorrow could definitely result.

When the 3 of Swords is thrown during a reading:

  • The querent is experiencing thoughts of sorrow.
  • Reoccurring thoughts of sorrowful past events.
  • The sorrow of a triangular relationship that is out of balance.
  • Disappointment and heartbreak.
  •  A type of recognition where one must give up one thing to gain another.
  • Releasing; a gift of sorrow, allowing the querent to release and let out the pent up stress of feared emotions.
  • Here difficulty precedes power.
  • Also, for initiates, who travel to the abyss, this sorrow is soul deep, for it is of the Sorrow of the Creatrix, who has to destroy her precious forms to rebuild Understanding,  which will also happen to the personality that succeeds in traversing the Abyss.

If ill dignified by surrounding cards:

  • Disruption. 
  • Separation.
  • Entanglement.
  • Self-delusion.

Thank you for your interest, comments, and supportive donation. Your generosity blesses you. May you live long and prosper.

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