The Erotic Tarot- 9 of Air, depicts an interesting scene of a painting of a woman in medieval dress, freeing herself from the illustration. She is "stepping out" of the prison of enforced identity and beginning one of her own. She is tired of being the cultural "cookie cutter" woman of some man's dream and is deciding it is time to "Above all things, Know herself".
Milo Manara, assigned the meanings of dreams, wonder, strange mental states, and danger to this card. All of which visually apply, in an artistic license sort of way.
The astrological meaning of this card, is Mars in Gemini, meaning the need to struggle and evolve or fight in a communicative and mental way.
The Thoth Tarot-9 of Swords-Cruelty, presents a ghastly image of 9 crooked, chipped swords, dripping blood. If this isn't gloomy enough, we have the celestial rule of Mars in Gemini, representing a primal raging hunger that has no restraint.
9 is a number of completion, and is also the number of the 9 th Sephiroth Yesod-Foundation, on the Tree of Life. Yesod is on the middle pillar of the Tree of Life, and has rectified the imbalances of the past energy disorders of Air. This, however, does not rectify the degeneration of the energy as it continues down the Tree.
Swords, usually depict the pure intellect that acts like air as its energy in motion continually heats up with passion and cools down with rationale. In the case of the 9 of Swords, consciousness has fallen into an unenlightened void of rational thought, stirring heartless animal passions; passions that are of the psychopath and the fanatic. This is the character of the inquisitor; it seems intellectual but is operating in a rage that is without restraint. All this sounds just awful and terribly gloomy, yet, it is the cultural foundation of "Divide and conquer" indoctrination technique that has been indoctrinated into all of us.
Our consumerism society is based on "fanning the flames" of that primitive raging hunger of survival thinking in order to produce the "fanatical shopper “whose world is always lacking self-fulfillment. It is the realm of the Neti-Neti (Sanskrit for, “Not this-Not that") consciousness, that consumes unrelentingly, hoping for happiness in accumulation; a futile seeking of happiness because happiness isn't in accumulation nor resides in glutinous bellies. Rather, happiness is a balance of inner and outer beauty. So if one insists on Neti-Neti, there is only one result in the completion of the greed of such hungry thought and that is the insanity of inner self cruelty and the rape of a world.
Thankfully, many of us have enough strength in or character to know that happiness, is not a thing, but rather a "balance of Mind, body and soul" and have found out that by treating other people with respect, (do unto another as you would have done to you) we have a happier presence on this earth.
The 9 of Swords is the state of consciousness that is called a "wanna-be", were one is not alive or happy until they achieve some future possession or goal. This person is a corpse, a zombie, who lives only in yesterday’s emotions and uncertain futures, leaving the moment of now vacant of their presence. This phenomena of “walking corpse" is not a new thing that some Hollywood director dreams- up as the latest horror thriller. Rather, you'll find this "living dead" concept in the two thousand year old Gnostic Gospel of Thomas that is part of the Nag Hammadi Library.
In paragraph 56, of the Gospel of Thomas, it is written, "Whoever has come to understand the World has found only a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world”, if you can understand this Gnostic statement, you can understand the 9 of Swords-Cruelty. Because the practice of "Self-inflicted cruelty" is going on in most human brains right now, most of us constantly belittle ourselves, in order to appease our dogma; i.e. our inner Pavlovian- slaver.
Again, the Thoth-9 of Swords, is called THE LORD OF DESPAIR AND CRUELTY, or Cruelty in short. This is Mars in Gemini; this is Yesod influencing Yetzirah in the Astral World. With a smattering of astrological data, one knows that the fiery energy of Mars, does little good in a sign of dualities.
This "little good" is shown by the 9 rusty swords, dripping blood and poison on Crowley's card. One may shudder at the despair, meanings of illness, suffering and cruelty this card represents; But each of us, who are paying attention to our brain, know this to be a "inner self cruelty" of our consciousness, as it cuts us with the emotionally poisoned blades of embarrassment, low-self-esteem, humiliation, self-condemnation, and/or inner disgust at our outer appearance. It is the internal Slave Master software that is installed in our Personality by our culture. The Few Who Rule the Many, by controlling definition, make sure this Internal-Mental Slaver is installed before you even reach seven years old. Like rusty hooks of poisonous self-futility, this is a hard one to remove! Peer pressure, just drives this poison deeper into self-identity. The media, keeps slashing at your self-value...."you need this....you need that....to lack them, you are nothing!” Lack of self-worth Is at the very least implied, or blatantly rubbed in your face, daily, if not hour by hour. “Resistance is futile", blare the horns of the pusillanimous invertebrates who enforce "their masters will" on others. Faust never new such hell as this!
There is an axiom in Buddhism that states, “Life is Suffering”… but only if your identity lives in the lizard brain of survival thinking. Life is indeed a mental/sensual experience, and we can be our own worst enemies, just by doubting our own value in the World. To see yourself as a form of lack, is the necessary software to continue the panicked consumerism that multinational mind programmers and/or definition peddlers- want! But think! Before any human judgment, you were already approved into being by your Higher Self. So once again, the Qabalistic axiom reads true, “Above all things, Know thyself"!
It's simple really; you had to be approved by all that is Wholly, to be made alive! You presence is your Judgment....and obviously you are good enough for Spirit! You are a Divine answer, to a Divine question, for that is what Creation is! I AM defines what it is in form. Form is information. So stop questioning yourself, and become answers instead! Truth is made manifest, and/or becomes form. Action is the Fiery Spirit that moves you, reaction is usually run by the uncertain animal who thinks the whole universe is out to eat it! "I am" dares ask, "What am I"? And you are the answer to that question, "I AM ME"!
The 9 of Swords, cruelty, is about you being your own worst enemy, divided against yourself, mentally and emotionally. Always nay-saying before you can ever start a motion. This is “a moment of doubt" drawn out as a Life-time. Sure we doubt ourselves after all every new motion is a risk! But if the Child of Wonder, that innocent curiosity, still has "I's" in you, you're are going to "do it" anyway. We are always striving forward, we are being Pushed along by the Inner Spiritual Self, just like Dark Energy pushes the Universe of Matter forever outwards. Life is a Driving Force...and the Body is the vehicle driven!
Therefore, what this Cruel 9 of Swords implies, is that "a house divide must fall". Get together with yourself and over throw the Slaver program that is in your brain. Software can be erased even when it’s Garbage. (G.I.G.O). All software programs know of G.I.G.O., for when software is garbage and programed in, the hardware is operational garbage as well. Garbage in, Garbage out, i.e. G.I.G.O.!
The 9 of Swords implies that you must get out of the babble of worded identity, as no man-made definition created you. Hence, the image-language of Tarot. The Spirit and Soul communicate in image. It's easy to fail at this or any worthwhile endeavor all you have to do is stop doing. Success, is a stubborn optimist, Your Soul--- even if it kills "itself" (destroys the hardware) trying to accomplish a goal, it just reincarnates and keeps at it! We all will pound out the bugs of our software (definitions), some sooner than others; but we all will do it eventually, that is the purpose of sensuality after all; The One mind wishes intimacy with information. For Life to continue in this Universe, the living must learn to discriminate by experiencing success and failure! Foolishly believing that you, a sensual learning self-conscious, can all learn all that is to be learned by experience, in one life time, keeps you from understanding the very nature of “Life Cycles” and or Karma. Relax and breathe deep. For if you die, the soul, will just "reabsorb" the software garbage in the personality/you that is now released, and try another revision of it in "Hardware" performance, that we know as "alive". Therefore you are not rushed, and if you take only one step a day, you still are journeying towards your destination.
Since your brain is programed in language, use language to correct the errant self-absorbed victim programing. Think phrases such as, "get over yourself and get on with you! Impeccability is what we do'' which is a correctional software loop that I have successfully run in my self-doubting brain; it just overrides the "pity pot" of self-defeating thought every time it comes on line. But installing that software loop, took determination, and plain old fashion "jack Ass” stubbornness and constant repetition, a meditation of seconds, done most minutes, until it becomes automatic. Don't you think it’s time, we programed our own Hard Ware! That is the real message of the Nine of Swords.
ABOVE ALL THINGS, KNOW THYSELF!
Each of us has experienced the temptations to remain chained to the bedeviling thoughts of our subjugation- definitions of the few who wish to rule the many. The 9 of Swords, reminds us, that we are not preforming well mentally, when we are under the rule of self-belittlement. Again, you are obviously good enough for God, you are good enough for you! In our God-ness Goodness), resides the constant ability in each of us, to become More Self, rather than becoming less by seeking more stuff!
When the 9 of Swords is thrown during a reading, the Querent will be or has been experiencing:
If ill defined:
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