As always, the Rider-Waite-Smith card stresses the more prosaic meanings of despair, illness, suffering and cruelty as if awakening from a bad dream. The sub-conscious, is the place of the Akashic fluid, where dreams are made into form and can, with enough concentration, become reality. Sleep, induces the subconscious state as we "turn off" the conscious state of sensual awareness. This unconscious state of dreaming, can show the errors in thought processes (soft-ware), allowing the consciousness to solve the errors. That is why many people keep a dream journal, where they write down their dreams upon awakening. Allowing the consciousness to examine the dream symbols when they are fresh in the awake mind. This seems to be a rewarding practice and one recommended by many therapists.
For myself I run a correctional mental loop of , "get over yourself and get on with you! Impeccability is what we do'' whenever I worry or feel despondent. It just overrides the "pity pot" of self defeating thought every time it comes on line. But installing that software loop, took determination, and plane old fashion "jack Ass " stubbornness and constant repetition, a meditation of seconds, done most minutes, until it becomes automatic. Don't you think its time, we programed our own hard Ware/wet-ware! In fact, that is our best usage of time! That is the real message of the Nine of Swords and the axiom of ; ABOVE ALL THINGS, KNOW THYSELF!
The Thoth Tarot- 9 of Swords, is called THE LORD OF DESPAIR AND CRUELTY, or Cruelty in short. This is Mars in Gemini; here Yesod (foundation) is influencing Yetzirah in the Astral World. Even 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 that this card represents; But each of us, who are paying attention to our brain, know this to be a "inner self cruelty" of our self-consciousness, as it cuts us with the emotionally poisoned blades of programed embarrassment, low-self esteem, humiliation, self-condemnation, and/or inner disgust. It is the internal Slave Master of indoctrination software, that is installed in our man-made personality by our culture; so that we don't displease our masters, the Few Who Rule the Many; The few who control and enforce definition. The "pleasure/pain training" of cultural Pavlovian child rearing makes sure this Internal-Mental Slaver is installed before you even reach seven years old.
Like rusty hooks of poisonous self futility, this embedded software is a hard one to remove! The threat of peer pressure, just drives this poison deeper into self identity. If this is not enough, the media also keeps slashing at your self value...."you need this....you need that....to lack them, you are not popular and are nothing ". Depression is at the very least implied, or blatantly rubbed in your face daily, if not commercially 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!
The realm of Yesod, is the Astral world of "Odic Force" , as described by Von Reichenbauch; a mid nineteenth century investigator of psychic phenomena. This force is now known as the Astral light or the Akashic Fluid and it is the foundational energy state of all physical material. Magick (Crowley's spelling) is just the manipulation of this akashic fluid into various states of energy forms by the mental process of willed meditation. This is were Thought forms are produced before they become manifested as "me". Here, each of us has the capacity to produce within ourselves our living self image and to profoundly experience that production as "our life". This may sound silly to those who think that we somehow pursue life, rather than being the Life that makes the living. But stop a minute and think; the word Spirit is from the Greek root word Spiro which means breath. The body lives because of this Breath within it. Therefore, Spirit is the Life of the Body, thus the body is the living that Spirit produces. I am the life of me, is a true statement of understanding the "I AM" which is the spiritual state of pure conscious energy that produces the "me" of physical self-conscious manifestation. Thus, the mental Akashic fluid thought form, once animated by breath and self-conscious, the producer of emotion, becomes the crystallization of thought that we call the "living being". The perceiver is not the object perceived. Hence, you are not even thought. You are the Invisible Space that your objective self of Time, occupies! I AM declares existence, but of what? That is the question that created "measurement" and/or object within the subjective. In other-words, our perspective of self, operates our objective self. As Qabalists know, All is Mind. Therefore, the Mind that is infinite, has no measurement and therefore, invents measurement as a way to "view" itself. Another way to state this is to say that the I AM invented Me, so that it could examine self-awareness.
So stop questioning yourself, and become answers instead! This doesn't mean you don't examine your thoughts; after all they are yours to examine intimately. That however, is not reaction to your environment, just common sense as you know thoughts are not you because you create them. Action, however, is the Fiery Spirit motion that moves you as evolutionary identity. Hence, reaction is usually run by the uncertain animal mind of survival thinking, who thinks the whole universe is out to eat it!
The Nine 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 our selves, after all every new motion is a risk to the old one! But if the Child of Wonder, that innocent curiosity, still has "I's" in you, you're are going to "do it" anyway. Besides, form has a beginning and therefore an end. The aware know that bodies are not going to survive the Spirit. However as Spirit, we are always striving forward, we are being Pushed along by the Divine Creative's need to know itself, just like Dark Energy pushes the Universe of Matter forever outwards. Life is a Driving Force...and the Body is the vehicle driven!
So what this Cruel Nine/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 its Garbage. (G.I.G.O). All software programmers know of G.I.G.O., for when software is garbage and programed in, the hardware or wet-ware is operational garbage as well. Garbage in, Garbage out!
The 9 of Swords implies that you must get off your ass of miserable perspective and re-think the programing! It's easy to fail, all you have to do is stop doing. Success, is a stubborn optimist. This undaunted optimist is Your Immortal Soul who even if it kills "itself" (destroys the hardware) trying to accomplish a goal, it just reincarnates and keeps at it! Since we are Mind, 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; learning to discriminate by experiencing the success and failure of our software!
Your soul, will just "reabsorb" the software garbage, and try another revision of it in "hardware/wet-ware" performance; a performance that we know as "alive" and some call Karma.
When the NINE/9 OF SWORDS is thrown during a Divination, it implies that the querent:
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