The Tarot of Eli, LLC-Minor Arcana: The Starman Tarot- 9 of Swords & The Thoth Tarot- 9 of Swords-Cruelty

Western hermetic Qabalah, tantric, alchemical, astrological, and numerical Tarot Card Comparisons.

· starman tarot

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The Starman Tarot-9 of Swords

I perceive danger everywhere.

The Starman Tarot-9 of Swords, depicts a picture of anguish, fear and helplessness. Here, a nude woman is clutching her hair in an internal agony of nightmare feelings. Large spiders walk upon her skin, the environment is gloomy, scary and seems full of threats. An ancient tree stump hangs over her head, contorting in to leering faces of evil witches. Vulnerable and frozen in fear, this one is unable to escape the phantoms of her cruel-mind as scavengers fly high above her. Danger is everywhere.

She is not alone in this scenario, as many of us live in fear of the shadow self. This shadow self, consists of the ancient instinctual-survival mind of the animal and its fears of the unknown complete with all the disown fears, thoughts and emotions that are hidden from the conscious, residing deep within the Unconscious. It is inherited in all mammals, and begins in the child as a strong fear of rejection and later as an adult who hates the way their body looks; this is very cruel thinking, as the body is totally dependent on the mind for its love and bliss. For to be rejected by your caretakers, is to die, so the survival mind of the child, screams, cries and is terrified, if its needs aren't quickly taken care of. Patience is a learned experience the child hasn't had time to learn. This fear of rejection is a branch of the Fear of Death, that resides in all organic forms, for organic life must eat itself to live. Hence, the ultimate end of all organic organisms, is to become food, for the Whole Organic Organism, i.e., the Living Earth. To the animal mind, nature is made up of good or bad forces that it can't control, so the unknown is a threatening shadow in a dark forest and it is this thinking of threat that is the foundation of all, bigotry, sexism, righteousness, cruelty, delusions and nightmares. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, called this inherited Unconsciousness, the Universal Collective Unconscious, something of which we all inherit. We are all the evolution of light (photons) and images of light cast shadows.

Since I am an immortal Spirit Psyche and/or a Soul, it is up to me, to clear out the Shadow dungeon of my own unconscious, that clearing is usually done in dreams. Hence, dream therapy, championed by Carl Jung, is found to be a popular way to find comfort where once there was only fear of discomfort. One learns to become "lucid" in their dream and changes the scenarios to understanding rather than fear. One of the objectives of Western Qabalah, Tarot, Metaphysics and Shamanism , is to walk this shadow world of Self, carrying your own light and domesticating by understanding, all the wild fears that reside in the unconsciousness. We accept these fears, as "known" not "Unknowns", and therefore, they become less threatening. Like the Thoth Queen of Wands, we place our hands gently on the black panther's head, our lack of fear ads the bright light of knowledge and makes it a tawny leopard. Sure, it is still the "Predator within", but it is a domesticated protector now. It is educated and knows that forces are known and can be controlled, or dealt with if one knows how to handle themselves. There is no fear of rejection, because the Soul, loves the personality by its gentle but powerful presence and the organism learns to understand, that death is merely going back to where it once was, part of the Whole of the Organic Living Organism that is Earth. The Spirit, just leases the body for Self-Awareness, as a Being of pure light, one cannot see themselves, sense themselves but only know they "exist" as I AM. The organic body gives us heaven or hell, all depending on how we "know ourselves".

When the Starman Tarot- 9 of Swords is thrown during a divination, it implies:

  • Investigate your psychological turmoil.
  • Question your fears. 
  • Understand where it comes from. 
  • Nightmares and illusions.
  • Know that you are not alone in this feeling.

If reversed:

  • One is being controlled by fear and worry.
  • Challenge yourself with powerful questions.


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The Thoth- 9 of Swords-Cruelty

The Thoth- 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.

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9 is a number of completion, and is also the number of the 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.

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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 irrational 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, use by Rulers of definition to control the actions of the individual.

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. Inner beauty is our Unconscious and outer beauty resides in our consciousness. Therefore, when our unconscious and consciousness walk arm in arm in a harmonic marriage, we are happy. Life if but a Lucid Dream for the Mind, for all is Mind, and I am Mind, lucidly walking a dream about Self.

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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 represents the state of consciousness that is called "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.

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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 nine 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. 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 need 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 you live in the lizard brain of survival thinking . Sure, life is indeed a difficult mental/sensual experience, and we can be our own worst enemies, just by doubting our own value in the World. To see yourself as Lack, is the necessary software to continue the panicked consumerism that Multi -National 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"!

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It's simple really; you had to be approved by all that is Holy, to be made alive! You presence is your Judgment....and obviously you are good enough for God!

You are a Divine answer, to a Divine question, that is what Creation is!

Stop questioning the value of yourself, and become powerful answers instead! 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"!

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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! Life is pushed along by death/transformation. Just quiet the fearful heart, and listen to the inner Buddha.

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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 programmed in, the hardware is operational garbage as well. Garbage in, Garbage out, i.e. G.I.G.O.!

The Nine of Swords implies that you must get off your ass of constipated miserable perspective and re think the programming! It's easy to fail, 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. 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 conscious, can all learn all that is to be learned 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.

So, "get over yourself and get on with you! Impeccability is what we do'' is a correctional software loop that I 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 programmed our own Wet Ware? That is the real message of the 9 of Swords.


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 seeking ourselves by seeking more stuff! When the 9 of Swords is thrown during a reading, the Querent will be or has been experiencing:

  • Illness, malice, cruelty, pain, despair and suffering, in a period of nine days, or nine weeks or from self-cruelty thought processes since nine years old.
  • There is burden, want, oppression, as well as, subtlety and craft.
  • There is also lying to oneself or others because of and "inferiority complex".

All of this dysfunctional thought is basically from "self-belittlement", that is often so subtle that we don't even acknowledge it in ourselves.

  • But the program is clever, as you will notice whenever you try to mentally or physically, step out of "comfort zones", you will be challenged with worry and seemingly rational explanations on why you should not take that step.  

If ill defined by surrounding cards:

  • Shame, guilt, infamy, misery and hate.

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