The Tarot of Eli, LLC-Minor Arcana: Thoth Tarot-3 of Swords-Sorrow & Haindl Tarot-Three of Swords-Mourning

Western Hermetic Qabalah, Tantric, Alchemical, numerical, and Astrological Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Haindl Tarot


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Thoth- 3 of Swords-Sorrow

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

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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. Here, what we love becomes sacred.

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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 and thoughts are your creation. Hence, your thoughts of yourself are not "you", merely assumptions. You are the I AM, before you come up with "what you think you are".

As the concept of Virgin, we have Binah as Priestess, as concept of Virgin Maid, we have Binah as Empress , a concept of Mother, and here She is as the beginning of Crone which forms in Geburah, and what one would call Grandmother. Hence, we have Binah representing the trinity Goddess of Maid, Mother, and Crone. 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. Every "form" that the Creatrix understands into being, is made of Her, and is a part of Her. Much like an Earth Mothers' baby. All children are made of mother's blood, as they are nurtured by her blood and created out of it in the Womb of Mom. They become an integral part of Mother's body. When they are born, there is a body trama not only of pain, but of a senses of loss; a part of herself removed. There is a physical, emotional and mental sorrow felt at birth. Therefore, the understanding midwife would wrap the baby in a blanket and give it to the mother immediately, to lessen the inner pain of loss.

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Them there is "freedom of choice", granted to every "child of the Divine Creative". 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. This was known to the Anglo Saxon as "freedoom", which is where our English word originated. Free-doom, means ", I choose my own death", which a slave cannot do. Hence, freedom became a slogan against slavery.

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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 "in our name", we have the freedom to choose up, down, in or out, negative or positive, life or death and our very own self-perspectives. 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's life path and ultimate-death. Be it an ignorant or an intelligent choice, it is still our Psyche’s/Soul's choice. Therefore, freedom of choice also brings, beginning and end, 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 and/or Avatar program, representing the will of the Soul. Soul is Spirit, and Mind combination, and Pure Mind doesn't discriminate and/or discern-----it just is! This Spiritual-Mind combination is known simply as I AM.

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." Also, there is the Understanding that the "World of Man" is imperfect. The Great Mother, views her children and understands and love's them into existence, knowing that because of the necessity of measurement to create a form, there is always a beginning and end to this form. Hence, the Creatrix must watch her children die. This was/is known in German as Weltschmerz, the Universal Melancholy. Which can also arguably be stated that the Divine She, loves her Children into being as see's us as her "Golden Child" (Sun of God-dess) but we have thought ourselves into becoming monsters. This would cause any mother a great sorrow.

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Therefore, 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 sensually intimate; the mind must return to sensuality in order to develop discerning thought and the joy of intimacy. 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.

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Is also called the Lord of Sorrow, by Crowley, 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.

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Here we have the influence of Binah, the Creatrix, in the Astral World of Yetzirah; the Formative world. Yet there is no form beyond the Abyss. Therefore, the Soul, the "child of Binah" must create its own form of Self-Awareness and experience that "Self", through the process of information and/or in-form-action . The Power of Saturn is also Chronos, who is Grandfather Time, and Time is destructive and initiatory bringing a presence of pain and hardship as well as joy and happiness to form and/or self-measurement. 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.

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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 also suggests the "Dark Sea of Binah", a Womb of chaos, where things are deconstructed to be reconstructed.

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However, there I go trying on an exercise in futility. Intellect and reason do not exist above the abyss in the Supernal Consciousness of Kether, Chokmah and Binah. As I reason, I know that forms, or ratioation (rationality) does not exist in the Higher 3 of the Supernal as measurement begins in Chessed the 4th Sephiroth who is known as the Architect of form. Hence, the individual "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 wondrous 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. One might call this "home sickness".

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Haindl- Three of Swords-Mourning

As with all his "small cards", Haindl has included an I-Ching hexagram in his art. In this case it is the I-Ching hexagram, 33, TUN,  "Retreat", that is shown in the left bottom corner of the Card. In the center of the Sword display, is a wound from which a single tear falls and the water appears as a clear bubble. This clarity implies that through suffering we reach a state of purification. The reverse hexagram, TA CHUANG, "The Power of the Great", calls a person to wait until the proper moment, so as not to waste power. The overall painting, implies unhappiness as there is even a detail of the bat that was shown in the Haindl- 10 of Wands-symbolizing oppression. However, there is a possibility of transforming the energy oppressed into liberation. This implication is remeniscent of the word Free-doom/freedom.

The Haindl Tarot- Three of Swords-Mourning, is based on Haindls own sorrow as a prisoner of war and the fact of the death that the ploughs the young under into war-dead. This is not based on a "death in the family', but rather the Suffering of the Man Made World. This card expresses a need for all of us to recognize the reality of the outside world and its suffering and the reality that there is no shame in pulling back, when faced with an impossible situation. Therefore, this card also implies that in the present situation, retreat may be necessary, not in chaotic flight, but in an orderly fashion.

When the 3/Three of Swords is thrown during a reading:

  • The querent is experiencing thoughts of sorrow.
  • Recurring 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 (Thoth) or reversed (Haindl) it implies:

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

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