The Tarot of Eli, LLC, Minor Arcana: Thoth Tarot-3 of Swords-Sorrow & Santa Muerte Tarot- 3 of Swords

Western hermetic qabalah, astrological, alchemical, numerical and Tantric Tarot Card Comparisons.

· santa muerte tarot

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Thoth Tarot- 3 of Swords-Sorrow

The 3's of Tarot belong to Binah, the Trinity Goddess who the 3rd Sephiroth that 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.

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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 has created the body as the "church" of your spirit; a "church" you wouldn't have without the Creatrix-Binah. To the Great Mother, the Body is just as sacred as the Soul/Psyche.


Body and spirit are to me mere aspects of the reality of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 198-200.

Body is as metaphysical as spirit. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 198-200.

Ask the modern physicist what body is, they are coming fast across to the recognition of the reality of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 198-200.


And just as the material of the body that is ready for life has need of the psyche in order to be capable of life, so the psyche presupposes the living body in order that its images may live. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Page 325, Para 618.

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. "Think", is the operative term here. For you are not a product of your thought. You think, to build a self-reflection but thought doesn't build you... Will does and as a Spiritual Psyche, yours if "free", meaning it is without boundary. The Great Mother of Will to Form and the Great Father of Will to Force, united to create an offspring of in-form-action who is Will to Be. You are Psyche, and you as this "golden Sun/Son of the Divine Creative/I Am, are responsible for your own identity. Sorrow, often comes along, because of an Identity not worthy of you.

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As the concept of Virgin, we have Binah as Maid/ Priestess, as concept of Mother we have Binah as Mother/Empress and here She is as the beginning of Crone which forms in Geburah. as Severity. There is also attributed to the Crone, wisdom and sorrow. Sorrow because her wisdom isn't shared with her children who have abandoned her.

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 and/or we decide our own fate. 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, movement or non-movement. 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 Goddess 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 discriminating personality. Spirit doesn't discriminate-----it is best described as Will.

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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 or to “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. All is "no-thing" and/or 0. However, when "other" became a Self-concept, we have 0=2. This I Am union of 2 has now created a concept of "existence" so now all idea of Self, becomes existent information. Information becomes form. Now combination of forms takes place, creating the All.

This card is a 3, also relating to the number of the major arcana--ATU/Key 3- The Empress and to her the great Sorrow of the Mother is felt (often called the Universal Melancholy). For she has given birth to Beautiful Children who often use thought to 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, for form is but a temporary measurement in a universe of transformation. 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 be sorrowful. To love is to expand and liberate the mind from the body, yet needing a body to be felt; the Psyche 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.


Is also called the Lord of Sorrow, so once again we get confused by sexual connotations (Lord is Anglo-Saxon and means" guardian of bread"). 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/Saturn in the Astral World of Yetzirah. The Power of Saturn is destructive and initiatory bringing a presence of pain and hardship as Saturn is also Chronos, “Grandfather Time”. Saturn is a very powerful planet and is often called the "Great Destroyer" or even "The Great Initiator". The presence of Saturn usually means pain, and hardship,; However, this should not be taken as evil for it is through hardship and suffering that we often learn life's greatest lessons.

So the Dark Sterile Grand-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 5 Petals (the number of human) illustrated in the Thoth Card. Her heart, if you will, is torn apart by the piercing of the 3 swords. This card suggests the Dark Sea of Binah, a Womb of chaos, where things are deconstructed to be reconstructed.

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Santa Muerte- 3 of Swords

The Advice of the Dead:

Use all your rational abilities of evaluation and analysist as this is the moment to be cautious and prudent in decision- making and facing new activities.

--From the Santa Muerte-Book of the Dead by Fabio Listrani

The Santa Muerte- 3 of Swords, depicts the Ace of Spades (Swords) faced Skeleton stabbing another Santa Muerte figure in the back while it is examining a new sword. The "back stabber" represents new ideas or new strategies that could work against us, "stabbing us in the back", causing loses, conflicts, remorse, sorrow or distancing. Implying that only careful analysis of varying contrasting situations with consequent selection and removal can change the destiny of this card.  

As an overview, the numerology number 3 represents an energy composition containing the ideas of:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Social interaction
  • Optimism
  • Tolerance
  • Inspiration
Number 3 Meaning

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 them, which will also happen to the personality that succeeds in traversing the Abyss.
  • Perception.
  • Purpose in life.
  • Shrewd insights, even if they are painful.
  • The present through renunciation. 

If ill defined by the surrounding cards:

  • Disruption.
  • Separation.
  • Estrangement.
  • Self-delusion. 

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