Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- 3 of Swords
#3. Filled with understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.
Layers of Mind
The Declarative Tarot - No. 3- Woe
Western Hermetic Qabalah-Tree of Life
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 religion of any sect could not have a "church" without this underlying structure of Sanctifying Intelligence. In this aspect of Mind, what we love becomes sacred. THE 3 OF SWORDS-SORROW is also called the Lord of Sorrow, by Crowley, so once again we get confused by sexual connotations and may even have a challenging time seeing Sorrow as a Sanctifying Intelligence. But energy is male in expression and female in reception and emotion (energy-in-motion) is no exception as it can't move without two places...one to send, and one to receive. The Planet attributed to the 3 of Swords is Saturn in the sign of Libra. The Angels of the Decan are Hayayel and Hoquiam. To sanctify, is an important concept here, since you are the "image of Goddess/God", you are blessed/loved into manifestation. You are a "church" (Throne of the Divine Creative) built to sanctify the Tree of Life and/or "Heavenly Human" archetype known as Adam Khadmon who is to be sanctified by your Atziluth- Spiritual presence in the realm of Assiah and/or Earth.
set apart as or declare holy; consecrate.
"a small shrine was built to sanctify the site"
make legitimate or binding by religious sanction.
"they see their love sanctified by the sacrament of marriage"
approve · sanction · give the stamp of approval to · underwrite · condone · justify · vindicate · endorse · support · back · ratify · confirm · warrant · permit · allow · accredit · authorize · legitimize · legitimizean
free from sin; purify.
"may God sanctify his soul"
cause to be or seem morally right or acceptable.
"ancient customs that are sanctified by tradition"
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/soul; a "church"/throne 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 (existence) before you produced "what you think you are".
As the concept of the Trinity Goddess begins with Virgin, we have Binah as Priestess who symbolizes the concept of Virgin-Maid, we then have Mother Binah as Empress a concept of Motherhood, and on the 3 of swords, she represents the beginning of Crone which forms in Geburah the 5th Sephiroth -Severity or Strength-, and what one would call Grandmother. Interestingly the number 5 is the number of Love. Hence, we have Binah representing the Trinity Goddess of Maid, Mother, and Crone. We are trying to establish what Sorrow is to the Supernal Mother (Upper Triangle) where there is no form, no image, non-space, and no words, which 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-space. Every "form" that the Creatrix understands into being, is made of Her magnetic "will to form" Love- field 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 trauma not only of pain, but of a sense of loss; a part of herself removed. There is a physical, emotional, and mental sorrow felt at birth for both child and mother. 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 for both mother and child. Personally, in this mortal world, to love is to lose and therefore, to know sorrow happens when we find out that all that begins must end. Love and Sorrow are two sides of one coin. Therefore, it takes an undeniable knowledge to Create for knowledge transforms and therefore, it also Destroys that which was previously created.
Sorrow also comes from having "freedom of choice", the ability to change fate granted to every "child of and on the Throne of the Divine Creative". Let me explain how many of us think that “freedom of choice" is happiness, but we forget that to have "freedom of choice", we must have a beginning and an end. This was known to the Anglo- Saxon people, as "free-doom", which is where our English word "freedom" originated. Free doom, means ", I choose my own death", something which a slave cannot do. Hence, freedom became a slogan against slavery. Free people know they die and understand to live life to its fullest is to die well; free of the burdens of "shoulda-woulda-coulda". They also know that fate can be changed by action, and that Destiny (a word that describes a planetary orbit) is unchangeable for that "orbit" is from the Soul who is a universal constant of transformation and therefore, always builds its self-image after self-analysis is loved. Hence, your destiny is to be YOU! Above all things know thyself!
As Master Jelaluddin 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."
Once again, the Sanctifying Intelligence is explained.
Sadness: Weltshmerz- The Universal Melancholy-Art by Lola Singer
Also, there is the Understanding that the "World of Man" is imperfect, as it must be for perfection is the static end of motion and to be "alive" is to move. The Great Mother views her children and understands and loves them into existence, knowing that because of the necessity of measurement to create a form, there is always a beginning-Alpha and end-Omega 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 and sees us as her "Golden Child" (Sun/Son of Goddess) but we have thought ourselves into becoming monsters and live a profaned image of self. This would cause any mother great sorrow.
We are not bodies of physical evolution; rather we are Celestial Beings, who operate them "in our name". We operate physical bodies in the name of "I AM". From "above"-Atziluth we came to the "below"-Assiah and did so knowingly. Because without a physical sensual being, we cannot become intimate with creation and Self. Intimacy breeds empathy and knowledge and most of all "true love". Immortality, that is Soul, has no empathy, and since it is without measurement (Infinite), it can't turn information into experience; thereby, producing knowledge. Those Spirit whose Will births The Psyche (I the marriage of and AM) which in turn births Souls is seeking knowledge and will always manifest an image of Self in all 4 Qabalistic Worlds this includes Assiah and operate it in the name of I AM. Sacrificing insensitivity for sensuality means to "begin and end" as a Form of Self Awareness. Form is measured identity.
The Declarative Tarot- No.3-Woe
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 when the children leave home. For she has given birth to Beautiful Children who often think themselves into acting as less than Divine and become slaves to outside authority and become lost to her inner voice of Love. We are the Authority of ourselves, and belong only to the Spirit that I AM. This prodigal journey, where children must become the Love- Power that she gave birth to by "learning from tragedy", hurts a loving mother but whose "tough love" knows "it's better to teach one to fish than give them one". Also, the fact that those beautiful children must end because to begin is to end and to end is to transform as a new beginning.
The imagery of the Declarative Tarot No.3 -woe Tarot Card illustrates the dark rainy immensity of sorrow in the subconscious world of "measurement", of love, and loss where deep self-absorbed thoughts of loss cloud the heart. Woe challenges us to not build webs of behavior that catch feelings and thoughts that mire our focus only in the past.
This card is an image of a stormy night, complete with rain and wind. Here your inner Moon (subconscious) is full of information of the past, yet it is you who decides to let go of and/or empty the web of self-identity of woeful thoughts and/or feelings, knowing that you are a Love made manifest, or thinking you are one who is profaned into fear made manifest. Are you open to receive the self-reflection of the Moon/Mother whose Love is manifested as YOU! The moods of clouds may seem troublesome; However, the light of your Celestial Self (stars), will help you navigate through the cloudy night of woeful thoughts or feelings.
The metaphor of the Cyclic Self is found in the image of the Poppy. Here is seed, bud, and bloom, producing yet more seeds of awareness that will germinate into new adventures. The red poppy is also a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future. Of course, the producing of these new seeds is a type of catharsis-which is when we shed what is no longer useful to us, making us feel naked and vulnerable as our walls of thought filled security, are shown to be soft petals, which will putrefy and fall away.
The feather or quill pen, suspended in the web implies we are the authors of our own story, an often-biased web of woven associated self-musings, but our story, nevertheless. Here, woe has become the author of our hero's journey, we call a "lifetime". It's time for the intuitive and innate Web Weaver (Awake consciousness) to visit its web and consume it, so that a new one can be spun!
Then there is the imagery of the lone feather, and the fallen petals, all symbols of loss. This instigates woe, the harbinger of beginning. To avoid this dark feeling of woe, we begin navigating and/or searching for a new way to move forward. This requires one small step towards the "light" of understanding where the Creatrix Mother's light of self-reflected love of being you, will grow new feathers and new petals by sanctifying the now more experienced child's presence once again.
This card displays a problematic situation as the Me (ego-personality) is filled with self-absorbed thoughts and illusions of fear and emotional pain; emotional pain is an illusion painted by fear of loss. However, there is light, and surcease in the future as the Bright and Warm Soul comes to the rescue of the self-absorbed identity of the body. Sorrow is not "bad" nor "good", it is a messenger that states it is time to let go and move on. All things in life are temporary. This Card suggests that to enjoy the moments of persons-places -things and let them pass, as you move on your individual journey of "Being". No matter how "you slice it", you are never alone, not in sorrow, not in grief, for everyone loses a loved one. By returning to the Great Mother, who is all around you, in you, and of you (what you imagine her to be) you will know the surcease of the pain of loss. This card also invokes redemption for the mistakes made by impulsiveness and desire to redeeming past mistakes through study and reason.
Because of the need to transform, from one state of knowledge to another, 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 love needs a body to be sensually intimate and one's soul should love the body it operates in its name, no matter the loss. After the transformation of death, the Psyche (Soul) must return to sensuality to develop discerning thought through the joy and sorrow of intimacy; this return is called "reincarnation". 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 purging tears running down our face. Thus, there is strength gained in understanding sorrow, whereas fear of sorrow weakens us.
In the 3 of Swords, 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 experienced information and/or in-form-action as "Self". The Power of Saturn is also Chronos, who is Grandfather/Grandmother 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 Grandmother is not evil, she is a Sanctifying Intelligence. In other words, she gives us back our Sacred Divinity by baptizing us in her sacred abyssal womb and/or receives our souls after death and makes them pure again by removing all the false identity of words.
However, there I go trying to legitimize an exercise in futility. Individual 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 rationale/measurement does not exist in the Higher 3 of the Supernal as measurement begins in Chesed the 4th Sephiroth who is known as the "Architect of form". Hence, the individual "Mind" must give away to something higher than itself. Some call this state of Higher Consciousness, "The Great Sea of Binah", and others, Samadhi, yet an Ocean of "no-thing" , an amniotic fluid of warm-welcoming darkness, which would also be a sorrow to one who understands themselves to be "something". However, it is obvious that Light/Energy wants to be "something", so you'll be back, and more aware of your-self truth than before you left. This is a baptism of the Personality in the Spiritual Mind.
This 3 of Swords also represents the wondrous trance of sorrow that first enlightened Buddha, but of this I couldn't say as this is another pretense of knowledge. However, when I left the eternal Bliss of No-Thing, after achieving a state of Sacred Self-Introspection where there was no attachment to anything, not even though; after which arriving in the waking consciousness once again, I felt a deep and profound sorrow that I never felt before. One might call this "home sickness", as once again I left the warm womb of Mother's immortality to become sensually mortal in the cold light of a man-made world of illusions. To live is to love and to love is to know sorrow. To know sorrow is to know love. This I do know, and I love fearlessly as sorrow is just love's shadow.
When the 3 of Swords or No.3-Woe is thrown during a reading, it implies:
- 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 must 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 card it implies:
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