The Tarot of Eli, LLC: The Thoth Tarot- 3 of Swords-Sorrow & The Babylonian Tarot- 3 of Arrows-Sorrow

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

· Babylonian tarot

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The Babylonian tarot- 3 of arrows-sorrow

The Babylonian Tarot- 3 of Arrows-Sorrow, depicts the sport of Lion hunting, a popular sport among the Mesopotamian kings. Here we see a lioness, in her death throes. The 3 arrows are crossed, and pointing downward, an unfavorable sign. On the right is the cuneiform for the number 3. The divination meanings of this card are the same as that of the Thoth Tarot and are shown at the bottom of this blog.

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The 3's of Tarot belong to Binah who the 3rd Sephiroth 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.

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.

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Thoth- 3 of swords-sorrow

You may ask, "What has the Parent of Faith to do with sorrow?" To make this simple, the Trinity Goddess is known as Maid-Mother and Crone, she is the Crone in this 3 of Swords card, and the Crone is the death of the “you” that you think you are.

As the concept of Virgin, we have Binah as High Priestess, as concept of Mother we have Binah as Empress and here She is as the beginning of Crone which forms in another aspect of the Great Mother- Geburah.

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. As Spirit, we just Are, there is no up, no down, no in and no out; we just are; an I Am. But as a Spirit who runs a material body, we have the freedom to choose up, down, in or out. Here, we are now an I AM Me. 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 Soul/ Psyche’s choice. Therefore, freedom of choice also brings great sorrow and great joy, love and sadness etc. With the Goddess Mind of Imagination (Image making), this freedom also contains the burden of insanity and illusion. Again, we have bodies so that we may form the necessary "software", that is a discriminating personality. Spirit doesn't discriminate-----it just is!

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 “another”, or in any way able to define existence. The “I” needs the “Am” and both need the "Me" to experience the difference. Therefore, a great sorrow of loneliness was realized before the WILL TO FORM (“ I Am”-Binah who is understanding) was thought of and thus creating from existence-Self-Awareness.

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 felt; the mind must return to sensuality in order to develop discriminating 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.

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Is also called the Lord of Sorrow, so once again we get confused by sexual connotations. But energy is male in expression and female in reception. The Planet attributed to the Three 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 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”. 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. In the Three 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 suggests the Dark Sea of Binah, a Womb of chaos, where things become deconstructions to be reconstructed.

When the Three of Swords-Sorrow 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, which will also happen to the personality that succeeds in traversing the Abyss.
  • Unhappiness, tears, heartbreak, upheaval, disruption, separation, quarreling .
  • Acceptance of one's pain. 
If ill defined:
  • War, discord and strife.
  • Refusal of one's pain has blocked the healing process.
  • Wallowing in misery. 
  • Great disorder and obfuscation. 

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