The Babylonian Tarot- 8 of Arrows-Restriction, represents the story of Antrahasis, the Babylonians and Sumerian, people believed that man-kind was created by the gods, to do labor for and serve them. Therefore, it was natural for people to submit to the will of the gods and worship them . Therefore, their society was built upon similar lines. The conquered became slaves to the conquerer and were used in manual labor. Sometimes, when facing starvation or a crushing debt, a poor person would sell themselves into slavery or a family member, as financial relief.
The Babylonian 8 of Arrows, depicts a laborer, bent under the burden of his heavy load and therefore, restricting his movement. 8 arrows are scattered about, boxing him in. The cuneiform letters for the number 8 appear behind him.
When thrown in divination, this card implies:
- Confinement, bondage, imprisonment.
- Enforced isolation.
- Limitations caused by one's own lack of awareness and observation.
- A prison of one's own making.
- Waste of energy for trivial things.
- Hard work for little reward.
- Growing awareness that liberates.
- Throwing off the blind fold.
- Release from bondage.
- Reward for efforts.
The 8 of Swords-Interference, is in the 8th Sephira -Hod on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, which is called Splendor. Splendor signifies lack of persistence in intellectual and matters of contest. Splendor, is cosmetic and has little depth of character. However, ruling this astrological Decan, is Jupiter in Gemini, thus good fortune may have attended even weakened efforts. However, Gemini has its own contest, which is constantly interfering with the Will.
This constant distraction of the intellect is shown by the 6 Crossing Swords between two major Swords signifying too many different thoughts to consider at the same moment.
The Thoth Tarot 8 of Swords, is also in the Suit of Air, which blows wherever it may. All of this contradiction well displays the mental conflict that comes from splendorous displays of intellectual thought. In such a shallow display, the faux intellectual must constantly babble on with gaudy words and hollow concepts that have very little mental "nutrition". This is a common disease of the human brain that prods our personalities on with a shot gun blast of thoughts of association, scattering our intellectual strength so that our thought is too weak to go the distance. This dysfunction servers the “slave masters” well.
Many of us are taught, that to be ignorant or incorrect, is bad and the brain wishes to be good and well liked, so it does everything it can to impress other brains; hoping for a "pat on the back". This tends to "narrow and restrict" the self-consciousness, so that all we hear are the echoes of many thoughts rattling around in our tinny head. It is not that such a person is "closed minded" it's just that there is such a cacophony of rapid fire thoughts that the person's brain is closeted in mental noise. Such mental interference often assaults the individual's moments of mental repose; sleeping and meditation becomes a contest between will and brain making both sleep and meditation weak attempts.
This lack of focus, requires us to add correctional software to our brain's programing; one such correctional software package, is the study of the Gnostic Qabalah where "above all things, know thyself" is the foundational focus of I AM. Rather than, "thyself is made by the acquiring of more things" which only produces impoverished thoughts based on " I don't have so I must have"( In the study of Yoga, the Sanskrit word for this impoverished thinking is Neti-Neti, which means “not this-not that”.) The solution to mental fuzz, is focusing on one thing at a time and to stop seeking happiness as if the accumulation of things will cure this dysfunction. This may sound easy, but requires intense sensual intimacy with love of being and in love of the vigor of doing. One way is to always run a thought loop of positive words. Such as: I Am the will, I Am the Way, I Am the wealth. I own the day.
Again, THE 8 OF SWORDS- Interference, is also called The Lord of Shortened Force. This card is attributed to Jupiter in Gemini, and Jupiter's natural expansiveness is in determent in Gemini, as the Duality of Gemini affects Jupiter's positive energy scattering half one way and half the other.
Here, Hod is in Yetzirah, the Astral World.
The angels of the Decan are, Vemibael and Yehohel.
Because of the desire to go one way than the other, the shortened forces of Jupiter are scattered, erratic and unstable. This is indeed an interference when trying to focus one's consciousness on a goal. Yes it can be an intense and positive beginning, but it soon loses momentum in misdirection.
Crowley illustrates this in his 8 of Swords, as two strong and long main swords, being crossed (as in Crossed-up) by six short swords of different designs (scattered thoughts). The shorter swords also imply, shortened force, narrowness and restriction. There is a definite lack of persistence in intellectual matters and of contest. Jupiter's natural good fortune still attends even the weakest of efforts, yet the will is constantly thwarted by accidental interference.
When the Eight of Swords is thrown during a reading, the querent will or has, experienced:
· For 8 weeks 8 months or since they were 8 years old, narrow and restrictive thought.
· Shortened Force and petty thinking.
· Too much force applied to small things, too much attention to detail, at expense of principal and/or more important points of thought.
· There is a tenancy to admire wisdom, yet applies it to small and unworthy objects. The querent may experience great ease in some things, counterbalanced by equal disorder in others and is often impulsive.
· There is a fondness of giving or receiving money, or presents promoting a generosity without a strong feeling of affection.
· The Positive side of this is that change, no matter how resisted, will soon come anyway.
· The Good Fortune of Jupiter, will show up.
· A warning to stop wasting time and proceed with change, your scattered efforts will not stop it, only interfere with your wholesome transition.·
When ill-dignified by the accompanying cards, the above qualities produce:
- Malice, pettiness, and domineering qualities.
- A certain amount of fear of change, of moving out of a binding or restricting situation.
- Experiencing confusion, and a feeling of being trapped, isolated by oppressive ideas.
· Feeling trapped or ashamed, are the beginnings of recognizing the need for change, and moving on ward with your life.
· The mental dissolution or loss of faith in situations or ideas, is a sure sign of progress beyond the old.
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