GEBURAH, Severity, is the fifth Sephiroth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, Across from Geburah is Chesed, the 4Th Sephiroth on the Tree. He is Her perfect balanced mate, He builds up and She tears down. As Chesed is loving and merciful, She is terrible in her demanding of due.
Yet, She is also Mars, the Warrior King. Thus this red Intelligent Energy, is female in receptive behavior and Masculine in expressive behavior. Geburah is the Destroyer, The Warrior King, The Power of Judgment, the Clarifier and the Eliminator of the Useless. Those familiar with the Hindu mysteries, would call her Kali Ma.
Geburah's symbols are: The Pentagon, the Five Pedaled Rose of the Tudors. The Sword and the Spear, the Scourge and chain. Her planet is Mars and the color is red.
Geburah may be the most difficult Sephiroth ( State of Intelligent Energy) to approach because of her difficult and often overwhelming lessons. Yet, Geburah, is a necessary corrective in our lives, as she tears away all that is useless, outdated or undesirable.
There is a tendency to think of Geburah/Mars/Saturn as evil, as do some of Kali Ma: However, her Severe lessons are such that they are akin to burning down a diseased forest, so that new health trees may emerge. Sure, the balances that She instigates, are painful, even devastating, but again, necessary to keep balance in the Universe of, the Spirit, the Mind, the Emotions and the Body.
The Four Fives in the Tarot, are all in someway, connected to Severity and Strife, the degree of this severity depends on the suit the Card is in. Yet, no matter how squeamish we are, many of us realize that it is the truly difficult situations that teach us the most. I for one, have not failed to learn from such.
So here we can say that Geburah supports our strength, for when we weaken and succumb to "comfort zones" (fear of vulnerability), She tears them away, exposing them for the fraudulent behavior they are (I think some, call this "Tough Love"). The strict discipline of Geburah is a corrective process that is both necessary and positive. Conveying the ability to judge clearly and the willingness to be judged, as described in the Qabalistic Hermetic axiom," Watch the Watcher, Examine the Examiner, Judge the Judge."
Chesed, the 4th Sephiroth, is called Mercy, his qualities of mercy must be controlled by the Sentinel qualities of Geburah, or they will overflow into an evil imbalance of force. Sometimes Mercy must be checked, such as one must learn from their own mistakes, rather than have someone always correcting their mistakes for them. In freedom of choice, everyone has the right to learn from their disease! Discernment demands it, and Wisdom sprouts from correcting our own error.
It is the continual flowing cycles, because of the constant interaction of Geburah and Chesed, that keeps the rhythm of life moving forward.
The adept must be first initiated in Geburah, before Chesed. For one must have perfect control before being immersed in the abundance of Chesed, the Architect. Thus, the attribute of Great Power, is derived from Geburah. The Power is Great, because Geburah is related to both Kether and Binah. That Unity, is the source of this outward flowing power. Binah gives form birth potential and Geburah gives it death potential so that beginnings have ends. One can say that Geburah is the Force of Time, i.e Cronus/Saturn.
In sacred texts, Geburah is shown as a Masculine bearded Warrior in his chariot, relating to Mars, therefore both Martial and Saturnine force are her attributes. Yet the primary qualities of Geburah are feminine, These feminine qualities are suggested by the rose of Venus, the five pedaled rose of the Tudors. Venus is also the Planet closely related to Mars, as the forces of one are transmitted from Geburah, through Tiphareth ( Beauty) and into Netzach (Victory) of which Venus is assigned.
Five sided symbols are related to Geburah, such as the invoking and banishing pentagram and the pentagon. The five elemental points of the pentagram are only brought into balanced power in the individual who is relentless in their self-discipline. As any Power line electrician knows, intense focus, and unwavering handling of immense power, is essential for job longevity. Therefore the true forces of the individual must be under the control of the Spirit (symbolized by the highest point on the Pentagram) for the individual to truly experience the mutable nature of the personality in the Higher Self of Tiphareth. The resulting immersion into the Fires of Truth, burn away all that is unworthy of Higher Self in the personality. The Burning is felt, in a brutal silence of self assessment.
The other symbols of Geburah, such as the Spear represents a swift and complete destruction while the Scourge and the Chain symbolize a continual application of Force. The Sword of Geburah, represents the sharp edged power of the individual under impeccable self control. The strength of severity is the individuals greatest weapon for cleaving away the delusion of man-made definitions and/or all that is unworthy of them.
THE FOUR FIVES, will be explained in their own blog; However, they represent opposition, strife, war and struggle. They are obstacles to the thing in hand causing ultimate failure or success as attributed by the surrounding cards in the reading.