Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth 5 of Swords and the Babylonian 5 of Arrows-Defeat.
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth 5 of Swords and the Babylonian 5 of Arrows-Defeat.

The Tarot of EliTHE FIVE OF SWORDS- Defeat.

Astrologically this card is Venus in Aquarius. Fives always bring disruption, but this card's disruption, because of Venus in Aquarius, is brought on by weakness and/or pacifism. Here the intellect has been enfeebled by sentiment. Fear of defeat and/or memory of defeat is also a well known nullifying mechanism for action.

The Thoth 5 of Swords card represents the Sword of Severity (Geburah) sweeping through the Astral realm (Yetzirah) causing a disruption of forces, as shown by the inverted pentagram, causing defeat, loss, failure, contest finished and decided against the person.
Needless to say, this is a very destructive moment in the querent's life and depending on the surrounding cards, it can be either more destructive or less destructive than one fears.
When Severity shows up in our life to defeat us it isn't because we "did bad" but because we are not on the right track for further growth. This being so, our "Higher-Self" decides to cleave away the unnecessary mental/emotional detritus  that blocks our psycho-dynamic motion towards "As above so below".

One may ask, why is there a need for such a nasty- Intelligent-judgmental- corrective force if we are the Child of God and/or The Divine Creative? This Severity  is easily explained as cutting away the unworthy bits, so that you are the Known original you. What many fail to understand, is that if all the definitions given you, by your society, belief systems and cultures are not you, therefore the Psyche-  CAME IN ALREADY KNOWING YOU!
` Yes it is true, dear ones, truth is made manifest,your psyche never came seeking your truth, nor to find out who you are, the Soul/Psyche already Knows that! By putting knowledge into form is how you became manifest! You are Defined into being, not a being who seeks definition! You are a Divine Creative/Psyche who proves definition by making it manifest!
Therefore, the severity of Geburah, helps us remember who we really are, and not what we pretend to be.

The hilts of the swords form the sinister image of the inverted pentagram; suggesting that the body's fear has conquered the will by the treachery of sensation (fear of pain). Feeling fearful, is often more sensual than feeling willful, since the ever present doubt brought into belief by indoctrination, keeps the will from collecting into force. Notice that on the Thoth Card, none of the hilts are the same, implying many different weak thoughts assaulting the blue Rose of Wisdom, that was at once whole in the Four, is now all cut to pieces in the Five. Wisdom is scattered to the winds of emotional defeat and blood and poison drips from the thoughts/swords.

The Five of Swords is Geburah in Yetzirah, a severe Mars influence, is now in the Astral World. Now Mars is the consort of Venus in mythology (see illustration), and mythology is not a story telling a lie, but rather a story relating a truth. The Blue Rose of Venus, which is the Rose of the Cross, can't take the buffeting of the Martian assault, but that assault is exhausted from its attack. Therefore, severity is abrupt but soon ending. However,  along with the nine and ten of Swords, the Five is one of the most destructive events in the deck.  Here, the 5 represents loss, defeat, and failure where contest is decided and finished against the person.

The Qabalistic Tarot is all about force and form and when form is stuck in the mud of self-defeating thought, Life will use severe situations of force to overcome our passive state.  Your Higher-Self wouldn't bother with this corrective if your progressive life motion wasn't important to it, so in reality this severity is a "tough love" action. 

Because this is a separation and breakup of established patterns, defeat is a precursor to change and progress, it's not all bad, even though it feels like a hell of "what do I do now"-muddling of the mind. Letting go, and let spirit move you forward by not worrying about loss, but accepting it as a necessary precursor to gain, will bring a less painful duration of severity.  However, it is gain in a direction your weren't going, therefore by willingly changing direction one makes this sever moment less devastating and thus leaving one's eyes open to see the next move. Eyes, clenched tight over tears, can see nothing.

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 tares down. As Chesed is loving and merciful, Geburah is terrible in her demanding of due.

Yet, she is also active 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, his/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. For instance, in the 5 of Swords, this is a mental severity of defeatist thoughts.  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.

Understanding the corrective of Severity, we can say that Geburah supports our strength, for when we weaken and succumb to "comfort zones" (fear of vulnerability), she/he tears them away, exposing them for the fraudulent behavior they are (I think some, call this "Tough Love"). Therefore, 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 the Psyche of  "freedom of choice", everyone has the right to learn from their disease! Discernment demands it, and the Tree of  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; Inhale-exhale, life- death, time-space...etc.

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 often shown as a Masculine bearded Warrior in his/her chariot, relating to Mars, therefore both Martial and Saturnine force are his/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, purifying 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, have or will be explained in their own blog; However, they all represent: opposition, strife, war and struggle. The fives of each suit, represent obstacles to the thing in hand causing ultimate failure or success as attributed by the surrounding cards in the reading.

The Babylonian Tarot, 5 of Arrows-Defeat, uses arrows as the comparable image to the Thoth swords. Both Swords and Arrows are representative of the Pythagorean  element  of Air (Mind). 

The Sumerian Imdugud was known to the Babylonians as Anzu. Anzu was a gigantic birdlike monster with the head of a lion, (according to some scholars on the Sumerian-Annunaki, it was the war plane of Ninurta that was used to destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah [see Zechariah Sitchin]. ). Anzu is also similar to the lion-dragon or lion-griffin often seen in the art of the middle ages.

According to legend, Anzu's beak was like a saw and it's hide was as tough as 11 coats of chain mail. Whirl winds and sandstorms were cause by Anzu's flapping wings.

In the Epic of Anzu,  the lion-bird steals the Tablet of Destiny from the god Ellil, enabling the Bird, to change the destiny of anyone, just by speaking it.  The owner of the Tablet and change reality just by speaking words.

Noting that the very stealing of the Tablet of Destiny threatens the entire reality of civilization, the gods chose the warrior god Ninurta to track down the lion-bird and retrieve the Tablet of Destiny.

Ninurta, upon sighting the lion-bird, fires a volley of arrows at Anzu, who immediately  uses the Tablet to turn them away from their intended target and return then to the harmless raw materials the arrows were made from.

Eventually, after the disheartened Ninurta found council from the wise god Ea (Enki), he conquered Anzu and got the Tablet of Destiny back.

Therefore, the 5 of Arrows depicts the moment when Anzu turns the 5 arrows of Ninurta away from their intended target, scattering them about. At this point Anzu has the upper hand and Ninurta is defeated. The cuneiform symbol for the number five is shown beneath the lion-bird.

When the Thoth 5 of Swords or the 5 of Arrows card is thrown during a reading,
  • The querent is usually caught in the fears of the past.
  • They are experiencing a self defined prison  of negative, self defeating beliefs.
  • Here is defeat on a mental level, bringing humiliation and weakness.
  • The suggestion here is to give up fighting, swallow your pride and acknowledge your limitations, and then proceed in a new direction.
  • We are only defeated when we stop seeking another way.  So there is no 5 week or 5 month period here, since it is the querent's own mental negativity that is involved here, and they could change perspective at any time.
  • Conflict, failure and defeat.
  • Humiliation.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.


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