Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot 8 of Swords: INTERFERENCE & The B.O.T.A. Tarot- 8 of Swords
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Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot 8 of Swords: INTERFERENCE & The B.O.T.A. Tarot- 8 of Swords

The Tarot of EliThe Qabalistic Thoth Tarot, Eight of Swords: Interference:
The Swords are of the Element of air which is the action paradigm of the mind. Therefore, mental interference is signified here. This is a sign of an active mind, that dashes about between thoughts before they are thoroughly examined and is unable to complete anything of significance. Projects lie about half done, confusion is rampant about what is most important and what is not. 

In Eastern philosophy this flitting about from thought to thought is a product of the Neti-Neti mind (translates to ; Not this-Not that). This card represents the over analytical, non-trusting mind where survival thinking has become the foundation of creative thought brought on by self-doubt. This card says,"Stop! Now is the time to wait rather than act."

Running from thought to thought, not trusting your opinion of which is best or more certain of creating your dreams of happiness, accomplishes only creative mental interference. Hence, nothing can be completed. Mental happiness comes from a state of I AM----not from a state of "I Am not". It is time to stop seeking and focus on your inner bliss. Declaring," I Am happiness", stops the seeking of happiness that often interferes with our focused creative motion.
"Happiness built me so it could be me." is a realization that has personally changed my life---it's time to focus on this fact as you.God doesn't build what God doesn't want! Therefore, you creation is part of the Happiness that is god.

This  Thoth card helps us see that it is not what we do that makes us happy. There is a core of Happiness in all of us, for our Soul is our inner-self, who is the Divine Creative of our outer-self. Again the Tarot aids us in the spiritual axiom," Above all things, know thyself."

By viewing the Qabalistic Tree of Life, you may notice that Hod (8th Sephira) is on the same plane as the 7th Sephira, Netzach. Hod is Splendor and Netzach is Victory, both have the same inherent weakness.
They both are reactionary and short lived.
The 8's are reaction to the damage that has been done by the 7's. Therefore, the 8's seem to be a remedy for the 7's mischief, however, they are more of a spontaneous reaction than a perfect correction. This being so, they still are free of the errors of the 7's.

Since The Eight of Swords: Interference. card is influenced by Jupiter in Gemini, the will is not weighed down by internal stress or external stress, as is the 8 of Cups.
Gemini is and airy intellectual  sign and Jupiter is optimism and geniality so  as Crowley put it, "It is simply the error of being good-natured when good-nature is disastrous." 
In the world of Swords, this is unconscionable, for the Sharp- wit of the Sword must be wielded with a deft blow, anything else is but a distraction.

There is also another problem with the 8 of Swords, that of the unexpected interference of pure bad luck! Through out our history we see examples of this, as a small incident brings down empires......"best laid plans of mice and men, etc."
The Qabalistic Thoth- Eight 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.  Hence, Splendor, is cosmetic and has little depth of character.
However, ruling this astrological Decan, is Jupiter in Gemini, thus good fortune may 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 on the Thoth Tarot card by the Six  crossing Swords between two major Swords, signifying too many different thoughts to consider at the same moment.






The Thoth Deck  8 of Swords,
is also in the Suit of Air, which blows "wherever it may". All of this contradiction displays  the mental conflict that comes form splendorous displays of intellectual thought. As is often the case, 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 lack of mental "nutrition" is not unusual for it is a common disease of the human brain, that prods our personalities on with a shot gun blast of thoughts, scattering our intellectual strength so that our thought is too weak to go the distance. 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 mind, 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 programming; one such correctional software package, is the study of the Gnostic Qabalah where "above all things, know thyself" is the unconditional focus of the  I AM.  Rather than a cultural "thyself which is made by the acquiring of more things/degrees/ and words of title" which only produces impoverished thoughts based on the well praised ego's belief that
its every thought to be true! There is a well used axiom for this card, and it is ," A jack of all trades, and a master of none"... which is also the modern concept of  "Multitasking".  Focusing on one thing at a time will cure this dysfunction which may sound easy, but requires intense fearless-sensual intimacy with what you are doing.

[From the Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang: page 104]
"The beams of Geburah and Tiphareth meet in Hod and thence arises in Hod a brilliant pure and flashing orange tawny.  And the Sphere of its Operation is that of Kochab, the stellar light, bestowing elegance, swiftness, scientific knowledge and art, and constancy of speech, and it ruleth the sphere of the action of the planet Mercury.  And Elohim Tzabaoth is also a God of Hosts and Armies, of Mercy and Agreement, of Praise and Honor, ruling the Universe in Wisdom and Harmony.  And its Archangel is Michael, the Prince of Splendor and of Wisdom, and the Name of its order of Angels is Beni Elohim, or Sons of the  God, who are also called the Order of Archangels."

Basically, #8 - Hod is the concrete mind and is the sphere of Mercury, thus to Hod are attributed all that is intellectual and systematized, such as the magical arts, literature, science and commerce. 
To a Qabalist, it is the Sphere of Conscious energy, that one speaks and writes from. It is the artistic mind that demands rhinestones, tattoo's, and exciting decoration.
The color orange, that is used to depict the Hodic Vibration, is also the Color of Mental ambition, passion mixed with intellect.

When considering Hod, we must also consider Netzach, for at the base of the Pillar of Form, beneath Binah, Hod (splendor) resides.  And at the base of the Pillar of Force, beneath Chokma, resides Netzach (Victory); both linked together by the Path of the Tower Card, key 16.

The Same balance of Force and Form that is seen in the Supernal Triangle, is seen between these Two Sephiroth.  But there is a difference, as this lower pattern of Force and Form is expressible in conceptualized forms and understood by our reasoning minds and is objectified; whereas, the Supernal is so subjective that there is no rationale. There are no objects to examine in the Supernal. For Chokma, the 2nd Sephiroth, is the "idea of outpouring Force" and Binah, the 3rd Sephiroth, is "the idea of Form that restricts force", terms most subjective and displaying no object.

With the union of Hod and Netzach, we are now dealing with concepts that can immediately be understood in terms of individual Personality construction and architecture; in other words, objectively.

In the human personality the Fire of Netzach is "animal intuition" and the Water of Hod is the concrete personal and rational mind.

The Book of Thoth, is another name for the Tarot and is referred to Hod. To reiterate, Thoth is an Egyptian Ibis headed god, who is Hermes in Greek and Mercury in Roman mythology. Each of these are presented in cultural mythology as messengers, a patron of teaching and learning and/or the teacher of the Mysteries.  Since all language is the messenger of knowledge and a carrier of messages, words relate to Hod. However, words are also used in notorious trickery and are therefore symbolized as a monkey that accompanies Thoth.  Yet, Words of Power, are a Magus tool, and the well practice instrument of any practitioner of the Mysteries. The "movement with in the Motion" of words, is subjective, but that doesn't affect its power to transform the listening object!

Names and Vesicle  relate to Hod, but without the fiery passion of Netzach, they are dull and empty. The effect of "feelings" in a word are obvious, either by saying "I love you" or "I hate You", with focused passion, effects our inner world. To say these same phrases with monotones of logic, makes them ineffectual, and dead. Besides, passionately expressed words can be much noted interference with rational thought. Words are more "creative splendor" than Creation and/or "the color of creation", rather than any actual object.

The Inner Word is a World of Vibration that only the intense energy of "Will to Force" that resides in Netzach can reach. So power speakers, know to bring the dynamic energy of Netzach to the environment through "victorious" words.  Many fail at ritual, because they chant by wrote and not by the dynamics of Vital Force (Sexual/Lust energy). As Robert Wang states,"Those who approach the esoteric studies with great vitality and enthusiasm but lack the discipline of Hod are wasting their time. And those who fail to bring the intuition of Netzach to bear on the many words written about the inner sciences will quickly decide that the "Hermetic Mysteries" are pedantic and lifeless." 

The Qaballah, names many attributes of the One Energy/Self, each of which requires a different learning experience (Paths) and a need to "pronounce" the God name.  Thus, the names of the system are of Hod, but the beginning of the system to properly use the words is in Netzach whose vibration encompasses the whole Tree of Life.

There is a reason why the Hermaphrodite, is the magical image of Hod.That reason comes from the fact that form requires force in restriction, force is symbolize as Phallic, and form is symbolized as Ovum, or Womb. Thus, in Hod are the dynamic qualities of the force of Netzach, which are limited in order that they can be dealt with through our normal process of thought. We know these limits as the Form of both language and visual image. Both are comprehensible symbols agreed upon by societies for the transmission of messages. Sure, language and images are both artificial and have no intrinsic qualities of their own, they are merely carriers of idea, neutral in themselves but the "feelings" of Netzach, our inner-passion, makes them seem alive.

The symbol for Hod is not only Names and vesicles, but also the Apron, which also refers  to the Moon, as does Thoth himself in one aspect.  Being a traditional Masonic symbol, the Apron symbolizes the builder who is the craftsman of the Mysteries, and when worn, covers the sexual organs attributed to Yesod. Those who understand Yesod, see the extent to which the manipulation of sexual energy is the foundation of all practical work.

When in returning our self-consciousness to the God head, from its material condition, Hod becomes the primary point of conceptual transfer.  Here, in Hod, which resides in the Pillar of Severity, the Masters contact their chosen disciples, clothing themselves in  forms comprehensible to the human mind; presenting to the student the formal tools of the Hermetic path. The Sephiroth Netzach is the presentation point of the Orphic Path, That is the Pillar of Mercy and the Middle Pillar, the Pillar of Mildness, is the Devotional Path.

Now the initiate knows that by projecting oneself into any Sephiroth, by meditative means, immerses the student in the Qualities of that Energy Consciousness. Therefore, we use the forces of Hod, by approaching things intellectual or by just studying the Mysteries. All The Sephiroth, on the Tree of Life, are integral parts of Our Whole Self, in a constant state of dynamic psychosomatic activity. The Principle of Practical Qaballah is that we turn our conscious observation toward a particular aspect of ourselves, and thereby gain access to the corresponding part of the Universal Mind.

What is of note, the god Mercury (shown as the astrological sign) is also known as the god of deceit and trickery and words are also vessels of these vices. This suggest the aspect of "adaptability" required for esoteric work which is conferred by the Hod Energy. Now the student knows that the whole Astral realm seeks to deceive but this deception is because of our perceptual vulnerability when viewing astral images. Our human minds are particularly susceptible to perceptual folly, in the alternatively  bright and murky  Sephiroth of Yesod.  And it is in Hod that we begin to understand the mechanisms of our perceptions.

 Since the eights are of Hod they generally show solitary success in the matter for the time being, but not leading to much result-- apart from the thing itself.



When the Thoth card is thrown it points to the astrological aspect of Jupiter in Gemini; Jupiter being the planet of  growth and expansion and when linked with Gemini this union requires us to weight different possibilities (Gemini is is the sign of the "twins").
The B.O.T.A.  Tarot, 8 of Swords, shows a wheel like pattern of the eight swords. Colored in the yellow of the element of air, it is hard to see any real meaning of interference to this display.
Yet it would seem, to be defensive, and would imply a "fear of interference" and therefore demanding a display of fortified mental strength, which in itself interferes with ones thoughts.

 Again, the Builders of the Adytum, seem to require that one get their correspondence courses to understand the meanings of their minor arcana cards.  Yet, these are cards of the Hermetic Qabalah, just as are the Thoth Tarot cards. Therefore, Thoth meanings apply.


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 or 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.

When ill-dignified by the accompanying cards, the above qualities produce malice, pettiness, and domineering qualities.

  • Over analyzing every thought to the point of inaction reminding us to stop, slow down and refocus.
  • In the next 8 weeks or 8 months you will either get the chance to slow down and refocus your thoughts or you will come to an understanding of your own mental interference and refocus.
  • This could also mean that you must desist your uncertain and scattered thoughts about the Gemini people in your life (May 21 to June 21) by simply waiting and not taking any decisive action concerning them.
  • Let go of fear and thoughts will become focused and future decisions will become clearer.
  • Too much interference for proper decisions at this time. 


 Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.


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