Thoth Tarot-3 of Swords: Sorrow & The Barbara Walker Tarot-3 of Swords: Sorrow.
The four 3's of the Hermetic-Qabalistic Tarot:
Since the Thoth Tarot
of the Hermetic Qabalah is inseparable from the Tree of Life, and the
minor arcana (small cards) are numbered according to the Serphiroth that
rules their action, the 3s are all associated with the third Sephira-
Binah: Understanding. Thus, in each of the 3s the idea has become fertilized, i.e. Understood and
because of this fertilization, the triangle has become formulated. In
Qabalah we know that the Triangle is the Strongest structure (Trinity),
an empirically stable plane and therefore, the idea of the card is now
a strong union and able to give birth to children, and thus evolve.
The 3 of Swords-Sorrow:
The Lady of Sorrow
, is a often misinterpreted card, due to the mutable nature of mind, which is why it is compared to the element Air.
The idea of division, separation, and mutability, the airy quality of things, is understood and manifest in the 3 of Swords.
the darkness of Binah, the Third Sephiroth, is the mourning of Isis for her lost love, the
dismembered Osiris...a "Dying God". This is not the common sorrow,
dependent on any given discontent or individual disappointment. Rather,
the German word, Weltschertz, meaning The Universal Sorrow,
best expresses this Conscious Energy state of Melancholy. For to give birth to your bright and beautiful forms, and then having to kill them in time, can only bring sorrow to the mother, who is "the will to form", and Time herself.
(Thermodynamics) this is the realization of the 2nd law of Entropy,
where everything proceeds from order to disorder or as an ancient has
stated," The Mother watches her bright and loved children become
deformed monsters......" This sorrow is best known by Mothers who love
their children with all that they are, while watching their lovely
child's self identity degrade into becoming an addict, criminal or worse, a mass
murderer and then death. Such sorrow is visceral and often beyond the understanding of
those who don't conceive; However, this Sorrow of Separation is even
darker for the Great Mother that has conceived us all, and watches us
destroy one another in the name of "ideas", without "understanding" that
ideas, are just servants of Creators. No life is to become a servant of
Separation, also brings great Grief to Lovers, who
long only for Union. In each of us, deep down in the inner depths of
ourselves, is that great hollowness, that great lonesomeness, we've
inherited from the Universal Sorrow....that's also what drives us to
"fill the whole", with stuff (greed), religious seeking (spirituality),
and "finding that soul mate". When we understand that this Universal Sorrow,
is part of us, we'll stop trying to flee from it in our "pursuit of
happiness", because, to have Sorrow, is to already know happiness. The I AM must conceive of and destroy the
ME! For the I AM is the alpha and omega of the Me.
Truly, what is even more sorrowful and therefore represented by the 3 of Swords, and only if we understood the
difference between "man-made" self and God Made Self, we would
understand the deep sorrow of the "childhood self" locked away in a
dungeon of contradictory Ruler made-definitions that shaped us
into the adults who destroy higher consciousness, in their pursuit of
happiness; a pursuit which is just trying to find the "lost
original bright-self". The hole we feel is the "lost Joy" that is the
"Child within", the Original Identity-definition- that made us manifest.
We dug a hole in our heart for to bury our- bright and beautiful selves, so we could please others, hoping they wouldn't reject us. The Fool Card attempts to inform us of this. Lost
innocence, is a hole in our self image...holes don't allow completeness
and result in sorrow; holes are graves. We have become divided against ourselves, burying our divine beauty out of fear of rejection and
thus are will is conquered.
To Reiterate: The Thoth 3 of Swords-Sorrow
, of the Hermetic Qabalah, represents the state of universal sorrow.
It is a prevalent state of melancholy that we find when it deep
meditation. It is based on both the lurking passion to create but its
children have become monsters in their own minds and also the fact that the
beauty created must be necessarily destroyed in order for energy to Transform. Transformation is the Universal mechanism for movement.
In an individual context,
this card can represent thoughts of sorrow, where brooding over the
loss of the past is currently producing sorrow. Much like the universal
sorrow, we created something we thought would be joyful but it ended up
as a heartbreak for it ends, often before expected, making us release the "dream" we so long
The Thoth 3 of Swords/Sorrow card also represents triangular relationships such
as, Father, Mother and Child, and could represent our first sorrow
experienced in this family context. Therefore it may imply brooding over
the past of 3wks, 3months or even when we were 3 years old. This sorrow
is a piercing of our core identity, as shown by the swords piercing the
lotus. How we handle the first triangle relationship is how we will
handle the next ones; be they friend-sibling-mate or
No matter the relationship triangle
we may experience, the tendency for the mind to hold grudges or
network the parts of past pain into present circumstances, leaves us in
the past as a "wanna-be" personality of stasis rather than a I AM Me
personality of action and change.
Of course,there are many fruitful and
constructive triangle relationships; However, the two swords at the top
being bent by the entry of the third sword, can show us that something
must be resolved between three people before the stress of the situation destroys the relationship.
Also the central sword can
be an event that bent the receptive and dynamic sides of our nature
which can confuse our relationships with male, female and ourselves.
Astrologically, the three of swords is Saturn in Libra
reminds us to do things in a step by step method so that we can achieve
the mental, emotional and physical balance represented by Libra.
are reminded to see the whole of our past, rather than focus only on
the sorrowful moments. By doing so, we will often see the benefits that
the past sorrowful event bestowed on us, rather than just emotional
- This card reminds us that by limiting our view of
the past (Saturn) we can not achieve balance with past, present and
future as symbolized by Libra.
The Great Mother Binah, rules the suit of Air in the Thoth card's 3 of Swords imagery; Binah, is a "dark Womb" which the Unconscious emulates. Hence, Binah, the 3rd Sephiroth, named Understanding, and
is shown in state of rippled "darkness", much like the Fallopian tubes of a female [...either of a pair of tubes along which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus]. Here she is not the beneficent Great Mother Empress of
the Trinity of Kether, Chokmah and Binah, but rather is seen here as the Dark
Deep Sea of the Abysmal Womb; the Womb of Chaos which is The Impersonal All-Mother, A No-Thing. This is a very
difficult doctrine for the average student to grasp. Much study and
skrying is recommended for those who wish to be "rebooted" as the
original "seed atom" of Psyche. But this requires one to become Universal Sorrow, which destroys all desire power, leaving only sorrow as the identity of I AM.
understanding of Universal Sorrow, may come from analyzing the second law of thermodynamics
which states"...Everything proceeds from order to disorder".
Therefore, in this card, the Great Dark Sea of Mother is a brooding
sorrow, for all Her bright beautiful children must end, as they are
built of time, or have become monsters and prematurely ended themselves. This deep, heartfelt
universal sorrow is not necessarily human even though it can be
felt by humans. We must remember, that contrary to our religious or
cultural teachings, darkness is not a negative for Unlimited Light is
darkness to us, because it has no end or beginning to observe, therefore
our True Core Identity is the Dark-Light/Energy that has emerged from the Universal Womb of Chaos.
Our world of Light in reflection,
is visible to us
as the reflection gives us a beginning and end to see; a self-reflection
must have "to know itself" which is to Understand
Great Dark Womb, is a birth giver of limited light, the stuff that all
form is made of and therefore the Dark Sea (See) of Unlimited
Imagination which can only be called Chaos. To truly understand the Joy of the Greater Self, is to also
know the Great Sorrow that limit imposes on us. To create is to
destroy. To create what one loves, and watch it die, is one way to
experience sorrow of the Divine. In the realm of the physical world,
life must eat itself to stay alive, which is another form of sorrow, often symbolized by a Serpent eating its own Tail.
In the Thoth Deck Three of Swords,
the sword of the Magus with point uppermost, cuts the junction of the
two curved swords. The Impact destroys the Rose, causing disorder which
implies the supreme transcendence of natural order (...all things proceed from order to disorder). The back ground
of the Thoth Tarot card is a brewing storm of implacable light. A very
deep and visceral understanding of this card's symbolism is necessary, as the foundation of this universe comes
from the energy-in-motion generated by sorrow. For in the beginning,
there was only I and I realized it was the only One. It
realized, "I Am and no-other". Therefore "I Am" (God's name) was first
existence conceived from the idea of loneliness/sorrow. "I AM Other", is the
first expression of Creation and Understanding the difference that exists between I and Other, creates Imagination/ The Great Mother of All forms.
In a more mundane concept, the 3 of Swords represents thoughts of sorrow, which come from events and/or past patterns that have not been released and dealt with. This card also represents a triangular relationship that generates sorrowful feelings or thought.
As stated, astrologically,
this card is Saturn in Libra and is not a vulgar sorrow, but a sorrow
of universal consciousness; a quality of melancholy that radiates from
the Great Mother. This deep sorrow comes from the fact that She gave
Life to Her Beautiful children, who have become monsters in their own "I's". Also all that is created, must die. This
causes a sorrow in any Mother's heart.
Let me ask you this: is the lower statement logical?
" If I wish a great artist
to warm up to me, I should of course insult their work." If you have
answered," That's ridiculous, the artist will be upset with me and stop
listening to anything I say", or some such, then you can understand that
to call ourselves, sinners, inferiors, weakness, cowards, sluggards,
evil, bad etc. we are insulting the Greatest Artist ever ....Our
Creator! To get
The Divine Creative to listen to you you don't
beg and plead because you are a miserable wretch; If you do you'll not
be heard or seen- Because the Divine Creative can't hear you nor see you as such!
To the Divine Creative you are all Beautiful Children who are made in
Its own Image! Approaching The Divine as a grateful, loving child who is
proud to be the Divine's offspring and who knows, that we can never be "god", but that "god can be us" by Divine inheritance. To me this is just common sense! On earth, children who demean themselves cause great sorrow in their parents hearts! I AM Me--- Not--I wish I ain't Me, will get you a personal audience with your Divine Parents!
Once, it becomes
to the " Child" in us, that humankind's persistent
self-destructive behavior, as a choice over Love, greatly Saddens the
Great Mother. Because of this behavior, She cannot see us in our disillusioned identities, as Her
perspective is Love of Being the Child, not fear of her own creations. Hence, we who fear our own presence (fear of rejection), become lost children to
Her, and she grieves the loss deeply. Only through the perspective of Love of
Self and Those Selves around us, can we approach Her...but then the
celebration of being "Seen"
by Her, dissipates any sorrow! When the
prodigal comes home, She will indeed "kill the fatted calf".
want to be less sorrowful in your life? Try this. Say , "Thank you Divine Creative
for making me ---me!" Don't beg for what you don't have, thank the
Divine Creative for what you do have and the coffers of your Divine
inheritance are open to you! Remember the biblical parable of the Prodigal son?
The son, who wasted his inheritance on useless pursuits, until he was destitute and near death. Well he didn't
receive a return of his wealth by begging his father for more, all he
had to do is return to the "original home" of his birth rite and upon
approaching that home he was seen and given back all the wealth he never
knew he had! To return to the Original Idea, that created us is to know
thyself! I Am The Rich Child of Divinely Rich Parents----who would
never allow me to lack---anything! But by believing in " I lack", I have
chosen it as a reality for myself!
Freedom of Choice,
can be a great generator of happiness and wealth or a great generator
of sorrow and lack! We have Freedom of choice, because the Divine
Creative sees us as self-images! To not see yourself as a Ruler of your own definition---is
to be handicapped and divided emotionally and mentally against
yourself! "I was defined into being by my Creator....no further
definition do I need from anyone---including myself. I am good enough
for Divinity, I am good enough for Me! Thank you Great Self for declaring me as your
Therefore, Sorrow is a process of thought that allows one to create,
see error, and correct it ( Wisdom). The reason I trust myself---because The
Divine Creative Trusts Me! I am Evolutionary Self Awareness! Now sorrow for us,
is but a fleeting thing, rather than a permanent suffering, for my
moments of expectation are short. I now know not to assume or expect,
rather create , observe and correct error.The second law of
Thermodynamics is in all creation.[...all things proceed from order to
disorder] and I am unashamed of error as I know that it is 50% of
wisdom. It is known to me, that I err
and that proves to me I am a creator as well.
In the Thoth 3 of Swords
, we see
the Sword of the Magician, cutting the junction of two short swords,
destroying the Rose/Lotus with its impact. In the background, storms are
brewing in the implacable night. The Sword of the Magician is "Will"; A will direct form the Kether who is " I Will Be"! Therefore represent
here is the Will-to-be that has been perverted by multiple thoughts of Will-not-to be...the perverted will of a
The Three of Swords, is also Binah
in Yetzirah, placing the influence of Binah in the Astral World.The Chaotic World of dreams.
know that Saturn is a very influential planet, sometimes called "The
Great Destroyer" and sometimes the "Great Initiator" and represents
Time. However, though the presence of Saturn usually means pain and hardship, it isn't evil, as through suffering we may encounter the Dark Sterile Mother (Crone). From her we learn life's most important lessons.
The Barbara Walker Tarot- 3 of Swords
also uses the title of Sorrow. Here one is shown having difficulty accepting the dictates of natural law. Specifically the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The Suit of Swords, in Tarot, is traditionally known as the "death suit".
In Buddhism there is an allegory of the opposite principles of attraction and repulsion, love and death, known as Kama-Mara, personified as a demon who tempted the Buddha during his meditation on the Middle Way. This tempting demon, almost cause a disastrous interruption of the Buddha's meditation.
From Wikipedia-the free encyclopedia:
[In the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism, the expression MiddleWay is used by the Buddha in his first discourse (the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta) to describe the Noble Eight-fold Path as the noble path to achieve Nirvana, instead of taking extremes of austerities and sensual indulgence.]
In the Hermetic Qabalah, the Middle Path or Pillar,
represents the Middle Way that the Buddha speaks of. It is the Pillar of Mildness.
To make a long history short:
Mara, as the spirit of death and sorrow, had many manifestations in Middle Eastern religious imagery. She was portrayed as the Syrian-Mari, Hebrew-Marah, Greek-Moera, Celtic-Maura, and so many more. She also became the mater dolorosa (the wailing mother in the temple), whose function was to preform the funeral hymns that the Greeks called- Moirologhia (Word of the Fates).
The death priestesses used dirges called houloi, "howlings", that Herodotus said, originated in the Libyan temples of Athene.There once was a traditional belief that dead men had to be sung into the after-world by feminine charms (carmen), expressing formal by not necessarily sincere grief.
The traditional belief that is the 3 of Swords Tarot Card, was based on "tears of woe", connected with a holy woman or with singing. The keening lament, was a warning, as though a balance of dangerous powers, shown in the Two card, or the Two side Pillars of the Three Pillars of the Tree of Life, might tip over, one way or the other, resulting in tragedy.
When the 3 of Swords is thrown, the querent is experiencing or will be experiencing: In three weeks or three months the querent shall experience unhappiness, sorrow, tears.
of plans,interruption,separation, quarreling, sowing of discord and
strife, yet there will be mirth in evil pleasures, deceitful in words.
on the dignity of the cards around it, it could also mean honesty in
money transactions, selfish and dissipated, yet sometimes generous.
Depicts the sorrow felt by someone who goes against their greed, which they generally relish as a win.
card suggests the need to remove oneself from the triangle relationships
that produce sorrow and that are not constructive.
Unhappiness, sorrow, tears, disruption, interruption, separation and
quarreling, that have lasted or shall last for 3 weeks or 3 months.
- There will be or has been the sowing of discord, strife, mischief making, and yet, mirth in evil pleasures.
of the influence of Saturn being both "destroyer and initiator", the 3
can also be faithfulness in promises, honesty in money, the motivation
being both selfish and dissipated , yet sometimes generous.
if the card is accompanied by the more Spiritually inclined Major
Arcana, the Three of Swords, empathizes the deep Spiritual Melancholy of
the Crone, that the querent is experiencing as they approach "the dark night of the soul".
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