The Thoth Tarot 6 of Swords-Science & The Barbara Walker Tarot-6 of Swords- Passage, refers not only to Tiphareth (Beauty), the sixth Sephira on the Tree of Life, but also to the intellect itself. Tiphareth/Beauty, is a harmony of love, involving the intellect of Spirit, mind and body as a harmony and is often called the "Christ or Buddha Consciousness". It is the highest state of Consciousness the human brain can receive and therefore express. Thus, the Six of Swords is the fully established and balanced expression of the Suit of Air/Swords.
On the Thoth card, this synchronicity is also shown by placing the Planet Mercury in the sign of Aquarius which represents the flow of celestial Energy that operates the Idea of Humankind, i.e. the concept of humankind as the I-mage of God, i.e., The God Mind, manifest in the Microcosm. If you remember past blogs, the word Human is a composite of Mandarin-Hu, meaning-god, and a derivative of the Hindu word Manas, meaning-mind. God Mind is our collective identity...how we doing so far?
To some, the word Science implies, plodding mathematics, mind numbing repetition and burrowing into dusty old books, complete with stogy academics scratching chalk across a green slate board; However, there is much more implied in the 6 of Swords. This is the ultimate declarative Science ( I AM) of balancing the moral and mental faculties, that is difficult to achieve, and almost impossible to hold, in an ever-changing world of identity and definition manipulation.
In The Thoth Deck 6 of Swords, the hilts of the swords are not only ornamental but they also form the Hexagram that is the combined Triangles of the "As above, so below" doctrine of Qabalah. There is much to this science, so much so, that in this blog it can only be explained in Understanding the Collective Consciousness represented as the entire 78 cards of Tarot. However, it can be said that the 6 of Swords represents "Mind over Matter", the perfected psychosomatic relationship of consciousness and body.
As quote from the Qabalistic Tarot, by Robert Wang,"To deal with the mysteries of Tiphareth, one must first have undergone the initiations of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire (Malkuth, Yesod, Hod and Netzach, respectively). No matter how a religious or esoteric cult, whether Christianity, Buddhism or Qabalah, may describe the various component parts of the Personality, or the initiation of the four lower Sephiroth, an integration must be undergone before the descent of the Light which is God the Son. This integration is a personal atonement for the Fall. In Tiphareth is the Redemption."
The Fall, which is often misunderstood, simply means the progressive sojourn down the Tree of Life, necessary to establish a "point in time"; a "down sizing" called the human body. We are Spirit, who is "everywhere and nowhere at the same time", (infinite - I AM ) so in order to become "Self Aware" we need a place in time; a moment of sensuality, for the purpose of Self examination. There is no "Me" without sensation! This is called the "fall", when we build a "Me" we "fall" from the impersonal immortality of the I AM and become a personal mortal/sensual experience of the microcosm as a "Self", i.e. I Am Me. This is most necessary for intellectual discernment!
To know that human kind is the initiator of the Elementals is a Magi's knowledge and requires the "Science of Tiphareth", who is King over the four Elemental aspects that are the Personality (thus the cross symbol on the Thoth Card) and the Palace of the rulers of the actual Elemental Kingdoms of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. These Rulers are called the Malachim elementals who are kings over other elementals because they have gained immortality which occurs only from the intervention of human beings. When we realize ourselves as Tiphareth, we become the Elohim Malachim "Gods of the gods"(shown as a light holding Sorcerer on the shore of the B.W. Tarot Card) . As you may note, there is much to this Science of Tiphareth.
To continue with the Thoth Card description, the 6 Swords have their points joined in the Rose upon the six squares of the Rosy Cross. Thus, the Rosy cross is the central point of this Science.
The number 6 is the number of the Sun/Son and the Rose is the Womb of the Great Mother. The Son (Sun) of the Father joined in the womb of the Mother, is an intelligent state of Energy that requires diligent study and vigilant self awareness. Have fun deciphering this Sephira, for it is the Science of Magic !
To reiterate: The complete interpretation of this card is: the perfect balance of all mental and moral facilities, hardly won and almost impossible to hold in an ever-changing world.
Therefore, the 6 of Swords is the science of the psyche and soma, that is both objective and fair-witnessing; "Mind over Matter". The Six swords, also suggesting the form of the unicursal hexagram, all join in the center of the Rosy cross; a Rosicrucian Cross, which is the universal symbol of integration, synthesis and blessing.This indicates that the 6 of Swords also represents the integrative mind that recognizes sources of inspiration that are sometimes inexpiable.
The Thoth Tarot-6 of Swords represents The holistic mind which is symbolized by the circle while the crystalline diamond represents the crystal clear creative mind. This mind can consider many thoughts at once (the many pin wheels in the background) and succeeds in integrating them into a collective-clarity that is objectively communicated in such away as to present a new perspective that would have been otherwise unseen.
The sign of Mercury is seen at the top of the card and the sign of Aquarius at the bottom, symbolizing Mercury in Aquarius. Mercury is the winged messenger (clear communication) and Aquarius is the New Age (new perspectives) symbolizing the ability to communicate new ideas in such an objective way that they are easily understood and heard.
Hence, The Thoth 6 of Swords-Science illustrates the Balance of the idea of the Suit. Tiphareth, the Middle 6th Sephiroth on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life, is the Sun/son of God- Sephiroth, known as Beauty; Beauty being the perfect balance of opposites, or as psychologist/philosopher-Carl Jung would say, "...a Synchronicity".
The Higher Intellect of the Soul itself is also referred to in the number 6 , as it is the number of the Sun, which represents the Bright-Warm Intelligence.
In the zodiac, this card is influenced by Mercury in Aquarius, which represents the celestial Spiral (Spirit) Energy Intelligence influencing the Soul of Man. Thus, the Six of Swords-Science, shows both Divine intelligence and humanity.
Illustrated on the Thoth card, the Points of the Six Swords touch each other in the Center of a red rose on a golden cross of six squares. The red is hard to see on the card illustration as it has faded due to processing.
The Golden cross, the Red Rose and the six squares, of which the cross is composed, show the Rosy Cross as the central secret of scientific truth.
The Student of Gnosis ( Greek for Knowledge, but not the knowledge we make but rather the Knowledge that makes us) might find it interesting to study the Rosy Cross and/or Rosicrucian philosophy.
The Barbara Walker Tarot-6 of Swords: Passage.
Here Barbara Walker chooses to use an older traditional meaning of the Tarot 6 of Swords; a journey by water. In medieval times, a journey over the sea was an anxious time, a passage toward a dark and unknown future.
The Greeks knew such a passage into the unknowable Abyss, as the river Styx, older than the gods and the ultimate journey and last rite of passage guided by the faceless ferryman, Charon, as he transported the souls of the dead into the nether world.
Some say the waters of Styx are black, others said they were blood, for these waters bore the same curse as menstrual blood, once represented by the Gorgon Face; it was said that the fluid of the river Styx could turn men to stone.
Truth being, the word Styx, means petrifying, in reference to its terrible taboo.
[From Wikipedia-The Free Encyclopedia]
In Greek mythology, Styx (/stɪks/; Ancient Greek: Στύξ [stýkʰs]) is a deity and a river that forms the boundary between Earth and the Underworld (the domain often called Hades, which also is the name of its ruler). The rivers Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe, and Cocytus all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which sometimes is also called the Styx. According to Herodotus, the river Styx originates near Feneos. Styx is also a goddess with prehistoric roots in Greek mythology as a daughter of Tethys, after whom the river is named and because of whom it had miraculous powers...Styx was the name of the daughter of Tethys and Oceanus, the goddess of the River Styx. In classical myths, her husband was Pallas and she gave birth to Zelus, Nike, Kratos, and Bia (and sometimes Eos). In those myths, Styx supported Zeus in the Titanomachy, where she was said to be the first to rush to his aid and for this reason her name was given the honor of being a binding oath for the deities. Knowledge of whether this was the original reason for the tradition did not survive into historical records following the religious transition that led to the pantheon of the classical era.
Since, the Divine Feminine, is traditionally the Mother of Life and Death, the river was also called Alpha, the river of birth since the river was also birthplace of the various Greek gods. The River Alpha was said to flow from Mother Earth's vagina, past the holy shrine of Clitor, as shown on the Barbara Walker Card.
As a deity, Styx was the Daughter of Oceanus (the Ocean). The name, The Daughter of the Ocean is possibly derived from the more primitive, Kali-the-Creatress, known as the Daughter of the Ocean of Blood. As state by Wikipedia, Styx married Pallas, a mysterious phallic deity, who impregnated her. Styx gave birth to a holy trinity known as, Power, Force, and Dominance.[Harrison, 72-73]
Styx, was also known in Egypt as a form of Hathor, who was associated with a holy river of blood (the red Nile in flood time), said to issue from a vast cavern under the Mountains of the Moon. The ancient Egyptians believed that Hathor-the-Sphinx, carried the dead through 6 windings in the uterine underworld and gave them rebirth.
Therefore, some artist somewhere interpreted the six "windings" as a "serpent haired" goddess.
The Sphinx guarded the dark entrance to Gehenna's headwaters; Gehenna, was a biblical name for a river sacred to Ge, another name for Mother Earth. [Hallet, 401]
The fearsome riddles of the Sphinx seem to be representative of man's fears of the veiled, unforeseen future.
The 6 Swordsman of the Traditional Tarot, were supposed to be moving away from danger, thus the passage was not as perilous as first thought. In Barbara Walker's illustration, Hope is seen as a lone figure on the riverbank holding up a light. Though not immediate, this card was deemed a prelude to success. Difficulties must be faced during the voyage before the passage could proceed.
When the Tarot-6 of Swords is thrown during a reading it indicates:
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