Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 9 of Swords-Cruelty & The Barbara Walker Tarot- 9 of Swords- Cruelty.
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 9 of Swords-Cruelty & The Barbara Walker Tarot- 9 of Swords- Cruelty.

The Tarot of EliIn the Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-The four 9s are attributed to Yesod (Foundation) and after the double incursion into misfortune of the 7s and 8s, the energy current has returned to the middle pillar. Balance is restored and energy has crystallized to form the foundation of all things. Yesod is in direct line with Tiphareth (Beauty-the Christ/Sun Sephiroth) so it has a direct  line of succession and manifests the full force of the element. Zoroaster said," The number nine is sacred, and attains the summit of perfection".

The Qabalistic Thoth-9  OF SWORDS-CRUELTY:

Astrologically this card is Mars in Gemini, the fiery Mars energy can do no good in the sign of dualities.

To a Qabalist, this is Yesod (Foundation) in Yetzirah (Astral World). The Astral world itself is often deceptive, but with the Foundation energy of manifestation influenced by Mars and the dualities of Gemini unbalance it,  deceptions now become cruel realities.


The divination meaning of this Sword card is despair, illness, suffering and cruelty.

In the Thoth Deck, the 9 of Swords is shown as eight beaten and battered rusty swords dripping poison and blood; needless to say this card shows no boon. 
Here the realm of Dreams (Astral) is influenced by mental self-cruelty, negative thinking, and mental degradation. There is a deep depression here but surcease may become apparent in the next 9 weeks or 9 months. 

This powerful card reminds us that often one is hurt by the expectations that are destroyed by chaos of daily life but instead of doing something about it, being overly self-absorbed, one is suffering over it.  
Often I hear suffering people say," Why did God take my loved one away from me," or what kind of God would allow a baby to be shot and killed or starved." etc. , or "why do I always fail"?  The answer "that we have choices", aren't easy nor pleasant for such devastating events but they have nothing to do with the Divine Creative's desire to "call us back to its bosom". Souls are us, and the Divine Desire is all about Freedom to be us! These are choices of identity that define action or inaction.  Besides, the Divine Creative is all around us, in us and as us! Therefore, there is no where to go to be "nearer to god", then by being yourself!

The Divine Creative gave us the inheritance of Divinity as The Wholly Child of many faces (all peoples); for when Imagination is infinite, there are infinity possible self images. We, who are but imagined self-images/identities of the Divine Creative, i.e. Souls, have absolute command over our inherited imagination that creates reality both individually and as a group. If we create a world where value isn't our bodies or their life (living bodies are the Purpose of Souls), but artificial ideas, titles,  money, and things, our world will be fueled by greed, ambition, theft, murder; a cruel and devastating world of poisoned survival thinking where vulnerability is denied by preying on everyone else. 

Truth is Life, and/or the manifested presence of a thought-form, not the thoughts, fears or emotions that we think and feel; for those are the hot bed of the Trickster ( Devil, i.e., lived spelled backwards) that is our self absorbed fear based survival thinking. All is the Universal Divine Collective Unconscious, no divisions no separates for that is the One Mind. Therefore, Truth is thought made manifest!  So if we allow, because of fear of vulnerability, a world of hate, of destructive slave-religions, of megalomaniac politics, of ENEMY, our own brain/body becomes that enemy. 

*This is the power we wield as "Imagination's Self Image" (Imagination is the Divine Feminine part of the One Divine Creative Unconscious), we freely become our dreams just as the Divine Creative does! Too believe in "good or bad", is to divide the Imagination, and divide the power to be...cruelly cutting the Psyche in half and placing the halves in opposition!


 I Am neither good nor bad, I AM ME!

Imagination is all around us, in us and as us! Imagination is the "Womb with a view", the Creator of Form. Therefore, when Dreams are driven by fears, they become nightmares and then we fear the nightmares giving them the emotional power to become our energy-in-motion reality; a reality of enemy. Living a nightmare is cruel as our Unconscious becomes the enemy of our consciousness; a grand and terrifying paradox for we are the Psyche/Soul that is the Unconscious who invents consciousness as "ourselves"! Therefore,  a "house divided", that cruelly falls.

Spirit is psycho-dynamic flow (psychosomatic) of Divine Will who is the Mind that is "over matter" and often shown in Hermetic tradition, as a Serpentine or Spiral flow! Passion or the combination of Will to Force (Masculine) and Will to Form (Feminine), is the foundation of all creation! Therefore when your passion to be is "trying not to be", being becomes what you don't want;as there is no "trying" when the item is thought of and supplied with the emotion to move it.

I AM is the Universal declaration of Self and the beginning of all of us as "ME" and/or Self identity. "I Ain't", is man-made fantasy of "good and bad"; a place of denial of identity (which can't be denied since you thought it), that allows us to "not treat another self, as we wish to be treated"!   Denial is a  fantasy, because whatever is thought and emotionally fueled, will become. Since there is no "Ain't", nor a "I am not", to think a thought places it in a Universe of Infinite Possibilities/The Imagination; Hence,  what you fervently declare you are not, is what your energy-in-motion becomes. Like attracts like, as the law of attraction implies which is also the Law of action-reaction. It's best to treat others as you wish to be treated. I call this the Hi-me principle, a principle based on the truth that  everyone I see is another way to be Me/Life/Energy.

Becoming what you fear, is also why the Fundamental Theologian, is often driven to enact "sins of the flesh", as sensual flesh is their hated enemy and the "sins" are their own imagined invention of "I AM ME"! Yet Spirit, who has evolved into a more condensed thought-form of Self, over time has become the "Flesh". Therefore, Flesh in not a place of "sin", but rather a sacred place of Spiritual Self Awareness!

I ask you this, "How can a mind that makes the body alive, and lives as an sensual- identity of Spirit, possibly hate/fear, its very own creation and have a "good life"? 

Here's a paradox: Most religions claim we have  divinely granted freedom of choice, and yet instead of using that god given gift of Imagination freely to expand and liberate Self Identity from fear, we are to become "enslaved thinkers of a doctrine of self rejection" and fear our own flesh. A sensual Spirit body, that has taken over 14 billion years of self-awareness to realize! Think about it; light has began evolution as the Electromagnetic Spectrum, only 1% of that light spectrum is visible and therefore "self aware". That leaves 99% of the Light of Creation, invisible and as yet not aware of itself. As Spirit (invisible light) I can't "see myself", for I have no limits to see! The fact that I can now "see myself" as a reflection of light, is a massive, powerful Spiritual achievement that produces discerning thought!   
Theological obfuscation, is a perfect example of the cruelty of martial energy in the paradoxical twins of Gemini. Where one thing is "thought/said" and the opposite is done.

It is all about applied emotion (energy-in-motion), acting as form/Me. This is known to the Hermetic Qabalist as Force and Form. The Force is "Will-to-force" (emotion) and the Form is thought/idea/visions/ all which are identifying self.  When we are utilizing our Force and Form without Self-Knowledge, allowing the ambitious (leaders) to direct our emotional identities,  we become thoughtless to the devastation we cause to be of ourselves, as ourselves and by ourselves. We then build Enemies, to blame for our own lack of self -knowledge that inflicts great pain within our bodies who are only reaction to being rejected by the Life within them!  Hence, it's best to examine Theologies, Cultures, and any pretense of academia, which leaves us ignorant of how to operate the Psyche run Power Tool we call "our bodies".

There can be nothing crueler than a world built by the Power of the Divine Creative's imagination when the inheritors of  that power  utilize it  by the enslaving individual minds, through "Pleasure-Pain" of enforced identity- training and thereby, teaching them to  hate and fear their vulnerability; a Vulnerability that is a great power and/or ability to do work!
"A great power" because vulnerability is the cause of all our great character traits; empathy, generosity, caring, loving, union, compassion, love, devotion, discretion, integrity, courage, individuality, and so many more!
Immortals, the infinite, have none of these character traits, for they are invulnerable to "Beginning and End"/ no time and no space, no up and no down. Since we have been given Mastery over all Living Things (even over Mortality by reincarnating), by our Divine Creative Parent's Imagination, we as infinite Psyche, need to "understand the living, who know both beginning and end"!

To not understand that all is One Mind, and that this Universe is a Collective of Divine Self Identity, is to not become a master of anything, let alone the living thought that you call your "self".  We are the connection of Spirit Intellect Above (higher dimensional frequency than this conscious level of One Energy) and the Earth Intellect Below (Material frequency). Masters of "Beginning and End" and "End and Beginning".  We are the Hermetic Qabalistic Axiom of , "As above so below, so below as above." For without an active, sensual mind among the Microcosm, the Macrocosm can't "expand material light (Matter) and liberate it beyond its self proclaimed limits!". Therefore, within us, we all need to set up "me" as the arbitrator that brings peace to the Gemini Twins of self-conscious and subconscious by bring Mind and Body into the Oneness of Love.

From the Tao: "What is there is here, what is not here, is not there."  Hence, I am here, so I am there.

One must manifest an error, to see it, and therefore be able to correct it! This ability to "create, see error and correct it" is called Wisdom; a wisdom that only a sensual body that acts-out our Psyche's thought as "alive" can give the Psyche. Therefore, Wisdom comes from freely doing what one thinks, experiencing the pleasure or the pain of it, and therefore able to correct it's operation as liberating and expanding conscious body software. The Divine Creative obviously knows this, for It, the I AM became, "ME"! But the "Me" can never be it, as to be a Me requires "time/space" and self limiting images/identity.

The Power to Create anything is an amazing gift, but the power to create yourself, is magnificent gift ! Freedom of Choice allows us to create our own self-identity; but be clear here, only gods can make themselves less than what they really are!
Dogs can never be less than dogs, lizards are always lizards and birds will be birds but, the Children of the Divine Creative can be anything they "Believe themselves to be" including less than they were created to be!

Fear is belief, and lives only in our brain! Knowledge is preformed as deed! Declarations make our reality! "I Am Love", builds a world of loving beings. "I Am looking for love", builds a world of denial, and self cruelty, and devaluation of the living, where babies are shot in the name of a religion's god and/or our pursuit of happiness, i.e. "our vision". The name of existence and therefore, creation, is 
I AM! It is OUR  surname! Realities are "Me", our invention of self definition. "Me's" are made from energy-motive-definition (emotional intelligence). When mental self cruelty defines us... Well, welcome to a living hell!


To reiterate:The Thoth Tarot- 9 of Swords, is called  THE LORD OF DESPAIR AND CRUELTY, or Cruelty in short. This is Mars in Gemini; here Yesod, the 9th Sephira/Foundation is influencing Yetzirah in the Astral World.

With a smattering of astrological data, one knows that the fiery energy of Mars, the god of war,  does little good in a sign of dualities.
This "little good" is shown by the nine rusty swords, dripping blood and poison on Crowley's card. One may shudder at the despair, meanings of illness, suffering and cruelty this card represents but each of us, who are paying attention to our brain, know this to be a "inner self cruelty" of our consciousness that cuts us with the emotionally poisoned blades of embarrassment, low-self esteem, humiliation, self-condemnation, and/or inner disgust. It is the internal Slave Master software, that is installed in our personality by our culture.

The Few Who wish to Rule the Many, our enslaving rulers of law, media and debt, who by controlling definition( law enforcement and peer pressure), make sure this internal-mental slaver virus is installed in your wetware before you even reach seven years old. Like rusty hooks of poisonous self futility, this is a hard one to remove! Peer pressure, just drives this poison deeper into self identity. The media, keeps slashing at your self value...."you need this....you need that....to lack them is poverty. "You are nothing unless you are loved by me " is at the very least implied, or blatantly rubbed in your face, daily, if not hour by hour. "Resistance is futile", blare the horns of the pusillanimous invertebrates who enforce "their masters will" on others.

 Life is indeed a psychosomatic thing, hence when ignorant, we can be our own worst enemies, just by doubting our own value in the World created by man. Funny thing, according to religious belief, we were given the World of God, as Divinity's inheritors. A world created by "The few who wish to rule the many", is a world of wishes and has no bearing on your self-value. Yet, to see yourself as lack (lackey), is the necessary software to continue the panicked consumerism that multinational mind programmers and/or definition peddlers, want! However, before any human judgement, you were already approved into being by your Higher Self. So once again, the Qabalistic axiom reads true, " Above all things, know thyself"! 

Avoiding the programing of "self-cruelty" is simple, really! Just know that you had to be approved by all that is Holy, to be made alive! You presence is your Judgment....and obviously you are good enough for Divinity! What pusillanimous- invertebrate or witless sycophant can usurp that declaration of Divine Trust?
You are an Divine answer, to a Divine question; in-fact, that is what Creation is ! For one can only make manifest an answer; questions are empty of conclusion!
Stop questioning yourself, and become answers instead! Action is the Fiery Spirit that moves you; reaction is usually run by the uncertain mortal-animal who thinks the whole universe is out to eat it!  "I Am" dares ask, "What am I"? and you are the answer to that question, "I AM ME"!

Therefore, The 9 of Swords, cruelty, is about you being your own worst enemy, divided against yourself, mentally and emotionally. Always nay-saying before you can ever start a motion. This is  a moment of doubt drawn out as a life-time of reaction. Sure we doubt our selves! After all every new motion is a risk to our mortal being! But if the infinite Child of Wonder, that innocent curiosity, still  has "I's" in you, you're are going to "do it" anyway. 

We are always striving forward, we are being Pushed along by the Inner Spiritual Self, just like Dark Energy pushes the Universe of Matter forever outwards. Life also has a Driving/Pushing Force...and the Body is the vehicle driven...by death!

So what this Cruel 9  of Swords implies, is that "a house divide must fall", we are not a division of Life who fears the onslaught of Death. We are the Spiritual Soul who owns the body and therefore, the life and death of the Body!  Even our own Anglo-Saxon based language knows this to be true, for the word Freedom comes from the Anglo-Saxon- Free Doom: meaning "I Choose my own Death"!  So, get together with your-Soul-self and over throw the slaver program that is in your brain, for it is based on the false assumption that Death is something other than creation. Software can be erased even when its garbage. (G.I.G.O). All software programmers know of G.I.G.O., for when software is garbage and programed in the hardware or wetware, all is operational garbage. Garbage in, Garbage out!

The 9 of Swords implies that you must get off your suffering ass of miserable fear based perspective and rethink the programing! It's easy to fail, all you have to do is stop doing. Success, requires a stubborn optimist; your Soul is such and optimist. For even if it kills "itself" (destroys the hardware) trying to accomplish a goal, it just reincarnates and keeps at it! Hence, the Soul may make many lifetimes of form, to accomplish one purpose.  As Children of the Divine Creative, we all will pound out the bugs of our software (definitions), some sooner than others; but we all will do it eventually; that is the purpose of sensuality after all!  The human power-tool, is also a  learning tool that teaches us to discriminate and/or discern, by experiencing success and failure!
Your soul, will just "reabsorb" the software garbage, and try another revision of it in "Hardware" performance that we know as "alive".

So, "get over yourself and get on with you! Impeccability is what we do''!  Is a correctional software loop, that I,as its self confident Psyche twin, run in my self doubting brain. Remember, the Psyche is the Soul, and the brain is a copy of a soul, we are therefore twins. The Will of the Soul  just overrides the "pity pot" of self defeating thought every time it comes on line. But installing that software loop, took determination, and plane old fashion "jack Ass " stubbornness and constant repetition of a meditation of seconds, done most minutes, until it becomes automatic. Don't you think its time, we programed our own Hard Ware/Wet
ware! That is the real message of the Nine of Swords.
ABOVE ALL THINGS, KNOW THYSELF!

To reiterate: The Qabalistic Thoth 9 of Swords-Cruelty:

As stated before, the number 9 brings back the energy of a Suit to the middle pillar in the area of Yesod-The Foundation.
So the balance to the Suit of Air/Swords would seem to be restored and the previous disorder rectified. However, the Suit of Swords itself has been following the 2nd law of Thermodynamics [...All things proceed from order to disorder.] and the general idea of the suit has constantly degenerated.

Instead of Pure Intellect, the Nine of Swords represents the automatic stirring of heartless passions that belong to the Survival Mind of the Lizard brain. This is the world of the unconscious primitive instincts, of the psychopath, of the fanatic and zealotry.

Mars rules Gemini celestially here, producing a crude raging hunger that has no restraint; a greed of the eternally fearful This seems odd, since the temperament of Swords is intellectual but as A. Crowley states in his Book of Thoth...." it is the temper of the inquisitor.". 

Deeply buried in our subconscious is the Tyrant Virus and/or slave program who degrades us, criticizes our Personality's actions if we dare leave the boundaries of our "Slave training" , i.e. indoctrination of identity.

This Tyrant is a wet-ware virus that lies awake awaiting our very attempt at expanding our perspective with whips of "emotional" fear unfolded and ready to strike! This Inquisitor is the result of "pleasure-Pain training" which is commonly called Pavlovian conditioning. Named after a Dr. Pavlov who electrically tortured dogs into compliance. Needless to say this is not a healthy mental state for the individual--- but to those in Authority (  Ruler --Means, "Those who control definition") having you whip yourself into compliance whenever you are tempted to defy your definition of  "Self"... is most economical.

The Thoth Deck 9 of Swords shows nine swords of varying lengths,  all jagged and rusty and all striking downwards with points dripping poisoned blood. The very imagery of this card causes one to shudder in resignation. However, there is a way of dealing with this card: the way of passive resistance is most positive; least positive ways to resist are resignation, and martyrdom. Some may even seek implacable revenge by causing great pain to "others"; "Others" being the enemy's common name, but this is self destructive, as The Survival Mind must always have an enemy to keep its false authority of fear over the Personality. This is a silly delusion, because the Soul/Psyche is both Life and Death of the body and the body will never survive the Will of the Soul! To say, " I AM the Soul who is the Life and Death of this body and I Am the Creator of Free-doom [Anglo Saxon word from which freedom was derived and means" I choose my own death"] , I Am the Alpha and the Omega of my own Life Form"; is stating the original Divinely Given authority you as a soul have over the body. This is a statement of an inner knowledge that comes from knowing Thyself. This Knowledge of Free-doom, lays the Pavlovian-Tyrant to rest, and reestablishes the Soul's Authority over the brain/ body. The Fear of Pain, fades away and the Joy of the Moment is firmly established as a life journey.
 


Swords, usually depict the pure intellect, that acts like air as its energy in motion continually heats up with passion and cools down with rationale. In the case of the Nine of Swords, consciousness has fallen into an unenlightened  void of rational thought, stirring heartless animal passions; passions that are of the psychopath and the fanatic. Hence this is the character of the inquisitor; it seems intellectual but is operating in a rage that is without restraint.  All this sounds just awful and terribly gloomy, yet, it is the cultural foundation of "Divide and Conquer" indoctrination technique.

Our consumerism society is based on "fanning the flames" of that primitive raging hunger of survival thinking in order to produce the "fanatical shopper"whose world is always lacking self-fulfillment. It is the realm of the Neti-Neti (Sanskrit for,"Not this-Not that") consciousness, that consumes unrelentingly, hoping for and in the pursuit of happiness; a futile seeking of happiness because happiness isn't in accumulation nor resides in glutinous bellies nor can  it be caught by pursuit. There is only one result in the completion of such thought and that is insanity. This is a modern form of the inquisition, the torture being less bloody, but still internally painful just the same.

Thankfully, many of us have enough strength in our character to know that happiness, is not a thing, but rather a "state of Mind" and have found out that by treating other people with respect, ("...do unto another as you would have done to you") we have a happier presence on this earth.

Therefore, the 9 of Swords is the state of consciousness that is called "wanna-be", were one is not alive/happy until they achieve some future possession or goal. This person is a corpse; a zombie, who lives only in yesterdays emotions and uncertain futures, leaving the moment of  Now vacant of their presence. This phenomena of  "walking corpse" is not a new thing that some Hollywood director dreamt- up as the latest horror thriller. Rather, you'll find this "living dead" concept in the two thousand year old Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, that is part of the Nag Hammadi Library. In paragraph 56, of the Gospel of Thomas, it is written: "Whoever has come to understand the World has found only a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world. " If you can understand this Gnostic statement, you can understand the Nine of Swords-Cruelty. Because the practice of "Self inflicted cruelty" is going on in most human brains right now, most of us constantly belittle ourselves, in order to appease our dogma; i.e. our inner-slaver.
In her Tarot Card, Barbara Walker also titles the 9 of Swords, Cruelty. However, she depicts her Cruelty as a medieval Inquisition. Here, nine dark robed and hooded male figures, holding forth both cross and sword have entrapped a Holy woman at her tree. During the period of Tarot's emergence into popular medieval society, and for 5 centuries after, the Inquisition was created to trap, torture, and destroy those who still held to the Old Faith. These were mostly women who were often called Druidesses, or as the Greeks named them, Dryads. In ancient Greece, Dryads, were known as priestesses of tree worship. As a residence of her Oracular spirit, each Dryad had her own tree. 
In the bible, the woman tribal ruler named Deborah, lived under her own sacred tree, that bore her name. [Judges 45:5]. It was believed that a Dryad lived as long as her tree did. Therefore, she could grow old and wise in time.  The Greek author/philosopher Homer may have been the one who made this belief popular. The belief in Dryads, was known as far as India, believing that they were responsible for the flowering and fruiting of trees;  were "women are vessels of fertility, life in full sap, potential forces for new offspring".[Zimmer, 69]. Michael Psellus, a 11th century scholar, stated that Dryads/Druidesses, were eternal minds that dwelled in earthly bodies, capable of knowing men's thoughts, and foretelling the future. The patriarchal Roman Church, whose who system of "politics" is based on deception, and superstition, could not tolerate such thought exposing capabilities of women, so destroying the Druidesses and cutting down their sacred trees, that the people worshipped became the Inquisitions quest.
When the Nine of Swords is thrown during a reading, the Querent will be or has been experiencing:
  • Illness, malice, cruelty, pain, despair and suffering, in a period of nine days, or nine weeks or from self cruelty thought processes since nine years old.
  • There is burden, want, oppression, as well as, subtlety and craft.
  • There is also lying  to oneself or others because of and "inferiority complex". All of this dysfunctional thought is basically from "self-belittlement", that is often so subtle that we don't even acknowledge it in ourselves. But the program is clever, as you will notice whenever you try to mentally or physically, step out of "comfort zones", you will be challenged with worry and seemingly rational explanations on why you should not take that transforming step.
  • Each of us has experienced the temptations to remain chained to the bedeviling thoughts of our subjugation- definitions of the few who wish to rule the many. 
  • The 9 of Swords, reminds us, that we are not preforming well mentally, when  we are under the rule of self-belittlement.  Again, you are obviously good enough for God, you are good enough for you! In our God-ness (Goodness), resides the constant inner ability in each of us, to become More Self in expression, rather than becoming less by seeking more stuff outside of our self!




  • It implies illness, suffering, malice and cruelty (mostly self-cruelty brought on by self defeating thoughts).
  • There is Pain, despair and pitilessness, malice, want, lose, misery and oppressive burden.
  • Oppressive labor ( slavery), and a certain amount of subtlety and craft displayed in lying, dishonesty, etc., all according to the dignity of the accompanying cards.
  • Often, when this card is shown during a  reading, we are being reminded that we are oppressing ourselves with past fears installed by Authority to "domesticate" us.

Mental cruelty.
  • Despair.
  • Loss of a loved one.
  • Oppression, suffering, burdens.
  • Martyrdom.
  • Over whelming paralyzing fear. 
  • Suffering that may bring new found strength to weather the storm.
  • Anger, and depression turned inward.
  • Self hate, displayed as self destructive behavior.
  • A sense of inferiority.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!


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