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Join Date: 28 Feb 2006
Location: Imagination
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Mary El Tarot - Nine of Swords

The first thing that comes to mind is the ancient destruction of Alexandria. The pyramid of lighthouses and towers the forces of earth and water resisting each other in the bottom of the card and the Goddess (Nephthys?) crowned with an orange sun looking down. In the tsunami of 365, Alexandria was devastated and the Royal City lost to the sea. The event is still commemorated by the illumination of the city on the anniversary.

From Wikipedia – quoting the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus:
Slightly after daybreak, and heralded by a thick succession of fiercely shaken thunderbolts, the solidity of the whole earth was made to shake and shudder, and the sea was driven away, its waves were rolled back, and it disappeared, so that the abyss of the depths was uncovered and many-shaped varieties of sea-creatures were seen stuck in the slime; the great wastes of those valleys and mountains, which the very creation had dismissed beneath the vast whirlpools, at that moment, as it was given to be believed, looked up at the sun's rays. Many ships, then, were stranded as if on dry land, and people wandered at will about the paltry remains of the waters to collect fish and the like in their hands; then the roaring sea as if insulted by its repulse rises back in turn, and through the teeming shoals dashed itself violently on islands and extensive tracts of the mainland, and flattened innumerable buildings in towns or wherever they were found. Thus in the raging conflict of the elements, the face of the earth was changed to reveal wondrous sights. For the mass of waters returning when least expected killed many thousands by drowning, and with the tides whipped up to a height as they rushed back, some ships, after the anger of the watery element had grown old, were seen to have sunk, and the bodies of people killed in shipwrecks lay there, faces up or down. Other huge ships, thrust out by the mad blasts, perched on the roofs of houses, as happened at Alexandria, and others were hurled nearly two miles from the shore, like the Laconian vessel near the town of Methone which I saw when I passed by, yawning apart from long decay.
Thousands were killed and some places were wiped right off the face of the Earth.

This cards mirrors the RWS and Thoth themes of struggle. I always relate the city of Alexandria a city of the ‘mind’ because of its famous library. Struggles of the mind, its constructs are in process here. A decision needs to be made. We cannot correct what we have done, but only make better decisions in the future. What will that decision be?
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