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Using the 3 & 4 of swords to look at daath

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Question Using the 3 & 4 of swords to look at daath


Hi,
I am a newbie to tarot and kabbalah and have done the usual thing of bamboozling myself and drowning in lots of books trying to understand the thoth deck.

I was following the lightening flash up the tree for the first time and on reaching Chesed, realized the abyss really does stop you moving higher.

There was no path from 4 (Chesed) to 3 (Binah).

The only path that goes across the abyss is Gimel, going from Tipareth to Kether, but I had hoped to follow the lightning flash.

As a way round it, I had a look at the cards representing Chesed and Binah to see if that helped.

What I don’t know is if what I found is a whole load of hokum, and it doesn’t help that I struggled to express this stuff with words. But I decided that if I look totally stupid for this, at least I tried, plus if this post starts a debate that might help other members who might be struggling a little as I am, that is a good thing.

So here goes;

So I was stuck at Chesed….

I had read that the abyss is sometimes called knowledge so I focused on the sword cards, as they can mean intellect.

This gave me sorrow (3 of swords) above daath and truce (4 of swords) below daath.

(It might make more sense if you have the cards in front of you and kind of play along...anything to help my meandering wibble make sense.)

I was hoping that looking at the two cards might throw some light on daath, a bit like defining the shape of a lake by following its two opposite shores.

I am using the thoth deck and in that deck the 3 is called 'sorrow' and represents the womb of chaos and universal sorrow. It shows implacable night as a backdrop to a rose being destroyed.

It made me think about the idea that universal sorrow might have caused a descent into the abyss.

On the other side of the abyss is 'truce', the 4 of swords. In the thoth deck, 'truce' shows a balance restored and the rose is intact. It represents a refuge from mental chaos.

So it looked like that on one side of daath is sorrow and chaos, and on the other is a refuge from mental chaos.

So far, so good, I thought…

Next I pulled out the attributes of the two sword cards;

Above the abyss the 3 of swords has Saturn (the universe card) and libra (the adjustment card)

Below the abyss the 4 of swords has Jupiter (the fortune card) and libra (the adjustment card)

So both sides of the abyss are attributed to universal judgement (libra)….I thought.

So the path between sorrow and chaos on the one hand, and refuge from mental chaos might have something to with universal adjustment.

Then I thought about what might happen in the abyss, what makes the womb of chaos’s children to become stabilized on the other side of the abyss in Chesed?

I found that Jupiter was an attribution of the 4 of swords in Chesed. Jupiter is the fortune card in the thoth deck so I wondered if it could be something to do with the turning of the gunas from darkness and death to lucidity and balance?

Going back up the tree, my half-baked idea was that on reaching Chesed the balanced intellect as represented by the 4 swords (truce) needs to be sacrificed to enable the aspirant to cross the abyss.

As if entering the abyss is like surrendering to the revolving of the gunas, like in the Jupiter card, attributed to the 4 swords.

If the gunas revolve in the abyss, intellect and knowledge might be sacrificed as the wheel of fortune moves to lucid quietude.

It kind of suggested to me that the aspirant is deconstructed, the rose falling apart to allow a surrender to universal adjustment. I was thinking this because libra is on both sides of the abyss.

It might feel a bit like returning to the comfort of the womb, and maybe to re-enter a state of blissful innocence, knowledge has to be sacrificed.

So I was left kind of dazed from all of this, and with no idea if I am even going about this in a productive way. Any debate, help or criticism is very, very welcome!

Crowley does say that the relationship between the threes and fours are complicated! I don’t think he was joking.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La'al quiet fella View Post
Hi,
I am a newbie to tarot and kabbalah and have done the usual thing of bamboozling myself and drowning in lots of books trying to understand the thoth deck.

I was following the lightening flash up the tree for the first time and on reaching Chesed, realized the abyss really does stop you moving higher.
Hi that was some journey interesting !...just wondering what books you are using...where you are coming from. I am new to the kabbalah and Thoth myself and am not familiar with travelling up the lightning flash, though I have heard of it.
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Hi that was some journey interesting !...just wondering what books you are using...where you are coming from. I am new to the kabbalah and Thoth myself and am not familiar with travelling up the lightning flash, though I have heard of it.
I've also seen it described as the "Path of the Flaming Sword" when descending the Tree of Life and the "Path of the Serpent" (with its obvious connection to the Kundalini force) when ascending or "rising on the planes." There is a reasonably coherent explanation of these ideas in The Sword and the Serpent by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips (admittedly not my favorite "hermetic qabala" book).
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Hi that was some journey interesting !...just wondering what books you are using...where you are coming from. I am new to the kabbalah and Thoth myself and am not familiar with travelling up the lightning flash, though I have heard of it.
Hi,

& thank you for the response.

I think I heard of the lightening flash from Dion Fortune's mystical qabalah? I think it basically just describes the energies descending in numerical order from Kether to Malkuth, so it is like a zigzag path, but it means that a path once existed between Chesed and Binah.

The main books I am confusing myself with are the book of Thoth, 777 & Israel Regardie's a garden of pomegranates.

Hope that helps...
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Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I've also seen it described as the "Path of the Flaming Sword" when descending the Tree of Life and the "Path of the Serpent" (with its obvious connection to the Kundalini force) when ascending or "rising on the planes." There is a reasonably coherent explanation of these ideas in The Sword and the Serpent by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips (admittedly not my favorite "hermetic qabala" book).
Thanks! I am having a look at the options, a reasonably coherent explanation sounds tempting

ahh... I didn't know the lightening flash and Kundalini force were connected. That makes sense for a suggestion I saw to read Israel Regardie's Art of True Healing and the middle pillar exercise, (which I sometimes do a simplified version of) as an intro to the Tree, connected to this energy.
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Originally Posted by La'al quiet fella View Post
Hi,

& thank you for the response.

I think I heard of the lightening flash from Dion Fortune's mystical qabalah? I think it basically just describes the energies descending in numerical order from Kether to Malkuth, so it is like a zigzag path, but it means that a path once existed between Chesed and Binah.

The main books I am confusing myself with are the book of Thoth, 777 & Israel Regardie's a garden of pomegranates.

Hope that helps...
I just had a look at the reviews on Amazon for Regardie's book, (very good) though there were a few complaints on the added commentary and suggestion towards Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah. They seem like heavy tomes which ever one you get.....I'll be excelling myself in getting confused I expect
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Originally Posted by smw View Post
I just had a look at the reviews on Amazon for Regardie's book, (very good) though there were a few complaints on the added commentary and suggestion towards Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah. They seem like heavy tomes which ever one you get.....I'll be excelling myself in getting confused I expect
I fully agree with the complaints about the ciceros additions to the book, they seem very workmanlike and are heavily golden dawn based. But the main book by Israel Regardie I found very good.

Another good introduction to the Qabalah for me was Lon Milo Duqette's the chicken qaballah. While the tone is frivolous and light hearted, (it is written using a persona of a fictional rabbi) he still provides the basics of qaballah very clearly and offers several ways of practical working.

Is also maybe worth knowing that Dion Fortune, while it is a good book, only covers the sephiroth, leaving the correspondences of the 22 paths untouched.
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