DESPAIR & CRUELTYNine of Swords
Meditation Pattern: Place Atu XVI, The Tower, and Atu VI, The Lovers, side-by-side, with the 9 of Swords above them.
Traditional Description: Four pairs of swords, as in the preceding figure, nearly upright, but with the points falling away from each other. A ninth sword is upright in the center, as if it had struck them asunder. No rose at all is shown, as if it were not merely cut away, but utterly destroyed. Above and below are the Decanate symbols of Mars and Gemini.
Yesod of Air: The disruption and severity of the Swords, ripened to its greatest development: illness, suffering, malice, cruelty, pain. Unconscious primitive instincts are roused. Often pathological. Nightmares.
Mars/Gemini: Despair, cruelty, pitilessness, malice, argument, rage, revenge, suffering, worry, anxiety, loss, misery. Agony of mind, suffering; frustration, restlessness. Exhaustion of thought or powers of mind. Burden, oppression, labor, subtlety, craft, criticism, dishonesty, lying, slander. If well-dignified: mental discipline, reserve, faithfulness, patience, unselfishness, analysis, inquiry, discrimination, etc.
Luna + Mars: The automatic, reactive stirring of heartless passions. Friction, hurt, irritability, excitability, emotional pain, severity, conflict, quarreling, hastiness; or great emotional force, fighting nature, candor, forthrightness.
"To advance—that means Work. Patient, exhausting, thankless, often bewildering Work. Dear sister, if you would but Work! Work blindly, foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn’t matter in the end: Work in itself has absolute virtue." -Magick Without Tears