Sacred Texts  Tarot  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

General Book of the Tarot, by A. E. Thierens, [1930], at

p. 150

Nine of Swords

TRADITION: A bachelor, priest, clergyman, hermit; monastic order, monastery, church; religion or cult; devotion, rite, ritual, ceremony. Another version says: "Death, failure, miscarriage, delay, deception, disappointment, despair." (W.) Reversed: Justified doubt, fear or mistrust, scruple, shame, imprisonment; timidity, pudor.

THEORY: On the house of Sagittarius, the Ninth, the element of Earth must of course relate to the earthy side of religion, i.e. the material expressions of it, to the more heavy, earthy, materialistic mind and its ideas about religion, ethics, etc. It is not very flattering for priesthood in general, perhaps, that from this sort of condition have come so many of those who call themselves ecclesiastics, but still it is natural, because the 'ecclesia,' which has been built upon the rock (Petrus = Capricorn,) is served by the teachers or inspirers of it, to be found in the preceding house. In lay language this means: the expression of religion, of ideals and ideas, descending into matter, taking material shape and culminating in the church or monastery, which, however, come under the tenth house, and into dogma and creed under the ninth. Under the latter's influence are the representatives of dogma and creed, viz. priest, officiant, monastic or monk. It is fairly sure, that from the essence of this card arises inquisition and every sort of intolerance, religious intolerance above all, because the materialistic mind thinks itself in possession of the only expression of Truth, and condemns every other. So this card nay also indicate all sorts of hard judgment, rigid attitudes of mind, orthodoxy.

p. 151

[paragraph continues] For this indeed is the meaning of materialism in religion and ethics. When the material expression of truth and ideals is at its height, it reaches the value of rite and ritual or religious ceremony, which at its best stands in relation to dogmatism as the jewel to simple stones or dry sand.

CONCLUSION: Dogma, dogmatism, ecclesiastic spirit, scholastic mind, creed, rite, ritual, ceremonial. The persons representing these. Hard judgment, orthodoxy, rigid attitude of mind, ascetism. Intolerance, inquisition. The 'fear of God' may well be turned into hatred of mankind. In weak cases there may be swearing, atheism, agnosticism, shyness, miscarriage, shame, false evidence given, error of judgment. In strong cases the mind is scrupulous, conscientious, and in strict accord with time and fashion.

Next: Ten of Swords