Sorrow Saturn in Libra

"Three white radiating angelic hands issuing from clouds and holding three swords upright (as if the central sword had struck apart from the two others which were crossed in the preceding symbol). The central sword cuts asunder the rose of five petals (which in the preceding symbol grew at the junction of the swords), its petals are falling, and no white rays issue from it. Above and below the central sword are the symbols of Saturn and Libra, referring to the Decanate.

"Disruption, interruption, separation, quarrelling, sowing of discord and strife, mischief-making, sorrow, tears, yet mirth in evil pleasures, singing, faithfulness in promises, honesty in money transactions, selfish and dissipated, yet sometimes generous, deceitful in words and repetition. The whole according to dignity.

"Binah of Vav. (Unhappiness, sorrow, tears.) Therein rule the Angels Harayel and Hoqmiah."

The Three of Swords is Binah in the scale of Yetzirah. It is Saturn, the Mother in the Formative Astral World. In the preceding cards, the Three of Wands and the Three of Cups, Saturn was the Great Mother who gave birth. Here she is the Great Dark Mother in her destructive aspect, creating hardship, trouble and pain. She is not evil; she is the Great Destroyer who breaks down forms in the natural course of things. In this card, Saturn has tipped the scales of Libra and upset the former balance so that a new symmetry can take place. The feeling given by the card is accordingly that of total disruption, disharmony and heavy sorrow.

The Three of Swords displays the flashing colors typical of the suit of Air. Three aggressive male hands now hold the three implements. (In the preceding Threes—that of Wands and that of Cups—only one hand was needed to display the unity of the Supernal Triad. In the Astral realm, that unity is lost, as the three sword-bearing hands now compete with one another.) They have cut the Rose of Peace to shreds in open combat.

The background color behind the swords is dark brown, the color of Binah in Yetzirah. This shade is formed from the mixture of Binah's King and Queen scale colors, crimson-red and black.

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