I admit it, the first thing my mind went to when I thought of Yesod of Netzach is Viagra. After all, Yesod is, among many other things, connected to the genitals, and when you tie that to Netzach, or endurance, well, my school yard mind just ran with it. And then I realized there was actually something to consider here. Not so much about lasting a long time in bed as about the long term commitment of monogamy. And how many bonds that are solely (and thus soullessly) sexual endure? In the search for the long-term companion, the body-and-soul mate I wondered about the energy of this sefirotic combination, and thus laid out the cards you see here in two pairings for meditation and elucidation: The Seven of Cups with the Nine of Swords, and the Seven of Swords with the Nine of Wands.
In the 7 of Cups we see someone who is easily distracted by the attractive — and in this example I’ll take that to mean someone who’s eyes roam sexually. Because this is a card of Gevurah, this is someone who has known success, and success in relationship. However, this relationship may be lost because he cannot fully bond, he cannot fully commit to the long haul. He’s too busy fantasizing about other possibilities.
Let’s acknowledge that "the long haul" is scary. Monogamy is scary. It brings up all kinds of fears — not merely of being trapped, but for many men who find themselves now out of the race there is the fear of no longer being able to win. This is relationship as conquest. And it’s the wrong kind of endurance, because of course “looks” do not endure. The need for new conquests is the sign of a weak ego in need of bolstering from outside, which is not a formula for the Victor of Netzach, rather it is a formula for failure, since the self-esteem is never won with these conquests.
In fact, this course leads directly to the nightmare in the 9 of Swords — someone alone in bed, awake in the middle of the night and filled with anguish and regret.
The bonding quality of endurance in sexual relationships commits you to one person, and in the alchemy of the soul, this alembic leads one to the riches of heaven, which are nothing like the distracting array of snares in the 7 of Cups.
In the second pairing, the 7 of Swords is an illustration of self-defeating action, stealing victory from oneself. It is a card showing the danger of unawareness, the unconscious desire that is always ready to undermine our efforts, our endurance/victory. This kind of action creates relationships of mistrust and hurt, defensiveness and worse, the isolation we see in the 9 of Wands.
This spread is very much the opposite of the energy of the day, Yesod in Netzach/Bonding in Endurance. It is about the pain that results from acting out sexually, the result of infidelity in a monogamous relationship.
Both of these spreads are excellent to look at today because on Day 27, when we count the Omer we are making a conscious commitment to Bonding in Endurance, and thus working out anything in ourselves that stands in the way of this goal.
Anytime we make a conscious commitment it raises the psychic energy of our unconscious counter commitment. We can see this dynamic at work right in the story that is the culmination of counting of the Omer — the people of Israel are waiting for Moses to come down from Sinai and they promised, as he went up, to remain faithful. But while he is away they return to the idols they left behind and create a golden calf. There is an insufficient cleaving of the soul to the Divine, the bond is not deep enough and there is no endurance for them to last even the few days Moses is on the mountain top.
The people’s counter commitment to remaining enslaved asserts itself. This is the warning of these cards. When we are victorious we are most vulnerable to believing we are in charge. But the 7 of Swords calls us to be aware of our inner spoiler. The 7 of Cups serves as a warning to watch out for the grandiose belief that we can have everything, and to watch out for unchecked and unfocussed desire.
May we all wake from the trance and renew our commitment to a faithful and enduring relationship. Directly with the Divine, and with the Divine as expressed in another. Keyn yehi ratzon.