Geburah in the Tree of Life5. Geburah - Movement and changing, the power of destruction

Geburah is probably the least understood Sephirah in the Tree of Life, least appreciated in its mostly desastrous representation in the Fives in Tarot, quite often seen as the evil power destroying the harmonious stability of Chesed (in the Fours).

Yet Geburah is the inevitable counterbalance to Chesed and we must not view one of them without considering the second. True to the Principle of Polarity that already showed in the relation between Chokmah and Binah the same mutual balance exists between Chesed and Geburah, albeit on a lower arc in what is called the Ethical Triangle.

On the Pillar of Severity Geburah is placed directly under Binah and like Binah who binds and restricts the energies of Chokmah Geburah does the same to the powers of Chesed. And like above this is not just due to wanton rudeness but serves a purpose.

Geburah is the one sorting out the obsolete, the excess and the redundant, cuts down on the fruits of overabundance and superfluity and quite rudely 'cleans up the place'. Ruled by Mars which is responsible for its aggressive recklessness it also shows the Saturnial influence of its mother Binah, weighing the status quo achieved and preserved by Chesed against the judgement of time and deciding what can remain and what has to go. As painful as this can be it is still a necessity on our way to perfection.

When watching both Sephiroth as Kings, we see Chesed as the peaceful ruler sitting comfortably on his throne governing his expanding kingdom, while Geburah is the Warrior King in pure Spartanic tradition. Any trouble at the borders, any discrepancies within the realm, any signs of sloth here or neglect there and the Warrior King is up in arms putting things straight.

While Chesed prefers to sit back contentedly in what he has achieved Geburah is meant to move and change, never satisfied with any status quo, tearing old things down so that new things can be built, causing (temporarily) instability and imbalance as a result. We might be forgiven when we watch him as a pain in the .. err.. back yet we should not forget that we need him nonetheless.

See below the Tarot cards corresponding to Geburah - the Fives:

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