Separatio is an essential component throughout all stages of the opus, but the more aware
and conscious we become of our role in the work the more we need to use our power of
discrimination and discernment to eliminate all non-essentials and to really see what our
We cannot coagulate into a new form of higher spiritual awareness unless we learn to
“separate the subtle from the gross, suavely and with great ingenuity,” as the Emerald
Tablet suggests we do. This is painful soul work, done under precarious circumstances,
with a wounded, fragile and vulnerable ego. We must learn to analyze and scrutinize our
actions and use the powers of intuition and discrimination to sift through the psychic rubble
and rescue the fragmented self.
Meditation with the Queen of Swords is an extremely powerful tool at this stage.
1909 Pamela Colman Smith image of the Queen of Swords courtesy of Holly Voley