The Heartbroken – Sorrow – Pit, Stake, Cross, Diminished, Cursed, Fallen Tower – Outer Air, Inner Earth
Tristitia is the Geomantic Figure of sorrow and sadness. Like the Tarot card Sorrow (Three of Swords), this sorrow is the result of a disconnect between the world as you see it in your mind, and the world as it is. In other words, the disconnect between Lacan’s Real and Reality. This disconnect is represented in the Figure by its Energies; its Outer Energy is Air, and it is sustained by the Inner Energy of Earth. Air and Earth are opposite elements, and to do touch, so the Earth supporting the Air is an inherent contradiction that leads to disappointment and sadness. In terms of the Figure itself, only Earth is active, representing the unfulfilling life one has when they only concern themselves with the material, ignoring reason, emotion, and passion. The shape of the figure suggests a bottomless pit or stake driven firmly into… something, or an upside down tower (associating it the the Tarot Tower, and therefore with ruin and downfall).
Surprisingly, Tristitia is a Stable Figure, which indicates that the sorrow that this Figure causes is not fleeting, like perhaps the loss of Amissio is, but rather longer-lasting, hence its association with curses. This is also why its archetype is the Heartbroken, as Tristitia’s sorrow can sap the will from one who suffers from its energies. Its permanence is a crucial part of the figure (as reflected in Earth being its only active element), and Tristitia can be associated with less negative things as well: sinking one’s roots in and permanence (though this permanance can be either positive or negative). It is more commonly associated with sorrow, difficulty, pain, trouble, and low anything: spirits, vitality, and expectations included. It can also signify low amounts of negative things, as well, but generally does not.
Tristitia is Figure of despair and depression, but also of creativity and benevolence, for blessed are the poor in spirit, which is really what Tristitia is. As such, it is also associate with paradoxes. In this vein, it is associated with the wisdom that ones gain through suffering, and perspectives one gains from misery; essentially, the positive side of torment. It also represents downward mobility and spirals, kept secrets, idealism (usually idealism failed), unconventional styles, grief, and being stuck in an unresolvable situation. Saturn and Aquarius are Tristitia’s astrological equivalents, which is interesting, as the two are not normally complementary. This further serves to illustrate Tristitia’s sense of disconnect; the Figure is limited by Saturn, while at the same connected to the rest of the world through Aquarius, but not necessarily in a positive way. Tristitia is the opposite of Laetitia, or Joy.