Traditionally Key 8-is the Justice card. Some of the more modern cards call this Key, the Karma card.; However it is called, it represents the mediator, adjuster, and the arbitrator; What you put out, you get back! Every thought, every action is returned to you, what the Hindu would call Karma, which is a law that is active for you, the personality, as long as you exist. There can be no greater justice nor greater balance achieved in this world of action and reaction. This card points out that by thinking ill we become ill and by thinking well we become well. Therefore, it is the smart personality that knows “to do unto others what you would have done unto you”!
The Thoth card uses the symbol of Libra; the scales and within the scales are the Greek letters, Alpha, representing beginnings, and Omega, representing endings or completions. Since we are composed of Energy, the personality, as data, is saved in the soul by the transformational process of death. If problems were left unfinished, that personality will reincarnate to finish what it began and left unsolved. To the Psyche/Soul, the personality is a "self-reflection" and no function or lack of function will be left unfinished.
In the Thoth Adjustment ATU 8 card, the diamond image around the being symbolizes the piercing of illusion and delusion and represents truth and negotiation. It is the symbol of the Western Magic and Qabalistic Axiom of "As above, so below".
The avant garde Egyptian figure on the Thoth card represents Maat, the Goddess of Law, Truth, and Justice.The circles represent formulated thoughts or ideas. Therefore, this card also represents the integrating, balancing and synthesizing mind which is often expressed in writing, research, engineering and design.
The Ace of Swords is also depicted in the Thoth card, pointing downwards indicating the application of creative ideas in tangible ways.
When this card is drawn it often means we are experiencing karmic adjustments in life from past thoughts and actions which have led to the present circumstances of our life. We are reminded that we are not bodies. Rather we are a evolutionary Psyche created by a collective of intelligent Beings, called Sephiroth; Hence, we are light- energy that uses bodies to work out the data of thought as in-form-action (Self-information) to see if this information expands and liberate life or if it stall and subvert life. For Life is what we are, and how we perceive ourselves, becomes our Self-awareness. We must know what data is information or dysfunctional, in order to expand our self -awareness and that of the Universal Self, from which we all are formed! This is the Law of Action and Reaction that all mind and matter is subjected to.
The Thoth-ATU 8-Adjustment Card, is the 22nd Path on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.
Esoteric Title: The Daughter of the Lords of Truth; the Ruler of Balance.
Dr.Paul Foster Case wrote in the Text, Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom: The Twenty-second Path is the Faithful Intelligence, and is so called because by it spiritual virtues are increased, and all dwellers on earth are nearly under its shadow.
Between Tiphareth (6-Beauty) and Geburah (5-Severity) lies the Emerald Green Path of Lamed. Lamed-The Ox Goad- is the spear like prod which keeps the ox moving down the path which points to the letter's special relationship with Aleph (0x) on the Path of the Fool. Although complex, their relationship can be stated: Adjustment maintains the balance of the Tree of Life, so that the outpouring energy of The Fool (often called the Holy Ghost but is known as the One Energy in Western Qabalah) will operate within the confines of a natural pattern. Adjustment is the administrator of the laws of Binah (Mother of Form), written by The Hierophant. Key -5 who is the "Ruler of Balance".
Adjustment-is the Intelligence Faithful to that symbolized by The Fool; the alignment of forces of the 22nd Path (The total number of all the Paths) is an amalgam of all the Paths and is described as being within the essential life force symbolized by The Fool. This can be a Severe Path, as it is continual activity "in the above and the below" and will do whatever is necessary to bring the Spirit, Mind and Body into equilibrium; a process represented by the Sword---which is not always pleasant. The Sword of Geburah, cuts away all that which is unnecessary, to maintain balance.
Much like driving a car, Adjustment is constantly correcting direction through slight adjustments of the steering wheel, while traveling down the road of life (the "steering wheel" for driving an ox is an ox goad) ---rather the vehicle likes the adjustment or not. This car simile continues, when one understands that the Sephira (God Forms) are aspects of the soul itself (the Driver of the body-vehicle) and not external agencies. Thus, this "driving" process is to be considered psychologically as a condition of self-assessment.
In this-Adjustment/Justice Card, many different Tarot decks show the soul weighing itself on the scales in the left hand and then makes necessary adjustments wielding the sword in the right hand. In the Thoth Tarot, she balances the Scales on Her head, symbolizing a psychological balancing.
By placing the Sephiroth on the body, it can be seen that Geburah (Severity) is on the right and Chesed (Mercy) is on the left. This card is said to represent Karma; an often misunderstood Sanskrit word. Instead of just meaning that a soul is reaping what is sown from past lives; Karma means to me and Dr.Paul Foster Case, an action of continual adjustment. It is related to education; Lamed means to teach by prodding, and as many of us lament, the maintenance of balance of a dynamic nature, is definitely a learning process. Often, slowly and painfully, we learn how to analyze and re-balance ourselves as necessary for different situations.
In the Qabalistic Philosophy , it is understood that the principles of the Path of Adjustment maintain Tiphareth (Beauty), which is in itself a harmony. On the Thoth Card is the figure of Maat who is The Egyptian Daughter of Ra; The Queen of Heaven. The Egyptian texts suggest that that it is through Maat the Sun subsists, for Ra is said to "rest upon Maat," and to "live by Maat"---in other words, she maintains Tiphareth (The Sun/Son of Goddess/God). This is the Path that regulates Divine Life Force (Sex force).
Aleister Crowley called Maat a Harlequin, “the partner and fulfillment of THE FOOL." (THE DIVINE LIFE-FORCE). She stands in the Vesica Piscis (the diamond shape). Behind her is the throne of spheres and pyramids, in groups of four which means "Law and limitation”. This Law is interesting in that The Planet Venus, is the only planet whose symbol encompasses every single Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. This implies that Love is the ultimate power of the Universe and is the Law.
This Lady of Adjustment, represents Maat, as she wears ostrich feathers, with the serpent Uraeus, (Lord of Life and Death) on her forehead,and she also holds the Sword (male phallic symbol in this context) which suggests a sexual union, and the "completion" of the female (Crowley). In 777, Crowley described this completion as "The Woman Justified. By equilibrium, and Self-sacrifice is the Gate." Her Scale, weighs the Alpha and Omega (The All) and as Crowley pointed out," She is the ultimate illusion which is manifestation; she is the dance, many-colored, man-willed, of Life itself. Constantly whirling, all are possibilities are enjoyed, under the phantom show of Space and Time: all things are real. The soul is surface, precisely because they are instantly compensated by this Adjustment. All things harmony and beauty; all things are truth; because they cancel out." The readers of the Rider-Waite or Golden Dawn decks will know this card as JUSTICE; However, Crowley has shown an appropriate , if not deeper understanding of this card's Principle known as The Faithful intelligence.; Faithful, because it's ever faithful to that which balances Spirit-Mind-Body. Faithful, because it's ever faithful to that which is symbolized by the FOOL and/or Holy Spirit/One Energy. By doing whatever is necessary to bring an organism into a state of equilibrium. Therefore, the Path of Lamed (meaning Ox Goad) is not always a pleasant one. As the term OX GOAD, implies, the lower self is often forced by our Higher Self to go in an emotional and physical direction that as short sighted ego's do not wish to go. Though no punishment is implicit, the figure in this card holds the sword of Geburah that cuts away "the dead wood" or what is no longer needed, pruning our consciousness on its way to a better mental health.
By naming this Key-8- Adjustment, Crowley has shown an appropriate, if not deeper understanding of this card's Principle known as The Faithful intelligence.;
This is shown as the Sword of Geburah (Severity), as the path connects Geburah and Tiphareth. As most greatswords, this one has an double edge, one for enforcing peace and one for war. The errant 2 dimensional thinking of "good or bad" or "right or wrong", are not the Principle here. Rather, all Forms are of the Soul (Psyche), and this is a physiological assessment of equilibrium necessary, as the Soul weighs itself on the left hand scales, and then making the necessary adjustments on the right. Again, by placing the Sephiroth in the human body, the observer can see that the 5th Sephiroth Geburah (Severity) is on the right hand and the 4th- Sephiroth Chesed (Mercy) is on the left. This placement not only reinforces the idea of cutting away the negative aspects of the soul and body as a return to purity but also note the attributes of Libra, the sign of the zodiac attributed to this card and the Kidneys, which cleanse waste from the body.
The ADJUSTMENT card is related to Karma, if one understands Karma to mean action, rather than the overused term of punishment for not correcting error in past lives. The ADJUSTMENT card, represents a continuous action of adjustment, just as a modern person would do at the steering wheel while driving a motor vehicle. Adjustment is a daily process of self-awareness.
Therefore, the Path of Lamed is also a teaching process. Because the continuous process of maintenance is a learned process, just as one learns to adjust direction by observation and the hands-on movement of the steering wheel of a motor vehicle. Granted, this may be a painful and slow process (as many a parent of a teenager learning to drive a car will profess) but eventually one learns to analyze and re balance one’s self as necessary for different situations and/or as Paul stated, "...I die daily".* Daily transformation, adjusts our necessary energy balance that keeps our self-harmony in a very chaotic world of misidentity.
To those who study the Mysteries, and become more in -tuned to the Inner Soul/Sun/Christos, the more subtle and difficult these adjustments become; Just as the more refined the consciousness gets, the less obvious are the unbalancing minutiae of slightly "off colored" thoughts. The Ancient Egyptians symbolized this subtlety as weighing the human soul against a feather. This concept of "right, truth, law and rectitude" was expressed in a single word, Maat which was symbolized as a feather by which the heart (considered the organ of the Soul) was weighed, upon death.
As a Goddess, Maat represented moral law and truth, a straight edge to measure the psyche by and is a personification of the concept of Adjustment... Thus the Crowley card has Maat as the central figure on the ADJUSTMENT card, crowned with her attribute, the ostrich feather. To keep our psyche on the "straight and narrow" path of purity, requires a sharp sword indeed, as I for one, need constant pruning! That is why I skry this card often!
As stated, Adjustment, is at work continuously in the above, The Greater Ego, and the below, our individual lesser ego/personality. In other decks this is ATU- 11 Justice or Key 8- Karma. However it is numbered, this powerful, natural, equilibrating function occurs in our bodies, as they balance nutrition continuously to maintain proper operation as power tools for Spirit. Also, Adjustment is an equilibrating function that occurs in our personalities, making sure there are no constant extremes of behavior that keep us from operating effectively in our environments. In the personality, Adjustment is done by natural force and reason, while the Soul is measured when it "stands in” the Divine Light of the Solar Logos. The Solar Logos is, Tiphareth, the 6th Sephiroth on the Tree of Life, often called the "Christ Light". Only in this Light (bright and warm intelligence) does the dual- edged Sword of Geburah, do its work; pruning away the perspectives which are not worthy of Her Divine Child-the Golden Soul.
As I have already stated, this image of Maat, as presented on the Thoth card, is a suggestion of the Maat legend as the "Daughter of Ra", relating her to the Sun God (Tiphareth-Solar Soul). Her Qabalistic name is "Daughter of the Lords of Truth" while the Egyptians also called her the "Queen of Heaven". All of these names pointing to the fact that this often severe Faithful Intelligence is the regulator of the Path of the Sun/Son; as the Egyptian texts suggested. Through Maat the Sun subsists, for Ra is said to "rest upon Maat" and/or to “live by Maat". In Qabalistic terms, this means that the principles of the Path of Adjustment maintain Tiphareth---The Bright and Warm intelligence of the Soul as Self.
Since Ra is known to the Egyptians, as the source of all light, the Qabalists know Ra as the Fool or the Path of Aleph, who is the Source of All Light. This makes it possible to say, that Aleph rests upon Lamed and that Lamed is the regulator of the Path of the Divine Life Force as "I AM". That is also why I teach that "The Solar Husband is invoked by the Great Womb'". This may startle some men who objectify women as an object of sexual desire, for it is well known to both Tantric and practicing Qabalists that the Life Force, and/or "Sex Energy" is invoked by the Great Female, to regulate and establish her Forms. The Form of Him came from the Womb of Her, i.e. "Ra is said to live by Maat." The Lord of Lightning servers the Great Magnetic-Ocean Mother. To put this simply, The Great One (Kether) became 2 (0=2), by the process of Adjusting idea/Wisdom (Chokma) and Understanding (Binah the Will to Form), thereby, realizing He/She....and thereby established the equilibrium that produces and maintains all things. The downward pointing Phallus and testes headdress on the female figure of the Thoth card attests to this understanding. Those who Skry this card will not be unhappy that they did so, even if Geburah wields her sword in quick bright strokes. The discomfort of emotional burdens, the burdens of perspectives, just fall away and the scryer feels all "Warm and bright".
There is a large complement of Planets involved in this card.
By acknowledging that Libra is ruled by Venus, is also to acknowledge that behind Adjustment stands the Empress, the primary path of Venus, which is the perfect equilibrium between the forces of Chokma and Binah. It is interesting to note that the planet Venus refers to all of the Sephiroth and encompasses every single Sephira on the Tree of Life. The implications being that Love is the Ultimate Power of the Universe.
The imagery on the Thoth card is all about “law and limitation", as symbolized by the throne of spheres and pyramids in groups of four, behind the Female figure. Crowley understood, that the Soul, is the "Mental Plain" and/or Mirror that our image is reflected in and it is by the Adjustment of perspectives that our healing is insured over injury. This may be why the medical journals are said to state, " that as high as 50% of healing, is by placebo”. Something to ponder, for the soul listens and watches over the personality. However, most personalities fail to "have ears to hear", as they are constantly accepting the definitions of media, peers, and culture as self-identity. Ponder this; the Soul created you as "self-in-form-action". Hence, it already knows, and loves you. Your identity belongs to the Soul/Psyche/Son/Sun of Creatrix and Creator, and is not of this "world" of ruler controlled definitions.
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The Tarot of The Spirit-Key 11-Karma, is comparable to the Thoth ATU-8-Adjustment card. It also displays the Hebrew letter Lamed, by the dark pillar and the sign of Libra, by the white pillar. It also acknowledges the fact that one's thoughts and actions of the past, provide the present state of your life. Karma is a sanskrit word meaning, deed or act.
What the Key 11 of The Tarot of The Spirit, is attempting to show, is the mechanical aspect of Karma. Here Karma appears as a spinning figure 8 (lemniscate)pattern on top of the middle pillar of the Tree of Life. The central axis being the Sword of Geburah, that is in constant motion, as shown by the propelling force of the lemniscate. Karma's head is a spinning egg which symbolizes the 7 fold process of the alchemical concept of eternal life. The bird/feather of regeneration is held within the egg. The aim of the 7 fold process (7 in the number attributed to Venus) is higher harmony, or initiation wherein the Orphic egg, and/or germ of contact with individuality, is hatched to bring harmonious control. Thereby, indication a karmic breakthrough. Here one sees a heart, with a flame like feather of the "bird of regeneration" balance on its top (within the egg). This represents the "soul weighed" by Maat.
By looking at the left and right pillars we see that the pillars represent pencils, whose points join in the Above and Below pencil. This merging of points, represents the as above, so below axiom of western Qabalah and also the of meaning of : As within, so without, which is another key to understanding karma. According to the author, Pamela Eakins,PHD, the many points on this card represent the ox goad, that prods us along in the process of learning.
The Diamond patterned floor of the inner temple of "black and white", the directional flow of the pattern, depicting its flow of consciousness that is reflected in the sky above, is becoming more colorful and expanded . The glyph of Venus, in the background, further indicates that the law is love. love under will.
When the Adjustment or Karma card is thrown during a reading:
If ill defined by surrounding cards:
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