The Thoth Tarot Key 8-Adjustment is known to the readers of the Ryder-Waite-Smith or Golden Dawn tarot decks as Key 11-JUSTICE. Again, Crowley has shown an appropriate, if not deeper understanding of this card's Principle known as The Faithful intelligence; Faithful, because its ever faithful to that which is symbolized by the FOOL and/or Holy Spirit, by doing whatever is necessary to bring an organism into a state of equilibrium.
The Adjustment/Justice card is seen as the 22nd Path of Lamed (meaning Ox Goad) on the Tree of Life and it is not always a pleasant one. As the term OX GOAD, implies, we are often forced by our Higher Self to go in a emotional and physical direction that we do not wish to go. Though no punishment is implicit, the figure in both the Ryder-Waite-Smith and Thoth card holds the sword of Geburah (Red robes in the Ryder-Waite-Smith represent Geburah/Mars) that cuts away "the dead wood" or what is no longer needed, pruning our consciousness and Soul on its way to a better mental health.
This Sword of Geburah (Severity) has a double edge, one for enforcing peace and one for war. The errant dual 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 seen in both decks, the Soul weighs itself on the left hand scales, and then making the necessary adjustments on the right. The Ryder-Waite-Smith deck displays the Golden Scales of Tiphareth, implying that through the Golden Light of Tiphareth (Christ-Buddha consciousness) is the Soul judged. While the scales on the Thoth Deck card are black referring to both Saturn and Binah, the Dark Limitless light.
By placing the Sephiroth on the human body, as it faces the Tree of Life, the observer can see that the Feminine Sephira Geburah (Severity) is on the left hand and the Masculine Sephira Chesed (Mercy) is on the right. This placement not only reinforces the idea of cutting away the negative aspects of the soul and body as an act of mercy, but also a return to purity and balance as the attributes of Libra, the sign of the zodiac attributed to this card, and the Kidneys, which cleanse waste from the body.
The ADJUSTMENT or JUSTICE card is related to Karma, if one understands Karma to mean action, rather than the misunderstood term of punishment for not correcting error in past lives. Both the ADJUSTMENT and JUSTICE card, represents a continuous action of adjustment, just as a modern person would do at the steering wheel while driving a motor vehicle. 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. To those who study the Mysteries, and become more in-tuned to the Inner Self, 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 psyche by and is a personification of the concept of Maat. 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! I would recommend that one uses a dark mirror, and position the card so it reflects in the dark mirror. Then skry the image in the mirror.
As stated, Adjustment or Justice, is at work continuously in the above, The Greater Universe, and the below, our individual soul/personality. This powerful, natural, equilibrating function occurs in our bodies, as they balance nutrition continuously to maintain proper operation as power tools for Spirit. And Adjustment is also 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.
To go forward, the Soul is measured when it "stands"in the Divine Light of the Solar Logos, that is, Tiphareth, the sixth 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.
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 Logos). 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 Severe Faithful Intelligence is the regulator of the Path of the Sun. Hence, the Egyptian texts suggested,through Maat the Sun subsists, for Ra is said to "rest upon Maat" and/or to"live by Maat". This "resting upon Maat" is represented by the the Ryder-Waite-Smith Tarot-Justice tarot card.
The Purple hanging tapestry behind the Ryder-Waite-Smith figure is called the "cloth of honor" and refers to Geburah's opposite, Chesed- Mercy. Therefore, reinforcing the definition of balancing the opposites. In Qabalistic terms, this means that the principles of the Path of Adjustment maintain Tiphareth---The Bright and Warm intelligence of the Solar Logos. 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. his makes it possible to say, that Aleph rests upon Lamed and that Lamed is the regulator of the Path of the Divine Life Force. 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; an error, for it is well known to both Tantrics and practicing Qabalists that the Life Force, and/or "Sex Energy", the electric Male, 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 Two, by the process of Adjusting Knowledge (Chokma) and Understanding (Binah), thereby, realizing He/She or Womb/Phallus...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 Tarot- Adjustment 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 skryer feels all "Warm and bright".
There are a large compliment of Planets involved in this card. First is Venus,which rules Libra (the Scales). Mars is related because of the purging forces of Geburah (The Red colors). The Sun, as stated above, is involved not only because the Path of Lamed runs from the Sun to Mars, but also because Adjustment (Justice) must take place in the clear bright light of Truth. Saturn is exalted in Libra and finally Jupiter which is the planet of Chesed (Mercy). 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 both the Ryder-Waite-Smith and Thoth card is all about "law and limitation"; Medieval style of ruling Queen on the Ryder-Waite-Smith and somewhat more arcane symbolized on the Thoth Tarot-Adjustment card, as shown by the throne of spheres and pyramids in groups of four, behind the Female figure. She is best described in Crowley's book: 777, as "The woman justified. By equilibrium and Self-Sacrifice is the Gate." He goes on to state; "She is the ultimate illusion which is manifestation: she is the dance, many-colored, many-willed, of Life Itself. Constantly whirling, all possibilities are enjoyed, under the phantom show of Space and Time; all things are real, the soul is the surface, precisely because they are instantly compensated by this Adjustment. All things are harmony and beauty; all things are truth because they cancel out." Crowley understood, that the Soul, is the Mirror that our image is reflected in and it is by the adjustment of perspectives, that our healing comes from. This may be why some medical studies state, "83% of all healing, is by placebo".... Something to ponder.
When the Judgment or Adjustment card is thrown during a reading:
- Te querent is experiencing or will experience, the making of a final decision.
- Judgment and sentencing by a determination of an issue without appeal on this plane; often called Karma.
- The querent is experiencing "What you put out, you get back".
- The Law of action- reaction, where the natural forces of nature reach a balance within the individual, setting things right.
- The balancing of opposites.
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