New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Key 11-Secret Societies
Balance. Justice, Adjustment
The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Key 11-Secret Societies, is more about the societies in the heart than in the world. The presence of these inner-secret societies moves through the night of the soul along paths that reach into even the most secluded or solitary of places. Hence, the type of secret society referred to in the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot -Secret Societies card, exist more in the psyche and psychological dimensions than on the physical plane. Throughout history, there are those who seek to maintain balance in the world through clandestine censure, magic, or force of arms. Although powerful, especially in a land like Haiti, true power to maintain the necessary balance for the common life is found within rather than without. In Nature, when the spirit of the Place (a community)or traditional balance is violated, something ancient rises to swing the scales back to equilibrium.
The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Key 11-Secret Societies, depicts a woman dressed in the blue and white of Agwé, hands loosely tied and kneeling before 6 wild beasts who look on from a swampy jungle. Agwé, is the Loa of the Sea, and has tremendous cleansing power. Therefore, this one is being initiated on a cleansing and/or rebalancing road . While the ropes do not bind, as their function is to remind more than restrict, so on a very deep level, it shows that it is her choice to be in this clearing. In her hands she holds a guardé, a packet that has been charged with the power of protection by a mambo or hougan and therefore, is a sign of her innocence. This explains why the attention of the beasts are aroused, but their attitude seems more of interest than either vengeance or acknowledgement of innocence.
These beasts seem to resemble the Loup Garou (werewolf) an image that arises from the deepest levels of human experience. Hence, the severest judgment is internal and when the ancestors cry out and lift themselves from the swamp wearing the bodies of powerful beasts, transgression can find no place and the transgressor can find no peace. Therefore, the attributions of this card include a righting or balancing of affairs, both large and small. On a large scale, great turns of the Life Wheel must be made to find the right road again even if death must be used. But on a small scale, which is most often, this necessary adjustment is not even noticed; only aberration rises to conscious appreciation.
When used in Divination, The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Key 11-Secret Societies implies:
- The moment when all hangs in the balance.
- Cases of law.
- Cases of conscience.
- Pangs of conscience calling one to action.
- Recourse to the ancestors for a decision in the matter at hand.
In many Tarot Decks, the common way to present this State of Energy Conscious is as the Judgment or Justice Card but I personally think that Crowley hit the nail on the head with the Title of: Adjustment. Because in our world of patriarchal rule, Justice is merely revenge and a show of state power to destroy the life of dissenters, which then keeps the populace in line. Plus, Nature is not, morally or ethically, just. As Jesus is quoted as saying, "...rain falls on the just and unjust alike."[ Romans, 8:18]
Crowley also changed the key number of the traditional Tarot, from key 11 to key 8, as that fit his gematria better as it made more sense for both cards. . He changed Key 11 to the Lust card, which is the traditional Strength card, that is traditionally key 8. Again for purposes of gematria. In gematria, 11 = 1+1=2, and 2 is the numerical value of the Hebrew Letter Beth, meaning house or temple. The number 8 refers to the Hebrew Letter Heth, meaning fence or enclosure. Both similar, but still there is a large difference. The House, of our Spirit, is the human body and therefore, the establishment of Lust as form. While, the Fence or Enclosure is a judgment or adjustment made to one's life. Hence, the key 8 card is often called a karmic card of the Soul/Psyche.
The Supreme Spirit Identity, in this case, The Conscious State of” Will to Form", and/or Geburah-Severity doesn't deal in revenge. Why would she? Each of us have freedom to choose our own thoughts, perspectives and therefore, our lives, with the caveat that we must live them. You can't get more justice than that!
Hence, the Soul Anima (feminine-Spirit) deals in the enforcement of freedom of choice, making sure the choices mentally made become the effectual manifestation. She Trusts you, as the Psyche, to know that if you think a thought, and supply life-force and/or "will to force" to it (often called emotion) that you know what you are doing. This is often why we know this aspect of the Divine Feminine as Severity, for you get what you "think you are" and she judges not if it is a thought of folly or wellness. That is your discernment. Freedom to choose our own thoughts, makes us a Psychosomatic creative, that is, our Psyche (Soul) runs and describes our Soma's (Physical body) life. The repercussions of cause, thought and its effect, manifest as and in your body, and the law of attraction produces "like attracts like" which many call luck, good or bad.
If you followed the Gnostic Qabalah axiom of "Above all things, know thyself!" you wouldn't have any difficulty with "freedom of Choice"; However, due to belief in the division, a product of the Patriarchal thought process, the union of your will and self-identity has been corrupted by the axiom of the Patriarch, "Divide and Conquer"; Here our souls are divided from our bodies, by worshiping an outside authority, a religion, institution or state created by those few who wish to rule the many. These creations of man, are the false prophets and false idols, that are most theologies and government policies that these hypocrisies warn us against! Besides being obvious hypocrisy, this is very clever, for by warning us of blasphemy, or treason, we are focused elsewhere and can't see that the warners are the very ones we must not follow or worship! For they blaspheme the very freedom of creation and are traitors to the Spirit who wants to be you. So now most people have forgotten their Divine-Power of Limitation and Wholeness, becoming powerless and scattered, lost in the forest of Ruler-identity-propaganda used to design "slaves of the state". The Power of Limitation is "self-awareness" and/or measurement. For without measurement, the infinite cannot "see itself" and is thus, unaware of Self. Spirit is everywhere and therefore, nowhere. Hence, it reflects upon itself, and image consisting of thought fractals. Hence, Descartes famous statement," I think, therefore, I Am. There is more to this statement, for if you think, you are not thought, but its creator, as well as, the limited form that thought makes allowing intimacy with your own creation. This is for the benefit of discernment and balanced creation. It helps to know yourself, as the I AM... any other name is just a mask you wear.
The Adjustment/Justice card is the Path of Lamed, the light green path between Geburah (Severity) and Tiphareth (Beauty) on the Tree of Life. Adjustment represents the Faithful Intelligence of the Great Mother, who has faith in you as Her Divine Children, who may wander off and forget themselves, but with the proper "goading" (Lamed means--ox goad) they will find themselves again.
Adjustment is the Ruler of Balance (operates from Binah- through Geburah, both aspects of The Great Mother) and maintains the outpouring of energy so that the "innocent child" (The Fool card that represents our "Psyche/Soul" which has been called the "Holy Ghost") will operate within the confines of a natural pattern: The Pattern of, I AM ME. Not what others identify Me as----but as I Am identifying Me as. You see that is Free -doom, the Anglo Saxon word that the English freedom is derived from. To the Anglo Saxon, Free-doom, was a declaration against slavery. For "Free-doom" means, "I choose my own death" and therefore is the meaning of freedom. Choices are not decisions. Decisions are based on past experience association, while choices are based on the heart's desire. You can see why Freedom is severe, for it often entails risk and slavery becomes a comfortable rut. However, Freedom of choice is "my choice", and if I choose to react to the identity enforced on me by the rules of "others" (the enemy of freedom) then I am doomed to the dysfunction of that thinking. If I Know Myself as I was identified to be by the Divine Collective, the "Me" of the Great I AM, which is also the product of the paradigm, of "I think--therefore, I am", then I am functioning in the Super Natural State of our Divine inheritance, as I Am not using my "father's name in vain". For my Father/Mother is "I AM". "I" is Spirit, "Am" is mind, and "Me", is Form. When all are in sync, all is well in the material world of self. I choose to be "Me", because that was what was created by the Divine, and is not "man-made", by the lashes of criticism, indoctrination or orthodoxies.
With the knowledge of the natural flow of Adjustment we know that balance will be made so that energy will always flow to the "living" Spirit body (human) through the balance of Spirit-Mind, Body union. If that union is interrupted by incongruous thought patterns of fear such as "I lack" or the lowest denominator of any thought, the body, is doomed to unbalance (disease) mentally, emotionally and physically; for "I AM", the Creator of "Me", is now "I AM Lack". Because of the psyche's freedom to identify "self" anyway it wants, which means that even if the psyche is an ignorant servant of another "master", thoughts given emotion (will to force) are what that identity will produce in form.
The Will is Spirit and therefore, our foundation of Psyche, a Spirit/Mind cooperation. Hence, for Will to operate Life in an expansive and liberated way, it must be willed Love of Agapé-Spirit- Philo- Mind and Eros-Body to keep the balanced between the Soul's identity, and form's operational self-conscious and/or personal identity.
I bet many of us didn't even know that "to seek love", is to deny you are it and/or "have it". Hence, you are stating a statement of "I am now unloved", a statement of "I lack" and this places you in "impoverished love". Therefore, a state of low self-identity now performs as "me". But don't worry, for this serves the ruler's and the greedy very well as that "lack" thinking, builds the consumer who is in the "pursuit of happiness"; a pursuit of unequaled proportions, for the love/happiness sought, is always "just over the next hill", or "just the next expensive thing" and the stress this constant seeking builds in the self-conscious will doom the self to futility and the unbalance of disease (dis-ease). But then that's okay, because the medical profession and the drug companies need the symptoms of the sick and lame to flourish!
Sarcasm aside: Self- Love is the balanced flow of Creation, throughout the Tree of Life, because it is the pattern of The Supreme Spirit Identity recreating itself-Images in order to expand and liberate Self-Awareness as "The intimacy of being Alive".
Eros is the physical, emotional, sensual love between a husband and wife but can happen between the unmarried and is often the love expressed in love of the senses, such as taste, smell, touch, sight and sound. As in "I just love that color" or "I love chocolate", etc.
Philos love is mental and earthly love that is found in friendships, marriages and family ties.
Agapé is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love; the highest of the three types of love in the Bible.
Because of this Faithful Agapé Love of Her Children, those of us who contact the Anima (Divine Feminine/Spirit) by mentally journeying on the Path of Lamed, may decide to bring ourselves into balance, but if we do not, it will be done for us as an act of "Tough love"! Much like driving a vehicle that has an automated correction system on board, if the driver won't adjust the steering wheel to stay on the road, the Natural Automated system will! The more emotion (energy-in-motion) you apply to the misdirection, the the more severe the correction.
the divine hermaphrodite
Being constructed of the Psychodynamic principle of Spirit-Soul/mind and body, all must be united in a balance of communion, an Understanding of Impeccable Being that is continual internal mental trip up and down the Tree of Life. As above so below, is not a far off metaphysical concept; for it is the conception of YOU as if the Qabalistic Tree of Life is a birth canal of the Sensual-Psyche! So being Faithful Intelligence, The Divine Mother/Anima of You will always make the adjustments necessary to get Spirit, Psyche, and body on the right track, whether you like it or not! Once one understands this Universal Law of Freedom of Choice, where one must live the choices made, one will always "Treat others as one wishes to be treated". For the process of experience teaches us that to think ill is to be ill and by thinking ill of those who think ill of us, just transmits the disease into a plague of illness where no one is well-Spiritually, Mentally or Physically.
I know that how a person thinks and/or acts towards me, is how they think; it is their perspective that chains their mind. We can only see what we think. for all is a Self-Reflection. Hence, their reaction to me, is only a description of what they think of themselves! I find only knowledge in that, and am not concerned, for they cannot accept nor reject me, as only the Divine can do that, and it has already accepted me by the very act of creation.
Again, there are no enemies, only another way to be us. Let each other be...is a very good motion! You cannot escape your thoughts for they are "how your Life Forms the Alive" so let's make our thoughts the best they can be, we'll then find our lives to be balanced and smooth flowing no matter how many rocks are out there!
As the Tao states, " If it isn't here---It isn't there. If it is there, it is here. For what is here is there and what is there is here." Remember, our thought project ourselves on the Mirror of our Soul, and to create Monsters outside of us (There) creates Monsters inside of us (Here) and the Great Mother of Life...will supply the necessary surgery to remove them, so that her children can expand and liberate themselves from self-condemnation. Knowing thyself---helps us avoid the discomfort of this surgical-severity.
THE PATH OF LAMED: Adjustment-ATU 8 (Justice-key 11 in many other traditional Tarot Decks):
- Primary Path Color: Emerald Green
- Related Sound: F#
- Astrological sign: Libra (Cardinal Air)
- Word Meaning: of Lamed is Ox Goad
- Hebrew Letter-Simple Letter: Work
Esoteric Title: The Daughter of the Lords of Truth; The Ruler of Balance.
Dr.Paul Foster Case wrote in the: 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 is the Hebrew letter that means- Ox Goad- which is the spear like prod which keeps the ox moving down the path. This goading activity points to the letter's special relationship with Aleph (0x) on the Path of the Fool. Although complex, their relationship can be stated: Adjustment (Justice on some cards) maintains the balance of the Tree of Life, so that the outpouring energy of The Fool (often called the Holy Ghost) 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. Key-8, the number of Beth, the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is therefore, the "Ruler of Balance". For 8, is the shape a 0 takes when it becomes "2". When 0 became the Divine Creative, it made itself "He and She", by just twisting upon itself as 8. Now we have the paradox of " 2 who are One".
Adjustment-is the Intelligence Faithful to that symbolized by The Fool (Wholly Spirit); the alignment of forces of the Twenty Second Path is an amalgam of all the Paths and is described as being within the essential life force symbolized by The Fool.
Lamed 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 physical, mental- Soul/Psyche into equilibrium. Sometimes a "cutting away" process represented by the Sword, which is not always pleasant. The Sword of Geburah, that is shown in the center of the personages on the Thoth represents the part of our Psyche that cuts away all that which is unnecessary for impeccable function. Often, this surgical adjustment is less dramatic and much like driving a car, for Adjustment/Justice, 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). This car analogy continues, when one understands that the Sephira (God Forms) are aspects of the soul itself who is the driver of the body-vehicle and not the external agencies that self-conscious likes to blame for its own folly. Thus, this "driving" process is to be considered psychologically as a condition of self-assessment, where one must align their identity with the Soul that makes them breathe and think.
In this Card-ATU 8-Justice, tradition is not carried, as on many traditional tarot cards, the soul gets weighed on the scales in the left hand of Geburah and then she makes necessary adjustments wielding the sword in the right hand. However, In the Thoth Tarot, she balances the Scales on Her head, symbolizing a psychological balancing, of both the Alpha and Omega (Beginning and the end).
adam Khadmon- the heavenly human (hermaphrodite)
By placing the Sephiroth on the body that is facing the Tree, it can be seen that Geburah (Severity) is on the left and Chesed (Mercy) is on the right. This placement is the proper way to view the "Adam Khadmon" as "facing inward" rather than some artistic formats that place Him, the Supreme Spiritual Identity, facing outward on the tree. For only in "inward" traveling of our Psyche, can we realize the Tree of Life and it's many paths to wholeness.
Also in palmistry, if one's right hand is considered the primary hand, the left hand is seen as one’s “receiving" feminine hand, while the right is considered their "giving hand" or masculine expressive hand.
" My dogma got run over by my Car-ma!"
Often this card is said to represent Karma-an often misunderstood Sanskrit word, used in fear and draped in superstition. Instead, karma's meaning is that of a soul is reaping what is sown from past lives; as sort of corrective adjustment. Karma means to myself and Dr.Paul Foster Case, an action of continual adjustment. It is related to education; Lamed-The Ox goad, means to teach, and though many of us lament the maintenance of balance, this balancing is definitely a learning process. Slowly and sometimes, painfully, we learn how to analyze and re-balance ourselves as necessary for and in different situations.
In the Western Hermetic Qaballah, it is understood that the principles of the Path of Adjustment maintain Tiphareth-Beauty; beauty being a harmony. On the Thoth Tarot Card the Principle of Balance is depicted as the Egyptian figure of Maat, The Egyptian Daughter of Ra; The Queen of Heaven. The Egyptian texts suggest 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 -creative- force). Aleister Crowley called Maat a Harlequin, " the partner and fulfillment of THE FOOL." On the Thoth Tarot, 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", which sums up the Qabalistic Tree of Life.
The Creatrix, is also known as Venus, and The Planet Venus, is the only planet whose symbol encompasses every single Sephira on the Tree of Life. This implies that Love is the ultimate power of the Universe and is the Law. As Maat, she wears ostrich feathers, with the serpent Uraeus, (Lord of Life and Death) on her forehead, she also holds the Sword of the Magus (male phallic symbol in this context) which suggests a sexual union, and the "completion" of the female (Crowley). Hence, the letter 8, is but a "twisted fool" and/or O.
According to Crowley, this Lovely Lady a standing on her toes, is the feminine compliment to the Fool. The Letters Aleph (The Fool) and Lamed (Adjustment) constitute the secret key of the Book of Law, that is the basis for a Hermetic Qabalistic system so deep and sublime in meaning, that I recommend investing some time and money in obtaining Crowley's- The Book of Law. Because she is the partner of the Fool she is shown as dancing on her toes, with a hint of Harlequin.
In another of his books, 777, Crowley described the "completion of the feminine" 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-wiled, 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." Crowley understood, that the Soul, is the Mirror that our image is reflected in and it is by the Adjustment of perspectives; an adjustment that our healing or illnesses comes from. This may be why when the medical journals state, "83% of all healing, is by placebo". It boons us to remember that Life is the "I AM" and that I Am is Psychosomatic-ally alive, as” Me".
As mentioned before the Woman Goddess is also Harlequin, she is the Woman Satisfied, she is fulfillment of the Fool. She is also the ultimate illusion, which is manifestation. She is the many willed and many colored dance of Life itself as the "alive", in which there will always be a balance kept by equal and opposite reaction, life and death. The Thoth Card may illustrate Maat, but it also means Karma, the Hindu Goddess.
As stated, Adjustment, is at work continuously in the above, The Greater Universe, and the below, our individual soul/personality. In other decks this is Key 8 Justice; However, it is numbered or titled, this powerful, natural equilibrating function occurs in our bodies, as they balance nutrition continuously to maintain proper operation as power tools for Spirit/Mind. And Adjustment is also an equilibrating function that occurs in our sane-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 shown as the golden All Seeing Eye/I that 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 Alpha and Omega letters in the balances, signify that it is the Sword of Geburah and/or Goddess of Justice. Pythagoras taught that the justicia and aequitas (justice and equity) are "innate attributes of the feminine nature principle”. [Rose,116]
To reiterate: The Thoth Tarot presents Maat, daughter of Ra. Since Ra was known to the ancient 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 the Path of Lamed, making Lamed 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 for dominance and control, for it is well known to both Tantrics and practicing Qabalists that the Life Force, and/or "Sex Energy" is invoked by the Great Female, to regulate and establish balanced expansion and liberation (Tantra) of her Life- Forms. The Form of Him came from the Womb of Her, i.e. "Ra is said to live by Maat." In other words, 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/balancing Knowledge (Chokma) and Understanding (Binah), thereby, realizing He/She as "One who is Two" and thereby established the equilibrium that produces and maintains all things. We know this as the symbol of infinity and/or the Mobius loop. 0=2 when it is an 8 laying on its side.
The downward pointing Phallus and testes headdress on the female figure of this card attests to this understanding of Kether, as Ra who lives by Maat. This is the Judex and the Testes of Final Judgment, symbolic of the secret course of judgment whereby all current experience is absorbed, transmuted, and ultimately passed on, by virtue of the operation of the sharp sword of Mind, to further manifestation. Those who Skry this card will not be unhappy that they did so, even if Geburah/Justice wields her sword in quick bright strokes. For then the discomfort of self-imposed emotional burdens, the burdens of "serious" perspectives, just fall away and the scryer feels all "Warm, light and bright".
Because she balances the First act and the Last act, she is to understood as assessing the virtue of every act and demanding exact and precise satisfaction. She is the very image of "Love is the law, love under will". Every form of energy must be applied with impeccable integrity, to the full satisfaction of its destiny. That is why I counsel my emotional reactive "Me" with, "Get over yourself and get on with You, impeccability is what we do!”, whenever it forgets the Soul's demand for impeccability in loving thought and action, for these are the action's that drive life forward, ever expanding and ever liberating itself from past error. I AM Spirit, Mind and Body,i.e., a Me.
There is a large complement of Planets involved in the Adjustment/Justice card.
- First is Venus, which rules Libra.
- Mars is related because of the purging forces of Geburah.
- 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 (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding). 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: Love is the Law of Attraction.
When the Thoth-Adjustment is thrown during a reading, the 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.
- 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.
- It is eternal justice and balance.
- Strength and Force are being applied to create a balance, but this is arrested as in the act of Judgment.
- Depending on the combination of other cards, this could also mean the more mundane reality of legal proceedings, a court of law, a trial at law etc.
- The Adjustment card promotes the "Butterfly effect", as all equilibrium must and will be obtained. Any disturbance will be balanced by an equal and opposite reaction.
- What you put out, you will get back.
- Think well, think love, and all will be well in thought and deed. Love is the Law of Attraction.
If ill defined by surrounding cards:
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