Above all things, know thyself!
The Golden Tarot- Key 8-Justice
Balance against each other its exact opposite! For the Marriage of these is the Annihilation of Illusion.
[The Book of Thoth, Pg. 256]
The Adjustment/Justice card represents the mediator, adjuster, and the arbitrator; What you put out, you get back! Every thought, every action is returned to you, this law is active for you 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. Hence, it is smart “to do unto others what you would have done unto you” -----because it will be so done!
The Thoth card uses the symbol of Libra; the scales and within the Thoth scales are the Greek letters, Alpha, representing beginnings, and Omega, representing endings or completions. In ancient Egypt the Goddess Maat used scales to weigh souls/hearts against a feather placing the feather on one side and the heart on the other . If the feather was heavier than the Soul/Heart, the Soul was sent to the "Higher Planes", if the Soul/Heart weighed more than the Feather, than it was sent back to the world to reincarnate. Hence, this is also known as Karma in Eastern teachings. Karma simply means, action, word or deed, and implies that we must finish and/or correct what we begin or we will be doomed to repeat it!
In the Thoth Adjustment ATU/Key 8 card, the diamond image around the being symbolizes the piercing of illusion and delusion and represents truth and negotiation, as it represents the united Macrocosm with the Microcosm and/or As above so below; the upper triangle of the Tree of Life and the reflected triangle of the below. The Thoth -Egyptian figure represents Maat, the Goddess of Law, Truth, and Justice but here she is wearing a mask-like blindfold, implying she is imparticial. The Golden Tarot figure is done in a more traditional Tarot style of the 14oo's, there is no blindfold showing impartiality. In the Qaballah, it is understood that the principles of the Path of Adjustment/Lamed maintain Tiphareth (Beauty)-The Sun/Son. Maat, who is The Egyptian Daughter of Ra (Sun God) and The Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Sun/Son. 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); our Souls. This is the Path that regulates the vigorous Divine Life Force (Sex force) that is the Soul/Psyche. In this Card-key 8-Adjustment, many different Traditional decks and the Golden Tarot show the soul weighing itself on the scales in the left and and then makes necessary adjustments wielding the sword in the right hand. In the Thoth Deck, she balances the Scales on Her head, symbolizing a psychological balancing while holding the sword of justice with both hands and pointed downward indicating both above and below. The head covering that the Thoth Adjustment is wearing is in the shape of the human kidneys. The organs that cleanse the body, representing the cleansing action of Maat.
The circles on the Thoth Adjustment card represent formulated thoughts or ideas that are collected into a Soul. This card also represents the integrating, balancing and synthesizing mind/Psyche 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 intangible ways. She is standing on her toes, indicating the Whirling-Dancing equilibrium and motion of this Goddess as Life itself.
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 spherical form of multiple-dimensional conscious/intelligent energy called Souls; the Photonic Intelligence of Stars (Sun) that uses bodies to work out thought equations to see if they expand and liberate life or if they stall and subvert life, for the purpose of Souls is Life and in energy is data/information; information we must know in order to expand our self -awareness and that of the Universal Self, from which we all are formed! Hence, information can only be experienced as in-form-action, which becomes knowledge; when information is experienced sensually, it becomes experience and therefore, knowledge. This Card represents the Law of Action and Reaction that all mind and matter is subject to.
Esoteric Title: The Daughter of the Lords of Truth; the Ruler of Balance.
Primary Path Color: Emerald Green
- Related Sound: F#
- Astrological sign: Libra (Cardinal Air)
- Word Meaning: Ox Goad
- Hebrew Letter-Simple Letter: Work
The great Western Qabalist, Dr. Paul Foster Case wrote in the teaching text: 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-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) 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 Twenty Second Path 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 physical, mental and Soul into equilibrium; a process represented by the Sword---which is not always pleasant. The Sword of Geburah, cuts away all that which is unnecessary.
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 individual Sephira (numbered spheres) 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. Therefore, the JUSTICE/ ADJUSTMENT card, often called the "karma card", is related to Karma, if one understands Karma to mean action, rather than the misunderstood term of punishment for not just correcting error in past lives. The ADJUSTMENT card, represents a continuous action of adjustment. 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.
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 meaning that a soul is always reaping what is sown from past lives; Karma also means to myself and Paul Foster Case, an action of continual adjustment. It is related to education; Lamed (the ox goad) means to teach, and as many of us lament the maintenance of balance of a dynamic nature, it is definitely a learning process. Slowly and sometimes painfully, we learn how to analyze and re-balance ourselves as necessary for different situations.
Aliester 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 4 which means "Law and limitation”. This Law is interesting in that 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 (male phallic symbol in this context) which suggests a sexual union with Vesica Pisces 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 beginning and the end) 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."
The readers of the Golden Tarot,Triple Goddess, Haindl Tarot, Rider-Waite-Smith or Golden Dawn traditional Art Tarot decks will know this card as JUSTICE; However, Crowley/Harris 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 is symbolized by the FOOL and/or Holy Spirit. By doing whatever is necessary to bring an organism into a state of equilibrium. The Path of Lamed (meaning Ox Goad) can be severe, as the term OX GOAD, implies, for we are often forced by our Higher Self to go in an emotional and physical direction that we 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 self-consciousness on its way to a better-brighter and warmer mental health.
This Sword of Geburah/Justice (Severity) has a double edge, one for enforcing peace and one for war. The errant dual-indoctrinated 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 the personality (ego) on the left hand scales, and then making the necessary adjustments on the right. As previously stated: by placing the Sephiroth in the human body, the observer can see that the Sephiroth Geburah(Severity) is on the right hand and the Sephiroth Chesed (Mercy) is on the left. This placement not only reinforces the idea of mercifully cutting away the negative aspects of the soul and body as a return to purity but also notes the attributes of Libra, the sign of the zodiac attributed to this card and the Kidneys, (shown as a headdress) which cleanse waste from the body.
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, who was often shown judging with Anubis (Ruler of the Underworld), Thoth (keeper of records) and the Soul's ego, the Ba, which was symbolized as a jar by which the heart (considered the organ of the Soul) was kept in after embalming, was weighed, upon death against a feather. The Egyptians believed that if the heart (personality called the Ba) weighed more than the feather, one's Ba was eaten by the crocodile god, *Ammit and sent back into incarnation.
Egyptologist R. David, at the University of Manchester, explains the many facets of the soul as follows:
- The Egyptians believed that the human personality had many facets—a concept that was probably developed early in the Old Kingdom. In life, the person was a complete entity, but if he had led a virtuous life, he could also have access to a multiplicity of forms that could be used in the next world. In some instances, these forms could be employed to help those whom the deceased wished to support or, alternately, to take revenge on his enemies.
- [ From Wikipedia}
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. As I personally know, 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.
*Ammit (/ ˈæmɪt /; Ancient Egyptian: ꜥm-mwt, "devourer of the dead"; also rendered Ammut or Ahemait) was a demoness and goddess in ancient Egyptian religion with the forequarters of a lion, the hindquarters of a hippopotamus, and the head of a crocodile —the three largest "man-eating" animals known to ancient Egyptians. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
As stated, Adjustment, is at work continuously in the above, The Greater Universe, and the below, our individual soul/personality. In other traditional decks this is Key 8- Justice . 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. 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, while the Soul , who created the personality and/or Ba before its indoctrination into falsehood, 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 of pruning away the false perspectives of man-made self identity, which are not worthy of Her Divine Child.
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. That is also why I teach that "The Solar Husband is invoked by the Great Abyssal Womb'". This may startle some men who objectify women as an object of so lower-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-O) became 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 of the Sword 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 that make oxen of us all, just fall away and the skryer feels all "Warm and bright".
As stated in my blog, the Golden Tarot, is considered the archetypal image of Traditional Tarot, as well as, representing the archetype of for fairness and balance, in her left hand and displaying a double edged sword in her left. Hence the familiar figure of Lady Justice, holding both sword and scales. The image conforms to the conventions of the day and another drama plays out in this Trump. Here we see Justice, dreamy, as if imagining while an armored Knight on a white charger gallops across the golden arch framing her crown. He is brandishing his sword, as if to defend her and her cause, keeping with the first law of chivalry- to defend all that is fair and just. The Sun beams down benevolently on both.
When the Adjustment or Justice card 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 putout, 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.
- Take a balanced view.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards, it implies:
- Do not act out of habit.
- You may be acting unfairly.
- Trying to avoid an honest evaluation.
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