The Tarot of The Ages- Key VIII-Justice, depicts the Egyptian Goddess, Ma'at sitting on her lion throne, while the 7 doored city of Thebes (7 pointed star represents Venus), reflects in the holy waters that are bathed in twilight (the twilight of the Soul). On her head is the feather that she uses to counter- weight souls using the balance in her left hand. The sword of justice is gripped in her right hand, while an archangel supports the just arm. At her feet rests an Ibis, the Sacred bird attributed to Thoth, the god of letters/writing.
Again the Hebrew letter used for this card is not that of the Thoth Tarot. Here the Key VIII card shows the Hebrew letter Heh (looks more like Cheit/Ceth), meaning Window. The Thoth Tarot uses the letter Lamed, meaning ox-goad. The astrological sign of Cancer, rather than the sign of Libra used on the Thoth Adjustment card; Cancer being a water sign. I would proffer the guess that the Authors of the Tarot of The Ages Tarot suggest that Ma'at "looks into the inward parts of beings" by scrying the Waters. Justice, rules the equilibrium of "Action-Reaction". More is explained about the Inner Psyche's Adjuster/Justice in the Thoth Tarot explanation of the ATU/Key 8.
The definitions and ill definitions of the Tarot of The Ages-Judgment card, are that of the Thoth Card and are shown at the bottom of the blog.
- The Universal Key of balance: Justice and Realignment. This card is Adjustment in the Thoth Tarot, Strength or Justice in more traditional tarot.
The Adjustment card represents the mediator, adjuster, and the arbitrator aspect of our Soul. What a personality pust out, it gets back! Every thought, every action is returned to personality----this law is active for persona's as long as they 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. Thus it is smart “to do unto others what you would have done unto you” -----because it will be so done to 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. This is also known as Karma in Eastern teachings. We must finish what we begin or we will be doomed to repeat it!
In the Thoth Adjustment Key 8 card, the diamond image around the being symbolizes the piercing of illusion and delusion and represents truth and negotiation.
The Egyptian figure represents Ma'at, the Goddess of Law, Truth, and Justice.
The circles represent formulated thoughts or ideas. This card also represents the integrating, balancing and synthesizing mind which is often expressed in writing, research, engineering and design.
The Ace of Swords as Geburah's Sword of Justice, is also depicted in the Thoth card, pointing downwards indicating the application of creative ideas in tangible ways.
- Primary Path Color: Emerald Green
- Related Sound: F#
- Astrological sign: Libra (Cardinal Air)
- Word Meaning: Ox Goad
- Hebrew Letter-Simple Letter: Work
- The Twenty-second inner path of the Psyche.
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-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 Spirit) will operate within the confines of a natural pattern. Adjustment is the administrator of the laws of Binah (Mother of Form) the 3rd Sephiroth-Understanding, under-written by The Hierophant, ATU -5 who sets the rules of balance.
Adjustment-is the Intelligence Faithful to that symbolized by The Fool; the alignment of forces of the Twenty-second Path (The total number of all the Paths plus the Sephiroth) 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 inner path, as it is continual activity "in the above and the below" and will do whatever is necessary to bring the physical, mental and emotional actions into equilibrium; a process represented by the Sword---which is not always pleasant. The Sword of Geburah/is the Sword of Justice,and it cuts away all that which is unnecessary.
This Adjustment done by the inner soul is most often not as severe as one would think for it is 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) . This car simile continues, when one understands that the Sephira (numbered spheres of the One Mind) 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 unconscious self-assessment.
In this Card-ATU 8-Adjustment, many different decks show the soul being weighed on the scales in the left hand and with Ma'at making 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 meaning that a soul is reaping what is sown from past lives; Karma means to Dr. Paul Foster Case and myself, an action of continual adjustment. It is related to education; Lamed means to teach (ox-goad), and as many of us lament, the maintenance of balance of a dynamic nature is definitely a learning process. Slowly and painfully, we learn how to analyze and re-balance ourselves as necessary for different situations.
In the Qaballah, it is understood that the principles of the Path of Adjustment maintain Tiphareth (Beauty) On the Thoth Deck Card is the figure of Ma'at who is The Egyptian Daughter of Ra; The Queen of Heaven. The Egyptian texts suggest that that it is through Ma'at the Sun subsists, for Ra is said to "rest upon Ma'at," and to "live by Ma'at"---in other words, she maintains Tiphareth (The Sun/Son of Goddess/God). This is the Path that regulates Divine Life Force (sex or vital 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 4 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. As Ma'at, the Goddess of heaven, 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, 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 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 Rider-Waite or Golden Dawn decks will also 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 the Spirit-Mind-Body balance. 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 with the Cosmic Mind. The Path of Lamed (meaning Ox Goad) is not always a pleasant one. As the term OX GOAD, implies, 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 consciousness on its way to a better mental health.The Sacrifice on the altar of death is all that isn't the Authentic You.
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 the Soul weighs itself on the left hand scales, and then making the necessary adjustments on the right. 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 4 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.) This Kidney shape is shown on the Thoth card as her head piece that anchors the chains which support the scale.
The Path of Lamed represents 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 to witness, 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, Ma'at which was symbolized as a feather by which the heart (considered the organ of the Soul) was weighed, upon death.
As a Goddess, Ma'at represented moral law and truth to the ancient Egyptians, to us it is a straight edge to measure the psyche by and is a personification of the concept of Adjustment. Thus the Crowley card has Ma'at as the central figure on the ADJUSTMENT card, crowned with her attribute, the ostrich feather, represents the inner source that keeps our psyche on the "straight and narrow" path of purity. This requires a sharp sword indeed, as I for one, need constant pruning! That is why I scry this card often!
As stated, Adjustment, 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. Adjustment represents 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 Soul is represented as,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. As one may notice, all Paths lead to or exit from Tiphareth.
This image of Ma'at, 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/Soul). Her Qabalistic title 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/Son; as the Egyptian texts suggested. Through Ma'at the Sun/Son subsists, for Ra is said to "rest upon Ma'at" and/or to “live by Ma'at". In Qabalistic terms, this means that the principles of the Path of Adjustment maintain Tiphareth---The Bright and Warm intelligence of the Solar Logos/Sun/Son.
Since Ra is known to the Egyptians, as the source of all light, the Western 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 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 Ma'at." 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. 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 peel away and the scryer feels all "Warm and bright" as once again the Anima and Animus -the 2-are united as O-one.
There is a large complement of Planets involved in this 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 and Binah. It is interesting to note that the planet Venus refers to all of the Sephiroth and encompasses every single Sephiroth 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 4, 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, and 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 and/or the Space our Time is reflected in, and it is by the Adjustment of perspectives "in that Oceanic Space of the Universal Collective Unconscious" that our healing comes from. This may be why the medical journals are said to state, "83% of all healing, is by placebo”; implying that most illness is psychosomatic. Something to ponder.
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 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.
- One is 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 form of multiple conscious energy called Suns/Son's/ Souls, that uses bodies to work out thought equations to see if they expand and liberate life or if they stall and subvert life.
- We must know self 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 subject to.
- Proper balance/harmony.
- Just reward.
- The eventual outcome, whether favorable or unfavorable, will be truly fair for the person concerned.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards:
- False accusations.
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