What Path On The Tree Of Life Is The Justice Card

□ PATH COLOR: Emerald Green

□ ESOTERIC TITLE: The Daughter of the Lords of Truth; the Ruler of the Balance.

Kabbalah Tree Life Paths

THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM: The Twenty-second Path is the Faithful Intelligence, and is so called because by it

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spiritual virtues are increased, and all dwellers on earth are nearly under its shadow.

The Path of Lamed, JUSTICE is between Tiphareth and Geburah. Lamed means ox-goad, the spear-like prod which keeps the ox moving down the road. This attribution points to the letter's special relationship with Aleph (ox) on the Path of THE FOOL. Their interaction is exceptionally complex, although the essential principles can be simply stated: JUSTICE maintains the balance of the Tree, so that the outpouring energy of THE FOOL (this has sometimes been called the "Holy Ghost") will operate within the confines of a natural pattern. JUSTICE is the administrator of the laws of Binah, written by THE HIEROPHANT. It is the "Ruler of the Balance."

It is called the Faithful Intelligence "because its spiritual values are increased, and all dwellers on earth are nearly under its shadow." This should not be interpreted to mean the Intelligence of faith. Rather it is the Intelligence which is faithful to that symbolized by THE FOOL. Without Lamed, Aleph could not function as it does. Moreover, the entire Tree of Life is related to the Twenty-Second Path, the number of which is the totality of all the Paths. JUSTICE is not one solitary figure or force, it is an amalgam of all the Paths which are self-focused. The alignment of forces has been described as being within the essential life force symbolized by THE FOOL.

The activity of JUSTICE is at work continuously in the above and below, in the Greater Universe and in the individual soul. Taken to the most mundane, as we drive a vehicle down the road, JUSTICE is our correcting of the wheel back and forth in either direction to keep the vehicle centered. Such a purposeful equilibriating function occurs in our bodies, where nourishment must be balanced and continual to keep them operating as proper repositories for the Spirit. And an equilibriating function occurs in our personalities, where no constant extreme of behavior can be tolerated if we are to operate effectively in our environments. Justice works both through reason and through natural force. We may decide to bring something of ourselves into balance, but if we do not make that decision, it will be made for us. If we deprive our bodies of sleep, we find ourselves forced to rest. We may simply collapse. The same process occurs at all levels of Justice (i.e., through the Four Worlds). We may make a conscious decision, or it may be made for us. In any event, this Intelligence is "Faithful;" it guides and protects us.

Crowley's title, Adjustment, is appropriate. This is a Path where whatever is necessary is done to bring the organism into equilibrium, a process which, as the symbol of the sword suggests, is not always pleasant. This is the sword of Geburah which cuts away all that which is unnecessary, the extraneous dead wood of nature. It is a severe experience, though no punishment is implicit. There is no question of good, bad, right or wrong. As Gareth Knight expresses it: "The point to remember in all this is that all the God-Forms are aspects of the soul itself and not external agencies. Thus the process may be considered psychologically as a condition of self-assessment."169 The soul weighs itself on the scales in the left hand and then makes necessary adjustments wielding the sword in the right. One will observe that when the Sephiroth are placed in the human body, Geburah is at the right hand and Chesed at the left.170

The sword of JUSTICE, the weapon of Elohim Gibor (God of Geburah) is fearful. It can be swift and devastating in its cutting away of what is no longer needed. It can make war; it can enforce peace. But the sword has two edges, one of which destroys and the other of which consecrates as in the conferring of knighthood. The cutting away of the negative aspects of body and soul is a return to purity, a consecration. This idea of renewed purity is reinforced by the attribution of Libra and the kidneys, which cleanse waste from the body system. Another parallel, suggested by some writers, is that this Path relates to Purgatory, a condition of consciousness after death where the soul is cleansed of the dross of its earthly incarnation.

Pursuant to the idea of incarnation and reincarnation, this card is said to represent Karma, a principle generally understood as the reaping by a newborn soul of what it has sown in past lives. Paul Case, however, insisting that the term has been often misunderstood, states that what Karma really means is action. This is an action which is a continuous adjustment.

He also describes this key as related to education, insofar as Lamed means to teach.111 This is an especially interesting observation, not found elsewhere. The conscious maintenance of balance is definitely a learning process. We learn, often slowly and painfully, how to analyze and re-balance ourselves as necessary for different situations. The more we learn of the inner worlds, the more subtle and difficult this becomes. Perfect balance is a formula so precise that the Egyptians symbolized its delicacy as the human soul weighed against a feather.

These ancients had a concept of "right, truth, law and rectitude" expressed by the single word maat. This originally meant "that which is straight," but came to mean also a rule, a measure of some kind, or a law.172 Maat was symbolized by the feather, against which either the heart of the deceased or his whole body was weighed. In illustrations, we find this weighing administered by Anubis, and the results recorded by Thoth. Crowley relates both of these Gods to the Nineteenth Path, STRENGTH, which is the balance between Geburah and Chesed. The implication is that the adjustment which takes place on the Twenty-Second Path is administered and recorded through the processes of the Nineteenth Path.

As a Goddess, Maat represented moral law and truth. She was, in essence, the personification of the concept of maat. It is this Goddess who is shown on the Crowley card, crowned with her attribute, the ostrich feather. The weighing of souls is, of course, also implied in the Golden Dawn, Waite and Marseilles versions, the latter two being medieval in tone.

In the Golden Dawn card the figure of a woman rests her feet on a jackal, the animal attributed to Anubis who supervises the weighing of souls. She holds scales which, as in the Crowley card, are black as a reference both to Binah and to Saturn. This means not only assessment, but restriction, which is also time, an important aspect of the administration of the law. By contrast, the Waite version, as well as that produced by the BOTA, shows golden scales, meaning that the individual soul is measured as it stands within the pure golden Light of Tiphareth. It is only under this Light that the sword of Geburah does its work, as is suggested by the Maat legend. Maat relates to the Sun God, Ra. She is, in fact known as the "Daughter of Ra," as she is Qabalistically named the "Daughter of the Lords of Truth." The Egyptians also called her "Queen of Heaven."

Most important is that Maat is the regulator of the Path of the Sun. The Egyptian texts suggest that it is through Maat that the Sun subsists, for Ra is said to "rest upon Maat," and to "live by Maat."173 In our terms this means that the principles of The Path of JUSTICE maintain Tiphareth. But insofar as Ra is the source of all Light, he is also THE FOOL. Thus one can paraphrase, and say that Aleph rests upon Lamed and that Lamed is the regulator of the Path of the Divine Life Force.

The relationship between Aleph and Lamed conceals the greatest secret of the Tarot, one which is, as Crowley said "beyond all planetary and zodiacal considerations," meaning Kether! In his Book of the Law, ^N is the key to the entire Universe, revealing a mystery of unspeakable profundity. On the Tree of Life, is also the God Name of Chesed, the Demiurge (Lesser Creator) from which Microprosopus is formed.

A great many planets are involved in this card. First is Venus, which rules Libra, to which this Path is directly attributed. Mars is related because this is an exercise of the purging energies of Geburah. The Sun is involved not only because the Path runs from the Sun to Mars, but because Justice must take place in the clear bright sunlight of Truth. Saturn has already been mentioned, and is exalted in Libra. Finally there is Jupiter, Planet of Chesed, and of .

To state that Libra is ruled by Venus is also to state that behind JUSTICE stands THE EMPRESS, the primary Path of Venus which is the perfect balance between the energies of Chokmah and Binah. The reference is also to the nature forces of Netzach.

Having noted that Lamed in some way refers to all of the Twenty-Two Paths and Hebrew letters, it is interesting to recall that Venus refers to all of the Sephiroth. Venus is the only planet whose symbol encompasses every single Sephira on the Tree of Life (see Figure 14), the implication being that love is the ultimate power of the Universe. Thus, to say that Venus rules Libra-Lamed is to say: That which encompasses all of the Sephiroth rules that which encompasses all of the Paths. This may be understood by again considering the idea that the Sephiroth are objective, while the Paths are subjective. Objectivity and subjectivity are complementary conditions. One cannot exist without the other, any more than the color red can exist without the possibility of green, or the energies of Mars can exist without those of Venus. Even the floor of the Golden Dawn card, on which lies the jackal of Anubis, refers to a complementary condition, that of Greater and Lesser Creators: The white (which actually represents pure brilliance) is Kether, while purple is the color of Chesed in Atziluth. All of the symbolism here points to the idea that this figure is keeping opposites in balance. It is a regulator of energy.

Perhaps surprisingly, Waite emphasizes the Mars aspect of JUSTICE over its Venus aspect by having the figure clothed primarily in red. And if his card is considered on the pattern of the Tree of Life (when the card is placed on the Path of Lamed) it will be seen that the raised sword points to Geburah while the scales are lowered in the direction of Tiphareth. The same purple as in the Golden Dawn tile floor appears on the cloth of honor behind the figure. The background itself is yellow, meaning Tiphareth.

The differences in the colors of the three versions of JUSTICE point out the differing concepts of the designers. The Golden Dawn emphasizes green, flashing against a red throne with a pale blue background. Crowley's card relies on the blues and greens of the Twenty-Second Path in the Four Worlds. The blues are especially vibrant as a reference to the effect of Jupiter on the Path.

Crowley's Adjustment is among the most abstract of his Keys. He calls the figure not only the Goddess Maat, but also Harlequin, "the partner and fulfillment of THE FOOL." The figure stands within a diamond-shape which is the Vesica Piscis. Behind her is a throne of spheres and pyramids, in groups of four, meaning "Law and limitation." This is another reference to Chesed. As Maat she wears ostrich feathers, with the Uraeus serpent, Lord of Life and Death, on her forehead. She holds the Sword (a male symbol in this context) in such a way as to suggest sexual union, and the "completion" of the female. This is what is described in 777 as "The Woman justified. By equilibrium and Self-sacrifice is the Gate."173 A scale, springing from a point above her head, weighs all that is in creation, the Alpha and the Omega. She is total equilibrium, yet in constant motion: "She is the ultimate illusion which is manifestation; she is the dance, many-coloured, many-wiled, 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."174

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Responses

  • Duilio
    Does lamed mean to learn through experience?
    8 years ago
  • OSMAN
    What path on the tree of life is the justice card?
    8 years ago
  • Esther Handley
    What does the path of lamed mean?
    5 years ago

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