The readers of the Ryder-Waite or Golden Dawn decks will 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 its ever faithful to that which is symbolized by the FOOL and/or Holy Spirit. By doing what ever is necessary to bring an organism into a state of equilibrium. 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 a 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.
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 Sephira Geburah (Severity) is on the right hand and the Sephira 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. (The illustrated Tree of Life is from the book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT, by Robert Wang)
The ADJUSTMENT 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. The ADJUSTMENT 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 ones 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! More on the ADJUSTMENT card tomorrow.
Thank you for your interest and comments, May you live long and prosper.