Notes of a Hermetic Conversation on February 15, 2017
Tarot conversation 2/15 – Justice
Joel and June were present
We began with the Lord’s Prayer in the Tree of Life, the first 8 letters of the Divine Alphabet, and the second level of trespass in the Grail Knight’s Practice [Edit December 2020: this is the eighth mantra from the Grail Knight’s Practice. The first mantra, having to do with the Nine Beatitudes, relates to the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” We brought this into relation with The Magician and the first letter of the Divine Alphabet, Aleph. The second mantra, having to do with the stages of the Passion, relates to the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come.” We brought this into relation with the High Priestess and the second letter of the Divine Alphabet, Bet. The third mantra, having to do with the Gethsemane experience and the levels of Apocalyptic judgement, relates to the third petition, “Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it is Heaven.” We brought this into relation with the Empress and the third letter of the Divine Alphabet, Gimel. The fourth, fifth, and sixth mantra, having to do with levels of sacred nourishment/communion, relate to the fourth petition, “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.” We brought these into relation with the Emperor, the Pope, and the Lover, and the letters Dalet, He, and Vau from the Divine Alphabet. The seventh mantra brings into connection the first level of trespass (doubt), the first healing miracle (the changing of water into wine) and the first level of communion (wine) into relation with the fifth petition, “Forgive Us Our Trespasses as We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us.” We brought these into connection with the Chariot, and the seventh letter, Zayin. Now we come to the eighth mantra, which brings into connection the second level of trespass (desire), the second healing miracle (the healing of the nobleman’s son), and the second level of communion (honey) with the fifth petition. We are working with this in relation to Justice and the eighth letter, Chet].
– The image has a certain solidity, it is a still point. The very whole throne vs the airy, upraised, theatrical canopy of the Chariot, with suffering below. The throne looks carved out of wood, heavy and impenetrable vs. the exposed, vulnerable chariot.
– It is androgynous – is it male or female?
– The image is particularly reminiscent of The High Priestess (2), The Empress (3) and the Pope (5).
– When did Law, as a human enterprise, come into being? Greece/Rome. Before that it was divine law. The Platonic virtues (Justice), Plato speaks of the Just State. What is Justice? It is related to fairness.
– The 12-14th century. The metamorphosis of Law in England. Related to private property and human rights. Lawfulness as the earthly manifestation of Justice.
– The Crown Chakra is emphasized. But it is circumscribed, not a flame of fire like in The Lover. It is not ablaze. The golden yellow is soothing and contained. A reassuring golden head. Reminiscent of Tomberg’s writings on ancient Persia in his Meditations on the Apocalypse. The “Crown of Life” that reinvigorates the body, vs the normal function of the Crown Chakra as the gateway of excarnation.
– The first quote at the beginning of the 8th Letter refers to God the Father as the octenary. A reference to the 8-petalled lotus flower, the chakra of the Father? The crown has much less adornment than in other images – luminous spheres, circular forms, which are repeated in other parts of the image, such as the “neck rope,” the scales. There is a third eye in the center of the crown.
– There are curved lines all over. Only the ropes of the canopy in the Chariot are similar to this.
– The backdrop to the other cards is either cloth, or flesh-like wings, or the pillars of the Pope. This is the first that seems to contain wood. It is shaped like a ribcage and she is the spine – extremely vertical. Like her sword – perfectly upright. A rare gesture in these cards. She is also the only character thus far to look directly forward.
– The sword is in her right hand, the scales in her left hand, which is placed over her heart. This imagery is common in icons, she is like a hieroglyph. Some icons have a human head, a heart, a feather, or a demon in the scales.
– The sword resembles a rope for pulling a curtain – ready to unveil something.
– This is our first Arcanum that represents a zodiacal realm: Libra. Up until now it has been the 7 planets. She is a more balanced representative of Libra than, say, Michael slaying the dragon or the Guardian of the Threshold. She is more feminine, soothing, deliberate. Less threatening, masculine and active. She is associated with the second level of communion: Honey, Satisfying [Edit December 2020: the spiritual effect of Wine is “Stimulating”; that of Honey is “Satisfying”].
– This raises the question of how Justice is to be delivered. Who will guard the guards? The question of Karma vs. Grace. Michael has only Karma, while Justice has Grace. She is a more Balanced image of Balance!
– Her crown is a metamorphosis of the tonsure of the acolytes. The concentric circles have united.
– The rope/necklace. Resembles a sailor’s rope, very masculine. Could it be a noose? Is Justice punished with those who are punished? Does she bear the karma of all?
– Newfoundland schooners: the ropes are strong enough to hold the sails, even through the worst storms. Fishermen = disciples of Christ.
– June when a girl: a friend’s father who sailed around the world and strapped himself to the wheel of the boat when it went down, sent away the crew. The courage and dedication of the Captain. Again, the image of the Wheel comes into the discussion, and once again tied to Fate.
– Is Justice the Judge? Or is she all three: Judge, Jury and Executioner. They are all represented. The weighing, the weightiness, the throne goes with the role of Judge. The sword with that of Executioner. She is a peer in that what she decides for others happens to her as well.
– The sword is one of discernment, not slaying. Resembles the finger of John the Baptist.
– Tomberg’s lectures on “Inner Development,” about the biography of Rudolf Steiner. When RS united his karma to that of the Anthroposophical Society. The Society failed, the Goetheanum burned: this brought about his paralysis and death. Like the captain on the ship. During this time period, he was carving the Figure in the Wood. What about Tomberg? The Transition – from Moses to Abraham (https://sophiafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/the-transition_final.pdf). He is the first mate also tied to the ship. During the Moses millennia: Aquinas/Catholicism, Steiner/Anthroposophy. Both are now the responsibility of Abraham.
– The powerful legs of the Empress combined with the vulnerability of the High Priestess – another balance point.
– The Book in 2 becomes the Shield in 3, then the Blessing in 5 and the “toy scepter” in 7 (there is something very circus/showman about it) – now it is the Sword, the first sword.
– The two horses have become the powerful legs, and the red and blue have harmonized. The platform of the Chariot has become the bar from which the scales hang, one over the blue robe, one over the red.
– Libra – the hips. Honey/Venus – the Kidneys [Edit December 2020: the first level of communion is related to the root chakra—the Moon. The second level of communion is related to the sacral chakra—Venus. Venus rules the Kidneys]. This is where the scales are. The hips are Force and Radiance in the Sephiroth tree. The same location as the acolytes in the Pope. The modern names of the Sephiroth have come from Steiner/Judith von Halle (as described in Robert Powell’s Cultivating Inner Radiance).
– Both our spiritual investigations and our mundane work need to be kept in check by each other (although we may feel that our spiritual investigations are so much more important!). Ora et Labora, especially at Camphill.
– The image of Camphill at the beginning. Do or die, Jews fleeing war torn Austria. Koenig’s “A Christmas Story.” He walks in the woods and has a vision of Heavenly Europe, where all is whole. He meets Kaspar Hauser who takes him to the 12 villagers that have died in the first 7-8 years of Camphill. External death, sacrifice leads to spiritual upwelling. Goetheanum burning leads to Foundation Stone Meditation. Koenig is another Captain tied to the ship.
– Kaspar Hauser as patron of the developmentally disabled. Who is the patron for mental illness? Is it Nietzsche? We discussed the discovery around whipping from last week. This individuality, like Kaspar Hauser, was meant to have a mission under the guidance of the Maitreya (according to Valentin Tomberg in the Lord’s Prayer Course). Both were thwarted. What are they doing now on the other side?