ATU XI Justice


Atu XI: Justice

Letter: ל Lammed (L)

Number: 30

Proximity: Sephira #5 (Geburah) to Sephira #6 (Tiphareth)

Ruling Pentagram:

Pent #22 “Faithful” – Earth of (K’an) The Abysmal, Water (Above/Below)

Water of  (Li) The Clinging, Fire (Without/Within)

Berashith: “Elohim blessed them, be fruitful and multiply”

Corner Hexagrams:

(Upper right) Fire: Hex #64: 未濟 (Wei Chi) Before Completion

(Lower left) Air: Hex #63: 既濟 (Chi Chi) After Completion

(Upper left) Water: Hex #64: 未濟 (Wei Chi) Before Completion

(Lower right) Earth: Hex #63: 既濟 (Chi Chi) After Completion

Keywords (Dignified): Balance, Consequence, Outcomes, Fulfillment, Sacrifice, Atonement, Reparations, Redemption, Litigations, Formalization, Karma, Dharma, Adjudication, Closure, Conclusion, Correction, Completion

Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Inequality, Embezzlement, Corrupt Laws, Falsehood paraded as Truth, Dogma, Overburdened Law and Order system, Infanticide


Historical: The traditional Lady Justice (IVSTITIA) that one finds in courthouses around the world in Western influenced nations is the subject of this card on many antique decks. A blindfolded or hooded woman, carrying a set of scales or a sword, sometimes both.  It lived at number ATU IX  until the Golden Dawn under Waite placed it at ATU XI.

Golden Dawn: Called Justice Daughter of the Lord of Truth, the Justice card corresponds to the zodiacal Libra and places between Sephira #5 (Geburah) and Sephira #6 (Tiphareth) in the Golden Dawn system. Lesser associations are to the planetary Saturn and Venus.

The Golden Dawn numbers Justice as ATU XI, adopting this change due to the position of Libra in the Tarot. Magus Arthur Edward Waite believed that Justice should match the astrological of Libra instead of being paired with Virgo or Leo, though many decks often didn’t bother taking zodiacal stations into consideration prior to his change anyways. The Golden Dawn, changed little else about the card, but inclusion of Taoist elements became popular in the mid 20th century, such as the Yin and Yang elements of the binary Taijitu. M. Waite left The Golden Dawn but left an indelible mark on it. He later went on to form the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, an anti-Catholic and mystical Christian Cabbalist order.

Thoth: ATU XI in the Thoth tarot is called Lust and is not the same as our Justice. So we’ll talk here about ATU VIII in Thoth called Adjustment.  “The equilibrium of all things is hereby symbolized.” and “Every form of energy must be directed, must be applied with integrity, to the full satisfaction of its destiny” The woman of Justice is pointed out as the paramour or consort of The Fool. She is the mediator between Alpha and Omega, and the results of the “Awakening of the Eld of the All Father” previously discussed in our synopsis on the Mutational Alchemy attributions of Fortune! Ruled by Venus and Saturn, the card of Adjustment as it is called in Thoth is said to perfectly encapsulate the axiom “Love is the law, love under will”.

This is what happens when an occultist gets away from any kind of governing dynamic – the intuition of what was going on here was correct, but the placement in the numbering was incorrect.

Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: Crowley’s assesment of the card is congruous with the determinations of Mutational Alchemy. The Alpha and Omega of the tarot, Before and After Completion, are present here, and not only this but as reciprocal inverses! Before Completion shows up auspiciously as Fire and Water while After Completion shows up as their children Air and Earth. This could not be made to fit more perfectly with classical Western Alchemical ideas, showing that East and West were studying along the very same lines after all and are not very different in their essence. It also is very agreeable with Aleister Crowley’s assessment of things, confirming his ability to identify occult elements accurately and insightfully.

In the Temporals these Hexagrams sit squarely in Tiphareth whereas here she is moving from Geburah to Tiphareth. This signifies a successful pregnancy.  The father is ostensibly The Fool, in this case this would be Siva. The foolish aspect of Siva should be Siva Bhairav, and happily we find Chinnamastah is responsible for taking a direct part in causing him to manifest as such in the Indian cosmology.

The Scene: Chinnamasta is one of the ten great mahavidyas, although a gruesome image to some, to the tantric adept it represents the immortality of the soul as well as the natural effortlessness with which the universe or goddess provides us with sustenance. Mahavidya means “Supreme Knowing” or “Great experience” in Sanskrit. In the Svatantra, Siva describes her. He says he ejaculates and at that moment she appears fierce and two saktis emerge from her and become her attendants. One day these attendants become hungry and ask devi for food. The goddess cuts off her head and feeds them and her self at the same time. She then places her head back on her body. When she returns home to Siva she is pale and he describes that he imagined she had been attacked by another which angers him and the aspect of Bhairav emerges, a terrible manifestation of Siva associated with annihilation with a wolf as his vehicle who is known for destroying empty conventions and perversion such as incest, dogma and empty-handed threats. Another version of the story describes Chinnamasta as an avenger that comes to the call of the gods asking for help to defeat an evil, like other popular stories of Durga or Kali.

The iconography of Chinnamasta describes the illusionary and complex state of matter and challenges conventional ideas of Divinity. She also embodies the entirety of the sacrificial process, being the object of devotion, the sacrifice, and the receiver of the boon of satisfying hunger.

She is described as *bright as a million suns*; hence the center of a large galaxy or the universe is shown in the background. Over her chest is a small blue gem, representing her traditional blue lotus. It represents the communicative action, where the blue color of the throat chakra, Visshuddi,  is overlaid on the solar plexus Manipura, the area from where thought becomes action. That we show our words instead of just give voice to them is important, particularly in matters of love.