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TotOP - XX - Karma

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Silverlotus's Avatar
Silverlotus  Silverlotus is offline
Join Date: 31 Oct 2002
Location: Vaughan, ON, Canada
Posts: 991
TotOP - XX - Karma

Astrological Influence - Pluto
Element - Water
Month - November
Contributor - Patricia Crowther
Flowers - Snowdrop - hope

In the Tarot of the Old Path, the card traditionally called Judgement has been renamed Karma. I do not totally agree with this new name, as the idea of "karma" as Wiccans and Pagans apply it, is not the same as karma in Vedic faiths. Close, but not the same. However, the new name is a little softer, and has less associations to Christianity (which, sadly, is always important in Pagan works) then the name of Judgement.

The Wiccan/Pagan idea of karma, in general, is that all actions in this life affect you either now, or in your life to come. It depends on what you believe. Some Wiccans believe in reincarnation, but still believe you get your karma in this life, others believe you get it in your next life. Some Wiccans don't believe in reincarnation, or karma, or one, or the other, or both. It's pretty confusing, and nearly impossible to say that "all Wiccans" believe something. They don't.

This is a pretty busy card. I think I will start from the bottom and work my way to the top. On the bottom left a knight lays on the ground, obviously dead from the wound in his chest. From his body comes his soul, heading down a tunnel. Another spirit stands at the end of the tunnel, welcoming the knight's soul. On the lower right is a womb with an unborn child. A female soul is reaching down to touch the child, and it appears that this is the body she will be reincarnated in. Between the knight and the womb grows a snowdrop, symbolising hope.

A little further up the card we see the realm of the souls. It appears very water-like. The central figure is called the Guardian by the TotOP book, and it holds scales to symbolise good and bad karma that was earned in one's last incarnation. There is a spirit before him awaiting a ruling. Nearby are a female and male soul in an embrace. To me it looks like two souls reuniting after death, something that I'm sure many of us hope for. On the other side of the Guardian is a figure who appears to be moving out of this middle realm and closer to the God and Goddess. Perhaps this figure has finished their incarnations and is moving on.

At the very top of the card is a glowing light (probably the Moon), shining down on all the souls. To the right is the face of the Horned God with the Sun behind Him. On soul is floating over to commune with Him. On the left is the face of the Goddess, wearing Her crescent crown. Another soul has floated over to commune with Her.

Hidden in the Guardian's robe, near the feet of the knight, is the symbol for water.
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Silverlotus's Avatar
Silverlotus  Silverlotus is offline
Join Date: 31 Oct 2002
Location: Vaughan, ON, Canada
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I got little bit wordy when describing the card, so I thought I would put my thoughts in another post.

Although this card only deals with the afterlife as seen by some Wiccans, I think it is something everyone can relate too. We all know stories or have seen movies about souls going to the afterlife, or choosing a child to reincarnate in to. This card shows a lot of what many people hope and believe about the afterlife. The long tunnel, being welcome, reunited with loved ones, etc. The only thing I'm not totally happy with is the Guardian figure. He's a bit... overdone I guess. And I also like to think that your "karma," as it were, comes back to you in this life. I would rather have seen a more friendly figure, one who helps you chose your lessons for your next life. It also would have been nice to see larger images of the Lord and Lady, and perhaps a small representation of the Summerland.

As for the meaning of the card to me, it is all about reaping what you sow. Your past actions have shaped your future. While there is always the possibility of free choice, everything you have done has moved you in a certain direction. Now is the time to examine these actions, figure what you have done right and wrong, and make some changes. It is also a sort of spiritual growth, you are more aware of your behaviour and choices.
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Moongold  Moongold is offline
Join Date: 08 Jun 2002
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Yes, this is another card which differs markedly from RWS and earlier Christian based decks.

It is full of symbolism and I had to get the magnifying glass out to catch it all LOL.

This card seesm to emphasize the cycle of death and reincarnation. Is that all there is to Karma? Is one completely caught in the reincarnation cycle ie coming back in another eartly form, or is there an end to it in the sense of being united in a loving God, or reaching eternal light or whatever the goal is for truly enlightened souls?

The shrouded figure reminds me of Death.

The study of this card comes at at time when I have lots of questions about Karma. The Shrouded Figure....who decides on the judgment? Some say the Soul chooses the lessons it needs to learn in each life. Who decides what needs to be learned?

These questions of course can't be answered in this life or can they? I think of the individual conscience, whatever it means for each soul. Some might call it intuition. If one lives according to one's own one therefore living out Karma? Does the Soul inherently know?

The answer is less clear in this card than in the RWS and Christian based cards where it is clear that the Soul is judged by God.
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Nevada's Avatar
Nevada  Nevada is offline
Join Date: 19 Apr 2003
Location: California, USA
Posts: 4,825

Interesting thoughts come to mind as I read Silverlotus's description and thoughts on this card. Please forgive the disorganization here. I'm sort of thinking out loud.

The idea of souls choosing their own lessons for their next life is one you don't often encounter in the Judgment card of more Judeo-Christian decks, where the circumstances of birth as well as the eventual Judgment are rather final and absolute. I find that of great interest here because it makes this a more interactive sort of card than those Judgment cards. It feels as if there's more wiggle room, if you will, for the Querent in this Karma card. But that little bit of wiggle can come back and bite you.

As to the question of whether karma is resolved in this life or the next, I've always been of the personal belief that this varies. Some things seem to come back around for people immediately. Others don't. Maybe there isn't time in what's left of one's current life, or the circumstances aren't right? What is of greater importance to me is that, whether it comes back sooner or later, karma definitely comes around.

Moongold raises the question of when, or whether, the circle of rebirth ends with something more settled than repeated reincarnation. Is there a final resolution of some kind, a graduation?

These are big questions, and I wonder if one single card should bear such a load. But this one seems to take it all on. Very powerful, and I think with the aid of an astute Reader's intuition this card can probably handle it all. But it's one that I know I'll find somewhat daunting when it turns up in a reading.

Oh, BTW a good one-word definition for Karma is Accountability, and that can cover even the chosen lessons for one's next life. In other words, if you chose this, then surely you can find a way to deal with it.

Yikes! I imagine many people would put up some resistance to this notion. This may require delicate handling.

Brightest Blessings,
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Mad Muttley's Avatar
Mad Muttley  Mad Muttley is offline
Join Date: 26 Jul 2003
Location: Bedfordshire, England.
Posts: 13
Mad Muttley 
Smile TotOP -XX- Karma.

Hi There!.
I'm new to the group, and my name is Mad Muttley.
I'm so glad to have found this group, and am gonna jump right in here with XX Karma.

This is yet another Old Path major that has A LOT going on in it, and there appear several levels of meaning contained within the one image.

The Lower part of the card to me, is the mortal phase, and shows our ‘mortality’.
Death (slain knight) and Birth (child in a womb) lay aside each other, a reminder that just as everything is born, so to must everything die.
A figure (soul?) rises from the knight reaching upwards to another level, whilst a woman (spirit) reaches down to the child in the womb. So one is leaving the mortal realm, and one is returning to it.
This middle part of the picture is full of ghost-like figures
(realm of the dead?) apparently in various stages after death; one is helping another make the journey up to this realm, whilst others are re-uniting. As another returns, another ascends to the upper realm – shown as stars (universe), the source –God and Goddess respectively.
For me, the top part of the card says ‘Union with the Divine’.
Returning to the source.

I notice three rays of what I think is moonlight, and three levels within the image (not sure what that means).
The central figure reminds me strongly of the Death Card from this deck, kinda spooky!. I think maybe he is the representation of ‘karma’- that which is a result of our actions, and which stays with us from one life/realm to the next.

He makes me think about my actions, and that every action has consequences.When we begin something we cannot always tell how it's gonna develop, but we are responsible for it none the less.
So I guess Karma makes me consider my past actions and how they have led me to where I am now, and the fact that we take this 'baggage' with us as we transition from one phase of existence to another.

(Having to giggle nervously here as this is a 'heavy' subject! lol!)

Pluto is associated with XX Karma, as is the element Water, which here is well reflected in the fluid like image.
Pluto is a planet that rips away that which has become outworn, in order to make way for new growth. It can do so in a destructive way, which can also be as liberating as it is necessary.
It also rules the eight house, governing transformation, death and re-birth – aspects which can be seen in this card!.
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northsea's Avatar
northsea  northsea is offline
Join Date: 02 Nov 2001
Location: usa, west of the rockies
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I wish this wasn't titled Karma as I think the Justice card covers karma, and I don't like duplication. (The cloaked figure with the scales is particularly confusing.) I've always liked the trumpet in typical Judgment cards because it symbolizes a "new calling", like you're being transformed from a larva to a butterfly. I can kind of see that process taking place on the sides in the Old Path picture. Anyhow, that's just one take on it, a very mysterious card.
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andyrew's Avatar
andyrew  andyrew is offline
Join Date: 06 Sep 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 16

To me Karma represents the ultimate in balancing the scales, justice represents the day to day balancing of the scales for things we have done good and bad but in the long term Karma has the ability to balance everything and in so doing gives you a fresh start again with all the choices becoming yours again to do as you think you should. The way I look at it is
If Justice comes in to play on a day to day basis then Karma comes in to play at the end of each life time or before you can move on to something completely new, where you pay and learn from your mistakes so you can start once more as the Fool and have your choices and a clean slate again.
Please excuse me if these seem like ramblings, but I wrote what I feel about the card.
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Llynn's Avatar
Llynn  Llynn is offline
Join Date: 06 May 2006
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 250

Hi andyrew. I think your description of the difference between the Karma and Justice concepts is spot on! Thank you for putting it into words.

If we think of the card in terms of 'soul responsibilty' then this is one of my favourite cards in the deck. Because we really do have sole responsibility for our soul's choices we'll continue riding the Wheel of Birth and Death until we hear and respond appropriately to the Wake-up Call.
Top   #8



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