Help translating Latin


I ran across some Latin in Waite's Hidden Church of the Holy Graal, pg. 548, which is giving me a particular problem. Most of it I think should be okay, but the last one (et jam valde ædificatur et terram possidebit per omnia) I'm not sure of. If it says what I think it might it would say a lot about Waite's philosophy and might shed light on the Judgement card. Here it is with my amateurish translation. If anyone understands Latin, could you let me know where it could be translated better? Thanks. :)

"But it is identical, even to the end, with the term proposed by the Eucharist, which is the modification of the noumenal man by the communication of Divine Substance. Here is the lapis qui non lapis, lapis tingens, lapis angularis, lapis qui multiplicatur, lapis per quem justus ædificabit domum Domini, et jam valde ædificatur et terram possidebit per omnia [stone which is not a stone, tincuring stone, the corner-stone, the stone which is multiplied, the stone by which the just shall build the house of the Lord, already there is much building and the earth shall be inherited by all], &c. When it is said that the Stone is multiplied, even to a thousandfold, we know that this is true of all seed which is sown upon good soil."​


That is the exact translation sacred texts has for it - I am betting they too used google translate :D I will ask my mother - a Latin scholar - but I shall have to write and she is across the pond...


oops. Fair enough ! Google has a VERY weird translation, I have to say. Has ping moment though - I know a Latin scholar with email. I'll be back...


I think it's a veiled reference to the urrim and the thummin things. Stones. Whatever.


Waite is referring to the Lapis Philosophorum, which in physical alchemy is the agent which transmutes base metals into gold, but in spiritual alchemy confers immortality on the human being. Waite is equating it with a property of the Mass of the Holy Grail, which incorporates the God substance into the individual. It is symbolized in the Catholic Mass. There is an article by Carl Jung about this, which, if I recall correctly, is entitled Transformation Symbolism in the Mass.

The production of the Lapis philosophorum is the subject of the Temperance card in Tarot. It is graphically depicted in the Art card of the Thoth deck, and (in my opinion) somewhat humorously illustrated in the Temperance card of the BOTA deck. In any case, the production of the Lapis requires the (apparently impossible) symbolic combination of opposites such as Fire and Water, Lingam and Yoni, etc.

The Judgement card depicts the transformational effect of the Lapis, which confers immortality.


I found this same reference in The Hermetic and Rosicrucian Mystery, originally published in the Occult Review, Oct. 1908. Here there's a comma after the word possidebit which could change the meaning entirely.

Hidden Church of the Holy Graal:

et jam valde ædificatur et terram possidebit per omnia

Hermetic and Rosicrucian Mystery:

et jam valde ædificatur et terram possidebit, per omnia


Your translation seems fine to me, the sentence is a bit hard to understand. The possidebit is a bit weird here - it's future active 3rd person singular so "he will inherit", what will he inherit? "terram", the earth, "per omnia", through or by the help of all.

All the other verbs are passive (with -atur at the end), but possidebit is active, so who is the subject?

I'm no longer fresh enough in Latin and would translate it as "the earth will be inherited by all", too, but it's an awkward sentence and actually reads "he will inherit the earth through all".


The last sentence refers back to the previous one, they both refer to a building or house: ædificabit and ædificatur. So the last sentence is probably related to the previous one. The phrase per omnia means "through all things" or "through all the ages."

This is entirely a guess at this point but I can see how it might be Waite's paraphrase of a couple of verses from the book of Baruch in the Latin Vulgate, 3:24,25. It's not uncommon for his Latin phrases to be drawn from scripture or other Catholic sources.

"O Israel, how great is the house of God, and how vast is the place of his possession! It is great, and hath no end. . ."

This wouldn't really have anything to do with the Judgement card, at least not in the sense I was thinking.


Thanks Nemia. I know little to nothing about Latin sentence structure but this does seem very awkward even to my untrained eye.