Discovering Alchemy in the Tarot Keys

This post includes a Table of Hebrew letters, their gematria and Tarot Keys.


Priestess, Justice, Emperor - Tarot Keys which spell "galah" meaning 'to discover or reveal'.

Priestess, Justice, Emperor – Tarot Keys which spell “galah” meaning ‘to discover or reveal’. 

Three BOTA Tarot Keys (read from right to left) spell a Hebrew word:  Galah (GLH).

This word means to Uncover, denude, strip of concealment.  It looks rather formal with three throned figures.  Yet, what is hidden in subconscious recollection (the Priestess, Gimel) may be upraised with the Sword and Scales (Lamed, the Law) and sighted openly in the Emperor (Heh, long range vision).  Justice is the law of Equilibrium.  The Emperor is alert: the reasoning mind.

The word Galah is a shorthand for any taxing process in life, and the gradual unveiling of its essence which is Alchemy.

The law of Equilibrium is supreme here.   The Priestess wears a cross.  Justice wears the bottom half, a T for TAV, and the Emperor carries the top half in his regal ball (with a cross on top). Look carefully, for another cross in his Key!   Nothing is stripped bare but the truth;  and truth is poised throughout all phenomena, without frontier.  Truth is also hard won, through the goad of Karma in the Justice card.

Justice and the Emperor carry out-front their emblems of status:  the Priestess is discreet.  The cellular memory in her scroll, flows from her lap as the waters from the mountain.   The cellular memory – the Akashic record – converts seamlessly into the cloth which fits today.  Every single little detail on the loom is in the Record of the Rocks.   I feel suddenly that every item I am now, my house, clothes, ideas and story, recalls Plantagenet history –  I happen to be reading about it just now. On that turbulent high-medieval period, many Tarot archetypes were based.  I am much the same, today.  I have the same feelings and fears.  The Moon converts through Mercury, what I am, or believe myself to be … throughout the ages’ teeming diversity of Consciousness and Creation.   The human-ness.

Realisation of this, may lead to mastery of Karmic situations and samskaras.   It cleaves them with the Sword of Justice, as it recognises the elder version under the present cloth.   We are one.  Justice wears the red robe of action/Mars with a green mantle and cap – Venus.  The Emperor surveys his dominion – red, which is Mars.   GLH, galah: to disclose – to unveil.

The alchemical First Matter is distributed equally through all phenomena AS IT IS AT HOME.   Note that the Priestess and Justice both sit in front of a veil, a pargod.   Only a tiny bit of the Priestess’s floor is visible:  it is yellow, the colour code of Divine consciousness: E in the musical scale.   And behind Justice’s throne, heavy purple curtains are parted a little, to admit that yellow tone.   The Emperor holds a yellow sceptre – a T with a very long stem and a circle on top, like a Venusian glyph.

Tree of Life and Menorah

Tree of Life and Menorah

The Keeper of the Records is the Priestess.  She has the winged opening at her back, as a Tree of ripe peachy pomegranates and green palms.  The moon between her horns is Daat on the Tree of Life: the cross on her breast is Tifareth: the scroll in her lap is Yesod.  Daat and Yesod, the transpersonal and the personal, are hidden to each other, yet united through translation.

The curtains behind Justice are parted at the same place … where the wings begin.   The Emperor surveys his red crystal canyon and orange sky.  Surprisingly, grass grows at his feet – the hardiest herb.   Green is the code tone for Venus.  Now, the Emperor is Aries ruled by Mars, and Justice is Libra, ruled by Venus.  The Priestess is the Moon, our tidal and cyclic nature through lifetimes.

Narrow minds find it difficult to enjoy the element.   It might be for them an altar object;  a cloister.   Angry at anyone who doesn’t tip the toe just so.   Paradoxically however, the teaching must be guarded against adulteration and distortion.   The shrine keepers have an essential role.

Note that Justice (11) and the Priestess are both 2;  the Emperor is 2 squared, which is 4 – the first square root.   (Because The Fool is 0, and assigned to Aleph, letter 1 in the alephbeis, the other 22 Tarot keys follow suit.  Thus, the Magician, Key 1, carries letter Beit, 2 – and so on.)

table of hebrew letters & tarot

Sword & Onion

I noticed while re reading, that my imaginary Sword is of crystal.   The Sword of light which parts the waves, did crystallize from the shining metal.   I should meditate each morning on my Rose Cross sanctum?  But I find my way there, anyway, through thick and thin.  Peace be still.  Crystal is a living, flowing metal, a blade of the sun and moon with mercury.  It parts the waves of why the sea is salt.  It bends like a glass blade, and it melts with heat, and yet it is very powerful.   Think of it fluid, and at rest, on the sanctum table with a golden cross at whose heart unfurls a velvet red Rose.  Sink into the zabad perfume, which is ancient and evocative once it settles down.   I feel the far cities at sea:  the musky resins and their honeyed mixtures.   I was always a sailor, a trader of rare commodities.

Cup and sword copy

Artists, adventurers and merchants, eventually settle down to distil their commodities in the soul.  It transmutes from commerce to currency.  They become alchemists of the Living Path.  They distil each wine which comes to them, and make rare brandy.  They taste the grape and knead the grain.

Now, here is the 18-9-8 oracle, which I mentioned in my last post:

An oracle - Keys 9,18,8 - hermit, the moon and strength

An oracle – Keys 9,18,8 – hermit, the moon and strength

All three have the Mountain.   In alchemy, we are miners of our mountains, where the metals of earth – our body –  ascend to the sky.   It is in the background of Strength and the Moon;  the Hermit stands upon it, upon that mountain:  we walk our talk.   With his lamp he illumines the ascending souls.   The magid in the sky in Key 18 sheds YODs of light on the path for evolution.

With a similar gesture, and with her hands, the lady in Strength gently restrains the red lion, and teaches his raw Hermetic roar to purr, speak and sing.  The tone-vibration of this Key is yellow – as the Moon in 18 and the Lamp in 9.  Light presses through every appearance, every cloak and every bossy veil.  It frays our life at the edges.  When it is strong, it turns life against it, very black.   And so through the deepest black, the raven’s wing in alchemy, we often are the Light.   The Black Restful is the Light without end:  en sof.   The Light is an inner condition, an inner way:  receive.   Osiris of the Sun is ‘a dark god’ – this was whispered to initiates in days gone by.   The Light is interior peace and perspective.   The Light recognises that the learning curve of life takes much longer than overnight.  To feel more at ease with life, however strange its form, is progress.

The wolf and the dog in Key 18 feel exposed and vulnerable out in the open, without the Light, and a long way to walk.  Whatever gradient they reach, they feel as if they were sent back to start all over again, near the lobster.   Their drama at the moon almost hides the distant mountain:  the picture profoundly depicts our psychological state.  Yet they do the job in time and space, moving through the physical gate.  Embodiment is their staff and evolution.   They are like the footprints in the sand along the sea which became only one pair.   “Why am I alone?”  “Because my beloved, I am carrying you.”


footprints - Version 2





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

4 thoughts on “Discovering Alchemy in the Tarot Keys

  1. Pingback: Discovering Alchemy in the Tarot Keys – Digital Me

  2. Sin comentarios solo eres especial agradezco haberte encontrado , el buscador no se cansé de buscar pues cuando Hayare se sentirá turbado de sabiduría y amor
    Gracias y bendiciones

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