Fair is Fair: Justice

If I were to pick a suit out of the entire tarot that I'm always slightly disappointed to see pop up in readings, it's the swords. And while I may have to do some shadow work to figure this out, I feel that the image of Lady Justice carrying her sword puts me off the 11th Major Arcana card too. That said, Justice does inevitably show up in readings every so often and on those occasions, it's good to have a little bit of information on it…

Deck used: Holly Simple Tarot (Holly Simple) 

Deck used: Holly Simple Tarot (Holly Simple) 

When I think of Justice, my mind immediately goes to fairness—people getting their just desserts. When we're on the losing end of a black and white situation and feel we've been unfairly treated, we sometimes wish that someone would intervene and defend us. In this card, that would be Lady Justice… the person whose role is to help restore balance in any situation. In the Holly Simple Justice card, there is symmetry. The open eye and the closed eye shows that between two differing ends, you can come to an unbiased middle.

When I was learning the cards, my teacher said that we can always take the Justice card literally. Having it pop up in a reading can indicate the presence of the law—red tape, an actual lawyer (it's happened in a number of my client readings, where I didn't even know the person I was reading for was a lawyer!), or a lot of paperwork. While that can work to a certain extent, I always like to move a little bit deeper because even if Justice can be a very sensitive idea, it is relevant to everyone in one way or another.

Decks used: Dreaming Way Tarot (Rome Choi and Kwon Shina, US Games), Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot (Lo Scarabeo), Tarot Mucha (Lo Scarabeo), Black Lilly Tarot (Aya Rosen, Gamecrafter)

Decks used: Dreaming Way Tarot (Rome Choi and Kwon Shina, US Games), Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot (Lo Scarabeo), Tarot Mucha (Lo Scarabeo), Black Lilly Tarot (Aya Rosen, Gamecrafter)

Pretty Standard Stuff About Justice (check out the Dreaming Way and Tarot Mucha depictions pictured above):

  • Lady Justice has got a blindfold on, which is a pretty direct sign that she doesn't see with her eyes but rather analyzes situations, people and circumstances with her head and her heart.
  • The sword (the very element I have a bit of trouble with), I'm sure has a lot of metaphysical meaning, but to me it means that she's all set to deliver her decision. She realizes the lay of the law and enforces it, taking no prisoners.
  • The scales indicate balance again—you can't favor one side or another when you're assessing the justice in any situation.

But what about cards that go off the beaten path?

  • Lady Justice in the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot totally slays the dragon—another image that threshes up my associations of ferocity and an unforgiving kind of order. She doesn't look angry as she attacks the creature, but rather approaches it with thoughtfulness and calm.
  • The birds in the Black Lilly Tarot, to me, act as Lady Justice's eyes. She needs to see the world not through her own eyes, but through unbiased, outside lenses.

If you'd like to reflect more on this card (something I should probably undertake myself!), here are some prompts to journal and meditate on:

  • What situations do you feel are being dealt with unfairly? How would you like to make things right?
  • Do you often feel like you embody Lady Justice, or are you instead being dealt someone's blow in the name of justice?

Phew, I'm patting myself on the back for tackling this difficult card for me this week. While next week's Hanged Man may not be one of the easy breezy cards of the tarot, I find that it'll be little easier for me to take on. See you next week, tarot folks.