Introduction To The Major Arcana, Part 16: Justice

Justice is a card that represents re-stabilization. Sometimes, the scales of life tip too far in one direction or another. However, everything in the universe tends toward the center, so the ship eventually rights itself. Maybe you’re doing too well, and things need to snap back to baseline, so you’re in for a disappointment. Or maybe you’re not doing well at all, and things are going to perk up for you because they’re not on the center line where they ought to be. Either way, what is off-balance will be put back on-balance, and everything will fall into place for you once again.

Visually, Justice shows a woman wearing a crown, symbolizing her divine authority. The crown bears a white square, symbolizing pure force and conviction. She holds a sword upright. The uprightness of the sword shows a vertical dividing line, emphasizing a yes or no question and a true or false answer. The sworn is also a weapon used to behead nobles in medieval times and represents punitive justice. However, Justice holds a scale in her left hand. The scale represents cold, hard decisions that must be made. But keep in mind that the scale also represents balance. Justice is tough, but she is also fair.

Upright Justice represents you getting your just desserts, for good or for ill. It represents things coming back to baseline, and the leveling out of unjust or undue factors in your life. Maybe things will be better, maybe they will be worse, but when you reflect on your situation, you will understand that it is finally fair. In the final analysis, your situation is something that you have created for yourself, and you are the product of your decisions. You are not the product of your environment. You are not the product of nature. You are the product of the choices you have made, and this is just.

Reversed Justice represents a miscarriage of Justice. Perhaps the scales are going to tip wildly out of balance, creating a crisis and opportunity that can end in good or ill. Or perhaps someone, you or somebody else, is getting away with something they shouldn’t. Perhaps there is some unfairness in your life, an evil done by you or by someone else, but whatever it is, it should be addressed. Perhaps you must make amends for some slight. Or perhaps you must set a boundary with someone else. Whatever it is, seek it out and make that wrong into a right!

In a past-present-future spread, Justice represents the following:

  • As past, Justice shows the just roots of your present situation. Whatever your current situation is, you should look at the part that your own choices played in creating it. You should not assume at any point that your situation is totally fair, but also try to see the hand you had in creating it.
  • As present, Justice shows a calling to account. Everything is zeroing out now, and whatever trends you are seeing in your life are the various threads all coming down to zero. Expect a leveling and a reckoning at this point.
  • As future, Justice represents something similar to what Justice represents as present. The only difference is that you have some more time to act before everything zeros out. Perhaps you are being told that a tough decision is coming up, one that you will need to deal with before you go.

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