Justice

The card for the day is Justice.  In some decks, Justice is the Eighth card of the Major Arcana, and in others it is the Eleventh.

Mary Guinan, illustrator

What do you see in the Celtic Justice? What sticks out to you? Is it her steely expression? Her fiery hair? The way her right hand, “the sun hand” of clear, objective thinking, is placed over her heart in a pledge? Her left hand, the “moon hand” of intuition, is clutching the scales of justice. Perhaps it is her entourage behind her. Julian de Burgh, writing about Justice, tells a story about a poet who had a vision.  The poet dreamed he was taken to a courtroom full of women. The women then proceeded to try, and convict, the men of Ireland of neglect.  This story is in keeping with the idea of Justice always being personified as a woman, even in the modern American justice system.

Barbara G. Walker’s Justice has a sword clutched in her right hand, and is dangling the scales in her left. The hand of logic and reason is ready to slice away any illusions, lies, or obstacles to seeing the whole issue. Her left hand holds the scale of justice.  The Greek goddess of justice, Dike (pronounced Dye-kee) presided over human justice, while her mother, Themis, was in charge of divine justice. Dike’s sisters were Eunomia, or order, and Eirene (Irene) who was “peace.” The white dress of Barbara G. Walker’s Justice is clean white, symbolic of the order, clarity, objectivity, and pureness of heart needed to dispense justice fairly.  This goddess is associated with the constellation Libra, the scales (of justice).  To see this card in a reading may be a call for clear, objective thinking.

Swords are associated with the cool mental element of air, and so the card, especially if it is reversed, may be also calling for a postponement of a decision until the querent is calmer, or it may be a warning to not do or so anything that the querent may regret.

The Egyptians also personified Justice as a female. Their goddess Maat was a necessary conception for a culture that abhorred chaos. Maat symbolized not only order and truth, but generosity toward the poor and other unfortunate people. This is taking justice to its highest level.

The Goddess Kris Waldherr chose for her Goddess Deck is Athena. Athena, as the personification of Wisdom, is a necessary component of any justice system. Athena was also associated with Aquarius in Raven Kaldera’s MythAstrology: Exploring Planets and Pantheons (for more information, please see my Aquarius entry).  Aquarius is, like Libra, an Air sign, and, while Libra is associated with Justice, Aquarius is associated with social activism.

In all the other cards featured here, Justice is seen looking directly at the viewer. Athena is looking off to the distance. This feature is symbolic of foresight, possibility, and even clairvoyance.

Robin Wood’s Justice, like Mary Guinan’s and Barbara G. Walker’s, gazes unabashedly at the reader with clear eyes.  Her robes are the red and purple of royalty, and she is crowned with laurel leaves. She holds two swords–the one in the right hand is pointing upward and is shiny, representing masculine energy and objectivism, and the dark sword in her left hand points downward, representing the feminine energy, intuition, and the hidden things that may be affecting the question.

To have Justice appear in a reading, if upright, is a good omen that justice will be served. It is also a sign that you have a clear thinking person on your side, a person who will work for you with nobility and honor. It may also indicate that the questioner is that person. In a relationship reading, she indicates harmony and compatibility, and a good, strong partnership based on respect.

If reversed (upside down) she may indicate that things may not turn out the way you want them to. In the human world, Justice is not perfect.

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Libra: The Sylph

Libra is the sign of people born from September 22 to October 22. It is represented by the scales.

Whenever I think of Libra, I think of grace and beauty, intellectualism and abstract acrobatics, all in equal measure. Like the rose, Libra’s flower, Libra can be soft, sweet, lovely, and romantic. Libra energy is also sylph-like; it is playful, expansive, even flirtatious, just like the fairies that rule the element of air.  However, this energy can also be jagged. This jaggedness is always there in the Shadow Libra, but it is hidden by the radiance of the petals.

Libra energy is one of opposites trying to reconcile. Libra is an air sign; therefore, it is intellectual, and comfortable in the mental realm. Yet, it is the sign of partnerships, romantic and otherwise. This carries with it certain emotional responsibilities, something air energy sometimes finds difficult to mesh with. In fact, it is hard for some Libras to understand that others can have a difficult time detaching from their emotions.

Libra is ruled by Venus. Being ruled by Venus, this energy thrives on harmony, beauty, and luxury. This sounds wonderful, but the problem is that people with this energy, being ruled by air, are acutely aware that facts, those treasures of the intellect, are anything but beautiful and harmonious. Arguing is a catch-22 for Libra. They hate it, because it’s inharmonious and ugly, but at the same time they need to argue what they perceive to be injustice, unfairness, or stupidity. A balanced Libra knows to pick his or her battles.

Balance is the lesson that people with the energy of Libra (and this is not just people with the sun in Libra, but people with other planets in the sign) spend their lives learning. It is very appropriate that Libra is represented by the scales, as people with Libra in their charts thirst for equality. They need to balance their need for partnership with the freedom and individuality of air.  They need to balance cold intellectuality with passion. They need to learn to accept the fact that reality is messy, and life is not fair.

Another thing Libra energy teaches is the need to balance everything out, tally up the pros and cons, hear all the sides of the story, and then make a decision.  Since Libras want life to be fair and for everyone to win, they can spend their lives putting off decision making, preferring instead to weigh, tally, and weigh again. It’s lather, rinse, repeat.   This can be very frustrating, not only for them, but for others around them, who can accuse them of being wishy-washy.

Being wishy-washy is certainly a symptom of Shadow Libra. Because Libra is all about harmony, and this includes aesthetic harmony, Shadow Libra can be quite shallow, only hanging out with A-listers. Wanting to climb the social ladder, because of a mistaken belief that everyone who is rich, famous, and beautiful will have an interior to match the exterior, Shadow Libra can use people, and be snobby. Libras can really hurt, or at least annoy, others with their talent for criticism. Libra betrayal, abandonment, and criticism are the thorns that prick those who are drawn to the beauty of the Libra. Because it is hard for Shadow Libra to understand the emotions of others, they may see another person’s hurt as messy, and something else to criticize. The Libra cannot understand why the person they used, abandoned, or criticized can’t see it from the Libra’s point of view. After all, they were just trying to help! Or, they were just taking an opportunity to advance their status–why do people begrudge them for this?

When Libra energy is healthy, however, it’s wonderful. Libra energy can make logic a thing of beauty. Astronomy and even physics, the very nature of the universe can become symphonic in the eyes of a Libra, and their skill at communicating this beauty passes the loveliness on to you! When they channel their critical eye in a positive manner, Libra can really help others increase the beauty and harmony in their lives, as make-up artists and interior designers.

Libran aesthetics are legendary.  Everything is in balance and in harmony. Contact with good Libra energy is a walk in a Zen garden. Because Libra sees all sides of things, and pays equal attention to hearing all points of view,  they can be very compassionate. This leads them to fruitful careers as lawyers and marriage counselors. Because partnership is so important to a Libra, they will do their best to keep their partner happy, which, for a Libra, should not be too difficult. As an air sign, they can have honey tongues.

I have personal experience with Libra energy, as I am a Mars in Libra. It is very difficult for me to have patience with what I perceive to be injustice and cruelty. I cannot understand why people act as they do, and this drives me crazy, because I NEED to understand. Sometimes there’s no explanation for why people act, and this drives me INSANE. I hate conflict of all kinds, and just give in, even when I know that a person’s actions are unfair, simply to avoid the conflict.  Other people with Libra energy might have the opposite problem–they seek out conflict like miners panning for gold. Others are like me, I think.

Libra archetypes and people:

Dike, the Greek goddess of Justice

Lawyers

Judges

Marriage counselors

Hera, Greek goddess of Marriage

Aphrodite, goddess of Love and Beauty

King Arthur–the legendary king who sought to create Utopia (a place of perfect justice and harmony) in Camelot, and then was crushed by romance.

Interior decorators

Make-up artists

Bringing Libra energy into your life:

1) Think about an area in your life that can use more beauty and/or harmony. This could be as simple as rearranging your living room so there’s less clutter. If you live with people, is there a space you can have that’s just for you, a place you can decorate and arrange for your tastes? It doesn’t have to be huge. This can bring the harmony of Libra energy into your life.

2) Visit a museum or a botanical garden. When was the last time you saw something truly beautiful, and really noticed it?

3) How do you argue?  This is an interesting thing, because of the Libra catch 22. When you argue, do you take the time to see things from the other person’s point of view?  From personal experience, I can tell you it is extremely enlightening spending a day really, actively listening to others.

4) Try this exercise–next time an urge to criticize comes up, compliment the person you were going to criticize. It must be sincere, however. This did my Libra Mars a world of good.