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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