Justice Tarot Card Meaning
Keywords: Fairness – Law – Decisions
The figure of Justice sits between two pillars symbolizing her authority, balance, and power. Between the two pillars, a boundary has been created with a cloth veil. The figure’s crown represents her power and authority in decision making. The sword she carries evokes the metaphysical element of Air. It indicates her the ability to discern, judge, and take action. The scales represent her balanced and fair decisions. Of course, she’s evocative of the figure of Lady Justice in Western culture.
Justice is typically the eleventh card of the Major Arcana (although it can also be the eighth card in some decks). It represents a fair, rational decision. The just are rewarded.
Upright Meanings for the Justice Tarot Card
Most often, the Justice card represents fairness in a reading. It typically shows up in readings regarding conflicts. It’s a good indicator of a just resolution.
There is one caveat though: the Justice card represents a fair decision based on the outcome of your actions. If you’ve been following the rules (and the rules can certainly depend on the situation), then you’ll see a satisfactory resolution. Because the Justice card is ruled by the logical, sometimes cold, metaphysical element of Air, it doesn’t always take into account feelings. Conflicts can get messy. We may say or do things in the heat of the moment that aren’t fair. In some cases, taking the proverbial high road is very hard. But be prepared to receive what is fair; no more, no less. If you’ve been playing by the rules, you have nothing to worry about.
This card is often connected to law and ethics. It’s a sign to keep your actions fair and clean. Be sure you’re acting with integrity in all of your endeavors.
It can also suggest a frustrating encounter with bureaucracy. If it shows up in your reading in this context, be prepared to navigate some red tape. Get help or advice from someone within the system you’re working in. Stay patient and persistent. This card in a positive position and upright indicates a good outcome.
Sometimes the Justice card indicates a complex or difficult decision that needs to be made. Rather than approaching the issue with the emotional, soulful response that the Lovers Card requires, Justice represents clear, logical decisions. Set aside any bias that could color the outcome. You could also be called to mediate a complicated dispute.
The Justice card is more pertinent than ever. Our interconnectedness on social media allows us to hear the stories of marginalized populations more than ever. Justice can be a call to remember the ways that the scales are unbalanced for others. Be aware of how the biases of others, and your own, are unfairly affecting the lives of others. Be a part of the solution in dismantling those prejudices.
Love and Relationships
The Justice card represents balance and compromise. This card often appears in relation to conflicts and decisions. It rarely represents a “type” or dynamic within a relationship. That being said, if it does show up in a tarot spread related to the nature of the relationship, it can indicate a fair and balanced one. Traditionally it represents the intersection of relationships and the law such as marriages and divorces.
In a relationship conflict, the Justice card represents the need for a fair resolution. Set your emotions aside and just look at the facts. Be fair in your assessments. Don’t fight dirty in arguments. This card speaks to the need we all have of being heard and treated with kindness. It can suggest needing a mediator, such as a counselor or therapist, in conflicts.
If you’re looking for a relationship, this is a good indicator that you’ll find one soon.
Career and Work
Same as in a relationship reading, the Justice card usually shows up in career readings as a solution to resolving conflicts and imbalances. But, if it appears in a reading about a potential job, it can represent a fair and balanced workplace. It could indicate a state of good work-life balance.
If this is a reading on workplace conflicts, it indicates that a fair resolution will be made. If the situation seems to be going nowhere, it may need to be resolved by consulting a neutral third party such as a supervisor, HR, or a trusted mentor. If you’re the third party trying to resolve a conflict, be sure to recognize and set aside your personal feelings regarding the parties. Stick to the facts. Be objective.
In careers, Justice is connected to judges, lawyers, and other legal specialists. It can represent mediators in legal or government systems such as social workers and advocates. It can be a call to assist marginalized populations facing unfair situations through a career or volunteer work. Other careers could include HR professionals, accountants, financial advisors, and auditors – realms related to mediation and balancing.
People and Personalities
Individuals represented by the Justice card are fair, logical, and maybe a little blunt too! These are great friends to have if you need honest advice. They’re great people to turn to for an occasional reality check. Their ability to be objective makes them great advisors.
The Justice card is connected to the astrological sign of Libra and can represent a person born approximately September 23rd to October 23rd.
Justice Reversed Tarot Card Meaning
Reversed Keywords: Unfairness – Imbalance – Bias
Reversed Meanings for the Justice Tarot Card
Sometimes things are not fair. There are situations, where no matter how in the right you are, you’re still getting the short end of the stick. Justice reversed in a reading can indicate that you’re dealing with unfairness.
There are two important distinctions that need to be made when this card comes up reversed: you are either on the receiving end of the unfairness or you are the one being unfair. If it’s the latter, this is a wake-up call that you aren’t acting in alignment with your integrity and with truth. It can indicate delving into questionable behaviors to tip the scales in your, or an ally’s, favor. Don’t give in to that temptation.
Conversely, you may be completely in the right but still wound up on the receiving end of a biased decision. It happens to us all sometimes, and it sucks. Come to terms with the fact that this is what you’ll have to deal with for now. If you’ve been wronged, you can fight back. Use the wisdom of this card in its upright energy of fairness and balance. Research what resource you have available. If possible, find a third party to help you.
Sometimes the situation will require you to move on with a new strategy. For instance, let’s say nepotism prevented you from getting a job in which you were the best candidate. Instead, the CEO’s nephew who just graduated high school snagged it. Although unfair, it’s probably not a lot you can do. Or want to fight for that. Be aware of all the nuisances and implications surrounding your situation. Consider carefully what fallout could result from fighting the decision. And, would you really want to work at a place like that? Sometimes it’s best to move on to a better situation.
The Justice card reversed can also suggest something unbalanced in your life. While the Temperance card rules over more spiritual and emotional unbalances, the Justice card often represents practical, material, or financial areas. It often relates to resources that can be measured or quantified (and your actions with others can fall under this category too). Be mindful of uneven power dynamics in these areas of your life.
And too, this card reversed can suggest that you’re contributing your biases to a situation. Ask yourself if you’re judging a situation or person unfairly? Do you fully understand all sides of a story? Don’t jump to conclusions too soon. There could be big gaps in your knowledge of what’s really going on. Take the time to listen to both sides carefully and without judgment.
Reversed Love and Relationships
As seen in the general reversed meaning, the Justice card in this position points to unbalanced or unfair dynamics. Traditional, older interpretations of this card connect it to divorces and delayed marriage. Of course, this isn’t always the case. It can show up after arguments have been unfairly distorted or exaggerated. Taking the time to step back, cool off, and be objective will go a long way to resolving your conflict.
For new relationships, this can represent delays. It can also indicate that a poor first impression was made. Or, that a misunderstanding has gotten in the way of a developing partnership or friendship.
Reversed Career and Work
Often, the Justice card reversed can indicate unfair resolutions to workplace conflicts. Depending on your role, it could suggest that you’ve had to be the bearer of bad news at your job. An example would be a manager who has to enforce unfair rules based on fundamentally bad business policies. The Justice card reversed can also represent toxic bosses and work culture. It can refer to situations where the system was already rigged against you. Sometimes it can suggest that a company is dabbling in unethical business practices. If this card turns up for a potential workplace, consider it a big red flag. Do your due diligence on researching the company and its culture before signing on.
Reversed People and Personalities
When the Justice card shows up reversed representing an individual, it can suggest bias, discrimination, and victimhood (both real and imagined). There are people who are marginalized within flawed, prejudiced systems. This card can indicate being on the receiving end of such injustices. On the flip side, it can also represent individuals who imagine the world is against them. If you suspect the latter applies to you, Justice reversed is a call to open up your eyes and see things for how they really are. Do not allow yourself to wallow in victimhood.
Numerology: 11 (can also be 8)
I get what I give. I seek justice and fairness for all.
Some of My Favorite Examples
The presence of an owl in the Ethereal Visions tarot could allude to Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. The owl’s association with the nocturnal could suggest that the process behind a decision will be unknown to the seeker. There’s a mysterious figure on a pedestal to the right of the Justice figure. It could suggest a skull, a sphinx, or perhaps a judge? If you know the origin, let me know!
Linestrider Justice Card MeaningThe Linestrider Tarot taps into a minimalist depiction of the Justice card. Here the sword and scale of Justice take center stage. The pale eyes of the figure a could be an allusion to “blind” Justice. The artwork is otherworldly, suggesting that justice may be delivered by a mysterious or unseen force.
The Morgan-Greer tarot uses a Waite-Smith inspired depiction of the Justice card. The bright colors of the card hold a deeper symbolism. In traditional tarot color correspondences, the purple veil represents wisdom. Historically, purple is associated with royalty. This also reinforces Justice’s ties with law and government. The yellow of the crown can be connected with intellect, Air, and clear thought.
The Ostara Tarot presents a beautiful depiction of the karmic aspects of the Justice card. Here, we see a blindfolded, winged figure holding a scale. This visual motif will already be familiar to most Western readers as the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. This image also evokes of the Egyptian goddess Isis. The figure on the card balances a feather and a heart on a scale. In ancient Egypt, after dying, it was believed your soul is measured against the weight of a feather. In the mundane world, it could represent the battle between the mind and the heart in making an important decision.