11. Justice: Holding Yourself Accountable

In my last post, which was about the Wheel of Fortune, we started thinking about the idea of cause and effect, and that what you put out into the world matters. We begin to see the result of this concept play out with Justice. We’re finally halfway through the Major Arcana, and The Fool is really starting to come across challenging obstacles. What do you think they will encounter in the second half of the journey?

Middle: Rider-Waite-Smith, Top left: Sasuraibito, Top right: Star Spinner, Bottom left: This Might Hurt, Bottom left: Modern Witch

Justice is personified as this badass woman holding a sword and a set of scales. We have all seen the scales used as a symbol for justice in places like courthouses. It represents the importance of making a balanced decision. Tarot comes back to this idea of balance again and again.

Often when we see the figure of Justice, she is blindfolded, but in the Tarot imagery she stares at us unyieldingly. As much as we might hope that justice is blind, in reality, it is sadly not. When humans enact justice, they are imperfect, have bias, and sometimes want retribution rather than rehabilitation.

Justitia, Maarten van Heemskerk, 1556

The sword is representative of the element of air, which rules intelligence and rationality. These are essential qualities for true justice, and it is often thought you should use no emotion when it comes to justice. What do you think? The sword also hints at the idea that sometimes justice can be violent. Whether that is moral or right, when you think about how ‘justice’ has been enacted across the world, the sword is often used. What is called justice, often is not just.


Thinking about your own life, where have you seen justice, and where has it been missing? Think about the difference between the concept of justice, which is fair and balanced, and the ways that humans use the word ‘justice’, which is sometimes anything but.

What can you do to fight injustice?

It is important to be accountable for your actions and decisions. If you wrong someone, own up to it and do the work to improve yourself. Sometimes when we make a mistake, we try to hide away and pretend it did not happen. This is because of pride, and pride abused leads to shame. What can you improve in your life to live responsibly and ethically?

I don’t want to sound like I’m giving you a lecture, because I have a very long way to go with these ideas just like anyone else. Admitting, rather than denying that, is the first step.

If you have been wronged and are waiting for justice, I truly hope it comes to you. If you pull this card, look for ways to fight for what is right, and look for ways to have integrity and responsibility.

I hope that when I inevitably mess up, I am held accountable and able to acknowledge my errors. What do you think?

Published by Iona Grant

I am a writer who focuses on secular tarot, mindfulness and mental health. I read the cards for introspection, not fortune-telling. Tarot cards embody clear emotions and themes, and allow you to view a situation from new perspectives. I love that tarot exercises your creativity and imagination, and helps to prevent overthinking. I also do social media marketing for charities, and I am developing my skills in copywriting and content creation.

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