Today I drew card number 11 of the Major Arcana, Justice. Previous to finding the Shadowscapes Deck I never really had much of a connection with this card, but as soon as I saw Stephanie’s interpretation everything changed.
In the Shadowscapes card we see, in my opinion, a much less stark version of Justice. When I look at the RWS Justice I feel like she is judging every movement I make, that she would be harsh and unfriendly. Where as here I feel a real sense of impartiality and fairness. The Justice card to me stands for a time when the consequences of your actions are at hand. You have made various decisions in your past, and whether for good or for ill they are affecting your present. It asks you to strive to come to terms with cause and effect, to accept the results that you create and see how you have chosen your situation. To me this is really about assuming responsibility for your actions, acknowledging the truth and admitting involvement even in situations you may be ashamed of or feel as if you are the party missing out! Which I have to admit can be quite a hard thing to do!! Justice also represents preparing for a decision by weighing all sides of the issue, balancing all factors and then preparing a path for the future. And of course all things justice itself, insisting on fairness, seeking equality and acting ethically.
In the card above we see the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at. Ma’at was the goddess of truth and justice. In Egyptian mythology when death claimed a soul it would be sent to Ma’at who would then weigh the heart of the deceased, which was thought to be where the soul resides, against a feather. If the heart was lighter or equal to the feather it meant that the person had lived a virtuous life and they would go onto the afterlife, but if the soul was left wanting, the heart would be consumed by the demon goddess Ammit, and they would be forever trapped in the underworld. This brings to mind a real sense of Karmic justice, which I feel is important in the Shadowscapes interpretation.
There are so many images in this card that I feel have import. Firstly if you look closely at Ma’at you can see that she has three blazing white eyes. This to me shows how she looks straight to the truth of any situation! She can see past illusions, emotions and even flesh itself straight to the heart where true awareness can be found. I feel that this image is presented to teach us to make our choices with full awareness and truth. And connecting to that I see her dual black and white wings, one pointing up and one pointing down, as representative of her impartiality and fair and unbiased take on things. The butterflies themselves are another important image, for they are the souls of those who have been tested. They flutter about her with nothing to fear, for true justice is not something to be feared but something to be respected.
And then there is the more common image of the scales and sword, in this case replaced by the feather. The scales represent the true balance that is achieved when we are impartial and fair. But also the importance of weighing all sides of an issue before proclaiming what is to be done. And the feather is decision. Every decision in life, small or large, has an impact! And this is why it is so important to balance all the factors and choose with true awareness. It is also held in her right hand which represents the need to be logical and have a well-ordered mindset when handing out truly fair justice. In comparison to the scales in her left, representing the fact that logic must be balanced with intuition. Another interesting image here which is a little less traditional is the Waning Cresent Moon. The Waning Moon is a symbol of the Crone aspect of The Goddess, whom is old and wise, and I’m my opinion a perfect person to be handing out justice. She has experienced so much in life and hence can look at things from every angle with an impartial eye.
There are so many images in this card, but I think that overall they are pointing out a few key things. Firstly the importance of an impartial weighing of all sides in every situation. That above all else you should strive to be fair and just in all situations, for a positive outcome results when everyone is playing fair. Also that every action has a consequence, so we must act carefully with concious awareness of the long-term consequences and respect Karma and it’s workings. You reep what you sow, so act acording to the way you wish to be treated by others, and know that your future actions can be affected by the things you learn in your present :).
Until next time, live well and act with intention xx