Tarot: Justice

Tarot: Justice

Tarot: Justice

The Justice card represents truth, fairness, and the laws of humans. Lady Justice reminds us that we reap what we sow and it is essential that we consider the weight and responsibility of our actions. This card understands that justice, in it’s purest form, lies between reason and intuition. Ideas of what is considered just and fair vary from culture to culture and every choice we make depends heavily on situation and context.

There is no black and white definition of what is right and what is wrong. True responsibility lies in determining how you will make the best choices in any given moment. Ultimately, you will be held accountable for the part you have played in this world. Lady Justice reminds you to act in alignment with your Higher Self. Always aim to make choices that will lead to the greater good of others.

This card appears for several reasons. Justice may be showing you that your current situation is the result of choices you have made. If you have pulled this card when an important decision is at hand, it may be time to re-examine your definition of fair and ethical action. The decisions you make will have a lasting impact on your life and the lives of others.

Justice Reversed

The Justice card reversed in tarot can indicate imbalances or unfairness in a situation. It suggests that these decisions or actions might not be rooted in equity or ethical principles. This card position prompts you to examine your choices and motivations, as well as any potential biases or prejudices you may hold. It can also warn against hasty judgments or indicate legal complications. Reversed, Justice calls for a reevaluation of your actions and the need to restore fairness and ethical conduct in your life.


“I seek balance and fairness in all aspects of my life, making decisions with integrity in the interest of the highest good.”

Major Arcana Symbolism

Tarot Card NameJustice
Traditional Card ImageryA woman holding a pair of scales
Traditional SymbolismBalance, law, equilibrium, fairness, the conscience, agreements
Card NumberXI, 11 (In some decks this card is: VIII, 8)
Classical ElementAir
Traditional Upright MeaningJustice, fairness, accountability, critical thinking, law, karma, balance and equilibrium, contract, social justice, consequence, honesty, responsibility, integrity, truth, cause and effect
Traditional Reversed MeaningUnfairness, corruption, miscarriage of justice, retribution, lack of accountability, dishonesty, lies, imbalance, red tape, hypocrisy, social injustice, bias
Archetype In NatureThe blind abstractions of human justice, as opposed to the directness of natural law
Astrological CorrespondenceLibra, Venus
Yes or NoMaybe (It depends)
Crystals and StonesEmerald, Olivine, Moldavite, Fluorite, Peridot, Aventurine, Morganite, Zoisite, Bloodstone, Rose Quartz, Chrysolite, Pink Calcite, Jade, Prehnite, Pink Spinel, Malachite, Unakite, Rhodonite
Allegory of Justice

Allegory of Justice

When I possessed the keys, read the book and understood the symbols, I was permitted to lift the curtain of the Temple and enter. its inner sanctum. And there I beheld a Woman with a crown of gold and a purple mantle. She held a sword in one hand and scales in the other. I trembled with awe at her appearance, which was deep and mysterious, and drew me like an abyss.

“You see Truth,” said the voice. “On these scales everything is weighed. This sword is always raised to guard justice, and nothing can escape it.

“But why do you avert your eyes from the scales and the sword? They will remove the last illusions. How could you live on earth without these illusions?

“You wished to see Truth and now you behold it! But remember what happens to the mortal who beholds a Goddess!”

-The Symbolism of the Tarot by P.D. Ouspensky (1913)

Justice Tarot Rider-Waite Graphic

Tarot Through the Ages

Tarot was originally invented as a card game in the mid 15th century. French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette, also known as “Etteilla”, was the first to assign divinatory meanings to the cards in the late 1700s. Many others have followed in his footsteps, bringing their own unique interpretation of the cards. In our exploration of the Tarot, we weave together contemporary insights with the timeless wisdom of the past. This blending of past and present perspectives offers a more holistic view, allowing us to connect with the evolving narrative and lineage of wisdom that has shaped our understanding of each card over time. Let’s dive into some of these historical interpretations…

Justice (XI)

The idea of the Justice card indicates the moral principle which deals unto every man according to his works. Of course this is a strict analogy of higher things and differs, in its essence, from the spiritual justice which is involved in the idea of organized choice.

The latter interpretation belongs to the idea of dedication to the highest things. The operation of this is like the breathing of the Spirit where it wills. It is similar to the possession of the fairy gifts and the gracious gifts of the poet. The pillars of Justice open into one world and the pillars of the High Priestess into another.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)

Justice Card Imagery

The Justice card follows traditional symbolism and carries above all its obvious meanings. It will be seen, however, that the figure is seated between pillars, like the High Priestess. The female figure of the eleventh card is said to be Astræa, who personified the same virtue and is represented by the same symbols.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)


Justice Tarot Card Meaning

A woman is seen in full face, wearing an iron crown, and seated on a throne. She is placed between the two columns of the temple. The solar cross is traced upon her breast. The Seated woman occupies the center between the columns. This illuminates the idea of the equilibrium between Good and Evil. She holds a sword, point upwards, in her right hand, and a balance in her left.

-Modern Translation of The Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

Significations of Justice

  • Reflex of the Father, Preserver of God the Son in Humanity = The Woman Fulfilling the Functions of God the Son, The Mother
  • Reflex of Realization and Authority = Law, Justice
  • Reflex of the Astral Light, Preservation of Natura Naturata in the World = Nature Fulfilling the Function of Eve, Elementary Existence

-Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

Justice Tarot Card

Justice Tarot Card

The Meaning of the Justice Card Throughout History

The Tarot deck is a beautiful synthesis of esoteric thought and archetypal imagery. The journey of the deck, shaped by the events and values of each era, has continued to evolve and take on new meaning as it adapts to a larger cultural story. Exploring the historical interpretations of each card will create a deeper understanding of this powerful method for divination and self-discovery.

Various Names for the Justice Card

Tarot de Marseille (1650)Justice
Court de Gébelin (1781)Justice
Etteilla (1783)Justice / Jurist
Paul Christian (1870)The Balance and the Sword
Golden Dawn (1888)The Daughter of the Lords of Truth, The Ruler of the Balance
Papus (1892)Justice
Rider-Waite (1910)Justice
Thoth (1943)Adjustment
Card XI: Themis (Justice)

Card XI: Themis (Justice)

A woman crowned and seated on a throne (between two columns), holding in her right hand an upright sword, and in her left the scales. She symbolises Equilibrium and Justice.

Upright: Equilibrium, Balance, Justice
Reversed: Bigotry, Want of Balance, Abuse of Justice, Over-severity, Inequality, Bias

-The Tarot by S.L. MacGregor Mathers (1888)

Support Independent Bookstores With These Tarot Selections

Support Independent Bookstores With These Tarot Selections

Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Their mission aims to strengthen the fragile ecosystem and keep local bookstores an integral part of our culture and communities. We have put together a collection of some of our favorite Tarot items. The deep symbolism of the Tarot can be used to access a wellspring of inner wisdom and guidance. This method of divination is also an incredible tool for accessing your own powerful intuition.

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The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Justice (XI) - The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain
Justice (XI) – The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain

This guide by Arthur Edward Waite, the designer of the most widely known Tarot deck and distinguished scholar of the Kabbalah, is the essential Tarot reference. The pictorial key contains a detailed description of each card in the celebrated 78-card Rider-Waite Tarot deck, along with regular and reversed meanings. Contents describe symbols and secret tradition, ancient Celtic methods of divination, and wonderful illustrations of each Tarot card. This book is the perfect complement to old-style fortune telling and also serves to make the Tarot entirely accessible to modern-day readers. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot is the classic guide to the Rider-Waite deck and to Tarot symbolism in general.

Pre-Raphaelite Tarot

Justice (XI) – Pre-Raphaelite Tarot by Luigi Costa ©2019 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. All rights reserved, used by permission.
Justice (XI) – Pre-Raphaelite Tarot by Luigi Costa ©2019 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. All rights reserved, used by permission.

The vivid colors and medieval imagery of the Pre-Raphaelite movement makes for a tarot deck that is rich with a sense of mystery and romance. Luigi Costa has created a work of unsurpassed beauty and deep spiritual power. This deck, based on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith cards, is at once cryptic and insightful, the perfect combination of qualities for readers and collectors alike.

The Sorcerers Tarot

Justice (XI) - The Sorcerers Tarot by Lo Scarabeo © 2007 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.
Justice (XI) – The Sorcerers Tarot by Lo Scarabeo © 2007 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.

Wiccans, high magicians, and sorcerers of all kinds will find a wealth of inspiration in this magic-infused tarot–teeming with spectacular, provocative imagery.

How will you Harness The Transformative Power of The Tarot?

We invite you to walk into a cosmic narrative in which we are all a unique element in each other’s story. Humanity has long used sacred tools for awakening the soul and illuminating our path toward enlightenment. The Tarot is simply an instrument. These cards amplify your inner wisdom and empower your highest truth.

What aspects of The Tarot can serve you as you walk through your own Mystic Doorway?

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What you have read is only the beginning…

Mystic Doorway is always gaining new insight into the rich symbolism of Tarot. We are looking forward to sharing with you as we continue to expand our knowledge of this divinatory tool. Check back with us soon to see what we’ve added to our Library.