The law of cause-effect
The Wheel is followed by Justice, which invites us to a serious discussion about what’s possible when everyone is accountable.
It can also be considered a cold card because it deals with truth. It is traditionally viewed as a card of objectivity. It is a useful concept in a world full of hype, fake news and well-stoked culture wars. However, belief in objectivity can be problematic and slippery. The institution of justice, as we see it in our laws and courts, is not always fair. Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun list ‘Objectivity’ as a core characteristic in white supremacy culture. It seeks to eliminate emotion from decision-making and invalidates anything it considers ‘illogical’. Objectivity doesn’t allow for the inclusion of different demographics, privileges and oppressions. It is the unlevel playing field on which all are. The Justice card can be used to indicate objectivity, but it could also represent injustice.
Justice is the balance of the scales. Payment of dues. The “right” outcome. Serving justice in the same way we see it in literature and films. Progress, social change. Justice, by definition and principle, is about fairness, balance, and equity.
It’s all about the law that causes and effects. Every action and every choice has a consequence, as we can see in the Wheel of Fortune and the Lovers. Justice is about the journey between those actions and those consequences. It also requires forethought before taking any action.
This card is renamed by some tarot deck designers in an effort to free it from the unjust, oppressive structures that rule our lives. Personally, I love the meaning of the word “justice”. Justice, with his sword raised, and his scales in hand is an archetypal figure that represents a social ideal. There can be no peace without justice. This card, regardless of the injustices around us, asks us to think about what justice means for us and how we can live up to these ideals.
Remember that justice is how love looks in public. Cornel West
Advice from Justice
What does justice look like to you? What is justice in your life? Without all the talk, the ‘ifs, and the ’buts? How can you live this in your work and life?
It’s about taking the time to think things through. It can be difficult to get out of a situation without feeling hurt or guilty, especially when you are wronged by someone else. Justice doesn’t require you to do so. It is not about being rational or trying to be objective, but rather about looking at the facts from a logical perspective. What do you know intellectually and factually to be true? What are those truths and where can they lead?
This card can indicate that situations are being played out as they should or as they were intended. This action will result in the desired outcome. It is often easily seen. This is something we all know, or should know before we start. When you look at this card, think carefully about cause-and-effect. Consider the effects of your actions on others and yourself.
Our prison systems, courts of law, and institutions of justice are built on centuries of cultural oppression. When people live such different lives, what good is cold objectivity? How can it be that laws are used to determine who has a right and who doesn’t? The Justice card challenges us to see beyond the ‘objectivity” presented by our governments and our media to find the gross injustice in our society.
This card asks: What will you do to stop the injustice that you see?
Justice requires you to establish systems of fairness, accountability, and transparency in your work, projects, and community. It could be as simple as setting ground rules or writing a manifesto. Or naming the people responsible for the group’s actions. This could be internal work, such as personal anti-racism or having an accountability buddy. This could be about sharing power, passing the microphone, or asking for more power, as well as taking the mic. You can be bold about the steps you will take in order to achieve fairness, equity and equality in all aspects of your life.
Key words, concepts
Rational, logical, and objectivity (is it helpful or harmful?) )
Binary, right/wrong’ thinking (ditto
Understanding what is right
Justice, fairness, balance
Social justice principles
Cause and Effect
Cutting through the bullshit
Legal matters (whether they are ‘just’ and/or not)
Scales (balance, fairness)
Sword: Rational thought, cutting through the confusion
Symmetry (logic and structure)
Roles, crowns, and robes (power, status)