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A description and interpretation of the role of Justice in the Tarot

In a nutshell...


  • mastery

  • judgment


General overview

Justice, the 11th arcana in the Tarot, is a very important card to the community of cartomancy adepts. The card shows a middle-aged woman, remarkable for her impassive and austere gaze. Sitting upright on her throne, Justice seems to look straight into our eyes, as if to scrutinize us better. This somewhat intimidating attitude reflects the rigor, impartiality and timelessness of the character. Under her rigid surface, however, this arcana knows how to show clemency and empathy, as suggested by the rounded folds of her long blue and red robe.

The character's blonde hair is prolonged into a long braid that winds around her neck. Some will see a symbol of punishment, the braid suggesting a rope. Mistress of order and balance, Justice's power extends over humankind, as evidenced by her majestic yellow crown and the throne on which she sits.

The attributes of the card bear witness to the supreme mission shouldered by this arcana. In her right hand, Justice holds a great sword, symbol of fate and bravery. In her left hand, a scale testifies to her ability to judge actions, in a way that is fair and impartial but also implacable.

Justice is freedom in action.


  • from an emotional viewpoint

    Although at first sight it seems counterintuitive to associate the notions of justice and love, nevertheless, this arcana can have an influence on the seeker's emotional plane. In fact, this card is associated with values that are fundamental for any lasting romantic relationship, namely integrity, honesty and loyalty. It is the sign of a lasting union and of a couple's peaceful coexistence. Depending on the cards that surround it, it can signify the early resolution of a conflict or the achievement of a common project.

  • from a career viewpoint

    Very committed to respecting the rules, Justice is a significant help to those who would like to make progress in their careers. She reflects perfect knowledge of current standards and of the hierarchy. The rigor attached to the arcana is a quality widely appreciated in the world of work. It will therefore promote peer recognition and the emergence of new career opportunities.

  • from a life path viewpoint

    Justice represents values of integrity and balance. It teaches that those who act properly will necessarily know success. Immoral or inappropriate behavior will be penalized. As was the case for The Lovers, it represents the awareness of the irreversible consequences of decisions over the long term.

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    Its influence

    • short-term

      Like the Lover, at first Justice only sows the seeds of her teaching. She leads you understand that each of your decisions is likely to actively influence your life and the lives of others. It is therefore a question of always acting according to your deepest needs, ensuring you respect the moral values that you believe in.

    • long-term

      In the long run, Justice teaches you the benefits of self-denial. It is not enough to act in accordance with your beliefs from time to time, it is advisable, rather, to maintain this way of behaving at every moment of your life. This moral rectitude is a formidable step for anyone who wishes to reap the fruits of their good deeds.

    Full interpretation

    Interpretation of Justice upright

    Justice emphasizes the need for integrity and commitment. As such, more than the other cards, it requires perfect control over yourself and over things. Although this card can show you which road you should follow, your course of action will require strict respect for a certain form of morality, a step that some people will not hesitate to describe as severe. Unattractive at first glance, this inflexibility nevertheless meets a highly constructive objective: to make the seeker face up to their responsibilities and choices. As the saying goes, sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. It is far better to be fully prepared along your life path, always keeping in mind that your actions have irreversible consequences, not only for your own life but also for that of others. Looking past its surface of an inquisitor, Justice is also a great tool for those who wish to progress. The character's experience and empathy means she knows how to show clemency. Although she may sometimes pass sentence, the primary point of the punishment is to make you understand the values that are really important to you; an obvious process of growth and personal fulfillment. Justice is associated with a prodigious power of transformation for anyone who benefits from her teachings. As often happens, the interpretation of a draw will depend heavily on the other cards surrounding this arcana.

    Interpretation of Justice reversed

    When it is drawn upside down, Justice is often a harbinger of an upcoming period of doubt, instability or punishment. In the most traditional interpretation, the seeker is reaping the consequences of inappropriate past actions. These "bad actions" are not necessarily related to illegal behavior, but could relate to situations the seeker got involved in without considering the consequences of their actions. In the emotional domain, for example, it is not uncommon to get involved with someone simply out of fear of loneliness, or to forget the wounds of a painful past relationship, or simply because it's become a habit. This position reflects a certain gap between the seeker and their deepest desires. Justice expects great things of humankind. Such behavior will leave it unsatisfied.

    The situation may also concern the professional field. Your everyday life tends to draw you away from your deepest aspirations. It is therefore common to be content with a predefined career path, which certainly has the advantage of comfort and stability, but which doesn't fully meet the objectives that you would really like to achieve. This is one of the great lessons of Justice. With the hope that it conveys, it urges you to act in a way that really suits you, according to the values and desires that perfectly reflect who you truly are.