The Justice Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)
Last Updated: February 21, 2023
Justice is card number 11 (XI) in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the 12th major arcana trump card (The Fool, number 0, is the first card).
Justice is the eleventh card (XI) in the tarot and one of the twenty-two major arcana trump cards. Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.
In this article, we will explore the different meanings of this tarot card in various reading contexts as well as the different advice it can offer. To help you understand the deep symbolism within that card, we begin with the below narrative.
“She sits upon a throne, positioned between two pillars. A stately figure; in one hand she wields aloft a sword and in the other, she holds the scales of balance. She stares into your eyes and you can feel her weighing up actions, consequences and rooting out the truth. Her gaze is non-judgemental, her gaze is simply assessing the matter. Her scales tip left and right, even though she herself is not moving, she is yet to determine the result. Finally, they stop moving and she smiles. You look at the scales and you know. You came to her looking for lessons and knowing you might not get the one you like, but you got the one you need and now you make your choice…”
4 Quick takeaways about this tarot card
- Justice represents balance, fairness, and truth.
- Justice signifies the need to create or restore balance in your life.
- Justice can also represent a need for closure or fairer resolution.
- Finally, Justice can represent a need to stand up for what is right.
The Justice tarot card key correspondences
|fairness, truth, balance, legal matters|
|unfavourable outcomes, stressful legal matters, dishonesty, unfair treatment|
|Yes or No||Neutral|
Light aspect: Judge, Avenger, the Diplomat / Shadow aspect: Gossip, The Detective
September 22nd to October 21st
Nemesis, Themis, Ma'at, Montu
La Justice (Tarot de Marseille), Themis (Egyptian Tarot) and Adjustment (Thoth Tarot).
What does the upright Justice (tarot card XI) mean?
In Latin, major arcana translates to “big secrets” and each of the 22 cards in this section of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck represents an important life lesson we must all face at some point. Justice, arcanum 11, is no different.
The Justice card is the midway point in the major arcana and represents a robed woman holding a double-edged sword and scales sitting on a throne between two pillars. The scales represent the scales of justice and truth, the pillars are said to represent the pillar of severity and the pillar of mercy.
The Justice card is number 11 which in numerology is a master number, where 1+1 is broken down to equal the number 2; representing balance, fairness and honour.
In astrology, the Justice card represents the element of air and the astrological sign of Libra. Libra represents truth, equality and understanding. Libra is a very diplomatic sign, and will examine all points of view and favours peace and understanding.
For many tarotists, Justice can represent fairness, matters relating to the law, seeking justice, a successful legal battle and the need for balance in your life. This card advises us to examine our morals, to examine ourselves and the consequences of our actions. It is also a good card to remind us not to dive in headfirst, but to think things through; to examine all angles and points of view so we do not judge too quickly. We must consider all sides before we make a decision.
This card advises us also to trust ourselves more, as sometimes we knew the answer all along but it became clouded with self-doubt.
Justice also reminds us to live our lives with integrity and honour.
“We gathered our stamina in The Chariot, refined it in Strength, let it gestate in The Hermit and had it tested through The Wheel of Fortune. At Justice, we are standing in a place of balance and certainty of self. We earned that. At this moment, the ego exists in a state of perfect balance.”
- WTF is Tarot by Bakara Wintner
If pulled in the upright position, Justice is associated with fairness, truth, balance, and legal matters.
What does the upright Justice card mean in a love reading?
In a love reading, Justice can represent a deeper commitment for those in an already established relationship, such as the potential for marriage. If you are single, this card can represent a new relationship with someone with Libra-type energy.
In general love readings, it can mean you need to learn from your past mistakes in love, and if you have been treated unfairly in past relationships, this card can symbolise a happier, more balanced relationship in future.
What does the upright Justice card mean in a health reading?
In terms of health, this card can mean a need to pause and seek balance.
The Justice tarot card as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the Justice card means that someone is perhaps being analytical about their feelings towards you, they won’t be all ‘gushy’ about their love feelings and will be weighing their emotions up from a balanced perspective. This doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t want to commit to you on any level, they are just assessing what it is they truly want and how they truly feel about the connection you two have.
If you pull the Justice tarot card, it may indicate that you’re not really feeling a situation as fully as you should. In fact, it screams logic and strategy and a balance of data. You could be in a situation where you are dissociating. This card comes up to encourage us to balance out how we logically look at a scenario vs how we actually feel.
The Justice tarot card as a person
As a personality archetype, the Justice card represents someone who is usually always weighing up the pros and cons, will always abide by the law, and has a very strong sense as to what is right and what is wrong.
This person will usually be very practical, logical, and stand by their principles which can sometimes make them appear cold but that isn’t always the case. This is the type of person that will keep their emotions close to their heart!
The Justice tarot card as advice
If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, pulling the Justice card means that you need to take a step back to make sure you’re viewing things from a completely balanced and calm perspective.
It’s easy to forget we aren’t being rational when our emotions are running high, the Justice card is asking you to be aware of that.
What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Justice card?
The air sign Libra is connected with the Justice card due to this sign always looking for the balance in everything, and always wanting things to be fair and in complete harmony.
Is the Justice card a yes or no tarot card?
Because this card is all about balance, it’s typically neither a yes nor a no. For this reason, in a yes or no context it’s usually seen as a “well, it depends” response, and other cards may need to be pulled to help you find some clarity on why you aren’t getting a straight answer to your question.
Below are some of my interpretations as a tarot practitioner based on different types of questions:
Question: Will I get the job?
Card interpretation: The Justice card, in this respect, is acknowledging that you’ll get the job so long it’s something you are capable of doing based on your experience and skill set. It’s a decision that’s out of your hands but if it’s meant to be the job for you, then you’ll get it. If not then it’s only based on the fact you didn’t fit the role of the person that’s required, don’t take it personally.
Question: Is this new person in my life good for me?
Card interpretation: This is most likely going to be a person that comes across as quite cold and harsh as they take a logical approach to things rather than emotional. It doesn’t mean they have any negative intent towards you, as this person will favour being just and true, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re here to influence your life positively either. Being all about balance could suggest that they will just be someone that’s there, not having too much influence either way! But it’s down to your own interpretation if someone just being neutral is still good.
Question: Will I achieve my current goals?
Card interpretation: The Justice card holds the belief that all will receive what’s deserved in the end, but it isn’t down to you to decide what’s deserved and what isn’t. If you are destined to achieve your goals, then you will. But to help, the Justice card also reminds you to step back and look at the bigger picture, you may learn some valuable lessons that may assist with helping you achieve your goals!
Question: Should I make that investment?
Card interpretation: So long the investment isn’t dodgy, or part of some quick gambling scheme, and it feels ‘right’ for you to do so, then the Justice card would suggest that this is an investment that would pay off eventually. However, if it is something you haven’t thought about properly or one that someone is trying to convince you is a good thing but something doesn’t feel right, then listen to that feeling, it will not be a good investment for you.
Question: Should I start my own business?
Card interpretation: This is something that can go either way depending on how you go about it. If you do everything above board, do all the nitty-gritty bits that are necessary to keep a business running fairly and legally – especially paying attention to the legal side of things, then Justice could suggest that the venture would pay off for you. However, if you don’t pay attention to the necessary detail, try to cut corners, and don’t do your paperwork, then it isn’t something that’s going to bloom into something wonderful for you.
Justice reversal meanings
When Justice appears reversed in a reading, this can indicate there are prejudiced viewpoints at work, and you may need to examine your morals and bias and be accountable for your actions. If relating to others, this can help you to understand what may be holding someone back, or what may be at the centre of a dispute or conflict.
Justice reversed can also represent unfair treatment, complications in legal matters, anger and hostility and being overconfident to your own detriment. When this card appears, this is not the time to act rashly, but to think things through.
If pulled in the reversed position, Justice is associated with unfavourable outcomes, stressful legal matters, dishonesty, and unfair treatment.
What does the inverted Justice card mean in a love reading?
Drawing the Justice card in the reversed position during a love tarot spread can indicate that you are being treated unfairly in a current relationship or being deceived in some way. It can also be an indicator that either you or your partner are making more effort than the other, and you need to meet each other halfway. Again, take time to examine your behaviour and theirs, and look at things from all perspectives.
If single, upside-down Justice can mean that you still haven’t healed from past relationships and past mistakes. Even if you feel you are ready to move on, something may be holding you back. The card’s advice to you is that self-examination is required before you can truly move on.
What does the reverse Justice card mean in a health reading?
In terms of health, this card is a strong indicator that you need to slow down and your current lifestyle is detrimental to your health. The message here is that you need to take stock and make some changes in the areas you are overdoing things. Seek a good work-life balance.
How to use the Justice card in your Spellwork
To gain a favourable outcome in legal matters:
Justice upright can be used in candle magic spells; place the card under your working candle, or if using a jar candle you can tie the card to the front of the glass. Once you have finished your work, carry the card with you to all meetings involving your lawyer or court appointments.
Justice card tarot spread - Finding balance
Sometimes we are so overwhelmed, we don’t know where to begin to find balance in our hectic lives. Sometimes we are burning the candle at both ends, or giving too much of ourselves to other people that we end up drained and unmotivated.
This reading is designed to help you examine where you need to begin, to take the first steps to a better life balance.
At the centre of the spread, place the Justice card upright. Then shuffle your tarot or oracle deck and either choose cards or accept any that fall from the deck:
Card 1: (above the Justice Card) What area of my life do I need to find balance at this time?
Card 2: (to the right of the Justice card) What steps do I need to take to find balance?
Card 3: (Below the Justice card) What do I need to let go of?
Card 4: (To the left of the Justice Card) What do I need to nurture in myself just now?
A Poem to remember the upright meanings
Poems can be a good way to remember information because they often use rhyme and rhythm, which can make them easier to memorize.
Additionally, poems often use vivid imagery and figurative language, which can help to make the information more interesting and engaging.
Justice stands for truth and right
A weighing of the evidence in sight
A call for fairness in the light
And a reminder of our sacred plight
The scales of justice are held aloft
A reminder of the path that’s soft
To seek the truth without a cost
We must apply our heart and thought
The sword that Justice holds so dear
A symbol of the truth we hear
Its power is to cut through lies
And bring to light the truth that lies
The Lady Justice is a sign
Of wisdom, courage, and divine
The power of this card is great
It symbolizes a worthwhile wait
The Justice card is a reminder
That each and every case is tendered
It stands for fairness and impartiality
And a reminder of our own morality
A Poem to remember the reversal meanings
A reversed Justice card can be so unkempt
A tale of the justice system that’s been inept
Injustice is rampant and we’ve all been a part
Of a system that’s broken and has no heart
A lack of balance is what we can see
Where no one is safe from the broken decree
Too often we find a verdict of wrong
With a lack of empathy and a delay too long
Justice is blind, but not in its entirety
For the scales of justice have been weighted unfairly
It’s not just a system that’s broken, it’s a crime
When justice has no voice and the truth is denied
In conclusion, the Justice tarot card is a powerful symbol of fairness, truth, and balance. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you need more balance, integrity and understanding in your life.
Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot readers, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.
The 22 major arcana cards each correspond to different aspects of the human experience that are universal. They represent the different stages of the “hero’s journey”: our biggest challenges and life lessons, as well as our highest aspirations and greatest potential.
Have you ever had a reading where the Justice card appeared? What was the outcome? What does Justice mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.
If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.
Written by Pamela Norrie
Pamela Norrie is a writer and blogger based in Scotland. She enjoys writing about folklore, witchcraft and short fiction. Some of her
work can be found on her blog hagothehills.wordpress.com and through Instagram @hearthandhame
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