Justice Tarot Card (XI)

Key Meanings

Justice. Truth. Fairness. Cause and effect.

The Justice tarot card of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.The Justice tarot card of the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck.

Meaning of the Justice Tarot Card

The Justice tarot card represents justice, truth, fairness, rationality, and the law. It’s also a card of karma and cause and effect.

In a reading, it can show the need for fairness and impartiality. This can include fairness to yourself.

It can also refer to balance and fairness in a relationship.

Justice can indicate a rightness or wrongness about a situation—use the other cards, and your intuitive feelings to decide which.

It can show that a situation or relationship is hanging in the balance, or that someone is weighing up the pros and cons of a relationship or situation.

Its appearance in a reading about a law case indicates that justice will be done (whether that’s in the querent’s favour or against). 

It can show that actions taken, or about to be taken, have or will have consequences. This can be karmic justice.

Astrologically, the Justice tarot card is related to Libra, the sign of fairness, even-handedness, balance, and harmony. 

It can indicate that this is an important moment, and that decisions and choices need to be made.

Reversed Meanings of the Justice Tarot Card

Reversed Meanings can include the same as the upright position, but of lesser energy or blocked. The reversed Justice tarot card can also mean an internalization of the given meanings. The traditional reversed meanings are unfairness, dishonesty, injustice, or bias.

Look to the other cards in the spread to decide which meaning fits in this particular situation.

There are many methods of determining the meanings of reversed cards: inner energy, blocked energy, traditional meanings (which are often opposites of the upright meanings), and others. It’s usually best to choose one approach and stick with it until comfortable, before combining methods.

The Justice tarot card of the Marseille deck (Jean Dodal).The Justice tarot card of the Marseille deck (Jean Dodal).

Images, Symbols, and More

The figure sits in a chair holding a sword in her right hand and scales in her left. The scales weigh what is necessary in a person’s life, and the double-edged sword cuts away what is no longer needed in your life, including any ties that no longer serve you. It can indicate a stage of liberation.

This cutting away of ties can release creative energy into your life.

Behind her are two grey pillars with a veil hiding the inner temple. 

Traditionally, the Justice tarot card was number VIII, but the Rider-Waite-Smith deck switched the card to number XI, making Strength number VIII, in order to fit the astrological correspondences of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Both positions are considered valid.

Many modern decks follow the RWS position and place Justice as number XI. The Marseille, Thoth, and Wild Unknown tarot decks place it as VIII. In the Thoth deck, Justice is named Adjustment.

Major Arcana


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