The 8th card of the major arcana can vary depending on what deck you use. Originally the 8th card in the tarot was the Justice card and the 11th was Strength. When the Rider-Waite-Smith deck came out they switched the 8th card to Strength and the 11th to Justice. Some think this change was to align the deck astrologically, numerologically, and the Kabbala. Others think this was a part of their desire to create blinds within the tarot to trick those who were not a part of the Golden Dawn. This is the same reason why swords and fire and wands are air in the original Tarot. Then When Rider came along he switched the meaning so that swords=air and wands=fire.
We will follow the traditional sequence with the 8th card of the major arcana being represented by Justice. Here we see a seated woman between two pillars with a veil behind her. Within one hand she has holds the scales of justice. Unlike human justice her eyes aren’t covered because she does not need to be blind to see the truth. She is not swayed by the material matter of man. She sees all and knows the truth of our being. She carries a sword in her other hand which she uses to deal out justice. Her sword indicates an ability to cut through the superficial facades to the truth. To bare our souls. On her head she bears a crown and above her head the infinity symbol connecting her to the number 8 as truth, who we really are, is everlasting. Our essence does not die but simply shifts as needed for each lifetime.
According to Egyptian philosophy when we die we are taken by Anubis to Ma’at the Goddess of Justice to have our hearts weighed upon the scales of justice against a feather. To read more about Ma’at and the 42 Laws associated with her check out this site. Our hearts should balance out the weight of the feather. No heavier, no lighter. From there we move on to our next phase in life either to regain the balance or to another role. The scales represent equality. Our lives not judged against others but against the universal laws. The laws of spirit and the divine.
What are our lives without balance? When we are living too much in the world, in our heads, in our bodies, in our spirit then there are areas of who we are that suffer. The scales swing widely from one extreme to another. We are taught to compartmentalize our lives. To live fully in the light and ignore the darkness that resides within us. We pile high the weight on one side of the scales not realizing that they must balance out eventually. So the darkness builds as jealously, anger, fear, anxiety, or greed forcing us to equilibrium. We wear facades which only show one side of who we are. Then Justice raises her swords and cuts the cloak away from us. Justice has seen who we are the entire time. She is not blind to our shadow or our light. She wishes to only reveal our truth to us so we may live fully. Without fear of ourselves or each other.
If each person lived their truth what kind of world would this be?
When the Justice card shows up in your reading it is a sign that you need balance within your life. There is too much shadow or too much light. The Justice card can also indicate that you are not seeing things for what they really are. You must remove the gauze from your eyes and connect with the Divine to see yourself, others, and every situation as it really is. Lastly, this may be a time when Justice will be served. The equation will balance out and those who have wronged you will be judged accordingly. It is not your place through to act as judge. This is a cosmic judgement that will be handed out by Spirit. You are to take this knowledge and use it to find move forward.
Reverse: When the Justice card shows up in reverse this card as the card associated with infinity means about the same as it does upright. The meaning of this card is best understood depending upon the other cards in the reading. As the Law of Correspondence states, there are agreements between energy. This is found in sayings such as above so below, as within so without. Justice acts in the same manner balancing all things out without discrimination.
Numerology and Astrology;
The number 8 is associated with business, finances, and the material world. Those associated with the number 8 are shrewd business associates as they have a down to earth attitude and deep connection with the flow of the material world. The number 8 and 0 are tied as they are the only two numbers which will remain the same regardless of how they are written or arranged. They are balanced and whole with no stray bits. 8 represents cycles and the inevitable turning of the seasons, years, and times. Astrologically the number 8 is associated with Saturn and Leo but with the tarot card Justice is more appropriately associated with Libra and Uranus. Libra as the sign of balance and the astrological point of shifting from an internal focus to external-from the material world to the spiritual. From this perspective, it is easy to see why Justice, the number 8 and Libra are associated together.
The Fool has opened his eyes to the world around him. He sees others for who they are and not for what they present themselves to be. He has gained mastery of the material world and is now ready to begin to move towards combining that with his spiritual lessons. As he looks around at the world he thought he knew he realizes that he must retreat to integrate what he has learned and will learn. To shed who he was and become who he will be.