11 – Justice


Note: In decks influenced by the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, Justice (or its equivalent) is Trump 11 and Strength (or its equivalent) is Trump 8. But in some decks, the two cards are reversed. Neither arrangement is inherently better than the other. In this book, however, you’ll find the entry for Strength under Trump 8.


Balance, law, fairness, objectivity

Range of Meaning

Light: Making an objective decision. Weighing an issue carefully before taking action. Appropriately scaling your reaction to a situation. Getting all the facts. Considering evidence. Deliberating.

Shadow: Delivering harsh criticism. Obsessing on rules and regulations. Playing by the book even when it is destructive or counterproductive to do so. Confusing snap decisions with timely action. Playing favorites.


Archetype: The Law

Hebrew Alphabet: Lamed/Outstretched Arms/30 or Theth/Snake/9

Numbers: 8 (movement, work) or 11 = 1 + 1 = 2 (debate, duality)

Planetary/Astrological/Elemental: Libra or Leo

Mythical/Spiritual: Themis or Justitia. Ma’at. Solomon dividing a baby. The Sword of Damocles. The giving of the Ten Commandments.

Story: During the main character’s initial challenge, his or her ability, knowledge, or personal suitability is found to be lacking.


Relationships. Relationships are rarely 50/50 propositions, but the closer you come to an even division of responsibility, the better. What do you really need to be satisfied? Knowing your standards empowers you to evaluate your feelings more clearly.

Work. Work toward a more equitable division of labor. Learn to delegate. Evaluate your own work using the same standard you bring to bear on the work of others. Know what matters most, and prioritize accordingly.

Spirituality. In all things, seek balance. When faced with a decision, quiet your mind and allow your heart to weigh the moment. Trust in the law of karma; avoid personal efforts to mete out universal justice.

Personal Growth. Everyone faces limitations of some kind. Learn your own limits. Rather than allow them to define you, use what you know to better position yourself for success. Learn when to say yes; know when to say no.

Fortune Telling. A legal verdict will be rendered soon. Someone is making a decision. You need to get the facts.

When? If Justice = 8, between July 23 and August 27 (Leo). If Justice = 11, between September 23 and October 22 (Libra).

Symbols and Insights

The sword. Swords symbolize decision-making and clarity, along with the responsibility such talents bring. (Ask Damocles!) What information is crucial to your decision? What are the pros and cons?

The scales. Scales have long been a symbol of balance and evaluation. The Egyptian god Ma’at weighed souls to determine purity of heart. What needs to be evaluated or weighed today?

The blindfold. Themis does not wear a blindfold, emphasizing her ability to foresee the future; Justitia does, emphasizing her objectivity. How can you enhance your own objectivity?

The temple columns. In RWS-influenced decks, we once again see the pillars from Solomon’s Temple. The veil now represents human law. What would a judge or lawyer do in your situation?

Questions to Ask

  • To what extent is your life (or work) balanced?
  • How can you achieve greater objectivity?
  • What course of action would be fair to everyone concerned?