Since XI/VIII Justice has made another appearance, lets take the opportunity to look at the slightly different slant that can come from using different decks. Aside from what you’re learning about each card in the deck, your biggest assets for interpretation are your eyes. Very literally, what do you see in each depiction of XI/VIII Justice?
In the Dreaming Way tarot, we see the sword of accountability, the scales of fairness, the blindfold that holds everyone to the same impartial standards. We’ve got a figure dressed in white, the colour of purity. The scales are gold . . .the gold standard? There’s silver and gold, black and white . . . the divine balance. Our long-haired Justice is clearly female; why is XI/VIII Justice female, and not male?
The Tarot of the New Vision literally looks behind the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot: we see the scenes from that deck from behind the featured figures. The sword and scales of inevitability are still visible. Here, XI/VIII Justice is shielding those who are vulnerable: a woman, an infant, and a figure from the working class. The mantle of the Justice figure sits heavy on her shoulders, though we can’t tell that the figure is, again, a woman, except by looking at the RWS card. What do you make of the crown, with its turrets? Or of the design on the back of the chair?
In the fun novelty decks, there is still plenty of symbolism for a pithy reading. In the Housewives Tarot, XI/VIII Justice is taking us back to the days when misbehaviour earned us a swift paddle. But notice the lollipop down there at the bottom right: Justice is also about the reward for going the extra mile. This is Justice as the nurturing mother, who shapes her children’s behaviour. It’s just desserts here: either the sweet lollipop or the spoon that mixes the cake batter.
You can find plenty of images at the Aeclectic site to explore the many forms of XI/VIII Justice as it moves from deck to deck.
Remember to connect the card — and the subtle differences in each deck — to experiences in your life, especially the experiences you live through this week.