The tarot card I picked today was “Justice.” According to various sources, it mostly refers to legal actions, such as contracts, will, settlements, but some sources also say “Justice” includes the outcome of quarrels and disagreements, the judgement of the dead, consequences of wrong actions, atonement and redress.

I kept digging and found that it is also the card of duality. Internal and outer. Conscious and subconscious. Creation and destruction. Gain and loss. Beginning and endings. Light and dark. Self and other. In other words, balance. To a certain extent, opposing forces are the same thing, or at least different facets of the same thing. Neither force can exist without the other. Each causes the other. Everything has consequences, and the consequence of having one side means there will be another side of equal force.

True justice is about putting things back in balance.

Although this card doesn’t seem to pertain to anything in my life today, it is an interesting starting point for a discussion. There is such a demand nowadays for everyone to accept a single side, the side of politicized justness. It seems as if the current attempt to balance out old injustices pretty much creates injustices for a different group of people. In addition, if you don’t think a certain way, you are considered flat-out wrong, but that is not possible. There are two sides to everything, and each side creates its opposite side. So if there is too great a disparity favoring one side, it would create a greater pendulum swing to the other side.

The world of The Wheel of Time was a world of balance. One character was so strong that his presence bent chance and altered what was probable, so all sorts of inexplicable events, both good and bad happened in equal proportion. When the Dark One’s hand started to be felt in the world, this character’s actions almost always had positive outcomes to balance out the evil. Which led to one character asking a wise woman that if good and evil are always balanced, then is there really any such thing as good. The wise woman had no answer. But it left me wondering.

As does this card denoting justice. And balance.

Of course, on a cosmic scale, I doubt there is good and bad because those are human value judgements. But even on a cosmic scale there is always the push and pull of opposites. (Except when it comes to matter and anti-matter — there seems to be an imbalance there, though the imbalance might come from an inability to see where the balance is.)

On a human level, then, even if good and evil are equally balanced, I would still always try to do the right thing for no other reason than that it is the right thing, whether anyone agreed with me or not.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

2 Responses to “Justice”

  1. Estragon Says:

    In my view, balance is always a temporary state. It may arise “naturally”, or it may be induced by human action. In either case it likely won’t last forever, as increasing entropy is a fundamental property of our universe. This is probably a good thing. One theory has time ending for our universe when it reaches “heat death”, in which nothing happens by which time can be measured or percieved. Pretty boring!

    Even justice (in the legal sense) is temporary, as our definitions of right and wrong evolve. Probably also a good thing, though sometimes I’m not so sure.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      So maybe it’s the struggle for balance rather than balance itself that’s important. Maybe the struggle creates the conditions necessary for everything to exist. Balance can’t ever be achieved because then there would be . . . nothing.

      I’m not sure about the changes in right and wrong, either. Some of the old “wrongs” weren’t all that wrong, and some of today’s “rights” aren’t necessarily right.

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