Justice (tarot card)

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Justice (XI) from the Rider–Waite tarot deck

Justice is a Major Arcana tarot card, numbered either VIII or XI, depending on the deck. This card is used in game playing as well as in divination.


The Justice card, as a member of the tarot deck, appears in early tarot, such as the Tarot de Marseilles. It is part of the tarot's Major Arcana, and usually follows the Chariot, as card VIII, although some decks vary from this pattern. The virtue Justice accompanies two of the other cardinal virtues in the Major Arcana: temperance and strength.

The figure on the card holds a scale made of gold in their left hand, symbolizing a balanced decision.[1]


According to A. E. Waite's 1910 book Pictorial Key to the Tarot, the Justice card carries several divinatory associations:[2]

11. JUSTICE.—Equity, rightness, probity, executive; triumph of the deserving side in law. Reversed: Law in all its departments, legal complications, bigotry, bias, excessive severity.

In astrology, the Justice card is associated with the planet Venus and Libra zodiac sign.[3]


Folio 32 of the Cipher Manuscripts, suggesting the numbering switch for the Strength and Justice cards

Justice is traditionally the eighth card, and Strength the eleventh, but the influential Rider–Waite–Smith deck switched the position of these two cards in order to make them better fit the astrological correspondences worked out by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, under which the eighth card is associated with Leo and the eleventh with Libra. This switch was originally suggested in the mysterious Cipher Manuscripts which formed the basis for the Golden Dawn's teachings regarding tarot and other subjects.[4] Today many divinatory tarot decks use this numbering, particularly in the English-speaking world.


  1. ^ Gray, Eden. "Complete Guide to the Tarot." 1970. Crown Publishers, New York, NY.
  2. ^ Waite, Arthur Edward (1979). The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. New York: Samuel Weiser. p. 285. ISBN 0-87728-218-8.
  3. ^ "Justice Tarot Card". askAstrology.
  4. ^ Decker, Ronald; Dummett, Michael (2019). A History of the Occult Tarot. London: Duckworth. p. 82–84. ISBN 9780715645727.

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This article incorporates text from the public domain 1910 book Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite. Please feel free to update the text.