Justice is the 11th Major Arcana tarot card and represents fairness, balance, and ethics. The figure of Justice holds a perfectly erect sword pointing towards the heavens, indicating that her discrimination is in alignment with Truth. In her other hand, she holds a pair of scales, which she uses to make a balanced decision that weighs all factors.

Justice Tarot Card Upright and Reversed Keywords
Justice tarot card upright and reversed keywords.

Justice is tarot card number 11 and is connected to the element of Air and the Libra zodiac sign, which is associated with concepts of balance, harmony, and diplomacy. In astrology, the planet Saturn is exalted in Libra, meaning that the work of Saturn—building structures, rules, and long-lasting foundations—is best done in a spirit of egalitarianism. In numerology, The Justice card’s number 11 is a master number that can be reduced to the number 2 (1+1=2), representing diplomacy and balance.

Justice Keywords

Upright keywords

Reversed keywords

fairness, equilibrium, consequences, truth

disharmony, unfairness, cloudy vision, lack of principles

Description of the Justice Tarot Card

In The Wheel of Fortune, we saw the concept of cosmic balance outside of the individual’s control, and in Justice, we see the concept of balance within the individual’s control. As such, it is bound up with human-derived ideals like morality, fairness, and ethics. Justice’s number 11 is a visual symbol of balance and symmetry, two key virtues of this card.

In the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, Lady Justice sits between two pillars, which recall those of the High Priestess and The Hierophant, but hers are painted gray, which is symbolic of the neutrality she possesses. She is the presiding authority on truth, and the square in her crown references The Emperor’s number 4 and the concept of human-made laws (as opposed to cosmic laws).

The double-edged sword, which she holds in her right hand, represents the responsibility that comes with acting in accordance with one’s values and principles and with knowledge of the consequences of one’s actions. In her left hand she holds her scales, which connect her to her intuitive capacity to weigh and judge situations with impartiality and discrimination and with her pursuit of fairness and balance.

Justice Upright Meaning

In the upright position, Justice suggests a period of review of past actions and a consideration of their consequences in the present. Whether negative or positive, the present moment reflects the results of previous actions. Reviewing the cause and effect of events with impartiality can lead to greater clarity and understanding of the current situation.

Justice represents taking responsibility for our current situation by reviewing our past actions. In the upright position, it suggests that you are experiencing the fruits of previous efforts, hard work, and diligence. It suggests balanced action that is in alignment with your inner truth. You can use the sword of Justice to cut through illusions, fantasies, and projections to see into the heart of the matter.

The ideals of Justice are not a neat system of punishment and reward: her concern is with the maintenance of a universal kind of harmony, a creative and dynamic perpetual rebalancing of opposing forces. In this way, the work of justice aspires to something more than what is simply fair: she aspires to justice as beauty, beauty as truth, and harmony as a creative expression of the divine made manifest on earth.

Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)

In the upright position of a tarot reading, Justice suggests that there is balance, fairness, and a dynamic exchange of energy between you and a partner. There is the sense that each person feels respected, seen, and valued and that the relationship is supported by a mutual commitment to clear and honest communication. If there is a challenging conversation that needs to happen, this card suggests approaching it with tact, neutrality, and honesty.

Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)

Justice can indicate that you are experiencing balance and peace in your career as a result of acting in accordance with your inner guidance system and inner truth. She represents the courage to act on what you know is true, even if that truth is in contrast to what you desire. Justice can also indicate career fields that draw on your ability to be impartial, fair, speak the truth, and mediate between groups of people.

This card is an encouragement to continue to stand firmly in your truth by saying no to opportunities or offers that don’t align with your highest good and by focusing your attention on projects and goals that feel essential and meaningful. It can suggest that you’re experiencing the fruit of previous labors and is an encouragement to continue putting in dedicated work towards your most cherished ideals.

Love/relationship upright keywords

Career/finance upright keywords

balance, clear communication, honesty 

following inner guidance system, balance, seeing the truth of a situation, rewards for previous work

Justice Reversed Meaning

Justice reversed represents the distortion of facts or the inability to see the truth. This could be because emotions and expectations are getting in the way of clearly seeing the reality of a situation. It can represent the need to make a decision based on a logical assessment of the facts rather than emotions, which could be taking you off course.

  • Reversed keywords: distortion of facts, inability to see the truth, not taking responsibility for past actions 

This card can represent the need to speak the truth to yourself or to another. Miscommunications could be causing confusion, but this can be remedied by having clear and direct discussions. If you are avoiding an important conversation, this card is an encouragement to broach the subject with fairness and sensitivity.

This card can also appear reversed when there is a lack of accountability, or a willingness to blame others, for the consequences of your actions in the past. The current situation is a karmic extension of the past, and you can come to a feeling of peace and understanding when you dispassionately view your current context from this lens. Understanding the situation from this perspective gives you the insight needed to course correct.

Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)

In the reversed position of a love & relationships tarot reading, Justice suggests that there is an imbalance of energy within a relationship or between soulmates. If one person is giving more than the other, or one feels continually infringed on by the demands of the other, Justice may indicate that there need to be firmer boundaries in place. Having clear and honest conversations about the feeling of imbalance can help to reset the scales and restore harmony.

Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)

In the reversed position, Justice can suggest that you’ve gone off course from your inner guidance system, and greater reflection is needed to come back into alignment with your truth. If your career or finances are unsatisfying or unfulfilling to you or in some way violate your sense of ethics, this card suggests meditating on your true gifts, desires, and interests.

There could be a legal dispute or an imbalance in the workplace where your boundaries are being infringed upon, or the compensation you’re receiving is not commensurate with your talents, energy, and experience. If this is the case, Justice suggests that advocating for yourself and your best interests is needed to restore the balance.

Love/relationship reversed keywords

Money/career reversed keywords

imbalance of energy, boundaries, clear communication needed

career feels out of alignment with one’s inner truth, a need to set a boundary in the workplace, or advocate for oneself