The Justice card is one of the most important Tarot cards in the Tarot deck. If the Justice card is drawn in a Tarot reading, we should try seeing things from different perspectives.
Justice is the most sensible and neutral Tarot card of the Major Arcana, at least in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.
At the same time it is, especially in an esoteric sense, one of the most important in that it appeals to our sense of self-responsibility and serves to remind us that we control most of the things that happen in our lives. How gladly we would hand over the responsibility for our actions to a “higher power” with passive questions like: “Will he or she come back to me?” or “What will the future bring?” and so on.
The Tarot or astrology reader is then often misunderstood as the messenger of the ultimate truth and a positive future, whereas he or she is actually “only” the translator of the Tarot cards or astrological symbolism and shows, in the best cases, which spiritual development potential will be come to expression and which tasks will be forthcoming in the clients’ life.
In analysing the Justice Tarot card, a peculiarity of numerology comes to light. Sometimes the card has the number 8, and sometimes 11. Traditionally the card has the number 8. Arthur E. Waite, who with Pamela Colman Smith developed this Tarot deck circa 1909, decided for unknown reasons to switch the places of the original eleventh card (Justice) with the Strength card, which was previously number eight.
A probable reason was to fit the card into the astrological system of the Order of the Golden Dawn in London. In the much older Tarot of Marseille (see picture), the Justice card is numbered 8, and even Crowley, in his Thoth Deck illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris in 1944, retains this traditional numbering, as does Margarete Petersen. In contrast, painter Hermann Haindl chose to retain the numbering of the Rider-Waite deck. For many though using the number 8 for the Justice card is more convincing. Why?
Eight is a number that can consistently be divided into equal parts (4+4 = 8, 2+2 = 4, 1+1 = 2), thereby earning with its balance the true sense of the word “justice.” The eight is visually a Lemnikate, the mathematical symbol of infinity that in Tarot represents the unity of over and under, consciousness and unconsciousness, heaven and earth, inner and outer, activity and passivity. The octagon is halfway between the circle and the square, and therefore between the earthly reality (square) and the heavenly completion (circle).
The eight comes after the seven, which among other meanings symbolises the close of a cycle, and stands for the new start of a higher level, for transformation and for an awakened consciousness.