The Sword of Justice

I participate in some pretty cool and fun Tarot-related discussions on FaceBook. My friend Ferol Humphrey initiates some of the most thought-provoking discussions on various and sundry Tarot issues on her Living Tarot  group. For example, I came across this question just yesterday (Oct 1):

“Why is there a sword in many Justice cards?”  

I thought this was a pretty cool question; I actually hadn’t thought about it before. So I took a little time to think about it and posted the answer below. I definitely wanted to share this, and I think I’ll start posting my answers to various questions, especially if I think I might be providing a different perspective that you might find interesting.


11 Justice For me, the sword is two-edged and, therefore, has two meanings. 

The first edge is the Edge of Consequence. The sword is a weapon and can be used to inflict harm, from a mere cut to a cause for death. If you compel the person holding the sword to strike you with it, you will literally suffer the consequences.

 The second edge is the Edge of Reason. Its fine sharpness represents how sharp the mind of the person wielding the sword must be. He must have just cause and good reason to use the sword, for once a blow is delivered, it cannot be undone.

 Justice holds the sword to remind the person before the Court that he must bear the consequences of any illegal actions he has committed, and to remind the Court that the sentence it delivers must be reasonable, appropriate, and just. 

Card image copyright US Games, Inc.

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2 Responses to The Sword of Justice

  1. woley says:

    I particularly like “Edge of Consequence” as it sounds very dramatic. That would make a good book or movie title.

    Very interesting answer, I quite like the philosophical bent of it.

  2. Thanks! I think I was in a philosophical mood that day. ;?)

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