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Mary El - Justice

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Mary El - Justice


http://www.mary-el.com/08.html

This looks like a straight forward card on the surface - Maat, daughter of the Sun, and her white feather for weighing the heart/soul. But nothing about the Mary El is what it seems. The lines seem to divide the card, perhaps between two worlds?

The curls that we see throughout the deck are here in Maat's bracelet. If you notice just past her crossed hands the bracelet ends in the head of a snake. Is this the carry over of Kundalini? Is it an asp and the woman is in fact, Cleopatra?
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I don't know, Bat Chicken. There's an awful lot of thin, curled snakes in this deck--I wouldn't read Justice as Cleopatra.

Justice is a tough one for tarot. It doesn't inspire as much creativity as some of the other majors. It's either a gal with sword and scales, or Maat and her feather. I think Justice is sort of like the Hierophant--it is bound up with capital-C "Civilization" and therefore a lot of people don't like it This Justice seems out of style with the other cards. She's completely controlled by the lines of the art; she's blocks of color and form but without the energy of the other cards--static.

And because she takes up all the card, I can't visualize what she's judging, if you know what I mean. When Justice faces you, you can imagine going up to her and having her listen and pronounce. This one is posing.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra View Post
I don't know, Bat Chicken. There's an awful lot of thin, curled snakes in this deck--I wouldn't read Justice as Cleopatra.
I just saw the crown looking like the one worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the movie.. The presence of the snake head is really interesting....

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Originally Posted by Debra View Post
Justice is a tough one for tarot. It doesn't inspire as much creativity as some of the other majors. It's either a gal with sword and scales, or Maat and her feather. I think Justice is sort of like the Hierophant--it is bound up with capital-C "Civilization" and therefore a lot of people don't like it This Justice seems out of style with the other cards. She's completely controlled by the lines of the art; she's blocks of color and form but without the energy of the other cards--static.
Yes, she is rather static....
I kind of buy into the Thoth 'adjustment' here. Cosmic balance. I am not sure I see big "C" civilization looming as large here as it does in the Hierophant.

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Originally Posted by Debra View Post
And because she takes up all the card, I can't visualize what she's judging, if you know what I mean. When Justice faces you, you can imagine going up to her and having her listen and pronounce. This one is posing.
See? Cleopatra...
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Starting with the obvious: In this image, Maat holds a feather and crosses her hands over her heart. Culturally (in Western culture, that is), this hands-over-the-heart gesture is usually a serious, self-referent sort of gesture. To me, this image seems to be inviting one to contemplate what is in one’s own heart and soul--that is, to do the difficult and sobering work of looking honestly within oneself and taking responsibility for one's choices—the typical Justice stuff. Also, notice Maat’s expression in this card—it's quite serious, almost grave, suggesting the weightiness of this type of contemplative mindset.

This sober, self-contemplating Justice image works well in Position 8 as an opener to the second line, given that the second line is all about turning inward. Notice that the feather does a little more than just curl at the end—it’s a spiral, which could signify going inward, or possibly a coming-into-being that would fit the goal of the second line, which involves gaining a deeper awareness of the self.

I have to admit that when I first saw this card, I wasn't as wild about it as compared to the previous cards. But, it's growing on me. What I most like here is that there seems to be a certain stillness in this scene, or a certain peacefulness. The difficult task of being truly honest with ourselves, *about* ourselves, when accomplished successfully, brings deep inner peace.

Then again, that strange little snake seems to interrupt or at least put a question mark on the otherwise still and peaceful mood...maybe, or maybe not. I'm curious to hear what the rest of you make of the snake.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Requiella View Post

This sober, self-contemplating Justice image works well in Position 8 as an opener to the second line, given that the second line is all about turning inward. Notice that the feather does a little more than just curl at the end—it’s a spiral, which could signify going inward, or possibly a coming-into-being that would fit the goal of the second line, which involves gaining a deeper awareness of the self.

I have to admit that when I first saw this card, I wasn't as wild about it as compared to the previous cards. But, it's growing on me. What I most like here is that there seems to be a certain stillness in this scene, or a certain peacefulness. The difficult task of being truly honest with ourselves, *about* ourselves, when accomplished successfully, brings deep inner peace.
Yes, this nicely deals with the fact that this card has much less motion in the art...
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Introspection raises the question of Justice vs. Judgement. Justice is between people, a way of resolving disputes, dealing with inequalities, etc. Relevant concepts are fairness, balance, truth, integrity, honor.
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Interesting point, Debra... That's why I like Crowley's use of Adjustment instead of Justice....
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Well, hm. I guess there's philosophical variation. There are some traditions that turn every card to introspection and personal development--inwardness--which has advantages but also assumes the individual is always in the center of the universe. (How dare they! *I* am the center of the universe, doncha know!

I like when some cards take account of human civilization--the Empress and Emperor are rulers, more than mom and dad archetypes, and justice is tied to law and the social contract, and so forth. This deck is unimpressed with human culture from what I can see so far
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Justice personified by Maat... in one hand the feather with which she balances the weight of souls to determine where they will end up, in paradise, or devoured by Ammit the goddess of the Duat, the Egyptian underworld.

In many depictions, Maat has in one hand an ankh symbolizing eternal life, and the other a was sceptre symbolizing control over chaos in the form of an amulet responsible for the well-being of souls. This sceptre has a shape similar to a snake, having a forked tail, so that may be what the snake on Justice's arm is refering to.

In addition to being a goddess, Maat is also a system of values in Egyptian society, as established by the ruler. From Wikipedia: To the Egyptian mind, Maat bound all things together in an indestructible unity: the universe, the natural world, the state, and the individual were all seen as parts of the wider order generated by Maat.
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Ma'at (as Justice) seems so rigid to me. She is all about lines and right angles, straight hair and perfect posture. She holds her hands over her heart, but I don't see any compassion in her face. Even the feather appears trimmed and tightly wound, not light and airy. This Justice seems to be more about keeping order than it is about fairness. Although it is the feather that is used for weighing, the snake on her arm is also judging, assessing. It flicks its tongue to taste and smell the air, to collect information about the surroundings. It is also the snake that is able to shed its skin and begin again, past misdeeds forgotten.
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