The Wild Unknown Tarot - Justice VIII


There's no colour in this card.
2 cats, one white, one black sit with their backs to us, tails crossing... They are both looking back over their shoulders at us, the reader. The cross-hatching in the background slants diagonally inwards forming a sort of X shape and where the X meets is a small diamond, one half white and one half black - the white half is on the side where the black cat is sitting and the black half is on the side where the white cat is sitting. Above the diamond and positioned between the cats is a sword, pointing downwards, it's tip directly above the diamond.

I love this card and can see balance and opposites in it but up until just recently, when I decided to meditate with it and just see what came up, I was having some trouble really getting a grasp of it.
Here's some thoughts after sitting with this card quietly and really letting the image, the number and the concept of 'justice' speak to me:

The cats form a mirror image and also show polarities, perfectly balanced as all things in the universe are... That's one of the main themes of Justice for me - universal balance, balance will always be found and there is always a consequence, good or bad for every action.
So light and dark, good and evil, night and day, male and female, active and passive, up and down, black and white - neither being 'better' than the other - equal and balanced, perfectly fair with no bias either way.

The cats look as if they have paused, sat down and looked back, in their journey through a tunnel and the diamond is the light (and darkness) at the end of that tunnel. The fact that the halves of the diamond are opposite to the colours shown in the cats make me think that there is a seed of darkness in the light and vice versa - nothing is purely light and nothing is purely dark - there is always both.
We all contain both.

The sword hangs there above. It makes me think of the Sword of Damocles waiting to fall. The sword is the sword of truth, of justice... Lady Justice or the Goddess Fortuna holds the sword, representing truth and the scales representing balance, fairness and so the law - again something that has no bias.

8 is the number of universal balance. It's made up of two 4s but there isn't the stagnation that there is in the 4s because of the shape - the lemnisate shape where there is constant movement around the fixed point... I often think of the 8s showing movement to achieve balance.
There is also the notion of cause and effect with the 8s.. What you're experiencing now is a result of what you've done in the past and likewise, what you do now will directly affect your future. We reap what we sow and Justice for me often asks us to look back to past actions as that may be what's causing things that we're experiencing now.. I think the way that the cats look back over their shoulders echoes this (does for me anyway ;)).
So with 8s I think of harvest - you're getting back the results of your past actions, thoughts, feelings and things. If you put effort in then what you get back will be equal to that effort and likewise if you don't put enough effort in, your results will equal that.

Some other thoughts that came to mind that may make sense in readings are:
Hanging in the balance.
A decision needs to be made and it needs to be a fair one with no bias.
Things will balance out whether you like it or not and that goes on to say that there is always a price to be paid.
2 sides of the same coin.

More thoughts are always welcome :).


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    Justice VIII.jpg
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I have long associated myself with Strength (as I am a fiesty Leo), this is my first deck that puts Justice in the 8th position. I am open to it. :D It makes me happy that there are cats on the card. Cats have that kind of impartial, aloofishness that is ideal in a good judge. They have an ability as observers that is unsurpassed. They are silent and efficient, cuddly and fierce, social yet distant. Two opposing things at once. I like the black eyes on the white cat, makes me think that Justice is indeed blind, half of the time. The other half can see the balance, and is less/more fair. The two cats simultaneously look as if they are the same cat, seen through two different lenses...or two different cats conferring with each other. Just noticed an implied hourglass in the center of the card as well...

Justice is still an alien card to me, hard to pin down in a tangible sense. :p


Thanks Sagefire, I'd completely missed out any observations about cats and why they may be on the Justice card but now that you've mentioned their aloofness, impartiality and the way they have many seemingly contradictory or opposing qualities I can see that they're an excellent choice to represent Justice.

Interesting that you're seeing these as the same cat too and the apparent blindness and the hourglass...

These images are so simple yet so complex - I just love this deck :).


Thank you for these inspirational interpretations! I never would have noticed the tunnel or considered the way the cats are looking over their shoulders as a view of the past. I see the way the cats' tails crossed as indicating that an element of luck could be involved, and the lines and tip of the sword pointing to the center diamond (or end of the tunnel) show that the resolution or end/outcome may be the only escape or way out.


ow i love this card so much.
I see the lack of colour as significant. Justices sees no colours, nothing but the bare facts. No embelishments. No distractions. No emotions
unlike some justice cards neither seems overly 'winning' both cats are equel and remind me that in a conflict both sides can be right. There has to be black and there has to be white in for a perfect balance.

I like what is suggested that they look backwards to look in the past. To see the actions that have let to the results that are now present.
Sometimes it also feel like they are looking at me. Like they are saying , now its up to you. make your decision. Do it! NOW
cats can be stern like that ;-)Especially around dinner time


Pixna and Maan, thanks for adding some more layers to the meanings we're getting from this card..
I really like the comment about the crossed tails and the lack of colour; 'Justice sees no colours' - that's inspired :).
And yes, they look as if they're actually looking back towards the reader, putting the decision making into our hands... Good stuff :).

Rose Lalonde

So light and dark, good and evil, night and day, male and female, active and passive, up and down, black and white - neither being 'better' than the other - equal and balanced, perfectly fair with no bias either way.

Yes! This card seems like a deconstructed yin/yang (Taijitu) symbol -- with the diamond in the middle and the opposite color eyes reminding me of the symbol's circle of white within the black and vice versa. The cats' bodies are even shaped like the two sides of the yin/yang. And then the sword is perfectly in the middle, no bias, as you said.

Since the yin/yang is supposed to show how the apparent opposites are actually interconnected and dependent on one another (no light without the dark, etc.), I guess that's part of why Justice is perfectly in the middle.

Justices sees no colours, nothing but the bare facts.

Thanks for that. That makes perfect sense.


Coming super-late to the party. :) I just wanted to add to the thought about balance, which is so prominent in this depiction of the Justice card.

Plato had a really strong notion about Justice which he talked about in The Republic. The idea was that Justice was not some environmental state where laws were fair and "people did the right thing." Justice was an internal state of being, where all the parts of the self were in harmony, like a beautiful chord of music.

In other words, for Plato, justice in the world comes about just (ha!) when there's Justice in the self. It's fall-out from a self that is in natural harmony. Injustice is merely a sign reflecting that the self (or society, I guess) is sick.

This particular notion of Justice doesn't fit so well with classic RWS depictions of the Justice card, but seems to slot in beautifully with the depiction in the Wild Unknown Tarot.

Again, sorry to be so late to the party, and thanks for all your insights. I'm really finding them helpful as I explore this deck.