Justice is a term I’m not sure many of us understand fully. Many people think of karma in the sense of what goes around comes around (which isn’t actually karma by the way, karma is a state of being) and “getting what you deserve.” These concepts of justice are actually closer to vengeance. Justice rights wrongs with the end goal of reconciliation, not punishment. 

My view of justice is very much informed by my studies of Christianity and the works of George MacDonald specifically. A closer definition of justice is fairness. This is where balance comes in, in the sense of balancing the scales, of making things right and equal between people, the earth, the cosmos, and the Divine. 

“Those who say justice means the punishment of sin, and mercy the not punishing of sin, and attribute both to God, would make a schism in the very idea of God….[i]f God punish sin, it must be merciful to punish sin; and if God forgive sin, it must be just to forgive sin. He cannot be sometimes merciful, and not always merciful. He cannot be just, and not always just. Why does God punish sin? Because sin itself deserves punishment? Then how can he tell us to forgive it? Here, then, is the fault with the whole idea: punishment is nowise an offset to sin…If it were an offset to wrong, then God would be bound to punish; but he cannot be, for he forgives. Punishment is not directly for justice, else mercy would involve injustice. Then it is not for the sake of the punishment, as a thing that in itself ought to be done, but as a means to an end, that God punishes.” – George MacDonald Unspoken Sermons

I prefer to see the Justice card in the major arcana as number 11, instead of number 8 (which is Strength, respectively). Originally, Justice was number 8. I like the astrological consistency of Strength as number 8 (Leo is associated with Strength, Libra with Justice and Leo comes before Libra) and when I determined my birth card I meditated between the two options and that sealed the deal for me with Strength as 8. 

Anyway, I see Strength as a precursor to Justice. Justice can also be considered in terms of cause and effect- that is, actions have consequences. And Justice is a card that calls for action.  It is often a wake up call to change something, in my experience. When things are a little wonky, Justice often shows up. I tend to see life as unfolding benignly (most of the time), but when things happen that I might label “bad” they aren’t necessarily justice in action. Sometimes it is the consequences of my actions, sometimes it’s something that was out of my control entirely and not a result of anything I did. This is an important distinction. I can learn from both experiences, but only one requires me taking responsibility for something I did. It’s easy, natural, to look for blame in circumstances where blame is simply a deflection from pain (i.e. “If we wouldn’t have argued he wouldn’t have left and got hit by that bus”- which thankfully is a fictional example), but it’s not the always wisest response. 

So, anyway, the song I picked for Justice is “Good Luck” by Sondre Lerche. I included the lyrics again, as you can see. I feel it fits in the most dazzling way. 

“I had a bad dream

And as the night progressed

Drenched in silliness I watched it all unfold

Oh Dear

If there is any truth to this

Somebody wake me and serve up some good white lies

I had a bad dream

In which the phone would ring

And drown out everything

It kept me on my feet

But, down in streets so quiet now
I can hear ticking from meters and bombs

When I fall asleep and I climb these four walls

Wake up in the middle of conference calls

That go on forever about nothing at all

Good luck

Don’t you feel so bad

Just don’t get your hopes up

Oh, there’s no reason why

I had a bad dream

And as the sun came in

I threw out everything that kept me company

I held my breath to feel alive

The damage is measured against the regrets

The potential of tragedy hangs you by threads

Strike up the banjo and sing us a song

Good luck

Don’t you feel so bad

Just don’t get your hopes up

Oh, there’s no reason why

Good luck

Don’t you feel so bad

Just don’t get your hopes up

Luck, whether good or bad

Doesn’t come from justice

Good luck

Don’t you feel so bad

Just don’t get your hopes up

Oh, there’s no reason why”



Also in this series: 

The Star
The Fool
The Magician
Strength

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7 thoughts on “Connecting Tarot with Music: Justice 

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