Justice, Adjustment, and the Tarot

The theme for this month is a nuanced understanding of balance. We're not talking about the kind where you just carry a ton of shit and don't drop it, like a waiter with a tray full of dishes. I don't know about you, but thinking about that just stresses me out. Instead, we're going to talk about balance in a way that will actually help us improves our lives instead of making us feel like we should be more, do more, or handle things better.  We're going to talk about balance as not a state, but a physical kind of motion--a constant one where you are aware of your own center and take action to keep close to it.

This is what we find in the next tarot card in the sequence of the Fool's Journey -- Adjustment, or as it's more commonly called, Justice. Traditionally Justice, the card of Libra, is shown blindfolded and holding a sword and a set of scales. Descriptions usually include mention of fairness and truth, the law, legal issues, and sticking to the rules. But "Adjustment" relates more to balance, in a way that we can use in our daily lives to help us "do the right thing"--which brings us back to Justice.

If we go a little deeper, and dive into the more esoteric meanings of law and order, we come up not with human justice, but with the  balance of nature --which can be trickier and a lot less forgiving. Nature's balance is about homeostasis and equilibrium, keeping a system functioning normally and balancing the mathematical scales that keep everything interrelated from veering into chaos and destructive feedback loops. There's no slop in this, no goofing around, because it's literally a matter of life and death.

On some cards, the figure holding the scales on the card is Ma'at, the egyptian divinity who weighs our heart against her ostrich feather at the end of our life. This reminds us to see our lives truthfully and lighten our load so that karma won't bite us in the ass. This ties the concept of justice to the airy realm of measurement, and the potential harshness of those scales. How do we not weigh ourselves down with mistakes, when doing the right thing seems impossibly hard to figure out?

To pull this off, we need to be objective, clear, and possibly extend past our own biases and narrowness of thought. Where have we gone too far? Not done enough? When have we judged ourselves and pushed away our own aspects, instead of bringing them into the center to heal? Where have we let our emotions decide what's right or wrong, instead of seeing that reality doesn't care?

Justice, or Adjustment, is the law of nature, which is always self-correcting. What we need to learn here is how to be in tune with both our world and ourselves, so that instead of being rigid and uncompromising we can dance--flexibly and with an amount of improvisation. This kind of living lightens our heart and makes sure we never get too far from living from our center.