Justice Tarot Card Meaning: Upright and Reversed

The Justice card, numbered XI in the Major Arcana, is a powerful symbol within the tarot deck, representing balance, fairness, truth, and the law. The imagery of Justice, often depicted as a robed figure with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other, speaks to the card’s core themes of equilibrium and accountability. This article delves into the meanings of the Justice card, exploring its significance in both upright and reversed positions.

Justice Upright

Symbolism and Interpretation

The figure of Justice is often portrayed as a stern, authoritative figure, seated between two pillars, similar to those seen in the High Priestess card, symbolizing balance and duality. The scales in one hand represent the weighing of ideas and decisions, emphasizing the need for balance and fairness. The double-edged sword in the other hand signifies the precision of thought and action needed to make fair decisions. The sword points upwards, suggesting the application of objective thought over emotion in judgment.

The crown on Justice’s head often features a small square, representing thoughts being grounded in reality, and sometimes, an orb above it, symbolizing the world under the influence of justice. The presence of a veil or curtain behind Justice symbolizes the idea that justice is something that is not immediately apparent to the eye and requires deliberate contemplation to understand fully.

In a Reading

When Justice appears in a reading, it often indicates that a fair and just decision will be made. It can relate to legal matters, indicating that the law will prevail, or to personal situations, suggesting that you should act with honesty and integrity. The card advises taking responsibility for your actions and making choices that reflect your true values.

  • Career: In career readings, Justice may indicate resolving workplace disputes, ethical dilemmas, or negotiations. It encourages fairness and transparency in professional dealings.
  • Relationships: For relationships, Justice calls for open communication and fair treatment of all parties involved. It may suggest resolving conflicts through understanding and compromise.
  • Personal Growth: This card highlights the importance of self-reflection and accountability in personal development. It urges you to align your actions with your moral compass and to seek truth in your life’s journey.

Applications in Life Readings

  • Moral Choices and Integrity: Upright Justice asks you to consider your actions and their repercussions not just on yourself but on others. It’s a call to examine whether you are living up to your ethical standards and to make amends if you are not. It is also a reminder that the truth will come to light, urging honesty and integrity in all dealings.
  • Decision-Making: In situations requiring a decision, Justice advises a balanced and thoughtful approach, taking into account all sides of the story. It warns against making hasty decisions based on emotions alone.
  • Karma and Accountability: Justice is a karmic card, reminding us that our actions and intentions, good or bad, will come back to us. It underscores the importance of putting out into the world what you wish to receive.

Relationship and Personal Growth Insights

In relationships, Justice calls for fair treatment and mutual respect. It may indicate the need for a significant conversation or decision that could alter the course of a relationship, emphasizing the importance of honesty and clear communication.

For personal growth, Justice encourages self-reflection on your life’s balance — are you working too much, neglecting your personal needs, or vice versa? It also asks you to consider if you are being true to yourself and living in alignment with your values.


Justice advises you to weigh your options carefully and to consider the consequences of your actions. It encourages honesty, fairness, and to strive for balance in all areas of life. The card reminds you that truth and integrity will lead to a positive resolution.

Justice Reversed

Symbolism and Interpretation

When reversed, Justice’s symbolism suggests a distortion or absence of the balance and fairness signified by its upright position. The scales may be imbalanced, indicating a situation where justice has not been served or where partiality has influenced outcomes. The inverted sword can symbolize a misuse of power or the lack of accountability.

In a Reading

The appearance of Justice reversed warns of a need to reevaluate your sense of fairness and truth. It suggests that biases or misunderstandings may be clouding your judgment.

  • Career: In a career context, it may warn against unethical practices or suggest that a work situation is not as equitable as it seems.
  • Relationships: Reversed, Justice indicates imbalances in relationships, where one party may feel treated unfairly. It calls for reassessment and open dialogue to restore harmony.
  • Personal Growth: This position urges introspection and honesty with oneself. It highlights the importance of confronting denial or deceit, encouraging you to realign with your ethical beliefs.

Applications in Life Readings

  • Injustice and Unfairness: Reversed, Justice might represent experiencing or contributing to unfairness or bias. It can also indicate a legal outcome that doesn’t go as expected or desired.
  • Avoidance of Responsibility: This position may suggest avoiding the consequences of your actions or failing to own up to mistakes. It’s a call to confront the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable.
  • Imbalance: Justice reversed can point to a life out of balance — perhaps giving too much in relationships, overworking, or neglecting important areas of your life.

Relationship and Personal Growth Insights

In relationships, Justice reversed suggests that there may be an imbalance of give and take, or that communication issues are leading to misunderstandings and resentment. It calls for a reevaluation of the relationship’s dynamics and for open, honest dialogue to address grievances.

For personal growth, the reversed Justice card is a reminder to reexamine your values and beliefs. Are you living in a way that is out of alignment with your moral compass? It encourages you to take responsibility for your actions and to strive for a more balanced and ethical way of living.


Justice reversed advises you to examine where you may be contributing to injustices in your life or the lives of others. It encourages you to seek truth, to advocate for fairness, and to correct imbalances. Acknowledge any biases and strive to act with integrity, even when it is challenging.


The Justice tarot card, whether upright or reversed, serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of balance, fairness, and truth in our lives. It calls us to account for our actions, to make decisions with integrity, and to uphold principles of fairness in all our dealings. By embracing the lessons of Justice, we can navigate life’s challenges with wisdom and equanimity, ensuring that our actions contribute to a more just and balanced world.

This overview provides a foundational understanding of the Justice tarot card’s meanings in both its upright and reversed positions. For a more in-depth exploration, including nuances in different contexts and layouts, further study and reflection on the card’s symbolism and how it applies to your personal experience are recommended.

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