On Justice

Originally, I set down to write “On Banishment,” which will be a separate post. But when I started my notes for it, I realized I had made notes a few weeks ago captioned “On Justice.” This is a card in the Tarot I drew for nearly all my clients, and myself:

1) before the ‘rona hit.

2) And then, when the Movement for Black lives gained traction.

3) And then, when, in my city of St. Louis, a huge discussion of sexual abuse kicked off with people naming their abusers in the open.

So yeah, first, let’s discuss Justice.

Justice is a multi-faceted and mysterious card. Its complications even go down to its numbering: 8 in some decks, 11 in others. The placement of Justice as card 11 makes more sense to me, as it keeps the astrological signs in order, and places it between the Wheel and the Hanged Man. With those who feel that the Major Arcana tell one story, between the Wheel turning and the Hanged Man taking their suspension, there must be a new balance, a new truth to accept–Justice. A sense of what is real, now that the world has turned into a new chapter. A great uncovering of what was hidden. A revelation of debts that must be paid.

It’s a tricky one to draw in a reading, because it depends so much on the client, their behavior, and their circumstances. Have they been leaning too hard on an outdated crutch–a job, a coping mechanism, a relationship that no longer serves? Have they been fighting a shift that needed to come, because change is downright scary? On the literal side, have they been involved in a court case–and are they actually in the right, or dodging responsibility? Justice means the truth is coming, the field is leveled, the end is about to reveal whether those means were appropriate

And it is a tough card to lay down, because if you draw Justice, chances are, you knew it was coming. Some part of you knew you were relying too heavily on what was easy, instead of challenging yourself to balance that comfort with growth (growth being, of course, uncomfortable). All of us were aware that the system under which we labor is, at its core, unjust. All of us figured we would sort it out in time. And now that time, with its debt of unsolved sorrows, has come.

The lack of medical infrastructure for the people living in the US is a debt.

The lack of access to secure living: housing, nutrition, education, is a debt. 

The unceasing, 400-year-running legalized murder of Black people in the US is a debt.

The loss of Trans lives without an eyelash batted is a debt.

The ubiquitousness of rape, and its subsequent acceptance and cover-ups by cohorts and participants (be it a local bar or the fighting corps of the United States), is a debt.

Now it has come due.

Often I include magical advice in my writings, but as I mentioned, Justice varies incredibly depending on the person for whom this card has been dealt. In this moment, each of us must find our own magic and apply it at will. People are telling you to march, or to vote, or to donate, or to ignore (don’t do that). To fight bodily, or organize locally, or broadcast globally. To be deadly serious, or only answer with humor. To hex the patriarchy, or bless the warriors. You are the only person who can decide what you do for Justice; each of us must go through an individual research and reckoning of what we owe to this new world. To be a part of a better, bigger, more accepting community, we must each analyze our role alone. (Woof. Not easy.)

This will be a long summer, dear hearts. And a long year. And perhaps a long era. But there is comfort in having pain in the open, wounds that can breathe and be treated.

I wish you strength, and patience, and clarity for your part.

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