Duality Cards: Justice and The Empress

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There are some cards in the tarot that seem to foster a good kinship with each other, however unlikely they may seem to fit. Others are antagonists of each other, representing energies that conflict the core essence of either card as an individual message. Both are important, and both need to be expanded upon. It should also be stated, that one card can have multiple benefactor cards.

One such alliance I see in relation to the Justice card is the Empress. I think that the message of the Empress can help show the sweetness of the fruit born from Justice. Justice, as we have mentioned, is a card about mental clarity to follow the truth. The Justice card seen here (from the Ostara Tarot) shows Justice as blind, unaided in the potential distractions and biases that naturally exist in this world.

However, what starts out as a quest for Justice, for the fair and right course of punishment or action, can quickly become a search for vengeance. When one person or creature is wronged, there are those who are quick to say that the same should be done to the offender. I am not here to argue that this point in and of itself is meaningless, but I do think that it should stated that vengeance is not justice. Vengeance attaches an emotion of revenge or rage to an action. This does not apply to self-defense. Self-defense is in a whole other category. These messages are bigger picture and do not apply to immediate physical or bodily threats of harm. 

Justice is not always an easy fight. Read any history book to see how justice came to many groups of people way to late. I was recently watching the movie 42. This movie is about Jackie Robinson, and the racism he faced as he became the first black man to play in professional baseball. This movie is a beautiful story, but one scene spoke to me in particular. One white player went to Branch Rickie, nervous and concerned from a death threat he had received by small-minded bigots. Branch, unconcerned with this player’s fear, showed him a whole file of death threats sent for Robinson. He said that all this hatred was actually promoting empathy for Robinson.

Obviously, segregation in itself is unjust, but the unintended consequence from many peoples’ hatred was an ability to see how wrong it was. Empathy goes a long way. That is why I chose the Empress today. There are other cards that could be paired with Justice, and have great messages to give. But empathy, led by an unconditional duty to promote understanding and truth, can keep justice away from vengeance. Vengeance and revenge do not promote a higher integrity even though they are natural feelings. It is natural to be angry at the wrong-doings of others. It is natural to wish at times that others felt the pain we feel. But empathy opens a door that revenge cannot close.

We do not have to agree with others to show them compassion or empathy. We do not have to believe all the same things in order to break bread with another person. We can be empathetic towards people who are different. But if that other person promotes violence, speaks with racist or misogynistic words, or condemns others as inferior we can use justice to fight for correct actions to remove these people from power, the podium, or our communities. It goes both ways. We do not have to listen to someone spewing hate, but we do not have to respond with hate either.

Card Comparison: Justice

Wolflings,

We now look at the two Justice cards from the two decks I own: The Wild Unknown and the Ostara Tarot. These two decks are very different in style and use of symbolism. In these comparisons, I look to what each image is representing, and how they speak to me in terms of applicable use during a reading. I aim to see the similarities and differences they carry, and how both have a lesson to teach us.

There are some images that will speak to me, or perhaps to you, more. There may even be a favorite. That is okay. They are both still valuable in terms of understanding the deeper connections to be had in applying these cards in real-life scenarios. Let’s jump in. Please remember that these are my interpretations. You may see things differently, which is perfectly fine.

justice comparisons

 

Going from left to right, we have Justice from the Wild Unknown. There are two cats, one black and one white, facing forward with their tails intertwined. Between them is a diamond cut down the middle, representing the color of the other. Above them, a sword points downward, almost touching the diamond. The background has straight lines that come from every corner to the middle.

The two cats represent opposing contrasts, the same outlines, physical being, or metaphor can carry both the light and the dark. There is also an interpretation of how beliefs can be made from simple variations. White is purity. Black is bad luck. These beliefs are not based in anything other than superstition, and superstition does a disservice to actual reality.

The diamond further emphasizes this point. If the color of these cats was so accurate in representation, why does the diamond reflect the color of the other? I believe that this shows that there is no such thing as absolute balance. We carry both the light and the dark within us. We have the options of inflicting either love or fear in all actions and choices. What is important is how we make those choices. How can we, as imbalanced beings, create balance and change? How can we achieve the greater good when we carry the weight of baggage of both energies?

I think this answer lies in the sword. A sword is mute unless wielded. We can stay silent to the things that we find unsettling, disturbing even. We can refuse to create action, hoping instead that the divinity and supreme karma of nature will even the score, but as we all have seen, that is not always the case. We must pick up our sword, and be a warrior for truth, including our own. We must recognize that Justice is not a prophecy. It is a fight for greater understanding and possibility of being in service to all.

Moving to the right card, we have a woman blindfolded. This is a traditional representation of Justice, as it should be blind. She is human in every way, except for the long wing on her right arm. She carries the scales, weighing both a heart and a feather. She stands in an exotic land with trees and mountains behind her. This interpretation is both more on the nose, and more obscure.

First thing that is noticeable is her one wing. This in no way can a representation of balance. She cannot fly with one wing, and she has lost the use of her other arm. I think that this further drives the point home that Justice is not so simply to attain. She could be representing the balance between the human form and wild nature, but in this circumstance it seems to be more crippling. Which I think is the point. We have the need of both our modern human form, and a need for the wild drive in us. We are messy creatures, seeking the authenticity of our wild selves, but we also need the rule of law to guide us.

The scales and her blindfold are seen often. The scales are meant to represent how we weigh cause and consequence, right and wrong. Here we have a heart and a feather, and they seem to be the same weight. How so? Is the heart light because of a choice to be unburdened by judgement and ridicule, or is it so because it has never experienced the weight of the world? The feather is going to light, so how do feathers carry the biggest birds? This may show that what is right for one is not for another, but Justice supposed to indiscriminate, able to fit all? Not necessarily. Justice for one may be seen as a loss for another. Justice is not so easy to identify. Just take a look around to see how much discourse is being spent on what is truth.

What is true is that actions have consequences. The land she is surrounded by is beautiful, lush, full of resources. If we wanted to claim and harness this land for profit or self-service, we would harm and hinder growth. But if we work with the land, if we work with what is provided, we can use what we need without stripping or depleting the needs of communal enterprise.

Based on both cards, I would say that the Wild Unknown Justice speaks more directly to me. It makes a more lasting impression on how I work with the card meaning. That is not to say that the Ostara Tarot Justice is one I don’t like. I actually really like this card, and it presents a lot of things to go deeper on. I personally do not like analogy of Justice as a blindfolded woman. I understand the reference, but I think in order to engage and make decisions about this world, for this world, we need to have our eyes open to highlights and the horrors. We need to see how things are to decide how we want them to be.

**I hope you will comment and let me know what you think of these, or your own cards. This card is a hard one, but it so applicable right now. Much love Wolflings!

Card Comparison: 2 of Swords

2 of swords comparison

This month has been a deep dive into the 2 of Swords, which can be a challenging card. It is a card of layers, of merging and morphing multiple energies into a streamline of conscious action that initiates a change. What this means is that the card resembles and holds multiple energies at once. These energies can be challenges, calls to action, or reminders. Because there is so much to this card, it is interesting to see how the images are depicted to convey these dualities.

These two cards come from The Wild Unknown Tarot (depicted on the right), and the Ostara Tarot (depicted on the left). If you have multiple decks and are struggling to learn a card, compare the two. Sometimes seeing the multiple interpretations can help spark insight. If you do not have multiple decks, you can reach out and ask me to put up a picture, or use Google.

The Ostara Tarot shows a blindfolded blue jay perched on her nest, which has been created by using the two crossed swords as scaffolding. The swords seem to block a path that transitions from flat and easy to rocky terrain in the distance. As with all cards there is both light and shadow shown. This card shows that there can be comfort in the midst of a daunting setting. If we can come to terms with our thoughts becoming action or creations in the midst of an uncomfortable setting, then we can truly thrive in adaptability. We can use that which could be a setback or a threat, and turn it into a foundation.

This card also shows how strong instinct is, and how our mind can be channeled to create and compete, even when the cards are stacked against us. This Blue Jay was able to create her nest blindfolded and without damage done to her beautiful body. The instinct to create her home is so strong that it can be done no matter the cost. But this also opens the shadow side. Why would she create her nest here? It is admirable that she abilities are unchanged when she loses sight, but her home will never be free from danger. If she wishes to build a foundation free from any danger she will have to leave this place, and start down the path set for her towards new unknowns and new challenges.

This shadow side shows us that even when we achieve mental clarity from the Ace there can be residue from our former selves that we have to leave behind. This comes with intellectual honesty. We cannot be in the same routines to create change. If we receive inspiration and a new path, we must make the decision to shed our former habits and admit there is more to learn for integration. There is more that lies ahead, but we must be willing to lighten the load and act accordingly.

The 2 of Swords from The Wild Unknown also shows two crossed swords and in the middle of the V is a solar eclipse. A bright and fiery sun is concealed by the moon. This softens the harsh lights, but it conceals needed things. This, like the other card, shows an element of danger. If we attempt to stare head on at this occurrence we are both physical and metaphorically blinded. We need the sun to shine light on reality, to expose all that is around us so we can accurately act. But we need the influence of the Moon, with all its fluidity and watery pull.

This card shows that we need to work with both elements. We need to be willing to see reality for what is, but we need our intuition to guide us accurately. Intuition is a powerful thing. Just like any warrior who fights with these formidable blades, we need to move like in a dance. We need to be one with our thoughts and action, but that requires a compass of honesty and truth. The two crossed swords can be both a stance of protection and attack. This stance can protect us against coming attacks, but it can also be a combustion of strength and power.

What is needed is action. This card shows that indecision is a greater threat than an attack against us. We cannot hold this pose for long. We must move to honor our new path, otherwise we yield to stagnation. We could potentially stay here longer than welcome, but we would tire and succumb to neither victory or defeat. Both of these carry needed lessons if we are to grow.

Please let me know your thoughts on 2 of Swords. It is a card that combines a lot of energy. Take things slow. We are just at the beginning of new mental ground. It can be scary and elevating at the same time. Stay wild Wolflings!

2 of Swords and Eucalyptus

I am always thinking of correlations between the tarot cards and the world, reducing and extrapolating the meaning of a card into a synergistic relationship with something else. This could be a poem, a quote, a movie character, a crystal, or an essential oil. I have recently started using a lot more oils in my personal and spiritual life, and I wanted to see how oils were connected. How did the smell of an oil invoke the memory of a card? How did the impression create the path towards an image, even if they seem so unrelated?2 of swords and eucalyptus

Because the 2 of Swords is the tarot card of the month, I really want to find an oil that represented and resonated the core qualities of this card. As mentioned in my card description which can be found here, I recognized that one of the things that always sticks out to me about the 2 of Swords is the duality. Even the picture of the The Wild Unknown deck has both the Sun and the Moon. The two swords are crossed, either in a protective or attack position, and the Sun is behind the swords, but a full moon blocks the light.

This, at its surface, represents to me both the need for truth and action, intuition and conviction. The light of the Sun brings forth the truth, however harsh, but the moon represents the intuitive, the fluid nature of numerous cycles and ripples or movement in water. This suggests that the truth is attainable, but a core part of ourselves may be blocking that truth. We may think we have come into the light, but there is still a resilient shadow. In order to be skillful, calculated, or effective on our path we need both. Why then does this card feel so hard? I think the answer lies in the number. We have only just begun. Like those who learn the skill of the sword, they must move with the sword and learn the bite of the edge. Those who use the sword must not rely only upon talent or teaching. That will go a long way, but the presence of the moon speaks to finding intuition in movement, learning to trust the path, even if it is not what it seems.

How then does this relate to the chosen oil, Eucalyptus? In order for the duality of both truth and intuition to be in equilibrium, there needs to be as little resistance as possible. There is needs to be clam understanding, calm approach, and a molding of both protection and action. This is why I think of the 2 of the Swords when I smell Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus heals, reduces pain or inflammation, has a slight converging of sweetness and bite.

Eucalyptus can also tend to be overpowering, which is why little is key. Which is where we are at when we enter the 2 of Swords. We have just begun to materialize our vision, dream, or idea. We need to focus on the small amounts that help us grow and start a dialog, and not drown ourselves down with the excess.

Thank you so much for reading, let me know your thoughts in the the comments. Stay wild Wolflings!

The Fool: Tarot Deck Comparisons

The Fool tarot comparisons

One of the best things about tarot cards is that the meaning of the cards is never stale. The roots of each card are alive, spreading the nourishing gift of emotional sustenance. There is no one formula for each card that applies undoubtedly to other decks, or to each reader for that matter. The same reader can use two different decks for the same, or similar questions, and come up with very different responses from two alike cards. Obviously, these are my own thoughts, and there is no one right way to read or compare the cards.

I want to share some thoughts I have for The Fool from my two tarot decks, The Wild Unknown and the Ostara Tarot. If you look back to my old school posts, you can see that the Wild Unknown was my first deck. It was the very first one I learned to read. I finally made the purchase to acquire a second deck, and I chose the Ostara Tarot. I chose that deck actually because of The Devil card in particular (but that is a different post for a different day).

The left card is The Wild Unknown depiction of the Fool. The right is the Ostara Tarot depiction of the Fool. I will share the similarities of each card, the differences in meaning, the pros and cons of each card, and the one (if there is one) that speaks to me the most.

The Fool from The Wild Unknown is a baby chick, perched and ready for flight. Above the branch the expansive sky is golden, showing that it is a treasure to be one of the few creatures in this world that can navigate this path. It is endless and full of light. Below the branch is bleak, darkening into the depths of the plummet. Clearly this precipice is going to take heart and guts. Both above and below are unknown. Above brings freedom. The sky brings possibilities and the ability to grow.

This is also seen in the other Fool. A young girl grasps her broom. She has already taken flight. Although what is behind her is also dark, the obstacle that struck me was the way the artist depicted the tumult of wind. Her hair is blowing behind her, and birds all are around her, always trying to brave the way. Here, this Fool shows that although the leap of faith was taken, the path is not just smooth sailing. She will be confronted with dangers and threats, even though this is clearly the path she was destined for.

One of the main differences that I see in these cards is the perception or perceived feeling of preparedness.  The chick looks small and frail, but animals are always so inspirational to me. No matter how unable and weak they seem, they were made for their environments. Thousands of years of evolution have allowed such small babies to take the most daring of leaps. The girl, on the other hand, has more of the traditional look of the classical Fool. She is young. She is so ready for her adventure that she doesn’t even notice that her shoes are untied. But if you look closely, she has red elbows and scratched knees. This isn’t her first attempt, but she kept trying.

Both of these young Fools speak to new beginnings. The pros of the Wild Unknown are the clear demonstration of following your calling. If birds who are meant to fly, but never can, they will mostly likely die. The pros also show that the journey is worth more than anything. The chick is surrounded by flowers and comfort, but still she knows she must fly. The pros from the Fool from the Ostara Tarots shows the layers of the journey. The young girl has bloody knees, and a wind that could overpower her. But she persists. She dares to fly amongst the birds and the height.

In truth, I don’t find one speaks to me more than the other. I will say I love the Fool from the Wild Unknown. I love the idea of following what must be done before our physical forms go back to the dust and the stones. I relate to that Fool perhaps a little more because for a while I tried to make my way on the branch, where there was true comfort. The flowers show that the start is not a bad place. But the fact that I hadn’t leaped into my own sky meant that the deep depth felt like it was encroaching more inch by inch.

I would love to hear what you think of these cards, or of the Fool in your cards. You can find the Wild Unknown deck at www.thewildunknown.com. I purchased my Ostara Tarot deck from Amazon. These are not affiliate links.

We all have been the Fool at some point, and it is a beautiful place, despite the obstacles. Stay wild wolflings.