How to Work with Justice When We Feel it isn’t Serving Us

20181027_131523

We knew the Justice card would be hard. We knew this wouldn’t be an easy month. Justice is something that when it doesn’t come, can hit you across the palpitating heart. This month, I am not going to lie, it seemed to keep coming. At first, my instincts were to dig in harder, to learn more and know more so I could more in the search for Justice, and being an ally for those who need it most. I thought that through my good intentions of constantly seeking the truth of what was going, I could be better prepared.

That is not what happened……

I became overwhelmed by everything that was going on. The news was enough to make turn my good intentions into stone. I couldn’t carry all the emotions that I felt around these injustices. So I pulled back. I set boundaries. I created timelines of when I would have the TV on, and when I would enjoy a stupid funny movie. I needed this boundary because for a few days I was so inundated with horrific headlines that I forgot to laugh.

Justice is something that will push us to the limits. We need to act and search for the things in this world that will balance the corruption, the hatred, the violence. We need to use our words to say clearly where we wish to see Justice manifest. With the midterms coming up, this is another way to actively seek what we see is fair settlement for ourselves and others.

There are a lot of things to be positive about. I do not want to say that tumultuous times purge all the beauty in this world. There is still much to be grateful for, and much to love. But Justice is a balancing act, and I am not going to lie, today was a hard one. The new shooting in Pittsburgh, the bombs sent in the mail, it all felt like “Here we go again.” And then I read the news that two wolves were killed in Washington State.

wolf

Wolves are killed everywhere. I know this. I can’t always read it because it hurts, but I know it happens. Today I just spilled over in emotion. I cried hard. Harder than I have in probably a year. It was just too much. I kept thinking this is unfair for everyone. This is unfair. The shadow of Justice was coming in, and I didn’t know how to handle it. So I sat with it. I kept sitting with the pain of everything going on. I finally realized that no matter how bad the news gets, no matter how much I want to give in, I need to keep speaking about the causes I am invested in.

So if you are working with Justice, and you feel the way I do, here are some things to do to work with Justice when it doesn’t feel it is working with us. These are things that have worked for me. If something else works for you great! Share it. I would love to know how others work with this card when it feels it isn’t working with us:

1.) Create boundaries. No one can hold all of their pain and rage all the time. Be informed. Learn. But take time to laugh, to find happiness. Take breaks. It is okay to do so.

2.) Sit with the emotions. What do they have to say. If we suppress our pain when something bad happens, when something is unjust happens, we also suppress our empathy and desire to see things done right for all.

3.) Use what resources or words you can, when you can. We are all in this together, and I hope that we can all share the load towards love and inclusion.

4.) Keep believing. Empathy and love are not always going to win the battle, but I believe in my bones that it will win the war. Fighting for Justice is not always an act of love. Sometimes, it is an act of pain and heartbreak to still be fighting for equality in many topics. But, if no one fights for Justice, it won’t happen.

**Thank you for reading. I hope this small blog helps in creating ways to work with Justice, even when it feels like a mountain. It is a hard month, but I would rather feel the pain and the love than apathy and detachment any day of the week. Much love to you. Stay wild wolflings!!** #alwayshowling

Duality Cards: Justice and The Empress

20181019_153918

 

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!