Inverted Justice


Inverted JusticeOverturn is a word we often associate with justice, but not necessarily the card. In the backs of our minds, we all have an idea of what it means. It means something has gone wrong. “They” either pushed through something or thwarted our attempt to get something passed. In either case, power has shifted from one side to another. There is no balance.

Inverted Justice is the game changer we often perceive it as unfair. When you receive this card in a reading, look for the cards on either side. Your task is to bring them into balance. Our news reports are filled with imbalance — corrupt officials, crime, police brutality, divided government. Inverted Justice makes exciting news, but it is a very hard way to live. Seek to move towards the center of an argument. You might not agree, but you won’t find the need to be so contentious.


In a spread, look at the cards on either side of Justice. Those cards represent what you must balance or choose between in relation to the subject at hand. Justice represents the legal system, especially in combination with the following cards.

Major Arcana

High Priestess: If Justice comes before the High Priestess, secrets related to the law will become known. If Justice comes after the High Priestess, those secrets will only become known through a legal proceeding.
Hanged Man: If Justice comes before the Hanged Man, it indicates that you should strive for compassion and tolerance while judging a situation.
Temperance: If Justice comes before Temperance, it indicates there will be delays in a legal process, or a legal matter may not eventuate. If Justice comes after Temperance, a long legal process will end justly and with equity.
Devil: If Justice comes before the Devil, an accusation will be proven false. If Justice comes after the Devil, there will be a miscarriage of justice.
Moon: The combination of Justice and the Moon is strongly malign.
World: Justice lends a more mundane interpretation to the World.

Minor Arcana

Four of Wands (Clubs, Rods, Staves): If Justice shows up in a spread with the Four of Wands (Clubs, Rods, or Staves in other decks), it can indicate a civil ceremony and reception.

The Major Arcana

The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana tend to hold the big lessons. These cards carry powerful messages. If you are reading a spread of cards, watch for the Major Arcana. If your spread contains more than 30% Major Arcana, you are in the midst of something big, or beyond your control. If most of the cards in the spread are from the Major Arcana, you might be trying to exert too much control. You might have trouble expressing your feelings, or you might be near your breaking point. A spread without any Major Arcana cards could indicate you are hiding from the truth of the issue, or are in some deep distress. If this is the case, it is important to find someone you can trust to guide you through this period of time. In a spread, focus most of your attention on the Major Arcana. The other cards will be useful for clarifying the situation.

Number — 11, which resolves to 2

Two is a number of duality, balance, and choices.

The Inversion

There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:

  1. Blocked or Resisted
  2. Projected
  3. Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
  4. Inner, Unconscious, Private
  5. New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
  6. Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
  7. The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
  8. Excessively
  9. Misused or Misdirected
  10. The Upright Meaning Backward
  11. A Rectification or Cure
  12. Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous

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