Astrological Tarot Lesson VIII: Libra and the Lady of Justice
What every good magician needs to know.
The Fall Equinox marks the halfway point of the zodiacal year. The entire circle of the zodiac is made up of 360 degrees, and we are now at the 180 degree mark. Those 360 degrees divide by 4 into the seasons, and by 12 into the months and the zodiac signs, but cut the whole thing right in half and you get the 2 largest divisions, the first and second half of the zodiacal year; the period of outer growth and the period of inner growth. Right now at the turning point, everything turns inside out and upside down. Opposites meet, and polarities balance. The light and the darkness calibrate.The Hermit of Virgo was the harbinger of this time of introspection but now moving into the Justice of Libra, we should be able to find repose and let the pendulum hang loose rather than be victim to its wild swing.
The freedom and expansive energy of the Summer winds down into this period of study and internal growth, whether through literally returning back to school, reinvigorating your yoga or meditation practice, or delving into self-study. This is a good time to step from the trail-head firmly onto your chosen paths of self-improvement.
Libra is represented by the scales, and by the Tarot Major Arcana of JUSTICE.
(l-r Crystal Tarot, Knapp-Hall Tarot, Classic Tarot)
8 or 11?
In older decks, the Justice card is numbered 8, and Strength (Leo) is numbered 11. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – the magical order who translated and transcribed; who researched and resurrected the hermetic teachings from dusty antiquity, switched these two cards in their order and by doing so, placed all of the zodiacal trumps of the major arcana in the order that they fall in the zodiacal belt.
Libra (Justice) – Cardinal Air Ruled by Venus (The Empress)
The image of Lady Justice is a strong and familiar symbolic representation of divine order, law, and objective ruling. She is the Roman Justitia, and the Greek goddess Themis. When depicted with a blindfold, this symbolizes her impartiality. The sword in one hand and the scales in the other represent expressions of polarity such as
-movement and stillness
-flexibility and exactitude
-emotions and logic
In Ancient Egypt the concepts of truth and justice were embodied in the Goddess Maat. She is one of the earliest known personifications of justice balancing the scales. Sometimes depicted winged, (see below) she is identified by the feather of her headress – the Ostrich Plume. (You can also use the headdress to identify two other well-known Egyptian Goddesses – Isis upon whose head sits a throne, and Hathor who holds the Sun Disk between the bull horns). You see Maat present at the weighing of the heart in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, her ostrich feather placed upon one side of the balance. Maat is the wife of Thoth – the Egyptian God of magic and language, who corresponds to the Greek Hermes and Roman Mercury, thus to the Magician in the Tarot. Take a moment to consider Justice as the wife and counterpart of the Magician.
In her expression as an Ascended Master, the Goddess of Justice is Lady Portia. She is the female counterpart of Saint Germain, and as such she is also a Keeper of the Violet Flame.
“She is also the Keeper of the Holy Heart Flame, a feminine aspect of the Violet Flame energy, and she applies the principles and effects of this flame in her work today. She is also Keeper of the Flame of Justice and Opportunity. She answers all calls for balance and teaches us to attain our own balance between the polarities that exist in the world. Lady Portia is also represented by her namesake in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, a play revolving around the theme of “justice”. Arguments have been made that Shakespeare’s plays were written by Francis Bacon, who as it happens was an incarnation of St.Germain (!) and who is said to have based those plays around his own life and spiritual beliefs and (co-incidentally?) included the name of his beloved twin flame in this work. ” – Please read more about Lady Portia here!