Since I began this project of creating a tarot deck cooperatively with an online AI generator, the AI itself has evolved so rapidly, and the creators of the generator itself have added so many new features that within the six months since I began, the initial artwork is beginning to feel clunky and old-fashioned. I realize that the work I did to create it was a helpful process, not only in terms of my ideas about the the inner journey and about the tarot, but also in terms of my sense of the artistic and poetic process of cooperating with an AI. I find myself wanting to begin again. Maybe this process will never have an end product, but will simply be a part of my own inner growth. Perhaps I will end up instead creating an oracle deck with the characters that inhabit my own inner meditations: The Psychopomp, the Witch, The Dreamer-Mother, the Two Elves, The Gnomes of Beautiful Vision and Music, The Companion, The Golden One, Death, The Bees, Eagle, Six Crows, The Dancing Fox, Running Deer, The Golden-Crowned Tree, The Lady of the Labyrinth, The Darkness. . . Or perhaps, even, they will merge in some inexplicable way.
So here, halfway through the Major Arcana of the Tarot, I will finish this series for now, with Justice.
What does Justice mean to you? Is it the blind goddess holding her scales and a sword? I find it really interesting that Cupid and Justice are both portrayed in blindfolds: Love and Justice–an odd cosmic balance there.
Is Justice a balance of vengeance? Eye for eye? You hurt me, so I get to extract my pound of flesh from your stony heart.
Is it about karma? The bad stuff we do will come back to haunt us, so we can all relax, knowing that our enemies will eventually get their cosmic comeuppance? I know karma is a lot more complicated and nuanced than that, but I think we sometimes reduce it to this little dance of joy over cosmic rebalancing, celebrating the downfall of the evil-doer.
I want the people who hurt people to be held accountable. I want the ones who are injured and harmed to be seen and heard and listened to, to receive apology or remuneration or recompense for their injury. I don’t need an eye for an eye, but I need the harm to stop. I need the tools of the narrative to be wrested from the hands of the ones who do the injury and handed to the ones who were injured.
Restorative Justice has become a bit of a catchword in institutions these days, especially church-based institutions. When understood and practiced with depth and skill, it’s a wonderful tool for healing and returning to balance, offering a circle of story-telling, where the injured party can speak of their pain and suffering, and the ones who caused harm listen, and take account of what they have done to cause harm. In the process, they, too, get to speak, to tell their own pieces of the experience. We enter restorative justice circles with a recognition that harm has been done, and that healing is possible, but only if we meet ourselves and each other at deep, deep levels of accountability can we hope to repair the breaches in relationships.
Saying that you practice restorative justice, but doing the work half-heartedly or simply to score social points only causes more harm in the long run. Institutions, clubs, churches, and organizations that claim to do restorative justice work but only implement the process when the most powerful members of the group want to exercise controls over less powerful members of the group is an abuse of power and is the antithesis of restorative justice.
The Justice card holds us to keep high moral and ethical codes that include ourselves as well as others. We hold ourselves to the standards we demand of others. We offer others the grace and mercy we would show ourselves. Sounds a little like the Golden Rule.
Tomorrow is November. I am hoping to do a poem a day for the month.
1. My compassionate and tender-hearted and fun-loving colleagues. They made Halloween so special and magical and fun for the kids (while also managing to keep things educational).
2. The turning of the wheel. We step into a new season. We can change, metamorphose, transform.
3. Presence. Accompaniment. Companionship.
5. Golden, golden, golden: light and leaves and hearts.
May we walk ever in Beauty!
The wheel turns.
The harvest is in.
The veil parts.
We walk into the dark time.
“The moon has awoken with the sleep of the sun, the light has been broken; the spell has begun.” —Midgard Morningstar
“A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . . but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between map and world.” —Rebecca Solnit
“Turn inward: If you’re asking ‘why’, also ask why ‘why’? If your power is to question, also question the questioner in you.” —Shunya
“Everybody is trying to make their journey till death comfortable. In the process they are missing the moments that can open the door to immortality.” —Shunya
“Walk through the veil of the season.
Carry your own little light into the dark time.
Celebrate the inward spiral.” —Beth WK