This is the fourteenth post in a series on the Tarot Rug Project (also known as "Exploring the Tarot: 23 Artists Hook the Major Arcana"). To view the entire series, go HERE (that post will be kept up to date as the photos are published and the show travels).
JUSTICE: Here is the "classic" Rider-Waite-Smith image below:
“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”
― William Penn
Let's have a look at Lisa Chaloner's interpretation of the classic image:
"It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do."
"An inconvenient truth..."
(Movie title and idiom which captures some of the meaning of this card.)
While I haven't (yet) had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Chaloner, I did find the following statement from her on her Etsy site:
"Traditional Rug Hooking is my obsession. I picked up a hook in 1991 and haven't put it down since. In 2009, I completed the Pearl McGown certification process for traditional rug hooking. I teach rug hooking classes for 8 months of the year. I love to let the color in my rugs express the silent part of personality, so I began dyeing my own fabric 10 years ago. The adventure of hand dying is always exciting and satisfying."
In the catalog for the Tarot Rug Show, Lisa has done a great job describing why and how she interpreted the classical image in this way. I don't want to spoil Lisa's statement in the catalog about the meaning of the various symbols she has put into her interpretation. To buy a catalog--the proceeds from which will help the rugs to travel from venue to venue, contact Michele Micarelli at firstname.lastname@example.org - catalogs are $18 US plus shipping and Michele can fill you in on shipping costs.
However, I can say this: In both pictures we have the sword of truth and the scales of justice (harking back to the scales of Ma'at in Egyptian mythology). In many tarot decks, Justice is portrayed as blind (blindfolded). That's not how the classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck portrays her, but it is how Lisa portrays her in her rug. Each of the animals in Lisa's rug has a symbolic meaning and specific purpose in her image. And I love the way the single foot peeping out in the classic image--grounding the figure--becomes a small bare foot in Lisa's version. I also like the richness of the sky in her rug, and the perfectly portrayed stone wall Justice is sitting on. Finally, I like the fact that her Lady Justice is outdoors, something she addresses in her write-up about the rug in the show catalog.
WHAT DOES THE CARD MEAN?
"Fair's fair!" <-- Remember the times you have said this yourself in a dispute, and all the times you've heard kids shouting it to each other? That's the core meaning of this card. The truth, symbolized by that upright sword, is often not only true but also inconvenient. Although "inconvenient to whom?" may be the question. The truth might be welcome to us but inconvenience someone else...or vice versa. The point is, it's time to look at the situation from the perspective of what is fair, what is a just solution.
When you get this card, ask yourself:
Remember that you can catch up on all the other rugs in the exhibit at the link at the very top of this post. If you are curious about what's behind the exhibit, there is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here (scroll down to the bottom of that post to get to the FAQ).
Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcome.
Today's tarot resource: Two books. Tarot for Yourself by Mary K. Greer and The Forest of Souls by Rachel Pollack.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society