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Monday, 8 August 2016

Greenwood Week - Day Two - Justice

Greenwood Tarot, Ryan & Potter 1996
One of the many curiosities of the Greenwood Tarot is that the majors are not in the traditional order. This is probably why they don't have numbers on the cards, as it could confuse people. Instead, the cards are arranged in Wheel of the Year order. By this reckoning, created as far as I know by Mark Ryan,  Justice falls as trump number 4, at Spring Equinox.

Chesca herself seems to have thought of the cards more firmly in the traditional order, possibly linking them numerically with the minors. Either that, or she decided to present them in the order we're familiar with in her online guide book. She places Justice in position 8, and then follows that with words about each of the minor 8s. We can see Chesca's thoughts about the Greenwood here, where she states:

'Position on wheel: Spring Equinox
Element: Fire 
Chakra: brow
Colour: red. 
Polarity: red 

There is strength in this card, that will not tolerate injustice. The deer speaks with the voice of nature itself. This card is particularly applicable at the moment when so many forests are being destroyed. The figure stands firmly, watching you with ancient eyes; tangled moss-covered branches of the Wildwood are animated by the spring sap. The red dawn sky emphasises the reawakened will to act. In one hand it holds the cutting edge of the axe, in the other a shield, upon which is an oak tree, a symbol of injustice thwarted; of the dispossessed in the Greenwood mythos defending themselves, and their natural right to live off the bounty of the land. Justice is placed in the element of fire as it was the human discovery of fire which gave us the ability both to destroy nature and warm and protect oneself. Humans have so often misused this position, acting without care or responsibility. The energies in both Justice and The Archer cards require steadiness of intention; integrity of thought, and wise action. If unharnessed, one becomes selfish and headstrong; impetuous impatience leads to ineffective action. Justice is a strong and powerful ally; a guide to a wise balance between action and defence.'

The figure in the card is a guardian of justice. But that doesn't mean he rewards the right and punishes the wrong. Mark Ryan says, 'The concepts of forgiveness or reward are not appropriate in Justice. They are human ideas which have no reality in natural lore. One reaps what one has sown.'

He goes on to say, 'We must, as individuals, constantly observe the rules and regulations of society, and these can fluctuate as the views and knowledge of civilization change. Whether on a political or moral level, we subconsciously know when a realignment of our perception is due.'

Or as Maya Angelou said, 'Do right. Just do right. Right may not be expedient. It may not be profitable. But it will satisfy your soul. It brings you the kind of protection that bodyguards can't give you.  Try to live your life so that you will not regret years of useless virtue, and inertia, and timidity. Take up the battle -- take it up. Pick up the battle and make it a better world, just where you are.'

Celtic Shamans Pack
The oracle card from Celtic Shaman's Pack, by John Matthews and Chesca Potter, which I've drawn today to accompany Justice is The Eagle, which stands for wisdom, aspiration and clear-sightedness. All of these are essential qualities if we want to achieve and receive justice in our dealings, our lives and our world.

Today may I have the strength, clear-sightedness, and higher perspective of the Eagle, so that I can deal with others justly, and that others may be just in their dealings with me.

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