Justice by Anna Shaw

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Continuing the story…!

You are looking for a new path, a new aspiration and inspiration for your life. Sitting uncertainly at a cross-roads, you notice a wise woman listening to two brothers argue over an inheritance. They have come to her for judgment. One brother has the whole inheritance, the other has nothing.
“I ask that all of it be given to me,” the poor brother demands, “Not only because I have a better right to it, but because I will not be wasteful with it, as he is!” But the rich brother protests,
“It is rightfully mine and that’s all that should matter, not what I do with it!”

The woman listens, then awards half of the rich brother’s inheritance to the poor brother. You think this only fair, but neither brother is happy. The rich one hates losing half his wealth, and the poor one feels he ought to have gotten all.
“You were fair,” you remark to the woman after they have left. “Yes, I was,” she answers plainly. “With only half the inheritance, the rich one will stop being so wasteful. And the poor one will have as much as he needs. Even though they cannot see it, this decision was good for both.”

You think on this, and new insight on your own life comes to mind.

You realize that you have spent your life achieving worldly ambitions, physical goods, while leaving your spiritual self to starve, primarily because you didn’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to feed your spiritual self.

Now, you see that this is necessary. It is the only path you have not walked, and one that you must walk to regain your equilibrium. It is time to balance your own inner scales.

Basic Tarot Meaning

Justice is about cold, objective balance through reason or natural force. This is the card that tells you that you can’t keep smoking and drinking without consequences to your health. It is the card that advises cutting out waste and insists that you make adjustments, do whatever is necessary to bring things back into balance: physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually. In a more mundane sense, this card may signal a home/work inbalance, (or even a RedBubble/home inbalance!!) adjustments in a marriage or partnership or a difficult situation that you might find yourself in.

You may not like what you have to do to regain balance in your life, but do it you must.

One final thing to remember about the Justice card is that it is not about punishment, good, bad, right or wrong. It is about adjustment. The sword suggests that sometimes this won’t be pleasant. Justice pares things down with that sword so that the scales end up equal. The message is to do what’s necessary, no matter how hard, how disagreeable, in order to gain, or re-gain equilibrium. It is not a nice card, but in its way, it is a very wise card.

Adapted from aeclectic.net

My Interpretation

In this image, I have divided the two sides of the picture to represent the two worlds, physical and spiritual.

As you look at it, the left hand side represents the physical world that you inhabit. The treasure chest, the money and the eagle, represents wealth, status, power and things physical. The right hand side of the image, with the lilies, represent the spiritual side of your life. During the Middle Ages, the picture of the lily was used as a part of religious art and denoted spirituality.

The central character –Justice, is holding two globes, representing the two worlds, and is saying to you that, even though it might be difficult, you do need to get both sides of your life in balance. The owl, of course symbolises her wisdom.

Often in Tarot decks, Justice is blind, or blindfolded. I did not want to portray this, but I chose the model in a pose where she is not looking directly at you, but straight ahead, in full concentration.


This was created in CS4 and was simultaneously a joy to create and, at the same time, quite tricky because of the light and the shadows. I think it is my favourite so far, as I was delighted with the rich colours and the final composition.

The background image was one of my husband’s images…

I thought it was perfect because of the swords hanging in front of the wall. It is the shrine to St Thomas Becket – for whom Justice was certainly blind.

As you will be able to see, I had to deconstruct it and rebuild to make it balance, and to get rid of the rail in the front of the image. The shadows of the swords were far too dark for the final image, so I had to isolate them and reduce their density.

The individual components were overlaid and each of their layers was duplicated and blended in different blending modes to add depth to the colours. Shadows for each of them were added.
Finally a deep texture was added to enrich the drama and the light.

I am indebted to the following artists for their generous gift of stock.
Model by mzzd-stock
Money by Treasure-Pile
Treasure Box by Hidden-Yume
Eagle by speedyfearless
Texture by sirus-sdz
All other components were from my own stock.

The song that was buzzing around my head was the fabulous David Bowie, singing ‘Changes’

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

(Turn and face the strain)
Don’t want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
The other cards in this series are….

The Fool

The Magician

The High Priestess

The Empress

The Emperor

The Hierophant

The Lovers

The Chariot


The Hermit

Wheel Of Fortune

Anna and Robert have only recently moved to Kent, having spent six years living France where they first embarked on wedding photography. They are passionate about photography, and have a real love for shooting weddings, gaining so much pleasure and fun from these special days.

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  • Malcolm Chant
    Malcolm Chantabout 5 years ago

    OH MY Word, Anna you have done it again out done yourself, Excellent work of ART.

  • Thank you so much dear Malcolm.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Vitta
    Vittaabout 5 years ago

    Brilliant work!!

  • Thanks so much dearest Vitta.

    – Anna Shaw

  • David's Photoshop
    David's Photoshopabout 5 years ago

    Wow! you have been busy Anna, what a fantastic composition, very well done.

    Its all just perfect with the shadows and moody toning.

    David xx

  • Thanks so much dear David.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Tracey    lee Stokes
    Tracey lee ...about 5 years ago

    Oh i really like this so very much not only because i am a Libran…she is heaven and strong and i like that so very much.A wonderful piece Anna,thankyou for the imformation too.

  • What a great comment to receive. Thank you so very much.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Patricia Howitt
    Patricia Howittabout 5 years ago

    Just saw this come on, Anna – it’s truly magnificent! The rich color of that gorgeous red, the shadows, the beautiful face and hood – superb work, my friend ! xx

  • Thanks so much my dear friend.

    – Anna Shaw

  • linskudd
    linskuddabout 5 years ago

    Once again this is outstanding Anna. Thank you for detailing some of the work that went into this image – it is interesting to see how it started with the Thomas Becket shrine as background. Your work is full of information, and it is great to hear the meanings. Can’t wait for the next one! ;o)) Well done indeed.

  • You are so sweet. What a great comment. Thank you.

    – Anna Shaw

  • -Whisper-
    -Whisper-about 5 years ago

    Wow! There is so much in this card!
    The first thing that I noticed is the color red which reminds me of the first chakra so she feels very grounded to me.
    Then she has some important Power Animals with her… Eagle can see a whole situation from far above then focus on the place that is not flowing and Owl sees in the dark, he sees the energy flows. So how very perfect for Justice to be able to have an overview and know what to focus on!
    Those are the symbol that strike me most!
    The light is just excellent and there is a feeling of balance between the dark and the light as you have strong shadows as well but they seem to be coming from an awareness, not a fear so it is really good as everything is included.
    Absolutely amazing Anna, I am so glad that you are thinking about getting published!

  • You are totally amazing – what a wonderful comment. I so value you, your support and your insight. Thank you.

    – Anna Shaw

  • © Kira Bodensted
    © Kira Bodenstedabout 5 years ago

    Awesome, stunning work once again Anna. And so interesting for me that it comes right now – food for thought for sure. As for personal favorite – I say that every time you make a new work – this is the best – they all are :o)

  • You encouragement is so very motivating. Thank you so much – for this and all your wonderful support.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Josie Jackson
    Josie Jacksonabout 5 years ago

    Love the red, another beauty Anna, well done

  • Thanks so much Josie – that is so kind of you.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Kelvin Hughes
    Kelvin Hughesabout 5 years ago

    Ye Gods ! You KNOW its good before you open the thumbnail…..and again you have not disappointed me , Tremendous work Anna

  • Thanks so much Kel – that is very sweet of you.

    – Anna Shaw

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