Face Up Justice: when darkness arrives

Last week was the equinox.

The equinox is equal parts day and night. On the same day and at the same time, the Sun entered Libra – the sign associated with the scales of Justice and ruled by the planet Venus. Beauty. Sensuality. Charm. Art. All related to Libra.

I had zero intention of pulling Justice face up for this piece. It’s the season for it, what with the themes of balance and all. It just hadn’t occurred to me. Not until I spent time listening to a lover talk about a podcast she’d heard about human connection and its relationship to addiction.

I’ve heard before that addiction is the result of a lack of connection. Maybe it hit me differently because I was in the middle of bonding with her – eye gazing, skin to skin, synced breathing, and felt completely heard and seen. In spite of my past trauma and issues around intimacy, lately, I’ve felt more connection than ever.

So when she mentioned this podcast, I wondered: Why do I still occasionally have trouble avoiding foods that give me adverse reactions? Why do I still lose myself in distraction in times of high stress? What in life am I trying to replace with addictive behavior?

I thought of the double-edged sword of needing human connection while being intensely introverted. I have a small circle of chosen family, but I’m still pretty slow to socialize casually because of the high energetic cost. I thought of the equinox and the nights growing longer. And how, as winter approaches, we want to draw even closer to the things that nourish us – people, joy, memories, food, the familiar in whatever form it comes.

September is like the last harbor before we get lost in a sea of socializing and stress.

It’s a time peppered with festivities. The reasoning varies, but each holiday is an occasion to spend more money, see more people, lose sleep, and eat & drink in greater quantities. And when we don’t participate, there can be a cost – a feeling of listlessness, a lack, an ache.

Often this is the time of year when we let constructive habits go. For those of us that recharge alone, there are more opportunities to feel drained and obligated. Worse yet, these are the times when it’s less socially acceptable to retreat. How many of us were modeled unhealthy boundaries during the holidays growing up? Or all the time?

Instead, we learn that bonding is about consumption and gathering in frantic bursts and large groups. We steel ourselves and interact with people with whom we may have nothing in common, people that might even be toxic because that’s what we’re supposed to do.

Well, some of the time.

Other times we light candles.
We sing old songs.
We decorate things and make silly jokes.
We hold hands and burn intentions in communities.
We envision warm futures
and cook for people we love.

We get ready for darkness.

This is what ritual is.

When I was a practicing pagan, the fall equinox was one of my favorite sabbaths to observe. I loved meeting with friends to set intentions and let go of what no longer served. I’d vow to give up this or that. I believed this was the payment. In exchange, I might get the presents – security or abundance. It was a lot like writing a list for Santa.

You need only wait for the next full moon and read anything metaphysical online to hear this spiritual formula: “It’s time to let go of old this to make room for new that.” It worked for me, and I’d hazard it works for others. The earth has a natural law, cause and effect, give and take. Energy workers play with this duality all the time. Trading one thing for another.

This is the spirit of the Justice card.

The thing about duality is you start identifying with the things you think. With the rules you create and follow. Ritual becomes rote. The list of shortcomings and goodies become more important than the people that keep the sabbath with you. And when you do a fair amount of clearing, years and years of it, something even more interesting happens. The darkness comes anyway.

Even after lighting the candles and gathering the spiritual nuts for the winter. And sometimes it doesn’t quite feel fair. But this is the natural ebb and flow. Light to dark and back again. Depending on your circumstances, it may also be an indication of spiritual expansion. What happens when you increase your awareness? Your self-care? When you let go of self-sabotaging habits? When you surround yourself with loving communicative people?

Maybe you grow your capacity for these things. Maybe you learn to want more of them. Maybe we are only just beginning to conceptualize balance for ourselves. Even when we think we know what it would look like to arrive. Maybe we haven’t arrived yet. What if there is no arriving? Maybe mother earth is right there with us with her cries for help. Getting ready for darkness, ritual, expansion, and a level of peace we have yet to fathom. I hope so.

How was your equinox?
What balances you?
Use #faceuptarot to answer or comment below

Love aligning with the stars? Read your Libra season collaborative tarotscopes at my site. I write them with 11 other amazing tarot readers. They are free, fun, and freakishly accurate. I also collect astrological forecasts. Here’s an amazing astro resource from Briana Saussy for 2017 I found just this week. (You’re welcome.)

In honor of the change of seasons I’m having a crazy sale on Stress-free Seasonal readings. Grab one here.
Keep in touch!

Featured Decks:
Tarot de St. Croix by Lisa de St. Croix Devera 2013
The CBD Marseille 2010
Thoth Tarot by Crowley & Harris US Games 1978

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  1. Beth says:

    Siobhan, I love this post. What a wonderful juxtaposition, of Justice with the equinox, and that energy of ‘trading’ light for darkness, this for that, outgoing for incoming. And the natural ebb and flow. This was very much what I needed to read this week, thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom xxx

  2. Katherine says:

    You write so beautifully. And I don’t know how, but you encapsulated how I’m feeling right now… the last two paragraphs… so perfect. I’m usually fairly eloquent, but you’ve knocked me on my ass. I’ll need to absorb this.

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