The Balance in Egyptian Tarot is very often called Justice in other decks. At first glance, it is easy to assume that this card is ruled by Libra because the image so prominently features the scales of Libra. However, The Balance is ruled by the sign of Capricorn.
To explain, the signs Virgo and Libra are believed to have originated from the earlier Greek mythology of Astraea. Astraea, or Star Maiden, was one of the last immortals to inhabit earth during the Golden Age when the gods roamed the earth alongside humans. Astraea became so disgusted by the human habits of eating flesh and making weapons that she ascended to the heavens as the constellation of Virgo. Astraea is still seen today as Arcanum VIII or sometimes Arcanum X in most Tarot decks. She is also seen in courts of law around the western world as Blind Justice, who weighs and metes out justice with her scales and sword. It is Astraea’s scales of justice, the only inanimate object among the signs of the zodiac, which came to symbolize Virgo’s adjoining constellation, Libra. Libra rules the 7th House of Marriage and Relationships in a chart, therefore, Libra has been assigned to Isis Unveiled, the wife and mother, right next to Isis Veiled, ruled by Virgo. Capricorn rules the 10th House of Accomplishments and Failures, where we find businesses, careers, administrators, politicians, judges and the courts. Capricorn is also the sign of our darkest and coldest winter months, when everything is in a state of crystallization or hibernation.
Interestingly, the Egyptian Goddess, Maat, depicted on this card, like Astraea, also engages in the weighing and meting out of justice. Maat weighs the heart of the deceased against the weight of a feather. According to Egyptian law, deception, lies, and bearing false witness were mostly responsible for a heavy heart. Therefore, Maat became a symbol for truth, a commodity most sought after in courts of law. Maat also came to symbolize stability and predictability. It was to her that the Egyptians prayed and made sacrifice to in order to insure that the Nile, Egypt’s life blood, would flood from year to year to a very specific degree, for to flood either too much or too little would spell disaster to the Egyptian way of life. As an aside, the first visible appearance of Sirius on the horizon before the rising Sun was of great importance to early Egyptians because it timed the annual flooding of the Nile and marked the beginning of their New Year.
Key words for this Arcanum are: equilibrium, complacency, static, stasis, inflexibility, all issues concerning the courts, law and order, justice, truth, agreements and contracts.
The spiritual message for The Balance is:
Remember, then, son of earth, that to be victorious over thyself and dominate obstacles is but a part of the human task. To accomplish it entirely thou must establish equilibrium between the forces that thou hast brought into play. All action produces reaction. The will should foresee the shock of opposite forces in order to temper or annul them. If the Balance should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, it signifies that the future is balanced between good and evil, and warns that an unbalanced mind is like an abortive sun. The Sacred Tarot, by C.C. Zain