So, high time to finish my Tarot cards, continuing with Justice.
There was one element I was keen to preserve from the Justice card: The Sword. The scales are often getting more attention, because they portray the balance which should be in Justice, but I feel that it is overlooking the judgement aspect of it. And speaking of judgement, a particularly scene immediately sprung into my mind. Hence the card ended up looking like this:
Basically I used the emperor as a symbol for the scales, while Shang gets the role of the judge. Together they symbolize justice, fairness and law. But they also show how difficult it is to find a just balance between the written law and what is morally right.
When Shang discovers that Mulan is truly a woman, there are no less than three aspects pulling at him. There is the law or the convention regarding women in the army – most likely more a convention, because who would write specifically a law about this? Then there is his own feeling of betrayal. He trusted Ping and suddenly Ping doesn’t even exist. And finally there are his own morals, which win out in the end.
When the emperor encounters Mulan, his choice is easier. Because he is the law, he can change and reinterpret it at will. He can ignore her embracing him (which, btw, would in reality be a death sentences), and can elevate her to the respect she deserves due to her actions. He represents the fair and just ruler which frankly, is more prevalent in fiction than in real live.
Upright the card stands for justice, fairness, truth and lawfulness. In reverse it stands for lack of accountability, unfairness and dishonesty, all elements present in the scene between Shang and Mulan. Mulan is the one who has been dishonest, due to a society which is unfair and she is now judged by Shang, who might be feel be bond by the law, but is in this moment the sole power. As the heroic general whose troops stopped the Huns, he could get away with more or less everything at this point. And his decision is not following the law at all, it takes the situation into account and hence he ends up with a more merciful ruling. Though arguable, the truly fair ruling of Mulan happens towards the end of the movie, through the hand of the emperor.
Hope you all like my interpretation of the card. Next update is scheduled for in a week.