Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
The Book says: The Balancer shows the Goddess of the Safe Passage, Nehalania, who is often known as the “Steerswoman”. She was invoked by all travelers, especially seafarers, and by those transacting business. Here we see her in her British aspect, as Elen, the Goddess of the Ways, who is depicted as a Celtic dancer. Elen opens the ways, both roads and sea routes, as well as the dream-ways, giving free passage to those who take the trouble to map their own soul’s route.
Keywords: Equity, justice, receiving what is deserved, a fair outcome, arbitration, weighing possibilities, vindication of truth, honesty, integrity.
Reversed: Imbalance, injustice, severity, unfair treatment, inflexibility, prejudicial decisions, lies and dishonesty, abuse.
Soul Wisdom: The Balancer of Harmony opens the ways but she also guards them. A life lived in full integrity is one that submits all its motivations and action to truth first, rather than seeking to find out how truth may be bent to serve us. What keeps you in balance with the universe?
TarotBroad’s Buzz: Okay, this one took a while. I didn’t initially see a connection between this image and Justice (or with it’s meaning). But the more I looked at it the more I began to see the light (as it were). The alternating rays of blue and white light suggest a balance between light and dark, positive and negative, consciousness and dreams, masculine and feminine, yin and yang. The woman at the center, Elen of the Ways, is a reminder as well as a guide to show us that we can follow either option; indeed we too can alternate between the two ways. Elen is also the balance between these states, the lynch pin between the lightness and darkness within ourselves. Elen guides us between these two states and allows us to find the balance between the two. Elen, the Balancer, dances her way among the rays and helps us find our way to our center. But as part of the process she forces us to seek the truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be. Sometimes being forced to face the ugliness or the darkness within ourselves is the only true path to balance and harmony.
Another aspect of this card, and Justice in general, is that she seems to be unseeing – her eyes are closed. So her actions are strictly based on her feelings and instincts. She is not judging us based on what she sees. She is impartial. And the holly berries suggest that this can sometimes be a dangerous, even toxic, process. But if we don’t drain the toxins and honestly face the darkness, we risk poisoning ourselves and creating a spiritual imbalance. Elen helps us heal and regain that balance. In the words of Brian Ferry, Elen helps us “dance away the heartache, dance away the fears”