Sovereignty is the equivalent of the traditional Justice Major Arcana in the The Arthurian Tarot. I actually really like this version of this card. In it you see a woman sitting with a flame above her head and a chalice in her hand. She is wearing red, which is a color of power. She is a woman of action, yet notice that she is sitting among what appears to be a verdant paradise. The flame above her head represents divine appointment, the chalice represents wisdom and truth. She is the Lady Sovereignty, Goddess of the Land, and only she, in the Arthurian legend, has the authority to recognize the true King. She is justice embodied.
How, you might ask, does this correlate to Justice? Well, that really comes in the cup in her hands: it is the purveyor of truth. All who sought to become King had to pass her test. Absolute truth and facing the absolute truth was required. Lies would shatter the cup, truths would see it whole. Through this those who face Sovereignty’s challenge had to own up to the most blunt of truths about themselves. This is what justice is about: accepting what is and getting equal and just reward. Justice isn’t always pleasant. It calls us to account for both the worst and best in ourselves.
The message of Sovereignty I see today is one of accountability. So often in life we like to blame our failures on others or on circumstances. Sometimes it’s true that things are entirely out of our hands and we can’t control the situations we find ourselves in. Other times our circumstances are of our own creation, and when things go terribly awry we look for any way in the world to absolve ourselves of responsibility. Lady Sovereignty, in these situations, is holding her chalice out to you. Are you able to speak honest truths and keep the cup whole? What would those truths look like? Remember, Lady Sovereignty doesn’t have to ask if you are being truthful, she knows.
The reward of Lady Sovereignty is that when we are able to accept the harsh truths, own up to them, and act with integrity, that integrity is vindicated and rewarded. The harder side of that is that when we continue to blame, when the chalice breaks due to our refusal to own up to the hard truths, we are also rewarded in turn for that. Remember, we have the power to shape so much of our own reality. Only in accepting and admitting the harder things can we find the power to move forward to better. It sounds paradoxical, but in weakness and admittance of it we can find strength to move on to new places we never even dreamed of before.
To take a Tarot adventure through the The Arthurian Tarot you can get it online through the links in this post.