My first "J" subject is Juniper Berries; I am surrounded by them, so hey, what the heck! Obviously juniper berries grow on juniper trees, an evergreen shrub-like tree, a very common variety of tree where I live. As you can see, they are bluish in color while they are fresh, but once they fall they harden into brown or gray pebbles, which by the way, if left to accumulate on the ground can be very dangerous. I kid you not, I have damned near fallen right on my ass slipping on those perilous dried balls, just like a Saturday morning cartoon character slipping on marbles!
Juniper trees encircled by fallen berries
I grew up knowing them as poisonous, but that is so not the case; they are actually used for seasoning (dried and ground) for meat, as well as used in various herbal remedies. Some of their healing properties include: a diuretic and antiseptic for urinary tract problems, gallstones, kidney stones, eliminating crystallized uric acid, bacterial infections, and digestive issues. An anti-inflammatory for arthritis, gout, sore muscles, as well as an expectorant and decongestant, and blood purifier.
Juniper berries may be used in oils, teas, tonics, dried & ground for use inside capsules; however, a word of warning: they are not be used if you are pregnant for it stimulates the uterus and may cause a miscarriage, nor should they be used by children under 12, or by those with breast cancer or kidney disease as it may cause complications.
Onward to my second "J" topic: Justice (Tarot); the card representing Libra.... that's me! Of course it represents other things as well, but of course you already know that if you are familiar with Tarot: balance justice, consequences, legal matters, blocks/obstructions, fairness, actions and adjustments/decisions, reasoning, logic, and facts.
Rider Waite deck
Sacred Circle deck, my deck!
I love my Sacred Circle deck! Guess what is in the upper left corner.. juniper berries! AND interestingly, a spider is in the upper right corner. Why is that interesting? Well, I have suspected for some time now that Spider is one of my Totems, keeping in mind this card represents Libra (me), I find this tidbit very cool! Now why haven't I noticed this before? Hmm...
Let's examine this card further, shall we? The Web card (Justice) features (1) the Goddess Arianrhod, the Weaver Goddess, the goddess of fate and justice. Notice her knife? She has the power to cut the threads as well as weave the threads. (2) The web, which represents the spiral; the symbol of regeneration and rebirth, life and death, (3) Spider, the weaver/spinner which represents fate and destiny. Spider of teaches us how to "vibrate the web" to achieve our desires, wishes, or goals in life Spider of course has eight legs, we all know that, but its eight legs represent the four winds/elements, the four directions, the eight Celtic festivals/sabbats, and the symbol of infinity, (4) juniper berries which represent the juniper tree, the tree of purification, which is associated with the goddess of justice and truth, but also the sacred Celtic spirits of divine justice (5) the goddess's animal, the dog. Note its white fur and red ears, this coloring represents the Cwn Annwn, the fairy hunting dog. These are spirit/ghost dogs of the Wild Hunt that pursue evildoers, another symbol of justice, (6) hazel nuts in the lower left corner; the hazel tree is one of the "chieftain trees" of the Celtic lore, a symbol of wisdom for good or ill. (Source: Sacred Circle Tarot by Anna Franklin/Illustrated by Paul Mason)
Now as for Libra, the Libra has a strong sense of justice and fairness, and boy do I LOL The astrological sign for the Libra is the scales, as in the justice scales, weighing and measuring, and finding balance. Libras need balance in their lives or they become, well let's say... moody (and boy can I!). We can see both sides of the story, and weigh the pros and cons to find solutions to problems, preferably fair solutions that will satisfy everyone involved. When Libra is in balance, life is good :)
The Web/Justice card essentially represents your inner sense of right and wrong. It calls you to recognize your actions in life and reminds you that your actions effect other people as well as the Universe. Your actions are energies that spread like ripples in a pond; they vibrate and shake the entire web affecting everything it touches for good or bad. It is basically reminding you of the Threefold Law; whatever energy you send out into the Universe will be returned to you many times over. When you draw this card, you are being told to weigh the consequences of the situation and/or action(s) involved. Of course depending on surrounding cards, this could represent a legal matter, a dispute, and justice.
If this card is reversed, it could indicate that you are experiencing, or will experience, an injustice of some kind, whether it be gossip, false accusations, an legal issue, a misunderstanding, etc which may cause unwanted ripples in your life, but whatever the cause, be careful to look at both sides; really search and weigh the matter to find a sensible resolution, and consider the far-reaching consequences before reacting.
Now that "J" is complete, I can begin thinking about "K." Hmm.... this might require my heavy duty thinking cap! Let's hope I don't melt anything! **giggle**