The Pagan Blog Project: J is for Justice
Yes, I am totally using a screenshot from a video game for this. Shush. It just so happens he’s the central theme of this post.
The above is the angel Tyrael from the video game Diablo III. It’s a fun game with a fairly interesting take on angels, demons, and humans. Tyrael happens to be the Archangel of Justice and, though many of the angels would much rather eradicate humans, Tyrael has a long-standing history of standing up for them. It’s not especially logical and in many ways goes against what he supposedly is – after all, humans rarely treat each other justly – but he maintains his stance even when it means being cast out.
What’s all this got to do with paganism?
The concept of balance comes up all the time in paganism. Most often you will find it in the binaries favored by many Wicca-centric authors: male and female, positive and negative, good and evil, light and dark. But binaries have never really worked for me. My perception of reality is too fluid for such rigid either/or scenarios.
Justice is how I outwardly work with the concept of balance. People are often surprised when I finally react to something that outrages me. This is because I spend a large amount of time considering both sides in almost every situation, so by the time I’ve come to a conclusion I am fully behind it. This is important when dealing with concepts as well as people.
Justice also shows how pure binaries don’t always work. In a war both sides believe they are the good and that the other is the evil. The only choice is to fight until one or both are annihilated or absorbed or to eventually come to some sort of compromise. When compromise is done well, wars can be completely avoided. Sometimes this requires treating both sides as equals. Other times it actually requires favoring the weaker side so that their voice is actually heard.
While I’m not exactly a pop culture pagan, Tyrael serves as a sort of reminder to me of the importance of justice and acts as a reminder to listen to the quiet or smothered voices.