In Greek mythology, Astræa or Astrea (Ancient Greek: Ἀστραῖα; English translation: “star-maiden”) was a daughter of Zeus and Themis or of Eos and Astraeus. She and her mother were both personifications of justice, though Astræa was also associated with innocence and purity. She is always associated with the Greek Goddess of justice, Dike, who used to live on Earth but left, sickened by human greed.
Astræa, the celestial virgin, was the last of the immortals to live with humans during the sagacious Bronze Age (the third age, after the Utopian Golden Age and defective Silver Age) in the old Greek religion’s five deteriorating Ages of Man. According to Ovid, Astraea abandoned the earth at the end of the Iron Age. Fleeing from the new wickedness of humanity, she ascended to heaven to become the constellation Virgo; the scales of justice she carried became the nearby constellation Libra, reflected in her symbolic association with Justitia in Latin culture. In the Tarot, the 8th card, Justice, with a figure of Justitia, can thus be considered related to the figure of Astræa on historical iconographic grounds.
According to legend, Astræa will one day come back to Earth, bringing with her the return of the utopian Golden Age of which she was the ambassado