Upright: Judgement, rebirth, inner calling, absolution
Reversed: Self-doubt, refusal of self-examination
The Judgement card shows a number of naked men, women and children rising up from their graves, arms outspread and responding to the trumpet call of the archangel, Gabriel, who hovers high above them. The people are appealing to the angel, ready to be judged by the power of the Universe. In the background, there are huge mountains, or even tidal waves, which signify insurmountable obstacles and the impossibility of avoiding judgment. The ocean represents the end of the river that flows through the Major Arcana, starting with the Empress. Gabriel’s banner is red on white, the same as the Magician’s clothing. As with everything in life, the beginning is woven irrevocably into the end and the end eventually leads to a new beginning. The planetary ruler of this card is Pluto, the ruler of the underworld.
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The Judgement card calls for a period of reflection and self-evaluation. Through meditation or quiet reflection, you may come to a point of deep understanding about the common themes throughout your life and what you can do or change to avoid these situations in the future. Judgement tells you that you are close to reaching a significant stage in your own journey.
The Judgement card suggests that you have had a recent epiphany or an ‘awakening’ where you have come to a realisation that you need to live your life in a different way and you need to be true to yourself and your needs. You have opened yourself up to a new possibility – to lead a fulfilling life that serves your higher needs and that offers inspiration and hope to others. You feel as though you have had a ‘calling’ in life, and you are getting much closer to the point where you need to take action. Something that was lying dormant within you, some unconscious knowledge or truth is finally being awakened and brought into the light.
With its theme of awakening to new life, the Judgement card suggests that you have reviewed and evaluated your past experiences and have learned from them. All the pieces of the puzzle of your life are finally coming together to form one, integrated picture of your life story. This integration has healed any deep wounds and you are now in a position to put the past behind you. Your memories no longer haunt you, and you are able to understand and value what has happened to you and what it has taught you about life. Now, you are ready to confront any unfinished business in your life, clear up any misunderstandings and view the future with peace and deep ‘knowingness’ in your heart.
Judgement is about finding absolution. Through a period of self-evaluation, you will feel cleansed of your ‘sins’, wrongdoings and mistakes, and you will finally be released of your guilt and sorrow about the past. This represents a wonderful purging process and will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on any new challenges.
The Judgement card often indicates that life-changing decisions are required but unlike those associated with the logical Justice card, these decisions require a delicate blend of intuition and intellect. You may be at a crossroads, aware that any decision that you make will bring about significant change. The choice can be an obvious one, or perhaps the only viable one. You know that this choice must be made and you are facing it with maturity and level-headedness. Your own judgement is impeccable at this time; you can trust it completely and know that you are on the right path. If you still require clarity on the situation, look to your past experiences and life lessons which will guide you on the right path.
If you have endured challenges in recent times, then the Judgement card suggests that you may have some respite from these challenges. In fact, you may find comfort in sharing your experiences with others and healing within a group environment. The key here is that there will be others who have experienced something similar to you and who can show you the way to freedom from your troubles. Let them guide you and help you.
Reversed, the Judgement card suggests that you may be indulging yourself in doubt and self-judgement. Your deliberation is causing you to miss the new opportunities that await. A certain amount of momentum has accumulated behind what you have achieved, which could propel you further. If actions are taken now, such momentum will not be lost. Therefore now is not the time for being cautious or introverted, rather it is time to move onwards with confidence and pride.
On the other hand, the Judgement card asks you to take a moment out of your usual routine and busy lifestyle to stop and think about your life so far and what you can learn from your life. In its reversed position, it may indicate that you are not allowing yourself sufficient time and space to really get to the heart of the matter and draw from your lessons of the past. Additionally, this card suggests that you may be overly hard or critical of yourself and not allowing yourself to truly learn from your mistakes. You may have made some mistakes in the past but see these as learning experiences rather than failures or faults.
Judgment reversed serves as a reminder that in every decision that you face, you have at least some element of control. While you may not be able to control the initial events that happen to you, it is important to remember that what is within your control is how you react to these events, and what you create and build out of them. So, while you may be feeling as though you are at the mercy of other people’s judgement, remember that you, too, can choose your own destiny and respond in a way that serves your own higher needs. This is an important time for you to make your own decisions, based on your own judgement of the situation. Do not let others push you around or dictate what should happen to you!
You may be experiencing unhappiness, isolation and difficulties in overcoming obstacles. You may be forced to deal with the consequences of your past decisions in order to learn valuable lessons from them. You may also find that you are fearful about making important decisions. Change is inevitable. If you are unwilling to accept changes, stagnation will replace growth. Unwanted changes could make you feel out of control and helpless. Perhaps you are reluctant to let go of a relationship, job, or circumstance that is no longer working for you.