An angel blows a horn and people rise joyfully from their coffins which appear to be floating on water. An icy mountain range is in the background.
This card looks kind of creepy – probably because of the gray people jumping out of their coffins – but it’s not. This card is about judgements of all kinds but especially about self-judgements.
When Judgement shows up in a reading it indicates that a very significant part of a person’s life is coming to an end. Moreover, the questioner is in a place where he or she can sit back and examine how they behaved during that phase of their lives and whether or not they are satisfied with what they did.
I’ve seen this card come up frequently with home health care providers, for instance, after the loved one they were caring for had passed over. They had devoted months or years of their lives to caring for another person and then it was time to reflect on the experience and evaluate what they had done. You can apply the same thing to any important phase in a person’s life, whether it’s the end of a long career or children who are moving out of the house.The basic questions here are what did it all mean and how did I do? When the card is upright it indicates that the questioner has done well and feels good about it. And there is also the obvious theme of being reborn in this card. I’ve finished that phase of my life, so what do I do next?
There is also, of course, the more mundane matter of legal judgements. If you’ve been involved with some sort of a court case you can expect a positive outcome.
REVERSED: The same scenario as with the upright card but when reversed it implies a negative judgement. The questioner is feeling far from satisfied with his or her own behavior and wishes that she had done better. Again, this can be applied to any life event that’s coming to an end, whether a relationship or a job.
Pending legal matters will not go well.
A Few More Thoughts About the Judgement Card:
“You’re judging me!”
“Don’t be so judgemental.”
“That’s a value judgement.”
Not to mention visions of crabby, constipated old men in black robes banging little wooden hammers on their desks.
There’s no question that the word, “judgement,” carries a lot of emotional baggage with it. It, “feels,” like we’re talking about one person condemning another person, something most of us aren’t totally comfortable with. Hell, I’ve known Buddhists who refused to serve on juries because they were so adamant about not judging another person’s karma.
As I said in my book, “Just the Tarot,” though, the Judgement card is really more about self-judgement. It’s about taking a hard, dispassionate look at your life and deciding whether you did good or you fucked up.
And then moving on.
We’ve all known people who were in dysfunctional relationships where one person was doing all of the heavy lifting and the other person was letting him or her do it. I knew one man who was married to a woman who had been brutally raped when she was younger. About five years into their relationship their sex life pretty much disappeared because she was having flashbacks to the rape. He was a very sensitive, caring man who was deeply in love with her and so he went along with a sexless relationship until it started to make him crazy. He tried to talk to her about it and got nowhere. He suggested that she see a therapist and she refused. He suggested that THEY see a therapist and she refused.
He finally ended up seeing a therapist himself and discovered that, sadly, a lot of marriage counseling is actually divorce counseling. After two years of trying to make things work he filed for divorce and they went their separate ways. He still loved her but he realized he deserved a life partner who could love him back.
I mention that particular instance because it contains all of the elements of the Judgement card. 1 – Being confronted with a large problem in your life. 2 – Working hard to deal with it or solve it. 3 – Seeing very clearly that it involved a phase of your life which, for better or worse, is over and walking away from it. 4 – Making a Judgement about your own behavior and evaluating how you did before you move on to the next phase.
It happens all the time. Women who live with abusers and try with all of their hearts to believe that the man will somehow change until there’s one too many beatings. Home health providers who take care of parents with dementia until they’re emotionally and spiritually exhausted and just don’t have anything more to give. People who endure terrible jobs with terrible bosses for years and finally have enough.
The self judgement is sometimes positive and sometimes negative. Sometimes we can look at ourselves and say, “Yeah, I did really good and I did everything I could have.” Sometimes we have to admit that there are things we wish we could have done better or wonder if we should have tried a different approach.
In either case there is strong self-knowledge that it’s OVER. That chapter of your life is closed out and you’re moving on to the next chapter, hopefully a wiser and more compassionate human being.
Time to be re-born.