KEYWORDS: Transformations, Great Awakenings, Changes, Decisions, Rebirth, Inner Calling, Absolution
CARD DEFINITION: You hard work reaps all the rewards. Do not be too harsh on yourself. Learn to be patient to be successful. Health will improve. There may be positive changes in life. This is a good time to make changes in your career. Important changes that alter your life may happen.
REVERSE DEFINITION: This is a period of stagnation. You may fear failure and thus try to delay it by taking no decisions. Your health may not be too good. You may also develop a fear towards death. You also suffer from a feeling of guilt for your actions.
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Interpreting The Judgment Card
The twenty-first card in the sequence of the tarot deck is the card known as Judgment. Like some of the other cards of the Major Arcana, the Judgment card does indeed represent one of the many varieties of transition we come up against in life. However, it is important to note that the type of transition it signifies is not a violent or terrifying one, although it is definitely most powerful and monumental. Judgment calls our attention to the approach of a cleansing, purifying transformation - one that takes us from being many separate pieces in and of ourselves to being one happily integrated whole.
Once upon a time, Judgment was actually known as Judgment Day - fitting when you consider that Judgment Day is the time at which inventory is taken in regards to all of one's deeds and doings. It is the day we discover what we have truly been made of and assess the sum of all our parts. The outcome tied to the findings of our day of reckoning are not applicable to any physical kind of state, but a much higher existence - our spiritual existence. On Judgment Day, we learn where we are headed next by examining where we have been and it is the handling of our arrival at this most important crossroads that Judgment deals with and teaches us about.
In the traditional Judgment tarot image, we see three human figures in the foreground - a man, a woman, and a child. These figures are meant to represent the different aspects of the human self separate from one another and standing alone. The man stands for our consciousness, the woman for our subconscious mind, and the child for that part of us which remains forever young and innocent no matter how long we live. Above the heads of the figures floats an angel, representing the divine energy that has the power to integrate the three beings together into one complete whole. In the background, we see the ocean - what many tarot experts believe to be the terminus of the very same river we see depicted in many of the other cards of the Major Arcana - representing yet another end that will in turn give birth to a new beginning. The image as a whole is one meant to represent unity, rebirth, and the cyclical nature of the universe.
When Judgment shows up in a tarot spread, it almost always signals the approach of a monumental change. However, it is important to note that this will not be change of the same jarring, catastrophic, or destructive variety that can sometimes be foretold by cards like the Tower. It won't be a change that is forced upon the querent either. He will be given the choice to embrace it or not. It would, however, be in his best interests to accept it, as it will no doubt lead to a wonderful state of rejuvenation, spiritual rebirth, and the learning of important lessons. Passing up this chance, on the other hand could set him back quite a ways when it comes to traveling the path he is meant to be on.
Judgment can also herald the approach of a period during which the querent has a chance at healing, renewal, or the achievement of a clean slate. The surrounding cards and the exact positioning of Judgment in the larger spread will give more information as to the exact circumstances involved, but some possibilities include the clearing of a debt, the resolving of a long-standing feud, or the approach of a situation that takes a rather sizeable worry off the querent's mind at long last.