The Tarot Judgement card is a card of awakening, rebirth and drawing a line under the past. What has been can be no more. In both the French and the English Tarot we witness a resurrection scene of two adults and a child, rising from their graves. An angel blows the trumpet of the Last Judgement and all souls rise to be counted and held accountable. This is an undeniably and unapologetically Christian card in the sense that it visually references the Book of Revelation. But did A.E. Wait intend for it signify the resurrection of the physical body? Read on!
1. The angel at the top of the card, blowing the trumpet of the Last Judgement is Archangel Gabriel. He is the Angel of Prophecy and commonly associated with the Moon.
2. In the RWS Tarot, the coffins are floating on water, yet the Judgement Tarot card is more commonly associated with the Element of Fire. The corresponding Archangel for the Element of Fire is Michael. The other Elemental trumps are The Fool (Air), The Hanged Man (Water) and The World (Capricorn).
3. But wait, we’re not done counting angels for this card yet! Judgement is also associated with the planetary trump for Pluto, ruled by Archangel Azrael. Azrael is also the angelic ruler of the Zodiac sign Scorpio. In other words, transformation is in progress when this card shows up, even if it means a temporary pause while we decide what must be done next. It is a card of choice but with the Azrael connection it may well feel like a life or death choice.
4. The highest spiritual potential of the Judgement card lies in heeding our soul’s calling and aligning our lives accordingly. This usually means a value shift that sweeps big chunks of our existence right out of our lives, so the effects can at times be as keenly felt as those of The Tower. In its reversed aspect, this card can signify missing making that all-important right choice to align with our spiritual calling and being on a path ruled the illusions of the ego/separate self.
A.E. Waite has this to say about the card:
What is that within us which does sound a trumpet and all that is lower in our nature rises in response–almost in a moment, almost in the twinkling of an eye? Let the card continue to depict, for those who can see no further, the Last judgment and the resurrection in the natural body; but let those who have inward eyes look and discover therewith. They will understand that it has been called truly in the past a card of eternal life, and for this reason it may be compared with that which passes under the name of Temperance.
5. When the Judgement shows up as the challenge, some questions for self-examination might be… ‘I’m a fully aligned with my soul’s calling?,’ ‘What from my past do I need to leave behind forever?,’ ‘What must I purge from my life in order to follow my calling?,’ ‘Did I take a wrong turn by caring more about physical/temporal gain than the eternal wellbeing of my soul,’ (Rx) and ‘Am I being judgmental?’ (Rx).
6. In a relationship, this card usually signifies that make or break moment in a relationship that is ruled by strong emotions and/or turbulent events. If it shows as the outcome, it means that it is all still in the balance but more often than not the relationship will fall apart because of a choice that must be made by one or both parties. The reason, of course, is that once the choice has been made things cannot remain the same and if the relationship wasn’t built on a strong enough foundation to start with, it will inevitably fall apart.
7. On a Judgement-heavy day, you could…
- Understand your life purpose
- Have a spiritual awakening
- Connect with ‘the angel of the heart’
- Make a difficult choice
- Release past sorrows
- Free yourself from guilt
- Decide to start afresh
- Feel reborn
- Be held accountable
- Have your past catch up on you (Rx)
- Stop sitting on the fence
- Take a stand
- Atone for past mistakes
- Act on your convictions
- Decide to end a dead relationship
- Quit your job to follow your calling
- Choose to resurrect a failing career or relationship
- Have a day of reckoning
- Feel touched by the Divine
- Connect with the angelic realm
The Frideborg Tarot Judgement card
Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.
~ Alan Watts