The Tarot Major Arcana card number 20 is called Judgment. In the card image from the Marseille Tarot, we see the birth of the child of the soul and the spirit, the reborn self. The Angel’s trumpet blast is proof that this birth or re-birth can only happen through grace. Grace is our conscious awareness receiving a higher calling from God. Without this quickening, we wouldn’t even be aware of the need for rebirth.
The other day, I was listening to a YouTube preacher talk about how Jesus didn’t preach a ‘turn or burn’ message but rather taught as a living example of compassion by offering healing to those who were broken (all of us). The term ‘turn or burn’ stuck with me. If I had to pick a card for the phrase ‘turn or burn,’ it would have to be Judgment: the card of a being at a crossroads after receiving a calling from God.
The First Trumpet Blast
As I have already discussed a couple of times in different blog posts, my first ‘turn or burn’ trumpet blast came in the form of the numbers 666 showing on my kitchen scales three days before the first lockdown, back in March. This made me reach for my Bible since it ties in with Biblical prophecy. Reading the Bible daily for about a week or two, as well as praying and fasting for guidance, I realised that I had strayed so very far from my true love.
My Sheep Know My Voice
Deep down, I have always known I belonged to Jesus. Since even before I was got ‘saved’ at 17, I knew His voice. ‘My sheep know my voice.’ Yet, gradually I had wandered further and further away from Him and hardened my heart to the truth of His Word. Hearing the trumpet blast for the first time this year, I surrendered and released everything that was blocking me from having a clear line of communication with Him.
This was an ego-mortification that meant letting go of my old identity. It was a necessary phase for me to go through and it culminated in me being re-baptised in a church that believes in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My first baptism at 17 was in a cessationist church.
For a couple of months, I thought I might end up joining the church that baptised me but that was not what the Lord had in mind for me…
The Second Trumpet Blast
When the second trumpet blast sounded, I realised I was still searching for answers outside my love relationship with Christ, veering off into a religious and rigid way of acting and thinking. This made me remember the reasons why I had left the church in the first instance. My deepest desire is to be free, not to tie myself up into another system or ideology but to truly worship God in Spirit and in truth.
Grief and spiritual development have something in common and there has been plenty of both this year. Neither one takes place on a clear trajectory and moves in a straight line from A to B. We are humans so we meander, backtrack and even get ourselves in tailspins when we are completely out of whack which is what happens very easily when we start comparing ourselves and our spiritual walk to others.
Reading about the Cathars in the book I discussed the other day, I’m reminded of the importance of balance between the masculine and feminine faculties. When I had strayed before the first trumpet blast sounded, I had wandered too far in the direction of leaning on my own understanding and doing whatever felt good. Doing this resulted in increasing levels of confusion since much of what felt good at the time was merely a result of me tagging along with the latest trends out of FOMO.
When the second trumpet blast rocked my world, I realised that I had externalised too much once again and all but rationalised my faith away in a web of theological constructs. So the balance between heart and mind was out of whack again. Christ taught a gospel of love and I was living in my head.
How, then, could I free myself and find a better balance? I needed to put roots down without looking around to see what others were doing; I needed to trust that guidance would come from the Holy Spirit as I deepened my walk with the Lord. I realised that this deepening was about trusting in God’s love for me, every step of the way. It was about finding a kinder, more compassionate way of walking the path.
How do we learn anything truly worth knowing in this life? Through relationships. For those of us who had a rocky start in life, it can sometimes be difficult to truly trust in the power of love. There is often a pattern of extremes when it comes to attachment and avoidance for those of us who experienced rejection as young children.
But God is good. Through our vertical relationship with the Lord, we receive instruction from the Holy Spirit on how to have blessed relationships on the horizontal plane. This happens spontaneously when we allow our relationship with God to blossom. When we fall madly in love with God, we can fall madly in love with all living beings because we see His grace and beauty reflected in all of them.
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord Our God, The Lord is One; Thou shalt love thy Lord, thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”, before also referring to a second commandment, “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”Gospel of Mark 12:29-31
Love saved me again when that second trumpet blasted. This time I released fear and judgment and embraced those aspects of myself that I had become afraid of. I felt they (my creativity, intuition and imagination) were somehow to blame for me straying so far from God. Now I realise how silly that was and that everything that I devote to Him can be used for the highest good.
For instance, the more I use my imagination when I read the Gospels, the deeper my roots go into the fertile soil of faith. I finally have ‘eyes to see.’
When I left the occult behind, I started looking at things and tools that are actually neutral as ‘bad.’ For a (thankfully brief) season, I nurtured a judgmental mindset that had everything to do with fear and nothing to do with love.
Again, this came from externalising right and wrong with references other than the Word. Looking to the Christian subculture, I lost my freedom but as soon as I started praying for discernment I saw that I was falling into the trap of legalism.
The freedom we have in Christ comes with the warning that we must pray for discernment. But it’s actually fairly easy to be discerning about temptation when you are madly in love. What might constitute a temptation to someone in a dead or dying relationship really isn’t to those whose hearts are on fire for the Beloved.
I don’t know where God will guide me next on this amazing journey but He wants me to move forward with my heart wide open, so that is what I’ll do. If what I do isn’t making me kinder and more loving, I’ll pause and readjust again. Hopefully, the Angel of Judgment won’t have to get his trumpet out a third time this year. I could do with a break and I’m sure he could too!
**The Judgment Tarot card image is from the Robledo Marseille Tarot