The next stop on our journey through the Major Arcana is the Judgement Tarot card. This card is a clear allusion to the Rapture in the Christian tradition, which is when the dead will be raised from their graves to meet their Creator. This represents that it is time to separate the material from the spiritual. The time has come to harvest the fruit of our efforts, change our path, reconcile with our past, and put an end to situations that have been stopping our progress for years.
Read on to learn the symbolic meaning of the Judgement Tarot card in the Rider-Waite deck and how to interpret it in a reading, both upright and reversed.
The Judgement Tarot Card and Numerology
Each Tarot card has a number and that number plays an important role in interpreting its meaning. The number of the Judgement Tarot card is 20. There are a couple of ways to interpret 20. The first way is to add 2+0, which equals 2. 2 refers to duality, and the other two Major Arcana that are the number 2 are The High Priestess and Justice.
Another method is to multiply 2 x 10. 10 can be broken down into 1+0, or 1. It can also be seen as 1+2+3+4, which are the steps toward full manifestation. 10 represents something that has reached its fullest potential. So, 10 is the number of both completion and of new beginnings.
By the time we have reached this card, we have been through two full cycles. The first cycle started with The Magician and finished with The Hermit. This cycle included mostly positive cards. At the Wheel of Fortune, the wheel did indeed turn, and then we had to journey through some of the most difficult cards in the Major Arcana. The second cycle ended with The Moon, where we had to deal with our emotions and the hidden side of our natures.
The wheel turned again with The Sun, and now, with the Judgement Tarot card, we have the chance to reflect on both the cycle of triumph and the cycle of defeat and hardships. It is time to decide where we will go from here.
Keywords for the Judgement Tarot Card
- An awakening of consciousness
- A change of perspective
- Need for advice
- Lack of restraint
- Suffocating environment
- Subject to trial
Imagery and Symbolism of the Judgement Tarot Card
On this card, the Archangel Gabriel plays his trumpet to announce the coming of accountability and of godly rewards. In the Christian tradition, this represents the resurrection of the dead and the forgiveness of all repentant sinners. The blessed ones will receive Eternal Life with God.
The preponderance of blue on this card represents occult forces, as well as the psychological and spiritual lessons that we learned through our life journey. The golden hair of the resurrected characters indicates that they have achieved the necessary knowledge to rise towards Heaven and Truth and that they are receiving good news. This is the reward for completing the arduous and hard journey that is life itself.
The human figures on the card seem to be rising from the dead. They are coming out of their urns with an attitude of awe, ecstasy, and adoration to receive the Godly message of the Archangel. It is the Day of Resurrection, and we must all be accountable. They are naked, and they raise their arms towards the sky to show gratitude.
The red cross on the rectangular banner is similar to the white cross that was worn by The High Priestess. The horizontal axis of the cross symbolizes our material existence and the verticle one is our spiritual nature. Just as the vertical axis can go above and below the horizontal one, we are able to rise above or fall below our physical nature.
The Lessons of the Judgement Tarot Card
The Judgement Tarot card is traditionally associated with the planet Saturn. Saturn is a complicated planet, which governs hardship and oppression but also governs transcendence from the material plane. Saturn is the ruler of time, and thus, places a limit upon our physical existence.
At this card, we are nearing the end of our journey. We have already learned great lessons and have overcome significant challenges. We find ourselves with nothing more and nothing less than the Biblical moment of the Last Judgement, the Day of Resurrection. It is the time to harvest what we have sown or we will be forever devoured by the earth. It is the moment of death and rebirth.
Burying the hatchet: awaking to a new life
Rebirth is obtained by listening to the voice of God. We can do this by listening to our inner voice, through meditation, or by silencing the noise of our insecurities, problems, and attachments which have crippled us in the past. The sound of the golden trumpet calls us to face our Creator without any remorse or shame. This card tells us that by making a deep connection with the spiritual forces that emanate from the heavens and from within, each one of us can achieve eternal life.
On the Judgement Tarot Card, the two figures that have accompanied us through our journey, who succumbed to love in The Lovers and sin in The Devil, are now rejoicing over the good news. They have abandoned, or have been forced to leave, The Tower, and they have faced their internal demons and can recognize themselves as resurrected souls.
Everything that was devastated by Death has come back to life with a greater knowledge and a new perspective. We can move on as new souls and receive everything we have ever longed for.
How to Interpret the Judgement Tarot Card in a Reading
This card indicates that you have already been working to achieve liberation from everything that prevents you from growing. Now you have reached the level of maturity needed to begin the journey towards Enlightenment. It is time to be reborn and start again in a more promising direction.
The Judgement Tarot card announces the arrival of a definite moment in which you need to become aware of what you have learned and reaffirm who you are. Now, when finding yourself in the face of adversity, you will have the opportunity to test all the tools acquired during your journey and prove to yourself what you’re made of.
The Judgement Tarot card announces a time of transition that will bring new situations and changes to our life. It also announces the evolution of circumstances that have been stagnating for a long time.
The Upright Position of the Judgement Tarot Card:
Judgement refers to a transition, but unlike Death or The Tower, the change is not sudden, nor does it come from luck or changing perspectives. It is a change that comes from experience and hard work. It means that the plans that have been developing over time will now bear fruit.
This card indicates a radical change and gives us the opportunity to start something new. We may need to correct our mistakes, forgive, or ask for forgiveness in order to achieve success in the face of difficulties.
If this card refers to a judicial proceeding, it will go in your favor. You will also be able to resolve old conflicts and obtain general improvements in various areas of your life, such as work, love, housing, and spirituality. You will need to be honest with yourself, as this is the only way to achieve real success.
Judgement also symbolizes the unexpected and the unforeseen. When appearing in a spread, it shows that pleasant surprises and positive events lie ahead, especially when the card appears upright or accompanied by other benevolent cards.
Something that had been expected for a long time, a change, a transformation, or an improvement is imminent. It could be a success, a victory, a conquest, or a complete renovation after a crisis. In short, a decisive turning point in your life is on the horizon concerning love, work, and money.
Future well-being and joy will depend on a decisive period of reflection. Significant opportunities and rewards will come on your way. You will overcome any adversity.
- Time of prosperity
- New relationships for singles
- New beginnings
- Spending holidays together
- Reconnecting with old friends
- There may be a transformation in the relationship
- A rapid recovery
- Favorable and unexpected news
- Suffering ends
- Alternative therapies can be of great help in recovering from an illness
- Try not to judge others in the workplace, because it could have negative consequences for office harmony
- Resume projects that you considered failures
- The time has come to get the recognition you have waited for
- Change of position
- Success in studies and at work
- Business travels
- Good fortune in investments and ventures
- Favorable time to try a new business
- Overcoming savings problems
The Reversed Position of the Judgement Tarot Card:
When the Judgement Tarot card appears in the reversed position, it warns that you are going through a period of regret. This is because you are clinging to the opportunities that you have lost in the past. It also indicates that you are harvesting the fruits from your lack of judgement. The Judgement Tarot card reversed represents fanaticism and hesitation. It could refer to a very difficult work or family environment. It may also represent obfuscation, doubts, arguments, and fruitless discussions.
The Judgement Tarot card reversed represents poor judgements and decisions, confrontations with friends, divorce, or separation. You now have to face a weakness of character that has gotten you into significant problems.
The sudden and unexpected transformation announced by the Judgement Tarot card in its upright position, when reversed, turns into a difficulty in accepting and dealing with an evident truth. Things that were considered completed must be revisited. It is necessary to face up to past commitments and assume your responsibilities.
- Bad fortune when it comes to love
- Moments of closure or stagnation
- It is possible that you are getting attached to a person that is not a good influence in your life
- Time to rethink relationships
- A possibility of separation or divorce
- Beware of false friendships
- It’s time to pay a visit to your doctor
- Take rest and try to improve your sleep habits
- Drink more water
- Spend time outdoors
- You are living a life of excess, lacking balance
- Illness reminds us that life is a lot more than work and making money
- Risk of an accident during travel
- It is not good news, and all we will be able to do is to control the damage
- Lack of recognition
- Labor disappointments
- Another person will get the promotion you were expecting
- Work problems
- Hard times will come, so it’s important to save
- It’s not a good time to make investments
- A scammer or a thief may have their eye on you
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.