Tarot cards have been around since the 15th century in various European card games, but were not used in divination rituals until the late 18th century, which is how they are used today almost exclusively. Containing four different suits (wands, cups, swords, and circles) and 78 different cards, a deck of Tarot cards is spread out on a surface in a certain pattern, and depending on the type of card and its location, the deck describes different aspects of the life of the person being read, including their past and emotions. Two of the card groupings in Tarot are Major and Minor Arcana, and it’s a Major Arcana card we will be focusing on today.
The Judgement Card of the Major Arcana group is the topic of discussion today, and we will explain all about this card, including what it means and the symbols associated with it. If you’d like to learn more about Tarot before splurging on a deck of your own, check out this course on the meaning of Tarot cards, and this article on the High Priestess card to get a better idea of what it’s all about.
The Story Behind the Judgement Card
We’ll begin our discussion of the Judgement Card by describing the illustration that accompanies it. On it, several people, men, women, and children, are rising from their graves, rejoicing beneath the archangel Gabriel, who is blowing a trumpet. These people are awaiting a judgement from the angel, requesting sympathy from him. In the background are mountains and large wavelike formations that symbolize not only insurmountable obstacles, but also the fact that they cannot avoid judgement.
On some versions of the Judgement Card, there are certain symbols that are found in other cards of the Major Arcana, including Gabriel’s red and white banner, reminiscent of the Magician’s clothing, and water, which harkens back to the river that flows throughout Major Arcana, beginning with the Empress. This repetition is meant to emphasize the fact that, in life, as with everything else, the beginning is tied to the end, and the end is simply another beginning.
Judgement in the Past, Present, and Future Positions
Once a Tarot card is placed in front of you, its position dictates whether the card refers to your past, present, or future, and each position relays a different message. In the past position, Judgement indicates that you have made a big decision, either in your distant or very recent past, that relates to a specific way of thinking. Judgement doesn’t say whether or not the decision was a good one, rather that your current situation, specifically, the one that made you consult the Tarot in the first place, was dictated by the outcome of this decision. You may even be defining yourself by this decision, causing you to take stock of your life.
In the present position, Judgement spotlights the finality and the internal conflict you are having due to a present decision. This decision, says Judgement, looms large in your eyes, even if it seems insignificant to others. Judgement is different than other cards in that it involves your free will, as opposed to the inevitability that surrounds other cards, and it signifies that whatever the outcome, the thing you end up deciding will have grand repercussions.
Finally, in the future position, Judgement wields its most power. It insinuates that your decision will have negative effects on your future life, rendering you miserable and guilty, but an incident of some type lies ahead that will unburden you, opening up your eyes to many possibilities, and, like the people depicted on the card who are rising from their grave, you, too, will hear a Heavenly trumpet being blown, resulting in a new lease on life. If you need a new outlook on life, this course on positive thinking techniques will change how you look at things.
Judgement Applied to Aspects of Your Life
Each of the Tarot cards are able to not only speak to your general life, but to specific aspects of it, offering up a special message designated for each.
- Work Judgment says your work efforts are being scrutinized, and that you should put in a bit of extra effort, especially in the details. If your efforts are successful, you will reap the benefits, but if they are in vain, prepare to find new work.
- Love In the area of love, Judgement dictates that you should make clear what you want out of your current relationship, then make an effort to achieve that. If not in a relationship, you should expect something promising soon, but make sure to not rush in and jump to conclusions about your new love.
- Finances Financially, Judgement is a very promising card, indicating that money is coming your way, but to be cautious, and take things slowly.
- Health Judgement says you will feel better physically and spiritually if you let go of any past wrongs that were done to you that you still hold on to, and, specifically, those dealing with chronic illnesses will benefit from any cleaning of the slate.
- Spirituality Concerning spiritual matters, you will find yourself exploring new avenues that you never thought you might explore, and as a result, may find truth and wisdom there. Judgement urges you to be adventurous in spiritual matters, and you will benefit in the end.
Part of the richness of Tarot is the fact that, when combined with other cards, certain cards take on more nuanced meanings, and the Judgement Card is no different. Here are a few of the combinations.
- When paired with the Hermit Card, Judgement says your relationship is about to end, but with a period of productivity as a single person to follow.
- The Lover’s Card indicates that your current relationship is about to kick into high gear, with a marriage or move-in imminent.
- A combination with the Temperance Card indicates that you will decide to stop drinking or doing drugs.
As you can tell, there aren’t many straightforward answers in the world of Tarot, making it mysterious and alluring to some, and a simple parlor trick for others. If you’re in the mysterious and alluring camp, and love the Tarot, perhaps you’d like to make a profession out of it. This course on becoming a professional Tarot reader from scratch, and this course on mastering Tarot for a profit will have you reading the cards for money in no time.