Judgement is the 20th card of the Major Arcana, depicting multiple men, women, and children with their hands outstretched toward the heavens. They stand in caskets drifting in the sea, and what they are focused on in the heavens is Archangel Gabriel who is playing music with a trumpet. A green valley and what looks like either a blue mountain range or large glaciers line the background of the card.
The concepts vital for reading the Judgement card correctly are the emergence of what was lost and buried, as well as a higher calling that simply cannot be resisted; but also eternity, forgiveness, and a deep strong desire for spiritual rebirth.
With the aid of the celestial being, we fly beyond faith and hope to absolute certainty and mystical transcendence. It is a miracle, however grand or inconspicuous: a direct spiritual experience.
The bronze trumpet, which has a white flag with a red cross tethered to it, brings to mind the events of John the Apostle’s Book of Revelation. After the breaking of the seventh seal, the angels sound seven trumpets in sequence. The first six serve as warnings of plagues and wake-up calls to repentance, while the last one announces the glory of God’s kingdom.
Diverging from John’s apocalyptic visions, the Rider-Waite Judgement card shows no disaster. Instead, the faithful are redeemed and a new realm is announced, an era of wonder, music, and truly meaningful existence. Everything once separated will reunite and all that was lost will be found again. The angel thus signifies divine mercy and the trumpet is the Hierophant’s key that unlocks the gates of Heaven.
We can find four angelic figures in total in the images of the Major Arcana so far. The Lovers were a mere glimpse of heavenly grace. In the Wheel of Fortune, the golden angel represented one of the four elements and cardinal directions, a point of reference in the complex karmic system of cause and effect. Temperance was a guardian and a messenger, a delicate agent of balance, harmony, and human nature.
In the card of Judgement, the fair-haired Archangel carries out a supernatural deed on behalf of the deity, an act of God: the dead rise from their tombs to heed the promise of eternal life.
There is little point to discuss the motif of resurrection and its role in religious traditions here. From Osiris and Dionysus to Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice saved all of humanity, examples are numerous.
In the centre of the holy cross, which dispels evil, everything connects and becomes one — being and non-being, north and south, life and death. The heavenly music incites a re-evaluation of all values and an expansion of consciousness. To ignore this revelatory calling would only cause trouble and bewilderment.
It is not a matter of personal choice anymore because, at this crossroads, only one path is the right one and it leads to the complete and perfect creative matrix of the World. That is diametrically opposed to the Magician, the beginning of our journey, where we had an infinity of options to choose from.
Hence, the choice has been made, the work is done, and it is time to venture into the last mystery of the Tarot, past the waves of erratic emotion and the mountains of abstract thought.
So on this step, the seeker is summoned to awaken, rise up, and discover a cosmic truth beyond one’s personal limits of knowledge and cognition. To do that, one need not search for answers anymore, something that could throw them back in the perpetual ups and downs of the Wheel in Arcanum X. After all, the answer has already been given; what matters now is to ask the right questions.
The important clue in this Arcanum is abstraction. As the dead are removed from their graves, death is erased forever and the erasure creates this entirely new reality. All frontiers are abolished, the past is no more, and a final twofold revelation dawns: your path can lead to deliverance and an understanding of life’s mysterious workings; the Universe has not forgotten about you.
Lest we forget, the card is called Judgement, suggesting there is a judge, a subject, and, perhaps, a verdict. So apart from redemption and the revival of the psyche, it could also refer to being judged or passing judgement unto others, and to imperative announcements with far-reaching and long-term consequences.
Broadly speaking, the crowd of people finally represents humanity as a whole, a shared project, the collective unconscious, and the dissolution of roles, archetypes, and hierarchies. The work of the individual is complete. Now, the community must unite in a common cause to change the world for the better and realize the utopia.
The Tower challenged our beliefs and values while the Star gave us much needed hope. The Moon commanded the formless to ascend from the depths of the subconscious mind and, in turn, gave way to the Sun which defeated all fear, doubt, and illusion.
Judgement proclaims a force greater than any individual, the crucial unavoidable summons of the sublime, arcane, and metaphysical from within, without, above, and beyond — a universal awakening! Will you answer the call?
Throughout this article, we will explore the many different interpretations and meanings of the Judgement card in different contexts.
Table of Contents
What does the Judgement Tarot Card mean?
Upright, the Judgement card is one of clarity. The time now is extremely significant, whether you are on the brink of a life-changing decision or are completely discovering a new self. The card reassures you that whatever direction you’re moving in is a positive one. A spiritual awakening may also occur for you.
The Judgement card’s symbolism is quite suited for conveying its message and is definitely worth discussing. The caskets upon the water give the connotation that the people are deceased, or that they are souls heeding the call of Archangel Gabriel.
They await judgement by the heavens for both past wrongdoings and virtues. The stretch of mountains behind them emphasizes the significance of this judgement and the unlikelihood of avoiding it. The message is clear: rise to the calling or remain trapped in a purgatorial-like state, upon an expanse of open water, with no purpose nor future.
Perhaps your situation is not as dramatic nor as dire as above. However, there may be three scenarios that the Judgement card can refer to.
The first is that you are encountering a significant time period on your journey. This is a time for spiritual advancement, tuning into higher frequencies, and discovering your gifts and paths.
This can come in the form of an internal shift, such as mental clarity or a breakthrough, as well as an external one, such as a new opportunity or career change.
The second is that you are being asked to reconcile with your past. Past karma is making its way back to you. Absolutely hold yourself accountable and right any misdeeds, but the Judgement card is more about forgiving yourself and others and healing from past wounds.
This in turn creates a transformation of the self, almost like a rebirth, so that you can move forward without being stagnated by guilt.
The third may refer to a significant decision that is being made. It can be made by either the querent, such as one that will result in major life changes, or a third party, such as with the querent being chosen for an interview or award as examples.
The presence of the Judgement card usually reassures us that the outcome of the decision will be favorable.
The Judgement Tarot Card Keywords Upright
- New era
- Being chosen
What does the Judgement Tarot card mean by reversed?
Reversed, the Judgement card refers to more of an inner process, where all aspects of the upright are being blocked by self-doubt and fear. You know the path you need to take, yet you are refusing to confront it. You are so close to making that breakthrough or major transformation- only inner work needs to be done.
Even reversed, the Judgement card is not negative. It encourages the querent to focus on a shift in perspective, rather than waiting for the universe to shift the situation for you.
Or, many confirmations and signs have been received already, but it is easier to stay where it’s comfortable, and thus you lack the agency to embark on significant callings and new paths.
It may be hard for you to receive affirmations from the universe and the people around you, nor act upon them, because of the voice of your ego. This can be the overactive voice of criticism, fear, or anxiety that is preventing you from venturing out into the unknown.
The Judgement card in reverse talks of reflecting internally upon how you can learn from past situations.
It is time to forgive yourself and be kinder with your own words. Learn to cherish unpredictability and release having to know what a specific outcome will be.
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The Judgement Card Keywords Reversed
The Judgement Tarot Card as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
When representing how someone perceives you, the Judgement card can refer to qualities such as maturity and wisdom. There is an inner peace that makes it clear you have done inner work. They see you as someone who will influence and transform them. Something may have made them see you in a whole new light.
The basis of the Judgement card is some sort of change in direction or rebirth. The smallest things are capable of changing another’s perspective of you entirely; it may be that they had considered you as a friend, but now they are considering you in a romantic light.
This card usually does not refer to slight shifts in perspective, such as a revealing of a new talent or secret, but rather a complete shift, as if a whole new identity has been cast upon you.
If this person has not known you previously, or even if they have, the Judgement card shows that they perceive you as someone who they can grow with. You are very much self-aware, capable of reflecting upon your mistakes and doing inner work.
But this makes you capable of influencing others, in turn, to better themselves. This person can perceive you as someone who knows what to do in difficult situations and knows which decisions to make. It could also be that they admire a particular path or decision you’ve taken.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
Reversed, the Judgement card can refer to qualities such as being overly critical and doubtful. They see that you cannot get over past mistakes and haven’t learned from past lessons. They can perceive you as someone who suffers from indecision and cannot assert a strong opinion nor commit to a particular path.
This card reversed suggests that this person perceives you to be overcome by self-doubt. Uncertainty, indecision, or even fear of judgment can be qualities that they see in you.
Being afraid of outside judgement can naturally stem from sensitivity or self-consciousness, which are not negative qualities, but rather ones that can be worked upon and understood.
On the other hand, they can see you as a person who can’t face up to their true self. There can be something that you are avoiding; a past situation, your responsibilities, your true passions, as examples.
In general, you seem to them to be stuck in a place of paralysis. This is wanting to speak your truth, but being caught in social judgement. It can be being sick of your current job, relationship, or living situation, but being afraid to make any changes.
You choose to criticize yourself instead of being authentic and moving in a direction that speaks to you.
The Judgement Tarot Card in a Love / Relationship Reading
In a current relationship, the Judgement card says that each person will be some time to work on themselves to better the connection. A past relationship can return, with the Judgement card signifying renewal. There is a significant focus on healing yourself and forgiving as you move onto new stages in relationships.
A common interpretation of the Judgement card in a relationship reading is where an old relationship is being renewed. There will be a rebirth of a relationship that you had maybe broken off from.
Because the Judgement card seeks to root out past mistakes, allowing you to learn from them and rebuilding you into someone who knows themselves better, this rebirthed relationship will not go down the same path it had before. Both parties have now understood what they had to work on individually.
Hopefully, you will see everything that has happened in the past and understand the reasons for why they happened. The Judgement card acts on a greater spiritual good.
If in a current relationship, consider if you have really healed from the past, and if the past is influencing your present. Now is the time for forgiveness.
Another interpretation is that the person you are about to meet feels like you’ve known them before—namely, a soulmate.
Whether or not you believe in soulmate connections, know that this card signifies a more positive future for your relationships overall.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed in a Love / Relationship Reading
But when reversed, your relationships may not be benefiting you.
In reverse, the Judgement card indicates the presence of an old relationship that is stagnating your present. Additionally, the familial, platonic, and romantic relationships around you may be holding you back from your authenticity, tying you down and holding you back from accessing your own true voice.
One aspect of the Judgement card reversed is not acting upon the messages from the universe, intentionally or unintentionally, due to self-doubt or other factors. In this context, interpret this as not being able to see the red flags in a relationship.
Perhaps multiple ‘hints’ or warning signs have continuously shown up, but you have chosen to ignore them, dismissing them as insignificant details or wanting to give second and third chances. The Judgement reversed is saying that this relationship is not the right one for you.
Whether a romantic, familial, or platonic relationship is manipulative, stifling, or even just no longer bringing you happiness, take steps to distance yourself emotionally.
Even in cases where physical distancing is not possible, such as when you may be financially dependent on another, do not hesitate to focus on your own emotional healing.
Being in a relationship with another person means sharing in their energy and being influenced by each other in every interaction. Judgement reversed asks you whether you still know yourself well enough to be independent or authentic in your expression.
The Judgement Tarot Card in Friendship
Coming upon a significant time in your friendships, the Judgement card appears to remind you to always choose the friends who have always been there for you. Apart from recognizing the real friendships, it urges you to give your past friendships a chance, assessing the good and bad, and forgiving them.
Whether or not you choose to remain in a friendship, forgiveness is still worth pursuing, even if you have experienced a significant amount of hurt. Looking at both sides of a friendship and realizing what you both could have done better allows you to either progress in the friendship, or learn from it for future ones.
Forgiving your own mistakes, as well as forgiving others, is recognizing that we are all human. It is a viable method of benefitting and bettering yourself, much more than the other person, since any old energies of hurt or spite are cleared from your mental space.
A friend from your past may present themselves again in your present. You could be making a decision of whether you should become close with them again; a decision that isn’t made in one clear-cut moment, but often in a series of small conversations and tiny inclinations. You could be choosing between two groups of friends, or even deciding whether to cut-off a toxic friend; decisions that are more direct.
When inquiring about a new friendship, the Judgement card indicates that it feels like you’ve known this person for a long time, on account of your chemistry and natural connection. It just feels like the right kind of friendship, one that you want to keep up with.
In friendship, the Judgement card can also represent the type of person with who you are about to enter into a friendship. For this, check out ‘The Judgement Tarot Card as a Person’ section.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed in Friendship
A friendship may be holding you back from accessing your true identity, career path, or making wise choices. Judgement reversed indicates that a friend is preventing you from reaching your full capabilities, acting as that voice of mistrust and criticism themselves, stagnating your present by dragging out the past.
Whilst the Judgement card reversed does not necessarily assert that you have to cut off this friend entirely, it may be wise to distance yourself from them in the meantime. Or you may not need to take dramatic action— perhaps just recognize that you are placing too much emphasis on listening to words that discourage you from pursuing what you desire.
If this is a friend whom you would not instinctively go to for advice, then why listen to their criticism?
Be sure to discern the other party’s intentions toward you. Is the friend acting out of genuine care for you, or are the reasonings behind their advice or arguments purely self-serving? It is often difficult to tell when you suffer from self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence.
It seems that you are ready to shift into a new perspective, way of life, or transform into what seems like an entirely new person. You could be gaining confidence, wanting, yet still hesitant, to step out of your shell.
Yet the pressure and judgement from the friends who were more comfortable with your older self only restrict your self-growth and curb your enthusiasm for changing and discovering who you are. And you are afraid of the additional judgement that could arise, should you decide to move onto new interests, opportunities, relationships, or passions.
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The Judgement Tarot Card in Career
As in the above section on Place, many career options can be sought in those fields or areas. For this reason, this section on career will focus more on general career direction and advice.
When the Judgement card appears in career, you are about to make a significant leap forward. This can be catalyzed by an inner revelation. Your current career phase may be nearing completion, and you have made the decision to move onto something that resonates with your purpose and path.
Since the Judgement card is the second last card of the Major Arcana, you are nearing the completion of a phase in your career. You may have made a decision to change career paths completely, or are about to accept an offer that will start a new era of new possibilities.
Note that since this is not the final card of the Major Arcana, or the first, the change hasn’t come quite yet, but you are being urged to prepare and decide upon it.
In light of a job prospect or opportunity, the Judgement card is positive affirmation. It’s saying, “This was meant for you. Don’t doubt it.” If you were meant to do something, you will reach your final destination regardless of which path you take.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed in Career
Have you been wronged in the workplace? How about if you’ve made a decision, and can’t go back on it? The Judgement reversed tells us that regardless if you’ve been righted or wronged, a current or past situation wasn’t the right one for you.
Reversed in career, the Judgement card talks of an unfulfilling career. But there is an opportunity being offered to you—you only need to prioritize your truth and accept it. It may also refer to not being chosen for a job you desired, being wrongfully judged by others, or being self-critical in your work.
This is the classic card that signifies a career that just does not fulfill your dreams or purpose. A true inner calling may become harder and harder to find once you age, repressed by societal or financial demands.
But the time when we truly know what resonates with us is when we’re children. This is when our purest desires are not veiled by thoughts of money, or what others tell us about the skills we do or don’t have. Think of any childhood wish that you wanted to follow and think of how to combine it with a practical framework.
In this way, we are prioritizing our passions. This card will only show up when you have been given all that you need to go forward. It will not show up when you aren’t ready, because the last push is yours.
The Judgement Tarot Card in Conflict
The Judgement card shows that the conflicts and arguments you are having are essential to righting past wrongs, strengthening current relationships, or letting go of toxic ones. This is a situation where you will be forced to grapple with your past, come to realize something, or be redirected onto a new path.
An example of the Judgement card acting in a conflict is in a legal one, where court case proceedings and case preparations with lawyers force you to face the facts of what happened, either victim or perpetrator.
Expect a resolution in favor of your highest self. If you have done nothing wrong, then there is nothing to fear, but if you have, it is best to confront your misdeeds. All in all, each party leaves the conflict with their own form of healing and sense of relief.
Alternatively, an argument with a family member, partner, or friend may make you realize something about yourself, triggering a breakthrough. This can involve anything from a certain quality that you dislike in others, all the way to realizing that it is your right to refuse to remain in a toxic situation.
A conflict with authority, such as with a boss at work or a senior at your company, may result in an adjustment to your position or a completely new path. Remember that failure or rejection does not mean that this failure is inherent to you; it means redirection onto a course that is meant for you.
Clarity always comes with reflection and reminiscence, so whilst this conflict does not seem to be offering you clarity in the moment, trust that in the future you will see the reason for it.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed in Conflict
Whilst the upright Judgement card hints at clarity and a positive resolution of some kind, the reversal tells us that in this conflict, your inner judgement is being clouded and your path to action blocked.
A conflict involving the reversed Judgement card indicates that it will not be successful in resolution until either party can admit the truth. This conflict is instrumental in leading you to where you need to be and what you need to realize—but only if you let it. Listen to what the universe is trying to teach you.
The Judgement card encourages you to trust yourself. Trust that whatever the outcome, nothing was ever a ‘wasted’ opportunity, and that there was always something to learn. Your lack of confidence or negative self-talk is preventing you from standing up for yourself.
Furthermore, especially if this is a legal or professional long-term conflict, this card urges you to realize that you need not hold yourself back from doing what you know is right. Staying in inaction and doubt is often worse than actively trying to reach a solution. If the conflict does not end favorably, then you can rest knowing that despite doing everything you could, it was out of your control.
You are fully capable, but right now you are resting in self-deprecation and fear. Don’t need to worry about repeating past mistakes. Think of them merely as situations you can learn from, as in knowing when to admit when you are in the wrong, and redeem yourself from, as in not holding yourself back from putting what you learned into action.
Alternatively, this card could indicate that this conflict is the very matter that is pulling you back. It may be launching attacks upon your self-esteem and your capabilities. It may be distracting and diverting you from what you truly need to focus on. Constant conflict is keeping you stuck in the same place, not letting you proceed to your future path.
Judgement Tarot Card as What Someone Thinks of You
The Judgement card appears when someone thinks of you as a person who has a lot to learn—and is willing to learn—and as one who is quite self-reflective and handles challenges in a very mature manner. Otherwise, it could be that the Judgement card marks a complete turning point in how this person thinks of you.
The Judgement card is one of acknowledging past mistakes and a present rebirth for the future. This person thinks of you in a very positive way. They are proud of your growth and admire that you have matured so much as the months or years have passed. They think of you as courageous and honest.
Often, the only person who cannot see our personal growth is ourselves, until we reflect back upon who we were. This person acknowledges that you seem to be going through a significant stage of transformation, whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual. You may also have the ability to incite transformation in their lives.
In a more literal interpretation, the Judgement card can indicate that the way this person thinks of you has gone through a complete refresh, a complete 180. Our perception of others never remains solid or fixed.
There is some sort of clarity or deeper knowledge that they have recently learned about you. Or maybe they’ve known all along, and they’ve woken up—this is a truth about you that they have finally admitted or confronted. This knowledge may be either positive or negative and can certainly shift a positive outlook into a negative one, or vice versa.
Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as What Someone Thinks of You
To a person who thinks of you as represented by the Judgement card reversed, you seem to be quite a confusing figure to them. They haven’t reached that moment of clarity with you, so perhaps they do not think of you as the most straightforward person. They may even think of you as dishonest or immature.
This person thinks of you as a chapter of their past. They acknowledge that you may be unnecessary baggage or part of a past mistake. The truth can be hard-hitting sometimes, but note that the perceptions of other people are not necessarily a reflection of our own self-worth. We play vastly different roles in the lives of each person we interact with.
Furthermore, the Judgement upright represents a certain amount of confrontation and honesty. The person of inquiry can think that you are not necessarily being transparent with them. Much like in The Moon card reversed, or even the World reversed, there is some part of you that they have not fully grasped.
In the Judgement card’s case, they may even know some truth about you, but refuse to accept it.
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The Judgement Tarot Card as Feelings
The Judgement card can best be described as a feeling of glorious clarity. It’s knowing that this person or situation is the right one for you, it’s the excitement of being ready to start a new chapter, feeling like you’ve overcome something you never thought you would, and emerging awakened on the other side.
You will be experiencing emotions of contentment, joy, and hopefulness. Throughout the storm of self-doubt, loss, and failures, you’ve surfaced into a place where nothing can harm you. The feeling of everything clicking into place is one that makes us happy, and moreover, grateful.
This is a feeling of freedom as well, because you are no longer held back by your past. What can you do when your environment is changing around you, except to change along with it?
Through this process of confrontation, forgiveness, and rebirth, it is the long-desired feeling of relief that will wash over you. This feeling of liberation is indicative of the fact that you’ve finally reached a period of peace that you’ve been hoping for, past the whirlwind of dissatisfaction and difficulties.
And lastly, the Judgement card refers to feeling enlightened. This is a card of realization and clarity, which will subsequently provide you with certainty, accompanying you to the next step. It’s about knowing what you really want and feeling like you can thrive and belong as you are.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as Feelings
In the Judgement card upright, the querent has gone with the flow, embracing what is out of their control, and consequently recognizing that they are being taken down the right path. But reversed, the card shows resentment, resistance, and uncertainty.
Feelings of being incapable, stuck, or held back from your true desires are all possibilities for the Judgement card reversed. This is a feeling of your current situation being not quite right for you—will you ever feel fulfilled? You may be caught in a situation of fearing change, yet also resenting the stagnation.
You may have been knocked down in the past, and that can be contributing to the feelings of hesitation and unwillingness that you feel now. But remember what the entire philosophy of the Judgement card is—the process of learning and growth, leading to renewal.
A self-fulfilling prophecy is also common, with your own fear feeding upon the fear you produce. You might find your self-esteem decreasing as it does so, caught up in the ‘what-ifs’ and the ‘buts’.
A reminder that a certain degree of worry will always be present, which is absolutely normal, but never let it trump the strength and belief you have in yourself.
The Judgement Tarot Card as a Situation
The Judgement card represents a situation of mystery and excitement. Not everything is known to you yet, but there is a certain element of seeking the truth. It doesn’t have to be a specific situation; it can range anywhere from a time of self-discovery and clarity to a time of important decision-making and change.
What is the path that I am truly supposed to take? What exactly is being hidden from me right now? What do I need to know about myself? These questions all involve identifying a certain personal truth. We don’t know all of the answers just yet.
But the Judgement card brings positive news. As much as it is a ‘call to action’, it is also urging you to wake up and understand that you are going through a period of spiritual enlightenment.
So many things may be revealed to you, all internal revelations carefully plucked from the subconscious and connected to your conscious mind. Your surrounding environment can also hold indicators of which direction you need to take.
Pulling this card is a sign that you are being assisted in every way. Judgement is a waiting game but also using your discernment to know when you need to take action. And when you finally understand where to go, you will be guided by your own integrity and wisdom.
It is now time to forgive past situations and focus on the present, not fearing future change.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as a Situation
Reversed, the Judgement card speaks of a situation where you are not trusting your own judgement. There is also a lack of external clarity and information. You are confused as to how to make a decision and your intuition is clouded. You may currently feel unfulfilled but unsure of how to receive fulfillment.
This is a situation where you are afraid of the inevitable transformation that you have to go through. This transformation happens via confronting who you are and what you have done. It sounds ominous but doesn’t have to be— both virtues and failings are what make us human.
When you do not trust your own intuition, with too many conflicting internal and external factors, look to past situations. Use the lessons that you’ve learned to not repeat past mistakes.
The Judgement Tarot Card as Intentions/What Someone Wants
As intentions, the Judgement card indicates that this person wants you to face up to how you have wronged yourself or others in the past. They want you to recognize your flaws and truths as a person. Otherwise, they intend to renew a relationship or agreement with you or decide how a current connection will advance.
This person’s intentions, ultimately, are for your best interests. Were you the one who caused them deep hurt in the past? They want to see you make up for what you’ve done, right the situation, and apologize. They want you to face up to the mistakes you’ve made, even if the only person you hurt was yourself, and recognize how to improve as a person.
This person wants you to change. Part of what comes with that is reassessing your motives and identifying how you may have been hurt in the past, leading you to your current behaviors. There is no malice in their intentions and you only need to be honest with yourself.
If this doesn’t sound like it applies to you, Judgement can also represent this person restarting something with you. It could be a past business idea, a relationship, or even just a contract that they want to renew with you. It is a call to decide what action to take next.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as Intentions/What Someone Wants
A reversed Judgement card signifies intentions that are not the best for your greater good. They are restricting you from following your passions.
The Judgement reversed talks of a person who thinks they are doing the best for you. They certainly want the best for you, however, may be flawed in recognizing how they really are impacting you. They are doing what they think is right, which may not be for you.
Say you’ve already discovered what your purpose is and know what career to go into, but this particular family member wants you to go down a different path. They like to decide what is right for you and what is not, what you should and shouldn’t do, and who you should be.
Like many parents or family members, their intentions are loving, but can be overbearing. It can lead to suppressing your true identity and passions. It can bar you from progressing forward as quickly as you’d like to.
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Is the Judgement Tarot Card a Yes or a No?
Upright, the Judgement card is neutral, but leans towards a yes. Reversed, the Judgement card is calling for you to turn a negative answer into a positive one, as this is an inner battle to overcome. Overall, it asks you to trust your inner calling and make decisions that resonate with your own values and passions.
The Judgement card, upright, is usually a positive sign. It brings reassurance that you have nothing to worry about. You can rely on the divine, let go of worries, and carry on doing what you feel is right.
Reversed, the card urges you to take notice of the opportunities around you. Your answer may very well be a yes, but only if you manage to overcome that voice of uncertainty and take courage in the next step.
A positive outcome is close, but it needs you to be willing to take risks and release past doubts.
The Judgement Tarot Card as A Place
Any place that involves some sort of judgement, justice, or a reconciliation of past mistakes can be represented by the Judgement card. It can allude to places in justice or law enforcement and social or volunteer work. It is often attributed to interview meeting places, where people are being ‘chosen’ for the job.
This place, when signified by the Judgement card, can feel as if you’ve been there before. Even if this is not a place from the past that now offers new meaning for you, it can feel like a home that you’ve just discovered.
In terms of symbolizing particular fields, buildings associated with any type of law enforcement or social work can be represented by the Judgement card. There is a slight crossover between this card and Justice, where both refer to a particular truth or righteousness being brought about.
But the Judgement card can focus on an institution that places importance upon knowledge, and using that knowledge to help or better others.
This can be in rehabilitation centers, where individuals are encouraged toward gaining self-knowledge. Similarly, places involved in activism focus on spreading truth, statistics, and social awareness.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as A Place
The Judgement card is not a common card to signify a setting. You may like to interpret it as an upright card, but with the place still unknown to you. Otherwise, it might signify how you feel toward that place.
In reverse, the Judgement card refers to a place that you may feel restricts your authentic personality. It may not harbor a positive or nurturing environment, instead bring on feelings of fear or distrust.
Always trust your gut feelings toward a place or person! These tell you whether the place is right for you or not. Even though it may be for others, it may not be conducive to your self-growth or even career development.
The Judgement Tarot Card as an Obstacle or Challenge
The Judgement card can indicate the challenge of being unable to let go of past grievances. Your present is still being defined by these past situations, which results in another challenge of remaining in a state of self-uncertainty, afraid to confront change. The reversed indicates a lack of acknowledgement of this.
When upright, the Judgement card can refer to external factors that are keeping you stagnant, such as a relationship that no longer serves or a career that is unfulfilling. Whilst in reverse, it can refer to internal battles, such as a certain mindset that prevents you from believing in yourself, or just that you are unaware or refusing to acknowledge this challenge.
But regardless of upright or reversed, the Judgement obstacle can be overcome by resolving an internal struggle. Sometimes we hardly recognize the subconscious mindsets that we pick up when we are put through emotionally difficult situations.
We have a tendency to relive past traumas. Even the slightest trigger can reawaken a shadow of memory and emotion that we have stored deep inside our minds.
In this way, we become stuck in the past, unable to move forward, and eventually we stop putting ourselves out there at all in fear of reawakening these old emotions.
The overall challenge that the Judgement card represents is one of letting go. In learning that your past does not define you, but rather the lessons and growth you gain from it do, you can advance onto a path of healing, slowly but surely.
Releasing repressed emotions can thus open up so much more clarity and freedom in the present. Self-assurance and self-confidence will build up once you begin to see yourself in a different light; no longer a victim, no longer a criminal, and no longer held by the opinions of those around you.
The Judgement Tarot Card as Action
As an action card, Judgement stresses that the time is now. You can and will change your life for the better but first, you must decide what you want to do with it and find your purpose, your calling. A chain of events is already underway; you only have to rise up to the challenge and tie up loose ends.
Judgement compels us to wake up to a new reality and create our unique destiny. It promises great things in the future that would be a shame to forfeit because a lot of work has already been done on your part. Keep an open mind and do not stay idle.
To start a new chapter, you have to conclude any unfinished business first. Considering that nobody is a tabula rasa, a blank slate, we must re-evaluate our lives constantly. What parts of yourself must you forgive and let go? Does your intuition urge you to revisit a task or spiritual work that was ignored and forgotten?
You probably have already made your choices and have some kind of a plan in mind. Now you must go through with it. In this life, we make our own luck, our own fate. You are going to get all the help you need along the way, rest assured. Whether you have been literally chosen for an important task or you feel drawn to a certain path, there is nothing else to do than to answer this inner calling.
This card reminds us that the world is far greater and more mysterious than we can ever hope to understand. To stay confined in a dark little box would be infantile.
If you remove distractions, limitations, and self-criticism, if you ask yourself what is your true purpose and follow the specific direction you have decided upon, then everything will eventually start falling into place and you will see life with all its possibilities and wonders through new eyes.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as Action
The reversed Judgement card often suggests that we feel threatened and limited by fear of failure and defeat, that we lack the courage to break free and perpetually deliberate on our flaws instead of our power. You might catch yourself thinking ‘it is late, far too late for me’ and dodging what would otherwise be your true path.
And yet wounds can heal; weakness can turn into strength. Even time is a relative concept! Your past, enclosed in the box of memory, does not define you. In Jung’s enlightening words: ‘I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.’
As an action card, Judgement advises us to not be our own harshest critic. Furthermore, the card reversed assures you that it is okay to receive help from others. Sometimes our inner judgement may not be enough and we end up avoiding the situation. On the other hand, refrain from making any impulsive or large changes.
Whatever we do in life, we will always face difficulties. But everyone charts their course and adjusts their plans accordingly along the way — if you don’t know what to do and the “plan” is not yet obvious to you, what good can come from despair?
Some things are beyond our control. It is far better to be patient, to ask for help when we feel overwhelmed, to try and look further and beyond temporary setbacks, and gradually change what we can so that one day we will be pleased with our decisions. Have a little faith in yourself and even more in those who care about you!
On one hand, this card might urge you to remove mental blocks such as self-doubt or over-analysis. On the other, it can discourage you from acting too fast and with the wrong information.
In this situation, reach out to friends or mentors for guidance. There may be other perspectives that you haven’t considered yet, and so relying on individual judgement is not sufficient to make a proper decision. Try also not to jump around the situation, but instead address it directly.
The shift of energy when this card is reversed implies that a choice has to be made; not just any choice though. Like the persons in the image have no other option than to rise from nothingness in response to the Archangel’s calling, so you must slowly but resolutely search for the truth that has already begun revealing itself.
The Judgement Tarot Card as Advice
The advice the Judgement card gives is to look upon higher guidance. Trust is a large factor in divine aid. This card encourages you to consider what your motivations are and face up to changes along the way. You will be guided in this journey. Furthermore, this card tells us to forgive and close wounds from the past.
Judgement is an extremely reassuring card to pull for the advice position. It says that as long as you are being guided by your integrity and truthfulness here on earth, you will be assisted and led to your destination.
Ultimately, Judgement asks us to go with the flow. Confront the changes instead of resisting them. Do not worry about what cannot be changed from the past. Be in the present. Forgive those who hurt you because they did not know any better, but do not forget; every life lesson you have picked up by now is invaluable.
Additionally, this is also a card of trusting your inner voice. It’s those small thoughts that seemingly come to you randomly, which you dismiss upon the basis of rationality, yet a few weeks later you see that you were right in the end. Claircognizance and intuitive gut feelings are often inherent to many people.
There is always an exchange of energies suggested by this card, a dialogue if you like; action and reaction, announcement and response, so keep that in mind.
Like a symphony out of Heaven, Judgement brings together those differentiated energies to combine and guide them, an invisible maestro that casts the silence out and fills the emptiness with grace and music. Who could deny such a sweet melody and choose cacophony and isolation instead? They would be bound inside their dark box, forever adrift on the seas of futility… Listen closely, for it is your turn to sing!
Know that you are in full control and any calculated judgements you make along the way will never lead you to a ‘wrong’ path. As this card elevates the spiritual side of desire and passion, know that any guiding signs you may stumble upon will be there for a reason; and that reason can prove to be far more meaningful than everything you have ever experienced.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as Advice
As advice, this card reversed is certainly an interesting one. It might indicate that you need to figure out what this decision is first, before advancing onto another step. Decisions, in reality, are often not as direct as we think them to be.
It might be a sudden inner decision, such as resolving to no longer apologize for things that are not your fault, or a moral decision, such as wondering whether or not to turn a co-worker for something they did. In the latter, avoiding the decision will naturally result in not turning them in, which is not a decision that has been guided by your full moral judgement.
When reversed, Judgement as an advice card tells you to stop for a moment and think this through. Prepare yourself and do not disregard sudden insights. You have the decision to make but it is not as imperative as it would be if the card was upright. The most important thing, though is not to ignore your higher calling.
This card is just one step before the completion and fulfilment of the World. That means you’ve covered a great distance, spiritually, mentally, or quite literally, and you’re closeρ to the finish line ever before. So far so good.
But in its shadow, judgment harbours the danger of having no idea what to do next and thus arriving at a state of a total loss, denying the call, and making up excuses. Such a disposition can easily turn the tables on you and, though you won’t have to start at the beginning, you might end up in the ever-evolving game of causality and karmic interference in the Wheel of Fortune.
Not many decisions are laid in front of us in an A or B format, and perhaps that is why some are easily avoided, procrastinated upon, or overlooked. Ask for another’s advice and opinion if needed, and do not rush to superficial conclusions. Favour simplicity over complexity. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Reversed Judgement fosters the notion that you might have been resisting your “destiny.” But there still is a window of opportunity, and even a wrong turn can sometimes lead you to the right place.
The Judgement Tarot Card as an Outcome
The outcome that the Judgement card predicts may result in you letting go of something. But this will ultimately open you up to many more possibilities and provide closure for the past. Internally, you might have an epiphany. The biggest things you can take away are knowledge and a full rebirth of the self.
One thing that is clear is that your current situation will never appear the same again. It is time to move onto something better. This card foretells positivity, freedom, and a lot of happiness.
It predicts a clearer vision internally, so that you may see what has blinded you before, as well as all the things that you are better off without. Looking back in retrospect, we can often see the patterns in our lives and why people or situations were with us at certain moments.
This card can also mean that you are just about to discover your authentic path. This is something that you’ve always wanted to do, someone you’ve always wanted to be with, or someplace you’ve always wanted to live. Although sacrifices will need to be made, deep down you know that this is right for you.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as an Outcome
Reversed, the Judgement card represents an outcome that does not result in emotional closure. This can likely be an internal barrier, with you resisting or not coming to terms with the truth. There may be a sense of regret or loss, but it is one that is always present when old situations and energies are let go of.
When a situation or relationship has ended, there is always that feeling of what could have been. When Judgement is reversed, the querent is still hanging onto a chance of resurrection in the relationship. But exactly because it is reversed, this situation is truly over, and it’s time to stop hanging onto remnants of emotions that need to fade.
Ultimately, this outcome is for the greater spiritual good of the querent, but it has not been accepted fully. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to give up on this?” How can you move on from the past, whilst fully registering and not avoiding what has ended?
Small things such as reconnecting with friends, or doing things you enjoy, will help you heal and recognize what the truth is. Go along with the present to see where it takes you next.
The Judgement Tarot Card in the Future position
The following period in your life, as represented by the Judgement card, is one of self-introspection. It is largely an internal process, one that will clear your mental space of guilt, resentment, and pain. Once you shift into a new energy after the Judgement card, look forward to the rejuvenation and lightness ahead.
You will be able to gain clarity, an answer to your problems. The Judgement card in the future position usually indicates a resolution of some kind, resulting in a huge weight being lifted off of your shoulders.
It’s as if new possibilities and paths have presented themselves to you. Not only do they bring relief, but they also bring comfort, knowing that your worrying was unwarranted. If you have worked hard, then you will come into a period of rest and reward, well deserved.
Most importantly, do not be afraid of the change that will arrive ahead of you. Whilst this is an important period that will most likely heavily shift your surrounding circumstances, know that you have the ability to make educated and intuitive decisions. The universe would not give you situations that you cannot handle.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed in the Future position
Coming into a period of uncertainty, indecision, and inaction, know that this is only a temporary time of transition and learning. There may be information that is still unknown to you, research that you still have to undergo, and more advice and clarity that will be revealed along the way.
Look out for a time of doubt and stagnancy. It may feel as if nothing is on its way to resolution, with pain and hurt still sharply lingering over each present moment. At this time, the best course of action is to take responsibility for yourself. Let go of your expectations for a specified outcome. Instead of attempting to resist the changes around you, quiet your mind with meditation.
An outcome to a decision might not be clear to you just yet, but it is important to mention that it is perfectly alright not to know everything at one moment in time. Judgement reversed usually predicts a time where you could slip into negative self-talk or insecurity.
It is 100% acceptable to take your time with decisions you feel are important. Moreover, it is more beneficial for you to wait and clear away the fog surrounding your situation first.
But if you are required to take action in the immediate future, remember that you will always end up in the right destination, regardless of which choice you make.
Find supportive friends and family who know how to lift you up and give you appropriate advice.
The Judgement Tarot Card as a Person
The first response that might jump into your head is a person who is of a judgemental nature. This is a completely valid interpretation and might apply to your situation, but the Judgement card does go deeper than just pure judgement.
The Judgement card represents someone who has undergone a major transformation. They have newfound wisdom and has just the right advice because they have been there before. They have been reformed, which is why they will inspire you to take action. It could be that they are the right person, at the right time.
This person may grab your attention because of how they seem to be at peace with themselves. They are inspiring in how they’ve overcome their difficulties. They have a strong sense of self and purpose. They are decisive and aim to stay true to their values and beliefs.
Activism could also be something that this person is involved in. As they’ve experienced pain and even addiction, they seek to help others in their journeys to overcome what they have faced up to themselves.
The Judgement Tarot Card Reversed as a Person
The Judgement card reversed refers to an individual who is overly timid and cautious. They often have trust and commitment issues, unable to put faith in the divine nor determine what they truly want. They are fully capable of following their true path if they release fear and the tendency to self-sabotage.
This card presents someone afraid of rising up to their divine calling because of how they will be received in this physical realm. They are paralyzed in their fear of failure or disappointment.
This person may be forgoing opportunities that have been offered to them, hesitating in the face of challenges, and not reflecting internally to see what they truly need to do.
The only thing that they have to do is place enough trust in themselves and the universe to accomplish what they are fully capable of.
What Zodiac Sign is the Judgement Tarot Card?
The Judgement card is one that is not ruled by a zodiac sign. Instead, the planet Pluto and the element of fire are associated with the card. Pluto is a planet of death and rebirth, extremely suited to the resurrective nature of Judgement. The element of fire promotes self-assurance and a drive to be authentic.
Pluto represents the process of going through a painful process of rebirth. Though this sounds similar to a Ten of Swords or Death experience, the Judgement card offers more of a core process of internal reckoning.
Your only opponents are yourself and your past, which you face up to in order to make decisions for your future.
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