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Judgment
(Inverted)

Judgment

When I draw this card for others, I have a bit of an “ahhh…” factor that comes into play, and have no problem translating. This is one of those cards that usually provokes tears from those who draw it – healing tears, mind you – but tears nonetheless.

In life, we create many versions of ourselves. I, for example, am mother, daughter, sister, mystic, waitress, friend. In addition to the roles I’ve taken on as various personas, there are also past versions of me that still exist – There’s the me that existed at age 9 when I was touched inappropriately and abused in various fashions. There’s the me at fifteen who was lost in her own arrogance and about to become a mother. There’s the me at twenty-three who tended bar in daisy dukes and gambled, drank, or smoked away her troubles. There’s the me at age thirty who made such bad choices that it caused the disruption of my family. In present day, there’s the me who struggles to be a good mother, the me who must be the provider, the me that hungers to be savagely WOMAN. There are all these different aspects of me – most of whom I resent or am angry with for their failures and consequences, if not for their lost hopes and dreams.

This card says it’s time for Unity. It’s time to bring together all the pieces and parts of Self, forgive past mistakes, let go of grudges, UNIFY, and become one WHOLE being who doesn’t self depreciate. It’s time to stop being such a harsh judge of self, to stop fearing the judgment of others, and to be true to me.

The card being inverted today clues me in that I’ve been resisting this merger.

It reminds me of a poem I once wrote, “Me, Myself, and I” – and it also reminds me of, “The Mind I Love

Here’s what the other sources say:

From LearnTarot.com:

making a judgment
having a day of reckoning
separating the wheat from the chaff
making an honest appraisal
getting off the fence
using critical faculties
taking a stand
making hard choices

feeling reborn
awakening to possibilities
transforming
enjoying renewed hope
making a fresh start
seeing everything in a new light
discovering joy

hearing a call
recognizing your true vocation
feeling inner conviction
feeling an impulse to act
deciding to make a difference
feeling drawn in a new direction
knowing what you must do
answering a need

finding absolution
feeling cleansed and refreshed
releasing guilts and sorrows
forgiving yourself and others
atoning for past mistakes
unburdening yourself
feeling sins washed away

On Card 20, we see people rising up at the call of an angel. It is Judgment Day, when the faithful are brought to heaven, but what about those who are not saved? Have they been judged and found wanting? For their sins, will they be denied the presence of God? It is this aspect of judgment that is unsettling. How can judgment be reconciled with forgiveness?

In fact, judgment comes in two forms. The hurtful kind says, “What you did is wrong, and you are bad and worthless for having done it.” This type of judgment separates and leaves no room for redemption. It is possible to judge without condemning. We assess the matter, weigh all sides and try to discern the truth. We recognize the need to choose and hope for the courage to do so wisely – but without blame.

In readings, Card 20 can be a reminder that judgments are necessary; sometimes you must decide. At such moments, it is best to consider the matter carefully and then commit yourself without censure. If you are being judged yourself, learn from the process. Take what is of value, correct what needs correcting, but never lose sight of your worth.

Card 20 also stands for the feelings that come with salvation. When the angel calls, you are reborn – cleansed of all guilts and burdens. The past and its mistakes are behind you, and you are ready to begin anew. You may even feel a calling – a personal conviction of what you are meant to do. If you are in a low period, in need of hope and absolution, Judgement can show you that renewal is at hand.

And here’s from AeclecticTarot:

Basic Card Symbols

Angel, trumpets, graves with people rising from them, often water or an ocean.

Basic Tarot Story

As the Fool leaves the garden of the Sun, he feels that he is near the end of his journey, ready to take a final step. But something is keeping him from doing this, holding him back. He gazes up, hoping to find guidance from the Sun; instead he sees above him a fiery angel, beautiful and terrible.

“You are right,” the Angelic figure confirms, “you have only one last step on your journey, one final step to completion. But you cannot take that step until you lay your past to rest.” The Fool is perturbed. “Lay it to rest? I thought I’d left it behind, all of it,” he says. “There is no way to do that,” The Angel observes. “Each step wears down the shoe just a bit, and so shapes the next step you take, and the next and the next. Your past is always under your feet. You cannot hide from it, run from it, or rid yourself of it. But you can call it up, and come to terms with it. Are you willing to do that?”

The Angel hands the Fool a small trumpet. The Fool is hesitant, but he knows that this is a final decision. Either to go forward, or stay where he is. He blows, and the trumpet’s song echoes across the sky, its vibrations seeming to crack open the Earth. From under the Fool’s feet, memories rise. Images of his innocent youth, challenges, loves, failures, losses, success, disillusionment and wisdom.

For the first time, he does not try to leave them, ignore or forget them, but accepts them. They are, he sees, nothing to fear. They happened, but they are gone now. He, alone, carries them into the present. With that understanding, the memories vanish. Though they remain in his mind, they no longer have any power over him. He is free of them, reborn, and wholly in the present.

Basic Tarot Meaning

With Fire as its ruling element (or Pluto as its ruling planet), Judgement is about rebirth, resurrection. The idea of Judgement day is that the dead rise, their sins are forgiven, and they move onto heaven. The Judgement card is similar, it asks for the resurrection to summon the past, forgive it, and let it go. There are wounds from the past that we never let heal, sins we’ve committed that we refuse to forgive, bad habits we haven’t the courage to lose. Judgement advises us to finally face these, recognize that the past is past, and put them to rest, absolutely and irrevocably. This is also a card of healing, quite literally from an accident or illness, as well as a card signaling great transformation, renewal, change.

Thirteen’s Observations

Judgement is often a hard card to read; it usually signals just a big change, one that involves leaving something old completely behind and stepping into something completely new. Like closing the door on an old job, and opening the door to a new and very different career. But it’s also about making a final decision, to take that plunge into the new career, to forgive your family, to leave an abusive spouse, to make a new life. To heal and renew. It’s a very hard card to read, in part because it deals with very hard and final decisions. And it means facing something that most Querents don’t want to face. You can’t hide any longer, this card says, all the dead have risen and are out in the open. Face what you have to face; make that decision. Change.

Considering July’s reading and my writings of last night, I’d say this card is right on time… and while it didn’t bring me to tears (yet), it did raise the hairs on my arms and give me a major case of the chillie willies.

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