5 Reasons to Love the Judgment Card

Have a look at some serious Judgment-style happenings: here's Ezekiel’s Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, as rendered by Gustave Doré (1866).  Remarkable, to be sure...but hardly fun...  No wonder many people shy away from the Judgment card!
Have a look at some serious Judgment-style happenings: here’s Ezekiel’s Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, as rendered by Gustave Doré (1866). Remarkable, to be sure…but hardly fun… No wonder many people shy away from the Judgment card!

The Judgment card can certainly indicate positive developments…but it still speaks with such serious overtones that even on its best days, it’s difficult to view it as anything remotely approaching “sunny” or “happy.” The card evokes thoughts of Judgment Day, and that’s not a concept that can ever be taken lightly, not with its legions of the dead rising from their graves and lurching forth into the light…

So what can we look to as reasons to love a card that can arguably be viewed as a pictorial synonym for the Apocalypse…? Here are five of them for you to ponder:

1)  Progress. The process of revelation that’s described by the Judgment card often follows a period – sometimes a very lengthy period – of stasis. Anyone invested in keeping something hidden away from the light of day, is taking on an intention of maintaining a sort of artificial bubble of time in which things are kept frozen to some degree. That is, the concealed thing is kept concealed, no matter what other changes may be rocketing by in the world outside. The Judgment card can imply that this time-bubble is about to be ruptured at last, though, and like it or not, forward motion will resume. Change can be frightening, but it’s only through change that we can actually grow…and opportunity for such growth is one of the main gifts of the Judgment phenomenon.

Trump XX -- the Judgment card.  What once was buried, now breaks free into the light...
Trump XX — the Judgment card. What once was buried, now breaks free into the light…

2)  Freedom. It takes a lot of energy to keep secrets. The secret has to be buried in the first place, which takes some effort, and since secrets have a way of wanting to emerge out into the light, it then takes constant vigilance to keep them locked away in the darkness. Quite often, though, the Judgment card indicates that secrets are soon to be revealed. This can of course be terrifying if you’re the keeper of the secret in question, but it also means that keeping the secret will no longer be a focal point of huge portions of your energy and awareness. As long as you keep a secret, you’re as much a prisoner as the secret itself is, a part of you locked away right along with it…but once that secret breaks free, you achieve freedom, as well, to go where you like, do what you want, and reinvest all that previously committed energy into things that will better serve you.

3)  Empowerment. Dark secrets aren’t the only things that we bury. Sometimes we hide positive aspects of ourselves, as well, possibly due to self-doubt, to harmful conditioning that we’ve received along our life-paths, or even to a fear of success. The Judgment card, though, can sometimes mean that we’re at a point at which we can finally move past the blockages, and claim those hidden gifts and talents that we’ve been denying ourselves. These can be the moments at which we actually step into our greatness!

4)  Gateway to Healing. Consider a different kind of buried thing: the infection. Just as our bodies can fall prey to disease-causing agents and toxins, so, too, can our psyches. These foreign agents can then lead to an ongoing buildup of pain and trauma. But then imagine the possibility of somehow being able to drain the harmful presence from the psyche, just like a doctor can drain away fluid from an abscess in the physical realm. When the Judgment card appears in a reading, it can be pointing to exactly such an opportunity. And once the psychic “wound” or condition has been opened up and drained, the gateway to healing then lies open, and that psyche can at last begin to repair itself.

It's easy to think of Judgment occurrences as harrowing things, reeking of sheer terror...especially when artists like Hieronymus Bosch have so vividly rendered them for us in ways designed to reinforce that viewpoint (seen here in his The Last Judgment, ~1486)...but Judgment has its upsides!
It’s easy to think of Judgment occurrences as harrowing things, reeking of sheer terror…especially when artists like Hieronymus Bosch have so vividly rendered them for us in ways designed to reinforce that viewpoint (seen here in his The Last Judgment, ~1486)…but Judgment has its upsides!

5)  Rebirth. Contemplate for a moment the Tower card and the Death card: both of these point to some upcoming sort of void or absence in a person’s life. The Judgment card, in contrast, doesn’t offer only the possibility of the disappearance of whatever it was that had been hidden away, leaving behind some gaping hole… Judgment, rather, can actually offer up the chance to transmute that hidden thing from something negative into something that’s reborn as an actively positive and still-present factor. As an example, ponder the predicament of former Olympian gold-medalist, Bruce Jenner: renowned as a world-class athlete and icon of masculine achievement, Jenner had long suppressed the urge to live as a woman. Finally revealing and acting on this urge must have felt cataclysmic at times, but now as Caitlyn Jenner, she stands as a symbol of courage and the evolution of society’s views on gender. A Judgment-like transition, then, saw Bruce Jenner revealing a long-buried secret, and integrating it into everyday life in an open and ongoing way, which is very much the definition of a healing rebirth.

Obviously, just as an appearance by the Death card doesn’t always foretell an actual, literal death, the Judgment card won’t always signify some revelation or rebirth as dramatic as that of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. It usually will, however, predict some instance of something hidden coming to light…and while this can make for a scary experience, there are actually a lot of bonuses that come along with this process.

Intrigued by Judgment, and by Tarot in general?  Wondering where you might have some fresh chances at revelation, healing, and even rebirth in your life?  Book a Tarot reading with me today!

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