Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world;
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own.
Wake now discover that you are the song that the morning brings,
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own.
— from Eyes of the World by Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia
Here’s a stunner, folks. Another first this week! Can you believe that in over 220 weeks of pulling our card, we have never once seen the Judgement card? Until today. I have to say that the message and timing are absolutely profound.
I love this card, although it can be enigmatic for many. It certainly echoes the judgment day motif of Christian art and theology in which the angel of the Lord calls the living and the dead to God’s final judgment, sending the few souls of the righteous to eternity in heaven, while throngs of the damned head for the fiery pits of hell.
Certainly, we see the angel (most scholars identify him as Gabriel) calling the dead from their graves. But in the Tarot, even in the oldest decks, the theme of punishment and damnation is pointedly absent. No one is being judged here. Arthur Waite writes, “All the figures are as one in..wonder, adoration and ecstasy.“
Instead of being at the mercy of some great being who holds our fate in the balance, the message here is the triumph of our awareness, free will and liberation. We are the judges, we choose our fate.
This is our soul’s wake-up call! The angel blows the trumpet of victory over death, calling humanity to resurrection, renewal, and to embrace our highest self, or as Waite called it, the “Good Genius.”
Most Tarot scholars agree that this card has much less to do with any kind of judgmental situation, and is more about the realization of a huge shift in consciousness. This is the recognition of the Divine within us, and throughout all that is.
“Whatever else is going on around you,” writes Rachel Pollack, “there is a push, a call from within to make some important change.” In fact, she goes on to emphasize, that change has probably already happened; we are being called upon to recognize and embrace it.
From Buddha to Gurdjieff, from Chuang Tzu to Eckhart Tolle, the theme of cosmic awakening resonates through history. This card is nothing less than the realization of that which so many have tried to name: divine consciousness, redemption, the next step of human evolution, nirvana, the eternal Presence.
It will be fascinating to see what this will mean on the world stage this week. But on a more personal level, the timing couldn’t be more perfect! Today is World Tarot Day, an event in which Tarot readers everywhere are urged to come out and offer their services, to show the world why we love the cards and what a fantastic resource the Tarot can be for times like these!
It is also the last day before Reading Deprivation Week, the challenging, but liberating exercise in Chapter Four of The Artist’s Way, which we are working through here. The intention is to step away for one week, from the thoughts, views, and inner dialogues we are exposed to through reading books, articles, blogs, and so forth, in order to hear.. you guessed it: the unique, intimate guidance of the Creator within us, the calling of our own Divine self. This could not be depicted more precisely than by the appearance of the Judgement card.
This week, you are invited to embrace profound realizations and even a transcendent awakening. By doing so, all illusions and fears melt away, even to the point of seeing past that biggest illusion, called death. In this shining understanding, you can discover at last who you really are, and your true purpose.
See you next week.