Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, March 2-8, 2015: Judgement

JudgementThe opportunity that the Divine One sends does not wake up those who are asleep.
~ Senegalese Proverb

Wow! We are on a roll of powerful cards lately!

For only the fourth time ever, with its last visit in 2013 also occurring during the week of the Full Moon in Virgo (only this time, the Sun is in Pisces), the Judgement card comes to visit.

I love this card, thanks in part to having been forced to work with it (exclusively!) for some six hours in one of Mary K. Greer’s workshops that led to her outstanding book, 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card.

However, lacking the indulgence of a whole day’s undivided focus, it can be understandably puzzling for many.

For instance, in my Tarot Without Tears classes, my students start out thinking that Judgement is a rather negative, “judgmental” card. And whoa! There are all those dead people coming out of their graves! Zombie apocalypse?

Indeed, the Judgement card (I am using the British spelling, in keeping with the Waite-Smith deck) can be off-putting to those who don’t look beyond the word itself, or who don’t resonate with the Christian worldview.

Most older decks, including the R-W-S deck, as well as the early Swiss, Italian and French decks, depict it with the classical judgment day motif of Christian art and theology.

In those themes, 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, here 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.

Instead, the figures are rising up in adoration and celebration. Arthur Waite writes, “It is the card which registers the accomplishment of the great work of transformation in answer to the summons of the Supernal.. heard and answered from within.”

So instead of being at the mercy of some great, grim disciplinarian who threatens to permanently cast us out, the message here is the triumph of our awareness, free will, and liberation.

It’s our choice. We say what is our heaven, and what is our hell. We are the judges; we decide our fate.

The Awakening

This is a wake-up call to our very soul. The angel blows the trumpet of victory over death, calling humanity to resurrection, renewal, and to embrace our highest self, or as Waite named Him/Her/Them, the “Good Genius.”

So 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.

Thus, in many later decks, especially those turning away from the harsher themes of condemnation, Judgement is often named Rebirth, Beyond Illusion, Transcendence, and Awakening.

This is the discovery, one step from the end of the Fool’s Journey, that, as the saying goes, we are eternal, spiritual beings having a temporary, physical experience.

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, resurrection, redemption, the next step of human evolution, nirvana, the eternal Presence. We are the Imaginal Cells awakening.

And so, during this week of the Earth’s Awakening Full Moon, as the final lunation of Wintertime peaks and then melts away, wherever and whoever you are, arise! Do not sleep through the blessing of your birthright. Heed the call in the ways that only you can.

Preparing for the Shift

We also prepare this week for the final curtain call in what astrologer Lynn Hayes has called “the biggest planetary factor influencing our world today.” She is one of the least prone to hyperbole astrologers I know of, so, yes, it’s a very, very big deal.

Two weeks from today, we will experience the final of the seven Uranus in Aries/Pluto in Capricorn showdowns. Within a degree or so, these two forces of revolution, destruction, and transformation have been banging away at each other for the last five years.

On the 16th (Eastern time), their final exact square will climax, sending out its ripple effects for generations, if not millennia.

This coming weekend, I am joining one of the largest ever East Coast gatherings of magical and Earth-centered spirituality practitioners.

Working with the power of this pivotal astrological moment, we are aligning together, “to maximize evolution and to minimize harm…It is our hope that our rituals will instill us with the wisdom, courage, and resilience to find our way to mend the world.

I cannot imagine a more auspicious card that supports this intention.

Arise, My Love

This week, we are all, collectively and individually, invited to embrace profound realizations and possibly even undergo a transcendent awakening.

By doing so, our divisions, distortions, angers, and fears melt away, even to the point of seeing past that biggest of illusions, called death.

Are we so different from the sweet buds that are silently, but inexorably, swelling on the trees? Are we in truth so disconnected from the dances of elk, cardinals, or fox now coming upon their times of estrus, a term that comes from name of the Dawn Goddess of Spring, Eostar?

For indeed, the Lady of Spring is stirring, despite the freezing temperatures and icy spells that have bound us.

Rise up and rejoice! Barren Winter shall soon give way to the green shoots of rebirth, and in the glowing light of this Full Moon, we are called to rise from our graves of despair, alienation, and apathy.

Judgement is the shining revelation that we are each the children, and the living manifestations of, The Beloved. Death’s grip cannot eliminate that which is eternal.

Now, knowing and remembering this, how is your radiant life transformed?

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  • March 3, 2015, 10:51 am Madeline

    BEAUTIFUL,Beth! I have been “underground ” for a couple of weeks with a very bad allergic response to juniper trees in my new mountain town.Luckily, we have a master herbalist from Switzerland in our little village and I am undergoing some desensitization therapy to get better.Been a rough few weeks. Love this card of the week..In this card I definitely have always seen the the feeling of “ARISE!” WAKE UP!! I have always liked this card and never felt traditional “judgement” in it.. It is more of a “RELEASE” for me.. a get up and go , now card!

    This has been my first winter season in many many years and I did not handle it as well as I had hoped..I have some insights on how to do it better next year.. this card is helping me WAKE UP,though and ARISE to the new Day as Ostara is around the corner..

    I am blessing myself with Joanna’s retreat in a couple of weeks! And I am slowly redesigning my Life and work.. Some Tarot, some real estate–I LOVE showing little mountain homes to folks who are looking for that dream in the woods..but Tarot is my Home…

    Wow– the Journey continues..I’m catching up on some of your old posts,dear Friend..anxious to discover what new paths are beckoning to you!!

  • March 3, 2015, 2:13 pm Beth

    I am sorry to hear that you’ve had difficulty adjusting, but I love how you are describing this card! So glad you’ll be treating yourself to Joanna’s retreat, too! ♥

    The post in question is actually under Services/Make an Appointment. Blessings at this time of profound change, dear Madeline!