Judgement (XX) Upright

(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)



Astrological Association – Pluto – Planet of transformation.

In card number XX, we see an Angel blowing a trumpet or horn as he looks down on humanity from the heavens above. A flag with a red cross on a white background hangs from the trumpet. Below the Angel, men, women and children rise up from their individual coffins with arms raised in exaltation. This card represents Judgement Day for one and all.  The seeds sown in The High Priestess are now ready for harvest.  The Outcome of this Harvest and whether it is welcome or not depends upon what was sewn and where. It also depends on how it was tended and nurtured during the time of its incubation and growth.  The harvest referred to in the Judgement card is the final outcome of the sum total of The Fool’s journey through the tarot. The Fool’s Journey is also a metaphor for our journey through life or a particular situation.  It is the outcome of all our experiences, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour on our spiritual quest.

The figures depicted in the Judgement Card stand naked, again reminding us that when Judgement Day arrives we will no longer be able to hide behind a facade,  lies or pretence.  All our deeds, both good and bad will be exposed and laid bare before the Higher Powers and our Higher Self.  Nothing can be hidden on Judgement Day.

Those who have studied accounts of the Spirit World will be aware of a body of Higher Souls who we must stand before and account for our actions  after each incarnation. These Higher Souls are referred to as The Council of Elders.  They are often compared to a judge and jury but this  is not the way the Spirit World works or behaves. Once we have passed from the physical and shed our earthly body and brain, we return to our pure Spirit/Soul Form. The Spirit/Soul Form that deliberately chose a certain body type and environment, along with all the challenges this choice would bring.

Spirit’s venture into the physical is to develop and grow by overcoming the challenges of the chosen life. This is how we, in our Spirit Form, evolve. If we have risen to the challenge while retaining our integrity and remaining true to ourselves while helping the rest of humanity along the way, then we have done our job well.  However, if we have let the unruly host body chosen for this incarnation overrule our Spirit Self and run amok, letting the ego have first say, then we may possibly have failed. This means that we will have to return once again to learn the Lesson or Lessons which were pre-determined before leaving the Spirit World to incarnate.  We will always be given another chance but it may appear more challenging the next time round. There is nothing more discouraging to our form in Spirit State, then to arrive back into the Spirit World after our physical death, only  to realise that we have failed in our mission and quite possibly caused distress or hurt to others in the process.

The Council of Elders do not stand in Judgement over each returning Spirit. However, these highly evolved souls do assist the returning Spirit that comes before them to look back on their recently ended life and re-experience the journey from both the Spirit vantage point and those whose lives they impacted and effected throughout their life. This process is referred to as  the ‘Life Review’ and is apparently viewed almost movie-like for the returning Spirit to appraise.

Stripped of their ego and recent physical identity, the returning Soul is in a far better position to fully absorb the consequences of all their actions. In Spirit/Soul Form, no blame is every apportioned to another as the Soul accepts full responsiblity for any shortcomings, poor decision-making or lack of judgement.  This is because it was the Returning Spirit/Soul itself that had set the various tasks, challenges and environment to incarnate into and not The Council of Elders. The Returning Spirit had planted his own seeds and the Harvest is now his full responsibility too. Therefore, standing before this Council and after the Life Review, the only judgement that can be made is Self Judgement. The Returning Spirit/Soul will be either happy with or disappointed in themselves as a result. It will be the Council who remind them of their good deeds done or their unique strengths and when the time is right, will eventually assist them in the selection a new body and a new environment in which to face their challenges once again. Spirit will be given the chance once again to balance the scales in further incarnations.

The figures of the child, woman and man in the Judgement Card represent the different approaches to life viewed from their individual experiences. They also represent the accumulation our experiences and identities in past lives, for be it in Spirit or Physical Form we are the sum total of our previous experiences.  It is by experiencing life through the eyes of a child, woman and man through various incarnations, Spiritual Growth and Evolution occurs..

In the Judgement Card we are being called by the Angel to account for our past or previous actions in life or a particular situation.   If we were to be shown our Current Life Review right now, while still in the physical,  in all honesty, what would we think? What would we have to say for ourselves? Would we be proud or ashamed? The Judgement Card is all about Karma.  We all know that we can attract both good and bad Karma as a result of our actions.  Only we can be the judge of which we have attracted the most.

In the journey through the Major Arcana,  The Fool encountered many challenges, obstacles and controlling or restricting situations. However, he also encountered opportunities for betterment, freedom, happiness and expansion. It will not be expected that he sailed through life taking all the right turns, making all the right decisions with a big smile on his face. That is perfection and something humans are certainly not capable of.

The challenge from the moment The Fool packed his knapsack and jumped off the cliff was to experience life in its entirety; good times, bad times, grief, happiness, success and failure, gain and loss. The challenge for The Fool was to start out raw but have the desire to understand life from every Elemental Approach as in the Wands (Fire), Cups (Water), Swords(Air) and Pentacles(Earth). He needed to find the balance of each Elemental Approach and  blend them appropriately so as to complete the mission he set for himself in the Spirit World. This was the only way The Fool was ever going to successfully make it across the finish line intact and with head held high.  The mistakes he made along the way did not mean he had failed. Rather what was important was whether he learned from his mistakes enough so as not to repeat them again. This for all of us is also very important and makes complete sense. The Fool’s Journey was beset with many challenges along the way and it is for certain that he is not the same person he was when he started out on his quest.  The question remains as to who The Fool is now and how he turned out? Will he feel confident as he approaches the Council or filled with apprehension and regret? Will he be able to look himself straight in the eye and be pleased with what he sees?

The Judgment Card with the Angel blowing the trumpet heralds the arrival of the time to atone for any misdeeds or upsets caused to others. This could be through the law and courts or the personal desire to right a wrong, to forgive or ask forgiveness of others. In Judgement we realise our connection to all and understand that if we hurt one then we hurt all, even  ourself.  Judgement can bring an awakening to our True Spiritual Calling and an awareness that we are Spirit first and Physical second. We have found our way home at last, to our True Self and True Life Purpose. All the trappings of the material world are now viewed for what they are, possessions that will at some stage have to be left behind. When we return to the Spirit World it will be as the naked figures below and no one will be able to distinguish the materially wealthy from the impoverished for we will all look the same.  Possessions, Power and Status will mean nothing and only Grace will hold any importance when we finally return home.

The Red Cross on the flag represents the arriving at a cross roads in The Fool’s life and the need to exercise clear Judgement as to how he proceeds from here. This crossroads can represent a life changing experience which will transform his beliefs and attitudes and how he perceives himself. The figures rising from the grave have been awakened and are now ready to be reborn into the Spirit World so The Fool at this cross roads has been given the opportunity to completely transform his life which may feel like a rebirth.  It is time for him to come to terms with his past and move beyond it for this is where  his true vocation awaits him.  He must make the right choice as to which direction he takes at the cross roads for the Judgement Card brings Karma with any decision he makes.  He can continue straight through the cross roads in the manner which he has been living and thinking or he can take a right or a left which will take him in new directions.  He must determine whether he is truly happy to continue on as he is or whether he seeks change and possibly further challenges in search of inner happiness and fulfillment.

The Arrival at this cross roads for The Fool may be welcome or a cause of confusion and frustration.  He may feel relieved to be offered a chance to escape the path he has trodden for so long or he may feel threatened by the unknown should he change direction.  If he has used his time wisely throughout his Journey in the Major Arcana and fully understood the lessons to be learned in Death, The Devil and The Tower, then he will be in a position to hear his Inner-Voice and understand his True Calling.  The Angel’s Trumpet rings loud and clear in his ears and in his Soul and little time will be spent dithering at the cross-roads.  The Fool will allow the necessary transformation to occur which is the final stage of his Spiritual and Physical Liberation and Freedom.  For the first time in his life, he sees the complete picture of who he is, where he is meant to go and what he has to do. His Judgement is Clear and he can see for miles and miles ahead.  He feels uplifted and certain of what he now must do.  He realises that he has spent a lot of his life half-asleep or even half-dead.  He may not have been living fully in the present at all but now he feels fresh life being blown into his lungs.  He has come back from the dead and now knows what it is to feel truly alive.


The Judgement Card brings clarity of judgement and positive decisions made.  You are now clearly able to view yourself as others see you.  It is a time for self-judgement and you must ask whether you are being too easy or too hard on yourself.  Remember that none of us are perfect.  On the other hand you may feel that others are  judging you at present.  You may feel under a microscope, with all your movements, words and actions analysed and dissected.  This may be unwelcome attention or the result of you entering a competition or possible work/college appraisals or assessments.

The Judgement Card also represents courts, judges and jury so you may be awaiting the final judgment in your case. With the Upright Judgement Card, the Outcome generally works in your favour.  However, you must be sure you have told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth as any attempts to lie or deceive will be uncovered.  It is a time for owning up and confessing if you have done wrong.  You will gain much respect for it and may be given another chance. There may be consequences or a price to pay but you will feel relieved of a heavy burden and your conscience, which has been calling to you, will be cleared.

The Angel’s Trumpet sounds loud and clear and it may bring with it a sudden realisation of how your past has created your present circumstances.  This brings a powerful understanding that any actions taken from here on will also impact on your future.  Be it welcome or not, good or bad, your harvest is in and there is no denying it.  It is a time of maturity and becoming very philosophical about  life. A time when you see yourself as part of the Universe and become aware of the bigger picture and not just immediate circumstances.

The Judgement Card suggests that you are heeding the Inner-Call and awakening to your Spiritual Purpose.  There is strong clarity now in knowing what you want to do and where you want to go.   Judgement brings Humanity Issues to the forefront so therefore, The Angel in Judgement may be calling you to rise up with others who are fighting a worthy cause.  Maybe you have the ability to influence others with words. You may be called on to make a speech or to speak out.  Others will rally to your cause and your words will reverberate within their souls.  You are not alone in your beliefs as there are other like-minded souls in your midst.

The Angel can also represent a musician playing to an appreciative audience or possibly a public speaker.

When Judgement appears in a reading it can suggest that you have reached a cross roads in your life and must exercise clarity of Judgement as to how you are to proceed and which direction to take. If in doubt review your past experiences and actions taken and their outcome to determine which worked out best for you. Which path takes you closer to Spirit and which takes you further away.

Judgement appearing in a reading very often suggests that you may be going through huge transformations at the moment or even re-inventing yourself. Rebirths of all types are possible, even the rebirth of something old or considered long dead. You will feel a strong sense of determination and rejuvenation.  These transformations very often happen in mid-life when we suddenly realise that half of our life is already over.  We may be shocked to find that so many years have passed doing the same old, same old, day in and day out.  We may feel that we never truly found ourselves or if we did were afraid it was inappropriate or the wrong time to run with it. We may feel bored down to our toes and that time is running out on us.  It is now or never and every day from here on in must be lived, experienced and meaningful.  This may involve major changes and alteration in your life but it will bring liberation and personal fulfilment.  Don’t grow old and die before your time. Make a difference with your life and have something to say for yourself and your life when you eventually stand before the Council of Elders.  When they ask of you what you did with your life, what shall you say? “Nothing really, I just got by” or worse still “I forget”.

You may be listening to your inner-voice and reviewing your past life.  It may be a time to understand the quality and value of what you have in life without constantly needing to add to it. Enjoying the simple things in life can be suggested and this may even involve turning your back on the material world in favour of following a vocation or volunteering to help others.

In relationships The Judgement Card indicates a True Karmic connection. Past life influences may be at play in your relationship, especially if you find your situation particularly challenging.  This card highlights the need to proceed with caution of action, thought and deed as this situation may have happened before and is part of your reason for incarnating.  Try to work things out for the highest good of all and not for some selfish reason or it may come back to haunt you.  If you listen to your inner voice you will find a deep knowledge and understanding that this was meant to be.  The gods have conspired to arrange this combination, this relationship, for very good reasons. This relationship will contain a Karmic Lesson to be worked through so be aware of any challenges or obstacles seemingly thrown in its path.  Your response to such challenges will be very important along the way for this is no accident.  The Judgement Card can also represent a relationship once thought dead brought back to life again as a result of honesty, clear communication and the mutual working through of issues and problems.

Now Go To Judgement Reversed

Back to Lesson 8


The Fool Upright  The Fool Reversed

The Magician Upright  The Magician Reversed

The High Priestess Upright   The High Priestess Reversed

The Empress Upright   The Empress Reversed

The Emperor Upright    The Emperor Reversed

The Heirophant Upright    The Heirophant Reversed

The Lovers Upright     The Lovers Reversed

The Chariot Upright   The Chariot Reversed

Strength Upright     Strength Reversed

The Hermit Upright   The Hermit Reversed

The Wheel of Fortune Upright   The Wheel of Fortune Reversed

Justice Upright   Justice Reversed

The Hanged Man Upright   The Hanged Man Reversed

Death Upright     Death Reversed

Temperence Upright     Temperence Reversed

The Devil Upright   The Devil Reversed

The Tower Upright     The Tower Reversed

The Star Upright     The Star Reversed

The Moon Upright    The Moon Reversed

The Sun Upright     The Sun Reversed

Judgement Upright      Judgement Reversed

The World Upright     The World Reversed

Lesson 1   Lesson 2   Lesson 3  Lesson 4  Lesson 5  Lesson 6  Lesson 7


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