Naked Men, women, and children rise up from their tombs and stretch their arms up to the heralding angel above. Their skin is ashen; the color of death and stillness (but also patience), and their hair is gold. They may be dead, but they have wisdom. They’re all naked, all gray, all golden-haired, all equals now, in death. Who they used to be or thought they were doesn’t matter now. Despite the ocean and the mountains, all rise to greet Judgement, who cannot be stopped or thwarted.
Judgement has golden hair, the sign of wisdom. His wings a red and purple, the colors of magic and spirituality. His cloak is blue, the color of peace and clarity. He comes on a cloud, and he blows a trumpet, heralding a new era. Hanging from his trumpet is a flag with a red cross on it, St. George’s Cross. St. George is the patron saint of war heroes and the Crusades.
Judgement itself is benevolent. Even judgement may have developed a negative connotation in our culture in recent times, this card doesn’t represent judgemental attitudes or behaviors but the weighing and measuring of people by what they say and do. The people greeting judgement are humble and good; they’ll be judged fairly and rewarded.
When the client or querent draws the Judgement card, they’re experiencing or about to experience a period of reflection at the end of a major era of their lives. Judgement is the beginning of a turning point. The journey through the major arcana is coming to an end, and the time for reflecting on this era has come.
The querent is about to start a new chapter of his or life, and they now have to assess what they’re learned, and what they’re bringing with them. Like the corpses on the card, they should ideally bring neither baggage nor notions of who they think they are. This card doesn’t signal the action itself, but rather, the time to think about where they’re been, what they’ve done, and who they’ve been, and if this is what they want going forward.
When the Judgement card is, reversed almost always signals that the client or querent refuses to move on and is holding onto the past or to delusion. They may also be mired in self-doubt and a cycle of self-criticism that keeps them from acting. They don’t act, they criticize themselves, and then they keep refraining from acting.
Judgement reversed may also mean someone is so steeped in denial about who they are or what they’ve become that they don’t understand why they reap what they sow. They don’t want to face judgement or greet it because they know, deep down, they’re going to hear something far different than what they want to hear.
Judgement reversed can also simply represent active hypocrisy, deflection, or projection. It may represent a querent or a person who doesn’t practice what they preach or accuses others of the bad things they do.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, one came to the end of an era and reflected on what happened, and how it changed them. They’re ready to move on and leave their egos behind and reap what they’ve sown.
Present: Presently, one is at a turning point. Whatever was done in the past has served them well and has helped them grow, but they must move on and go on to the next phase of life.
Future: The end is coming, and one is warned or advised to reflect on what they’ve done and if that’s what they want to be known and judged by. If not, they must change. If so, then they can expect a rest from the hardships of this life.