The second to final card of the Major Arcana, Judgment, appears right after the Sun and just before the last card, the World.
We are close to the end of the Fool’s journey now. The Fool started his journey through the Major Arcana, innocent and optimistic with all that zest for life that a child has embarked on his first day of school or a university student who is taking a year out and ready to go backpacking across the world.
But as with life itself, the Major Arcana comes with unexpected Tower moments, intense Lovers relationships, moments of Moon confusion, and times of Hermit reflection.
Now we come to the Judgment card, and it is here that realization of all that has happened truly hits us.
What Does the Judgment Card Mean?
Judgment is about absolution. It is the day of reckoning. It’s that moment when you understand the full meaning of your experiences, and you think, “A-ha!”
In some ways, it is similar to the Fool card because it represents rebirth. It is that moment when you are cleansed of your actions, where you can realize your true purpose and where you can finally awaken to new possibilities.
It is the death of something inside you to make way for something new.
In some ways, this Tarot card seems similar to the Death card. But there is a difference; Death is often representative of a painful experience. It is the death of something, the death of a relationship, the death of a career, the death of a way of thinking. It symbolizes death and rebirth like the sign it represents: Scorpio. It is like a snake that sheds its skin to be replaced by a new one.
Judgment is the resurrection. One example we could use to highlight the difference between Death and Judgment is the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The Death card is symbolic of the day he was nailed to the cross and the pain and suffering involved. Judgment is the day of the resurrection, the most notable aspects being his ascendance into heaven and the cleansing of sin for humankind due to his sacrifice.
Meanings Associated With Judgment
The most common meanings associated with Judgment are:
- Having a day of reckoning
- Taking a stand
- Making hard choices
- Awakening to new possibilities
- Feeling inner conviction
- Following your true calling
- Releasing guilt
- Feeling cleansed of the past
- Atoning for past mistakes
- Unburdening yourself
Read this next: Each Major Arcana Card Explained
What Does Judgment Mean in Love & Relationships?
In a love and relationship reading, Judgment can mean several things.
If pulled in the feelings position, this is a significant card for how someone feels about you. It could mean that the person feels your relationship is at a turning point and you have changed their life somehow. There is a lot of focus on the future with this card, and they feel very reflective about you. There is a solid karmic element to this card in the feelings position. The person may think that you are a part of their destiny and, on some level, know that you are there to teach them something important.
At its core, Judgment as feelings means they have come to an important realization about you.
If pulled for how someone sees you, it means they see you as someone important in their life. They may also see you as someone who is going through changes themselves. It can also mean they see you in a new life. For example, if you were friends, they may now romantically see you.
They may have realized that you are “the one.” Look to surrounding cards for clues.
What Does Judgment Mean in a Career Reading?
In a career reading, Judgment means there is a turning point in your career.
You may have realized that the job you are in is not the job for you. New doors are opening to you, and new possibilities are presenting themselves. Judgment is a card of destiny. You realize, “This is the career for me!” or “I’m in the wrong job!” even if you spent months or years trying to get there.
What Does Judgment Mean as an Obstacle?
Judgment sends a clear message when in the position of an obstacle: Whatever you aim for may not be the one for you.
It is one of the most powerful cards in the Tarot when sending a message of this sort. Judgment asks you to look deep into your own heart and ask yourself if what you are aiming for feels right.
Your feelings don’t lie. Your intuition cannot lie to you. Judgment is a card of intense soul-searching because it asks you to question preconceived ideas you already have of how things should be.
What About Judgment in Reverse?
Judgment reversed calls for a time of reflection and contemplation.
You have not yet reached that moment of “A-ha!” that accompanies the Judgment card upright. As such, this is a time of reflection, and the reversed card encourages you to take some time out.
Judgment most likely points to confusion in the situation you are reading about. It calls for you to have patience. Everything is revealed when the time is right.
Embrace the Judgment Tarot Card
Judgment is the day of reckoning. It is that moment when you feel you have been absolved of past deeds and misgivings. It’s that moment when you feel reborn and ready to take on the world.
These moments can be incredibly fulfilling. There is something magnificent about a Judgment moment. No matter what feelings, moments, or memories come to light, and no matter how painful the process can be, Judgment comes at the end of it to let you know it is time to start afresh.
The past often catches up with it. But the future waits for us, and it is the lessons of the past we take with us into the future. This is the message of Judgment.
Related article: You Pulled the World Card – Now What?