Judgement is a dramatic card which indicates a rebirth, awakening, revelation or breakthrough. More specifically it is a call to action to an individual to bravely take a hold of his own destiny and make a necessary change— and the querent usually already knows what this change must be. Judgment symbolizes a “moment of truth”, to use Ernest Hemingway’s phrase, when one must be brave enough to stand up to his own fate and “heed the call”.
This card does not so much reflect a change in circumstances as it does a change in the inner world of the individual; it may signify a new perspective which helps one to navigate a previously bewildering or scary situation, or a spiritual practice or belief which provides solace and resolve. It may simply signify the moment when an individual decides to accept his situation, perhaps after a period of trying to ignore or deny it, and make changes based on this new acceptance of reality.
It is up to the individual to put the necessary plan in action to make the outer world reflect this inner change in being. Usually when this card appears in a reading, this external change is just a formality, because the most radical changes have already taken place. You are already aware of the outdated patterns of behavior that are no longer serving you. You are already conscious of the aspects of your life which need to change. This card reflects the moment of that revelation, the “epiphany” when it is finally accepted and internalized that life must now go a different way. Once this inner determination and understanding have taken root, physically putting the plan into action is easy.
We experience some of the most acute and intense pain in life, not in the actual physical change of circumstance, but on account of our inner attitude toward that change. The explosion in the Tower card shows what happens when we resist change in an extreme or pathological fashion. Judgement shows the opposite. Judgment shows the paradoxical way in which one can reclaim personal power over himself and his life by surrendering to forces beyond himself, and accepting the uncertainty and potential threats to his sense of ego or security with serenity and confidence. Judgment shows the bravery and honesty of one who can face a situation which must change, and inwardly resolve to plunge himself into the unknown, armed only with faith in the power of his Higher Self to guide him toward health and well-being.
The Judgement tarot card is ruled by Pluto, the planet of transformation, and its element is fire.
Card meanings upright:
The Judgement card can represent responsibility and truth-seeking in your life. You are likely a very good judge of character, and take responsibility for your actions and where they lead you in your life. There may be a time coming soon where you will be required to step up as a leader by speaking the truth being assertive.
Card meanings reversed:
When the Judgement card is reversed, it can indicate present burdens in your life or things from the past coming back to haunt you. You may be feeling like you cannot escape from your past or present mistakes in life and might not have strong faith or hope in the future as a result. You might have some trouble in judging the character of others during this time, so now is a good time to focus on controlling your own life and suppressing outside influences that may lead you astray.