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You have to die a few times before you can really live.’’

Charles Bukowski


As the Fool approaches the end of his journey through Major Arcana, he meets with the Judgement card. It is the day that he is reborn to his true self through a divine intervention. In the Rider-Waite deck, the 20th card of the tarot deck has been allegorically illustrated as the Christian depiction of the Day of Judgement, the event that all will stand to be judged by God- after the resurrection of the dead.

In the card’s illustration, an angel-presumably angel Gabriel; descends from the heavens and sounds the trumpet of the last judgement. Below, the dead is risen from their coffins after the angel’s announcement.

Clearly, this card does not represent the feared doomsday, but rather symbolizes a deep awakening within the soul.

   The Judgement card often appears when the person has such a major turning point in life that it triggers a rebirth of his new self. Generally speaking, the Judgement signals an important transition period that can be uncomfortable at first. Karmic dealings or unavoidable events may be in the cards. This significant change may be a sad or a happy one, but in any case, it is almost always a necessary wake up call.

Lastly, it can also refer to literal judgement where the person will weigh a big decision or go through a legal process.

It can be a hard card to read, as it pertains multiple mysterious meanings. As always, it is best to use your own intuition to figure out the best answers.

Number 20 includes numbers 2 (duality) and 0 (infinite awareness).


The Judgement Keywords

  • Wake up call
  • Rebirth
  • Absolution
  • Major decision



  • Doubt
  • Fear
  • Inability to let go
  • Indecisiveness

The Judgement Upright

Guidance: You are reaching a major transition in your life. As you are growing and settling into a new chapter, the adjustments you make may sometimes be challenging or exhausting. For example, you may have to leave your old friends and family behind to pursue your dreams. Or perhaps you finally found courage to end an unhealthy relationship. Whatever the case is, embrace the change and struggle that comes with it. This is an opportunity for you to step into your maturity and strength.

Love: The Judgement card symbolizes major changes and revelations. You are being called for a time of self-reflection in which you will come out with new perspectives. It can refer to having a major realization or decision. Life changing events, marriage/divorce, karmic/soulmate relationships are all indicated here. Secrets may also be revealed. On a more negative note, it may refer to moving on from an old relationship and make way for the new period in your life. Anything that is not healthy for you will probably reach conclusion at this time.

Work/Finances: This card suggests a very significant transition period in your career. It can be interpreted as an ending, change or a loss that will clear the way for something better. Sometimes it can mean a lawsuit. It is a time where you need to make a big decision, and the outcome relies on your good judgement. If the card is in future position, get ready for drastic changes. A very important information will be revealed to you. Be very mindful of your finances and future financial decisions before you make a big investment or purchase.

Health: You may have had a wakeup call in the past. But there is nothing to fear; as the Judgement card also symbolizes a period of healing, rebirth and recovery. Keep taking good care of yourself and make informed health choices.

Spirituality: You have been seeking a new direction as an old chapter in your life is closing. And now, as the new chapter in your life unfolds, your soul is unfolding and evolving with it. You are awakening to your higher self; it is time to reflect and learn.

Guidance: Meaning that the Judgement reversed carries is the same as the upright. Only this time, you are giving in to doubt and fear that cloud your judgement. Don’t ignore this wake-up call. You are ending a significant part of your life to start anew. You may be confused and overwhelmed with incoming changes. Past mistakes are lessons for the future. Free yourself from the old baggage and take a confident step towards your new life.

Love: You have a hard time letting go of the past. For both reversed and upright this card refers to having a wake-up call from the universe for you to move beyond the heartbreak and unhealthy patterns. What are you afraid of letting go? What are you struggling to accept? These are the questions you need to answer at this time. Sometimes, this card means inability to find closure after a tough break up or divorce. Karmic relationships are also indicated. Either way, don’t let fear and pain trap you into an unhappy state.

Work/Finances: Ask yourself if you are in denial about a required change.

Health: The Judgement in reversed calls your attention to your decision making. You are out of balance somehow – excessively worrying or completely reckless. You need to stop holding onto negative behaviors and habits. Pay more attention to your body’s signals; if you have symptoms do not ignore them.

Spirituality: You have been through a tough karmic situation. Once you make a decision to accept what happened, learn from the lessons and move on, all the struggle and suffering will end. See the big picture, allow change to happen. Find it within you the strength to forgive and forget. Your awakening awaits you.

The Judgement Reversed

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