Alternative Names: The Angel, Fame, Time

Number: 20

Astrological Sign or Planet: Pluto

Element: Fire

Key Meanings: Assessment, and letting go of the past

The Judgment card in Tarot stands for healing. This Major Arcana card signals great transformation, renewal, and change. The basic symbols of the Judgment Tarot card are an Angel, trumpets, graves with people rising from them, and often water or an ocean.

Upright Meaning: When the Judgment card appears, what is being awakened is a sense of a higher self within. Sometimes the card coincides with a person turning away from a traditional set of beliefs toward one that better suits his or her personal philosophy of life. Judgment represents the end of something—an old way of life, a cycle that is finished. It is a time to seek new direction, to make adjustments that reflect who your truly are—perhaps by breaking away from your conventional way of life and believing.

Generally speaking, this is a positive card symbolizing regeneration and rebirth into wholeness after a period of confusion and a sense of confinement (shown by the coffins). You may have been feeling “dead” in your old life. When Judgment appears, you have the unique opportunity to relive, to enliven yourself and your environment by making the appropriate changes. What is ending is doubt and indecision, depression and despair, fear and inhibition. It’s a time of new freedom to be yourself.

Reversed Meaning: When reversed, you may be stuck in the past or refuse to learn the lessons that are there for you. You may find yourself in old patterns and not yet able to break free. Delays are also indicated, in terms of future plans, and you may be feeling trapped and unable to progress, without really understanding why. You have the ability to judge your actions and attitudes and then move on; the past cannot be changed, only accepted. Have compassion for the person you were then and for the decisions you made. You don’t have to live with the results of these choices in the future; you can decide to be free.

About the Deck: “Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams” from Tarot.com.