Tarot Talk

Judgment (20)


“Their errors have been weighed and found to have been dust in the balance; if their sins were as scarlet, they are now white as snow: they have been washed in the blood of the mediator and redeemer, Time.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Image Description:

The Rider-Waite deck depicts a nude man, woman, child, and other individuals in the distance rising from coffins that are floating on the sea. Their arms are outstretched toward an angel hovering above them. The angel is blowing a trumpet that holds a banner bearing the symbol of an equal sided cross.  In the background snow covered mountains rise to the sky.


Coffins: Awakening, the limitations and conventions we place upon ourselves

Trumpet: A liberation from material limitations, realization of our spiritual calling

Nudity: Our true selves

Snowy Mountain Peaks: The heights of abstract thought

Solar Cross: Balance of forces

Sea/Water: Primal mother, birth of a new life or rebirth

Key Words:

Judgment, Absolution, Evolution, Rebirth, New Start

Fool’s Journey:

As the Fool continues onward, he senses that he is approaching the conclusion of his travels and the completion of his evolution. Near the end of the path, he can see the presence of a bright light. The light promises the Fool rebirth and a new start on yet another journey that will offer other experiences and lessons to learn. Using careful judgment, he begins to consider the entirety of his life that has led him to this point. Reflecting upon both the positive and the negative results of his accomplishments, the Fool accepts the truth of his actions, and by doing so gains absolution. Ready to move forward again, he embarks toward the end of his journey.


To learn how to base our accomplishments on their karmic value and to live our lives accordingly.


Judgment symbolizes the rewards and penalties that we experience according to the karmic value of our actions. The phrase, “As you sow, so shall you reap” reflects the Judgment card’s energy, and asks us to evaluate ourselves and our accomplishments from a honest perspective. Sometimes we can take delight in our achievements; other times we must come face-to-face with our mistakes and resolve the conflicts and trials they create. Only after resolving our errors can we continue forward, having evolved to a higher level of understanding through the experience.

In readings, Judgment can appear when we need to assess matters, weigh all sides of an issue, and discern the truth. When a situation tests our moral integrity, we are asked to judge carefully without blame, and make proper decisions based upon wisdom and candor.  Judgment advises us to take what is of value, correct what needs correcting, and never lose sight of our worth.

The Judgment card can also represent feelings of absolution. When we forgive ourselves or another we are reborn and cleansed of our burdens and guilt; the past is left behind and we are ready to begin anew. Coming to terms with the past allows us to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh new start on a path toward self-improvement.