In my opinion, the Judgement card needs a rename as much as the Hierophant. It is such an important card and so many people seem to misunderstand it. Probably in part due to some holdover from the Christian idea of the Last Judgement. Perhaps long ago, this card was read that way, but as our culture changes, so do the card meanings. We this so clearly in the Fool, the Magician, the Lovers, the Hanged Man, and even Death, to name just a few. Judgement and the Hierophant, though, seem to have a hard time shaking their biblical tethers.

As part of my goal to help evolve these cards, I offer the Judgement card from Maggie Steifvater’s recent deck, The Raven’s Prophecy.

Tarot Judgment copy

Keywords: Judgment, Meditation, Looking Back

This is the second to last card in the cycle of the major arcana, and this card invites you to take a look at where you’ve been. Frequently mistaken for Justice and vice versa, it’s simple to remember the meaning of this card if you think of it as Judgment Day, although it is not really an external reckoning. Instead, this is about you looking back over events in your life, using he objectivity given by tie and experience to think about what really happened. Once you consider who you have been, whether you were right or wrong, how you have improved or not, you can decide who you want to be from now on using that wisdom.

When Judgement appears in your life, it’s giving you a third opportunity to drastically change your direction. It’s not the frightening transformation of the Death card, nor the fiery destruction of the Tower card. Instead, now that you’ve survived those changes, you’re standing at a crossroads with an opportunity to become something new once more…this time with your eyes wide open.

You don’t have to. You can stay the way you are now; this card isn’t a warning. But if you want to have time to start the cycle back over again, to have another chance to begin again at the Fool and learn even more about the world and yourself, you’re going to have to change.

This card doesn’t tell you which is wrong or right. But I will! Slough that skin. Start over again.

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...