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Upright: Judgement, rebirth, inner calling, absolution

Reversed: Self-doubt, inner critic, ignoring the call


The Judgement card shows a number of naked men, women, and children rising up from their graves, arms outspread, and looking up into the sky. Above, archangel Gabriel – the Messenger of God – blows his trumpet and the people respond to his call, ready to be judged and to find out if they will be accepted into the heavens or not. In the background is a large mountain range, signifying the insurmountable obstacles and the impossibility of avoiding judgment.

NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.


The Judgement card is calling you to rise up and embrace a higher level of consciousness for the service of your Highest Good. You are experiencing a huge spiritual awakening and realising that you are destined for so much more. This is your cosmic up-levelling! You hear the call and are ready to take action. Tune into a higher frequency. Let go of your old self and step into this newest version of who you really are.

The Judgement card often indicates that you need to make a life-changing decision, but unlike those associated with the logical Justice card, this decision requires a blend of intuition and intellect. You may be at a crossroads, aware that any choice that you make will bring about significant change with long-lasting effects. Tune in to your Higher Self, trust your judgement and know that you are on the right path. If you still require clarity on the situation, look to your past experiences and life lessons which will guide you on the right path.

Judgement appears in a Tarot reading when you are close to reaching a significant stage in your journey. You have reviewed and evaluated your past experiences and have learned from them. All the pieces of the puzzle of your life are finally coming together to form one, integrated picture of your life story. This integration has healed deep wounds, and you are now in a position to put the past behind you. You have found your absolution, having cleared any wrongdoings or regrets, and releasing any guilt or sadness about the past. This purging process will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on any new challenges.

The Judgement card suggests that you may find comfort in sharing your experiences with others and healing within a group environment. There will be others who have experienced something similar to you and who can show you the way to freedom from your troubles. Let them guide you and help you, and rise up together.


Judgement reversed calls for a period of reflection and self-evaluation. Through meditation or quiet reflection, you may come to a point of deep understanding about the common themes throughout your life and what you can do or change to avoid these situations in the future. There may be situations that you have kept secret or hidden, because you fear how others may judge you as a result. To clear these past mistakes and regrets, and any associated guilt or shame, go through the process self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-love, and release and freedom.

The Judgement reversed often appears when the Universe is trying to send you a message and invite you to something bigger, but you’re not listening. Maybe you’re afraid of the sacrifice you will need to make to heed the call, or you’re worried you are not ready to step into a bigger role and just want to play it safe. You are doing your best to pretend you didn’t hear it and are carrying on with your daily life, hoping it will go away. But let’s be honest – the ‘call’ never goes away; it just gets louder and louder until you finally pay attention. It’s time to push past your inner fears and self-doubt, and trust that the Universe has your back. This is all happening for a reason.

Sometimes, the reversed Judgement indicates inner critic is coming through, loud and clear. You may be doubting yourself or giving yourself consistently negative messages. This is getting in the way of you being able to fulfil your highest potential and be your best self. To overcome your inner critic, see it as a separate part of yourself (give it a name), hear it out and acknowledge its fear, and provide assurances that everything is going to be just fine. With focused discipline you can break the cycle of self-criticism and replace it with more positive messages of what is possible.