Judgement (Tarot card)

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The Judgment (XX). Rider-Waite deck.

Judgement (XX), or in some decks spelled Judgment, is a Tarot card, part of the Major Arcana suit usually comprising 22 cards.[1]

Rider-Waite symbolism[edit]

Very clearly, it is modeled after the Christian Resurrection before the Last Judgment. An angel, possibly Gabriel, is depicted blowing a great trumpet, from which hangs a white flag bearing a red cross, most likely the St George's Cross. A group of humans (man, woman, and child) of grayish complexion stand, arms spread, looking up at the angel in awe. The people are apparently emerging from crypts or graves. There are huge mountains or tidal waves in the background, which almost seem like glaciers as they are so white and blue. These may be a reference to the sea giving up its dead on the day of judgment, as described in the Book of Revelation.

Divination usage[edit]

A. E. Waite was a key figure in the development of modern Tarot interpretations.[2] However, not all interpretations follow his practices. Sometimes Tarot decks used for divination are interpreted according to personal experience and standards.

Some frequent keywords include:

  • Judgement — Rebirth — Inner calling — Absolution
  • Restart — Accepting past mistakes/actions — Release
  • Forgiveness — End of repression — Reconciliation — Renewal
  • Decision — Salvation — New beginning — Hope — Redemption

When Judgment appears in a reading, it is usually interpreted as a signal of an impending judgment, such as of postponed decisions. As the card symbolizes resurrection, it can also be interpreted to herald the return of individuals from the past. The card also represents the Christian God's promise of life after death. In a reading, especially near the Six of Cups, it may represent a preoccupation with the past, while also suggesting a new beginning and clearing out of the past.[citation needed] Tarot scholar Tara Miller writes that "Judgment represents the House of Gabriel, the knowing that Judgment Day can come at any moment; fill your clothing and orifices with bread, as the trumpet of Gabriel is at hand."[citation needed]

Alternative Decks[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

  • The first boss of The House of the Dead 2, a light gun game by Sega, takes its name from the Judgment card, and is depicted as an imp (Zeal) and a giant headless armored zombie wielding a battle axe as its puppet (Kuarl). It should also be noted that all of the bosses in the House of the Dead series derive their names from the Major Arcana. Kuarl was said to have been based on Curien's "The Chariot", and Zeal "The Hanged Man".
  • In the SNES video game Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen, the Judgement Tarot card depicts a female angel pointing her trumpet down south and ready to blow her trumpet while hovering from a cloudy sky. On drawing the card after liberation of one of the towns, it increases the characters' HP by 2 points, and uses a pulsating blast of holy energy that also instantly pulverizes undead enemy units and damages said enemy units that have low alignment when used in battle.[3]

In episode 184 of the long running and ongoing anime Detective Conan/Case Closed, the television prophet Nagara Haruka shows the Judement card when Shinichi Kudo solves the case, revealing the trick used to create the closed-room murder and the culprit, the so called Phantom of the Cursed Masks's identity so that they can be taken away by the police.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "See caption on the original Rider-Waite card" (JPG). Learntarot.com. 
  2. ^ Wood (1998).
  3. ^ "Ogre Battle - Tarot Cards". Fantasyanime.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 

External links[edit]

  • The Judgment from Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners - Joan Bunning