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Judgement is the twenty-first card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 20 to indicate the subconscious, intuitive mind of the High Priestess (2) experiencing the vast, pure potential of the Fool (0). The souls of the dead rise up from the darkness of the grave to heed the call of Judgement. Gabriel, the archangel, blows the horn to signal the time when each person will have to answer for his or her deeds. Gabriel’s hair appears like flames, calling to mind images of the phoenix, the mythological creature that rises from its own ashes, reborn. Judgement is the awakening of the souls, and the time to return to the realms of spirit, leaving the physical world behind. The coffins appear to be floating in an ocean, and a strange blue aura covers everything beneath the angel’s horn. This ocean is the subconscious that is only experienced in waves while the spirit resides in the body. When the soul is called forth, it is fully immersed in the collective unconscious.

Judgement denotes a milestone in the development of your soul. You have walked through fire, and come out of it transformed, and renewed. You are now liberated from your past, and this card marks your awareness of this freedom. Now is a good time to make the change complete. You may want to honor and mark your change in some way, major or minor. Acknowledging that you have reached this point and releasing any leftover negative reminders from the “old” you are the final steps in the process.

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Illustrations and images from the Rider Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright © 1971, 1982 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The Rider Tarot Deck ® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The world's largest source of tarot and cartomancy is U.S. Games Systems, Inc. A catalog may be obtained by contacting the company at 179 Ludlow Street, Stamford, CT 06902, Fax: 203-353-8431 or call 1-800-544-2637.


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