Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3/1/12—Zeroing in on Judgment

Today's Draw: Judgment from the Spiral Spirit Tarot.  Is there an aspect of your life you can no longer deny or run away from? Is it time for a change? How do you read the Judgment card?
The Judgment Card has always been a challenging one to read for me. Yeah, yeah, it's about rebirth and transformation, but so is the Death card. And, sure, it's about a time of accountability, summing up and truth, but so is Justice. So I've always struggled with what to do with this card in a reading. It just doesn't speak to me in a unique voice. Or didn't. 

Each month I lead a tarot meetup where we spotlight a different card in each meeting. Every month as I put my notes together for this meetup, I learn something new. And the insight I got while researching this card makes all the difference in how I read it and it's unique position in the tarot. So I thought I'd share it with you. 

The card that comes before this in the tarot is the Sun. And the Sun shines so brightly that it illuminates our shadowy corners...the ones we even hide from ourselves. Our eyes are opened to an issue and we can no longer stay in the dark. We must change. Death and the Tower cards thrust change upon us. But the Judgment card brings change we choose.

One story I have that illustrates these distinctions belongs to someone I used to know. She was driving at twice the legal blood alcohol limit on a New Year's Eve maybe 25 years ago. She was on an unlit street and didn't see a bunch of teenage boys pushing an unlit car down the road...until it was too late. A boy lost his leg that night. And my friend lost life as she knew it.  

There's a lot of muddy area here, but I would argue that the boy had a Death card moment. One phase of his life died and another began. A line was drawn in the sand. He literally would never be the same. Many years later he contacted my friend and he said losing his leg saved his life, because he was on a downward spiral in his life at the time. Today he's a different man with a wife and family and career he may have never had otherwise.

I'd say my friend had a Tower moment—she was utterly shaken to the core and went to prison for a couple of years. Every aspect of her life fell to wayside, along with her freedom. Once she got out of prison, she rebuilt her life using what was left of foundation she'd had before...her values, ethics and her career.  

But her Judgment moment in all of this was when she realized she had a drinking problem that had to be fixed. This level of inebriation was not an isolated incident in her life. It took the accident to shine a light on a part of herself she had previously denied. And once that dark corner was lit, she made the changes she needed to make in her life. 

To the extent she was possessed by her alcohol issue, the accident wasn't her choice. Certainly not a conscious or "sober" choice. But quitting drinking was. That's the distinction with the Judgment card.

We've all had those moments in our lives, haven't we? Maybe you see someone at the mall berating their child and realize you're not so supportive yourself. Or maybe you go on vacation for two weeks and return to see with fresh eyes what a ratty gardener you are. Or maybe you find out you have halitosis and have had it for years. 

Although it sounds unpalatable, it's really not. Judgment moments lead to the healing of old wounds, the breaking of bad habits and the forgiveness of long-held grudges. Because it's a change of your choosing, you're taking a conscious hand in your own evolution. The illumination may come from the grace of a higher source, but the redemption is all on you.

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