for accountability & change

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Intro Image: Judgement - for accountability and change

Tarot Alley uses the Rider Waite type of deck for our meanings, symbols, interpretations, etc.

Judgement represents being accountable to oneself.

The judgement card is not about judging (ourselves or others), it’s about seeing, understanding, and honouring all that you are. The good, the bad, the great, the terrible, and everything in between.

Judgement offers an opportunity to accept all that you have been and start anew. 

Take a look at the Rider-Waite Judgement displayed to the left (or above).

What is your first impression?

Who is the main figure? Who are the people? What are they doing? Where are they? What does the imagery say to you?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just your interpretation.

Astrology: Pluto
Element: Fire
Numerology: 20 = 2+0=2 (debate, partnership, duality)

Common Symbols

  • Something Rising (a person, bird, or other thing rising up) to represent acceptance and letting go
  • an Angel to represent a call for change

Keywords & Concepts

  • Freedom
  • Self-acceptance
  • Honesty
  • Forgiveness
  • Letting Go
  • Accountability
  • Choice
  • Reflection
  • Awakening
  • Purpose

Judgement for Personal Growth

The assessments of others cannot impact your true value. The only standard you must meet is being the very best version of yourself you can be. Identify your next steps … and take them. Don’t do this for others; do it for you.

Ask Yourself:

  • What is the main thing you need to realize about yourself?
  • In what way might the universe be trying to get your attention?
  • If you were to reinvent yourself, what would you become?
  • In your situation, who needs a wake-up call?
  • How would your life change if you put a fear of death or loss aside?
  • In what way do you need to be reborn

Interpreting Judgement

Judgement represents a crossroads and a choice. Which path will you take? You can continue on as you have been or you may examine yourself deeply and choose to follow a new path.

Unlike the Death card, where change is inevitable and it’s futile to resist, the Judgement card offers a choice. You can accept the call or not.

The most common reason the Judgement card appears is for forgiveness. You might be holding onto something negative and would be best served by letting it go. This could be an internal struggle requiring self-forgiveness, or it could be external requiring forgiving someone else. 

Not just saying, “I forgive you,” or “I forgive myself” but actually putting in the work to understand what went wrong, how you feel, and how it can be prevented and accepted moving forward.

Reversed Judgement

How you read reversals is a personal choice. You can ignore reversals and read them as if the card is upright (this is what I often choose to do) or you can interpret reversals as variations of what they would mean upright. There are 3 common ways to read reversals: as a negative interpretation, as an opposite interpretation, or as a block on the upright interpretation. Check out How to Read Reversals for more information.

Negative: A negative reversed Judgement suggests both paths of the crossroads are bad options. Navigate carefully and keep your eyes wide open. Also, have you ever considered making your own path?

Opposite: An opposite reversed Judgement means that your choices are not what they seem. Be careful of false options & scams.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Judgement indicates a resistance to looking within. You might not recognize the options in front of you because you’ve blinded yourself.

Examples of Judgement

Specific Interpretations

Specific situations are the general interpretation (from above) used for a specific situation (love, career, etc). There is no need to memorize these (or even look them up) if you understand the general interpretation. However, here are some basic interpretations for some specific situations:

Love & Relationships

When it comes to love and relationships, Judgement means clarity (followed by choice). The issues in your love life that you’ve been ignoring (consciously or subconsciously) are going to become clear and offer you the chance to make changes.

If you’re in a relationship, Judgement represents an opportunity for communication with your partner. Now is the time to make changes, together.

If you’re single, Judgement suggests you take some time to learn from the consequences and successes of your past relationships. 


Negative: A negative reversed Judgement suggests a hard choice. The crossroads presents you with a difficult decision to make and both options will lead to discomfort or sadness.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Judgement means your vision is clouded. Now is the time to examine your relationships but do not make changes until your vision clears.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Judgement indicates something is standing in the way of your relationship clarity. Find out what it is and remove it.

Professional Life

When the Judgement card appears, a professional opportunity exists. To accept it, you’ll have to make a major change in your lifestyle.


Negative: A negative reversed Judgement suggests a bad opportunity. Be careful not to get roped into something that you can’t easily get out of.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Judgement means a stagnant professional life. Are you, professionally, happy? Examine your feelings deeply.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Judgement indicates something (or someone) is getting in the way of professional opportunities. 

Health & Wellness

The Judgement card signals an excellent time to evaluate your health and make some changes. It often appears around a small health scare. It’s nothing serious – now – but but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously.


Negative: A negative reversed Judgement suggests a health decision that will end poorly. Be careful who’s advice you take right now.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Judgement means a more serious health concern. However, it’s not too late to make the necessary changes to improve your health.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Judgement indicates something is stopping you from recognizing the opportunity to better your health. Do you have a fear of the doctor/dentist/whoever? It’s time to dig deep and overcome!

Judgement Tarot Card Meaning

Pin This: 20 Judgement - for accountability and change

Judgement represents accountability and change. What areas of your life could use some of that?

Once you feel comfortable with Judgement tarot card meaning, check out the next card in the tarot deck: XXI – the World Tarot Card Meaning.


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