Easter and the Judgement Card
Today, being Easter, inspired me to explore the Judgement card within the context of this day. First, let me share this quote from today’s “Daily Word” –
When I contemplate in prayer the indwelling Christ Presence, I may experience a resurrection, a restoration, a revival within me. Letting go of the old and opening myself to the new, I am changed in ways that are vital to my spiritual unfolding. I am raised into a greater experience of the God-life within me. I may not recognize the transformation immediately, but as I rise to the realization of the Christ Presence, miracles happen.
And an article on Slate titled “How the first Christians understood Jesus’ resurrection” notes that
they … interpreted all references to Jesus’ resurrection in strictly spiritual terms. Some thought of Jesus as having shed his earthly body in his death, assuming a purely spiritual state, and returning to his original status in the divine realm.
So what might all this, along with the resurrection symbolism on this card, indicate about the Judgement card?
This card calls us to a greater realization that we are all divine, to an awakening to the “Christ consciousness” (as it is called by some) that lies within us all. First, this is about awakening to our own inner divinity. Beyond that comes the expanded awareness that we all have that spark of the divine, which leads us to the conclusion that we are all One: one with each other as well as one with the Divine.
We can see a clue to this “one-ness” in the group aspect of this card, i.e., the fact that there are many people depicted on it. This group aspect also indicates an emerging mass consciousness and a move toward a common awareness of our shared divine nature. Thus, this card says that enlightenment is not just a personal thing; it depends upon all of us and it affects each of us. In other words, my spiritual awakening affects your awakening, and my awakening also depends on yours. We’re all in this together.
We can also see this card as a call to rise from a state of limited life into an awareness of a greater one. We can think of this as the “what’s in it for me” aspect of this card’s call to a spiritual pursuit. As an analogy, consider how hard it can be to wake up in the morning. Yes, I know that some people just jump out of bed in the morning, wide awake. I don’t. It takes some effort to be sure, but it leads me from a limited awareness (sleep) to an expanded one (wakefulness). Everyday I have that choice, and every day I make the decision to wake up and live another day. This is an important point to make within the context of this card since its number, 20, numerologically reduces to “2″ which means that this is a card of “choice.” Also, the typical image on most versions of the Judgement card is that of resurrection or rebirth. This refers to the spiritual rebirth that occurs when we remove ourselves from the grip of our ego so that we may embrace the comfort and wisdom of our eternal selves instead.
So this card is about awakening to our spiritual life, realizing that we are spiritual beings having a “dream” that is our material life. It’s a frightening prospect because we fear leaving those little boxes we call our life, to use the visual metaphor of this card. But we don’t really lose our material life as a result of our ongoing spiritual awakening; we just begin to see it in its fullness and its brilliance (which, by the way, I have tried illustrate in my re-coloring of the RWS Judgement card at the top of this post). In other words, we are living within drab boxes called “the material world,” and we are being called to wake up and see that there is a vast, brilliant world outside of those boxes. Or using the metaphor of Easter, we are called to experience the painful “death” of our limited, material life so that we may be resurrected into an infinitely fuller spiritual life.