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More about the Judgement card – Forgiveness

April 7, 2010

After reading the responses to my recent post on the Judgement card I decided that more needs to be said about it.  (Of course, there is always more that can be said about any Tarot card.)  My intention with that article was to discuss the Judgement card in the context of rebirth and awakening, since I posted it on Easter.  However, I think it’s important to see this card in terms of forgiveness also, so I delved into the Tarot and Spirituality book that I’m working on to pull out the following excerpted material on that aspect of this card.Judgment -- Tarot of the Masters

Through the years I have come to see that one of the highest meaning for this card is that of forgiveness, so I have read many articles on that topic and found some wonderful quotes about it. For example, there is a saying in Sikhism: “Where there is forgiveness, there is God himself.” I find this quote to be quite powerful in its simplicity and brevity. It also helps relate the divine image on this card to this meaning.

Eckhart Tolle says, “Forgiveness happens naturally when you see that [a grievance] has no purpose other than to … keep the ego in place.”[1] It can be very hard for us to forgive, even when we realize that forgiveness has a great healing power, but the insightful recommendation in this quote can help us do so. A similar, albeit humorous approach to this topic is another quote that I found (source unknown): “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Finally, here is one last quote about forgiveness that I feel work well with this card. 

“When we forgive ourselves or someone else, we are choosing to release our judgments and in so doing we are choosing to feel good rather than bad, positive rather than negative, free rather than imprisoned.”— Margaret McCraw, author of the book, Tune into Love.

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[1] A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. Page 66

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13 Comments
  1. I love this quote “When we forgive ourselves or someone else, we are choosing to release our judgments and in so doing we are choosing to feel good rather than bad, positive rather than negative, free rather than imprisoned.”

    I can see how this relates so well to the Judgement card and the aspect of moving oneself to a higher level of understanding. It is a card that asks us, I think, to look at our life, for good and for bad, to acknowledge our own involvement and to not just forgive others but to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. Then and only then can we move on to a higher level of understanding about ourselves. We are ready to accept a change in our life.

    I did last year, on my blog, a comparison of Justice & Judgement – called More Than Just Two J’s. and how they might be connected; I came to the conclusion – and we are talking about a spiritual level here, not on a mundane level – that it is Justice that gets us to be honest and objective about ourselves by asking those all important questions about who we are and how we are where we are. When we answer this question honestly and are willing to accept our responsibility in the role we have played, then we find the answer in Judgement, when we move ourselves from one level of understanding to another.- We can only do that can’t we, when we forgive those around us and also ourselves.

    • Hi Helen,
      Thanks for your additional thoughts on this card and subject.
      I totally agree that forgiveness is a vital key to our own spiritual awakening.
      Best,
      James

  2. Teresa Michelsen permalink

    I couldn’t agree more. For me this card is all about doing the work needed to learn from and release past cycles and move on to new ones. Aside from the learning and seeing clearly aspects, forgiveness is key – of oneself at least as much as of others. Only then are we objective enough to see things as they really are, see what has been gained and lost, and detach in order to move on.

  3. My understanding of this card is that it is about altruism, humanitarianism, selflessness and idealism. It also speaks about our connection to other people through social networking and group involvement.
    There is also a suggestion here of telecommunication, Email, the World Wide Web etc.

    • Hi David,
      Yes, that “group aspect” of this card would suggest those meanings! I never really thought of it that way, but now I will. :D
      Best,
      James

  4. modernoracle permalink

    Very thought provoking! Thank you for leaving a comment so I could see your blog too. I feel as though I’ve met a like-mind…thanks again!
    Ronda
    http://www.modern-oracle-tarot.com

    • Hi Ronda,
      Welcome to the virtual world of my Tarot Blog! :D
      And as for like-minds, since I’ve begun this blog, which has sent me on some wanderings around the blogosphere, I’ve been pleased to discover other people, like you, who have similar thoughts on the Tarot.
      Best,
      James

  5. Hi James – nice site ;-) Great posting!

    When we truly forgive someone, we set ourselves free from torment and bondage. In the RWS we see the figures celebrating their escape from their tombs, their bondage.

    Although we have this key within our grasp, every hour of every day, it takes a great human being to truly forgive – someone with great spiritual depth who is able to transcend the ego’s needs.

    I guess this is why it comes almost at the end of the cycle.

    Really nice post, James :-)

    Ali x

    • Thanks Alison. Yes, learning to truly forgive is one of the highest lessons and so I agree that this may be why this card is near the end of the Major Arcana sequence. Perhaps the only thing harder is the realization that we are One with everyone and everything, as indicated by the World card.
      Best,
      James

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  1. Nine Wands Spiritual Message « James Ricklef's Tarot Blog
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  3. Judgment — Spiritual Message of the Day | James Ricklef's Tarot Blog

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