The Judgement Tarot Card Meaning, Explained

Who is doing the judging?

Last updated on Jan 24, 2023

judgement tarot card Aekotography / Shutterstock & Unsplash

Whether you're new to Tarot or have been reading cards for years, the one card geared most towards improving ourselves is the Judgement card.

The twentieth of 22 Major Arcana cards, Judgement represents just that: judgement. But this card is about much more.

Judgement Tarot Card Meaning

Upright meaning keywords: Self-evaluation, awareness, decision-making, integrity; forgiveness, being forgiven, new beginnings created as a result of closure


Reversed meaning keywords: Indecision, self-doubt, self-hate; gossip and ignorance; inability to face facts; false accusations and the tendency to blame others

RELATED: Why It Matters What Time Of Day You Pull A Tarot Card

There is something rather vague about the Judgement tarot card, because when it shows up in a reading, we are left to our own devices to figure who is being judged and who is doing the judging.


Is this judgement a verdict of guilt? Or is it a nudge, letting us know we need to make better decisions? Are we to blame or is there something deeper?

This tarot card puts our minds to work when we interpret why or when we get Judgement in a reading.

Judgement Card Description

In the traditional Rider-Waite tarot deck, the image of Judgement is resplendent and joyous.

The Judgement card depicts a winged angel blowing his trumpet from his place in the sky, floating on a bed of clouds. The angel depicted is said to be Archangel Gabriel, the Angel of Prophecy, but other interpretations depict the angel as Metatron or Israfil.

The angel's golden trumpet is adorned with a flag that displays a red unilateral cross on a white background.


judgement tarot cardPhoto: Aekotography / Shutterstock & Unsplash

It appears that beneath him are many naked, gray people, all standing in planters, which are more than likely graves.

They have risen from the dead to honor the angel that bestows Judgement upon them.

The risen dead open their arms to the angel — perhaps their sentence on Earth is finally over, and they can ascend to the skies where they will live in heavenly peace.


The dead are made up of people of all ages, children included. This card shows that there is life after death, and if you have done the right thing in your life, you will be judged accordingly after your death.

RELATED: 12 Brilliant Tarot Card Quotes From Expert Readers On How To Do A Reading

Judgement Upright Meaning

Generally, when an upright Judgement tarot card is drawn, it is an indicator that you might be judging people harshly, and that it might be a good idea for you to step back and reflect on your judgement.

Judgement is also a card that jump-starts your own judgement, meaning you might need to weigh a situation before you become involved. Clear your mind so you can assess what is going on before you take that leap.


Additionally, Judgement is a card that works on past guilt.

You may have done someone wrong and time has not been able to get rid of that nagging feeling of guilt. It may mean that your consciousness is telling you that you need closure in order to live freely.

Judgement is a card of healing, and if you are in poor health and receive this card, it is a good sign that you are on the mend.

Judgement Reversed Meaning

If you have wanted to advance forward in life, yet you do not seem to be getting anywhere, the Judgement card stimulates your sense of momentum.

You may have made a few mistakes, and somehow you got locked into those mistakes and all that came with them. You are in a rut, and it is imperative for you to hoist yourself out of it.


The Judgement card reversed says to learn from your mistakes and stop feeling sorry for yourself. There is no pity in the Judgement card; it posits your world and actions as right or wrong.

Reversed, it also hints that you might have become a follower; you let the wrong people influence you to the point of no return. Judgement says there is a return, but you have to open your eyes and find it.

In health, this is an especially wise card that means you need to let go of bad habits — or else. If you want to move forward, you have to let go.

Judgement Meaning in Love & Relationships

Love and Relationships: Upright Judgement Meaning

There is not a relationship on Earth that does not require a certain degree of judgement, simply so that it can thrive.


When we fall in love, we tend to idolize our person... at first. They cannot go wrong, and if they go down with the ship because they thought it was a good idea, down we go with them.

In a love reading, this card is representative of blind faith, and the need for discretion and intelligence.

Judgement appears to let us know that we are damaging our relationships by blaming and accusing. It is simultaneously telling you to stop judging your mate based upon your experience with ex-partners.

This is one of the worst things we can do to a person: make them live up to some idealistic standard — or, worse, try to make them into a clone of someone else we once loved.


Love and Relationships: Reversed Judgement Meaning

This is the card we see if we are thinking of cheating on our partner, within a long-term monogamous relationship.

If you are partnered and thinking about cheating with someone else, this card appearing in a tarot love reading tells you to weigh the odds. Is this what you really want? Is it worth it? Are you aware of the pain you might cause?

A Reversed Judgement card is the one that slaps you upside the head and tries to talk some sense into you. It is a warning card that always says to think before you act.

RELATED: 16 Powerful Tarot Card Tattoo Ideas & Their Meanings

Judgement Meaning in Career

Career: Upright Judgement Meaning

In a career reading, an upright Judgement card shows that you may be experiencing a spiritual awakening of sorts as it comes to your career of choice. Whether you are unhappy in the workplace or want to follow a new path, Judgement appears as a warning.


Upright, Judgement in this kind of reading indicates that you need to be more aware when it comes to your actions, and that you need to stop slacking on projects or tasks at hand.

Your activities are affecting others in the workplace, so it's important to think about what improvements you can make, and to take responsibility for your actions.

Career: Reversed Judgement Meaning

Reversed, the Judgement card suggests that your self-doubt and self-criticism are holding you back from moving forward on your career path, preventing you from seizing opportunities that come your way. Reversed Judgement can also indicate that you aren't taking ownership of your errors.

Consider this card a wake-up call to be decisive and direct about what you really want. Take full advantage of this change of pace in your career, and don't let any important moments pass you by.


Judgement Meaning in Finance

Finance: Upright Judgement Meaning

Judgement is a very important card to get when you are asking a question about money, as it point-blank tells you to investigate before investing. The same goes for large purchases.

Upright Judgement in a financial reading asks you if this is really what you want. This card appears when you need to look inward when thinking about financial matters, considering whether your spending habits are hurting you.

Finance: Reversed Judgement Meaning

A reversed Judgement card appears in a financial reading to tell you to be frugal and careful with your money. Spend within your means and don't get yourself caught in a trap of debt.

And instead of dwelling on any financial mistakes, reversed Judgement wants you to start being responsible with your money and to stop beating yourself up over any past mistakes.


RELATED: How To Shuffle & Cleanse Tarot Cards For Accurate Readings Every Time

Ruby Miranda interprets I Ching, Tarot, Runes, and Astrology. She gives private readings and has worked as an intuitive reader for over 20 years.