I’ve always read the Tarot's Judgement card as “Discernment” or “Ascension.” It is one of the cards in Tarot I’ve always felt was misnamed, and I think the name throws people off when they are first learning to read. But today, the card was something else entirely. This is the spread and the cards:
I was paired up with Juana in a Tarot Explorers’ Club breakout paired reading session. I love when there are an odd number of people during paired readings and I get to join in the fun. I find new insights are frequently sparked during these sessions, even though I have been reading Tarot for 25+ years – and today was one of those times.
I created this spread as a variation of the Celtic Cross, and the bottom card represents something under the surface of things that is having an influence. Now, normally with Judgement in that position, I would go the direction of maybe it represents people in your circle of influence that you have outgrown, or a spiritual awakening happening, or an awakening of some kind – like a veil being lifted, changing how you see the world. But today the reading was about me, and as my reading partner (thanks, Juana!) was giving me some similar suggestions, like a trumpeting from the angel’s horn, I knew. I KNEW it was about something else entirely -- something I have never before seen in this card, but now can’t unsee. For me on this day, it is all about the Ancestors. The dead rising... yes, that’s them. The angel looking down protectively... yes, that’s them too. They are all over in this card, and I’d never seen it.
I have been doing some Ancestor work. I have an Ancestor shrine, I’ve been taking classes with Daniel Foor and Gemma Benton, but to be honest, I haven’t been doing the work. I haven’t been consciously acknowledging and working with my Ancestors. Even so, they are present. They are pulling on energetic threads in the warp and weave of my life and my choices.
In the “Advice” position was a combination of the Page of Cups and the Eight of Cups (R). In this deck, the person in the eight of cups isn’t just walking away. He is walking UP, if the card is upright. But for me today it’s reversed, and visually the person is heading downward, towards the mysterious moon and the unknown/unseen. The cups reversed are pouring down, drenching him (her) in fully-experienced emotion, no holds barred. Wow. I rarely read reversed cards visually, but sometimes it is how they want to be read. This speaks to me today – to put myself in the position of a learner (page), open and receptive to messages from the unconscious (moon), diving into that space of dreams, Ancestor work, the unseen that lies beneath all of “reality.”
All in all, it is a powerful message, and one I will heed. Today, I dust off my Ancestor altar and leave an offering. Tonight, I go to bed early and set my dream journal by my bed with a pen, setting the intention of dreaming well. May you dream well, too, and may hear your well and healed Ancestors whisper in your heart.
Luminous Blessings, Tamara
(deck: Ciro Marchetti's "Tarot of Dreams")