, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Or in this case, AWAKENING. “Getting conscious” or awakening to a higher level of consciousness. Awakening is number twenty of the Major Arcana.

  • Symbolism: Judgement and completion.
  • Element: Fire (see Tarot Elements)

What I See:

According to the book, the structure is Newgrange which has a central chamber illuminated by the sun at dawn on the winter solstice, and gives me a sense of death and rebirth. The man is open while surrounded by community. The image screams Druids to me. I see a solstice celebration, a celebration of life, a renewal of spirit. Cranes are the Japanese symbol of honor and peace. The Lotus a Buddhist symbol of enlightenment and awakening. The swirls and circles show continuity and the rhythm of life. According to the book, that face looking down on the man is Kwan Yin, a goddess of compassion and mercy. The symbols on this card are amazing!

Light (upright) Reading:

An open heart lets go of judgments and criticisms.

  • Keywords: Turning Point, Reformation, Rite of Passage, and Rebirth.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

It may be difficult to let go of old beliefs, if only because they are familiar.

  • Keywords: Judgmental, Regret, Disillusionment, and ‘Bad Karma.’


Just the title of this card gives me ideas. Awakening. A coma patient waking up. Someone waking up in another time or place or in another body. Spiritual awakening. Someone finding faith. Or someone being initiated as a Druid or shaman.

How about the legend of whoever folds a thousand cranes is granted a wish? Perhaps a retelling of Kwan Yin, “She who hears the cries of the world.”

Newgrange and the swirls definitely point toward the Celts. You could explore ancient peoples of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. But don’t stop there, the Celtic civilization was bigger than the Roman one. (Kate Wood offers up posts on the Celts during her Tursan Tuesdays.)

  • Themes: Personal Awakening, Peace, Think Globally and Act Locally, Liberation, Awareness, Rebirth, or Inner Calling.


Emerge from darkness and open to life.

  • Archetype: Herald, Liberator, Mystic, or Judge.

Heralds provide motivation, offer the hero a challenge, and get the story rolling. They alert the hero that change and adventure are coming. ~The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler

  • Mythical Figures: Kali, Phoenix, Archangel Michael, and Horus.

The personality enneagram, a nine-pointed array of personality types, might also be a useful reference for character building.

Judgement is E2: Helper and/or Giver

  • Self Image — I help
  • Passion — Pride
  • Virtue — Freedom
  • Narcissistic Trap — Service
  • Avoids — Needs
  • Speaking Style — Flattering or Advising

E2 people are relationship oriented. They are concerned with what others think of them, image and prestige. They see themselves as being for others and often believe they know what’s best. They dislike being alone and may feel sad or inadequate.

Additionally, look up one of the Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) for personality traits.

When the Judgement card makes an appearance in your writing practice, it may be time to breathe new life into an old idea — one you thought was dead and gone. ~Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide