The Esotericon

Judgment - Resh

The two lovers have produced a child. Mother and father, who were clothed in the sixth trump, are now unclothed. The playful winged figure, who appeared in the active positive trump of the Lovers with little or no clothing, is now shown fully clothed and blowing upon a trumpet. There exists, then, this inverse relationship that occurs between the married couple and the winged figure that hovers above them.

The name of the 20th character of the ancient alphabet is linked to the 20th hieroglyphic icon of the Tarot. The original design of this character (pre-1200 B.C.) looks like this...

The ancient letter of Resh

The twentieth trump of the Tarot is thus tied to the name of the twentieth character of the ancient alphabet, which is the word ריש. This word is formed from the biliteral root that consists of the letters Resh/R and Shin/S and has the basic meaning of “to need.” From the basic meaning of "to be needy" comes the meaning of "poverty" that is also given to this biliteral combination in several locations of the Masoretic texts.

Four versions of the Judgment trump of the Marseilles Tarot

The nude couple and their child are clearly depicted in a state of poverty. Having been stripped of all of their material possession, they are now left with only their bodies and minds.

The Judgment Trump of the Rider-Waite Deck

In regards to this particular trump, A. E. Waite writes, “I have said that this symbol is essentially invariable in all Tarot sets, or at least the variations do not alter its character. The great angel is here encompassed by clouds, but he blows his bannered trumpet, and the cross as usual is displayed on the banner. The dead are rising from their tombs--a woman on the right, a man on the left hand, and between them their child, whose back is turned. But in this card there are more than three who are restored, and it has been thought worth while to make this variation as illustrating the insufficiency of current explanations. It should be noted that all the figures are as one in the wonder, adoration and ecstacy expressed by their attitudes. It is the card which registers the accomplishment of the great work of transformation in answer to the summons of the Supernal--which summons is heard and answered from within.

Judgment of the Rider-Waite Tarot

Herein is the intimation of a significance which cannot well be carried further in the present place. What is that within us which does sound a trumpet and all that is lower in our nature rises in response--almost in a moment, almost in the twinkling of an eye? Let the card continue to depict, for those who can see no further, the Last judgment and the resurrection in the natural body; but let those who have inward eyes look and discover therewith. They will understand that it has been called truly in the past a card of eternal life, and for this reason it may be compared with that which passes under the name of Temperance.”

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