Archive for June 13, 2012
Langauges allow us to express ourselves. I love to learn new languages, even if it just a few words, especially the bad ones! Tarot is a language, not a verbal one like English but a pictorial language which uses symbols to express meanings. The cards themselves have titles as with the Major Arcana. However when we translate these titles into other languages we might at times come to new understandings to the cards. Some may be new or they may just reinforce the cards already present meaning.
A while ago I made a video on YouTube where I presented the Greek titles of the Major Arcana. When I came to the Judgment card I was intrigued by the Greek word for Judgment which is the same word for another word. You, see in Greek (and other languages) one word can have many meanings, depending on its context. In this case the word “Judgment” in Greek is κρίση (krísi). κρίση also is a word which is also used for “crisis”. Judgement and Crisis are both the same word in Greek. This made me wonder why this was the case.
The other day when I was looking at the cover of a Greek newspaper there was an article from the BBC on what The ancient Greeks would do with the Greek economic crisis. Again I saw the word κρίση and remembered it also means Judgment. I asked my uncle, why did κρίση both mean Judgement and Crisis. He told me that it is in the time of crisis that judgment(s) need to be made. They go together. This is a perfect example of how language expresses different ideas and views through the use of the words.
We can take this and then apply it to the Judgement card and would easily call it “The Crisis” card. But what does crisis mean? We normally see crisis as a bad thing, something bad is happening, things are going crazy. That would be the case as with a political view on the word, it representing an unstable situation. However the underlining meaning of the word is that crisis is a crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point. Psychologically, crisis is a traumatic or stressful change in a person’s life. In a drama, crisis is a point at which a conflict reaches a peak before being resolved.
Taking this let us apply it to the Judgment in Tarot. I can see a connection between the concepts of crisis with the cards meaning of “hearing the call”, or “answering a call”. In many of the depicts of Judgment we have an angel blaring a horn as the dead awaken, hearing the horn. This often means that you are being called to do something, something more important or of great meaning. Judgment also indicates changes, coming to a crossroads in your life. This experience is not always a pleasant one. Much like how I described the word crisis in psychological terms as being a traumatic or stressful change, Judgment can manifest as a stressful event, a stressful choice or change. Judgment is the point where conflict reaches its peak before being resolved. The resolution of the conflict is then depicted with The World which shows completion and accomplishment.
As we have seen, language can be a powerful tool for how we view the meanings of the cards.