Alchemical Study Group - XX Judgment


(from the book)

"Awaken from Hades! Arise from the tomb and rouse thyself from darkness! For thou hast clothed thyself with spirituality and divinity, since the voice of the resurrection has sounded and the medicine of life has entered into thee."
-- Archelaos, in Alchemy, by E.J. Holmyard (pg. 31)

After the hieros gamos of the Sun, the white stone yellows, and then begins to redden and mature. Its power has increased. Judgement refers to its ability to heal and rejuvenate, Symbolized here by the bodies of the dead Lovers rising from their graves. Like a scene from the final judgement, Gabriel summons them to rejoin their souls, Sol and Luna, who are existing on a higher plane, one with the light of the inner sun.

The image, inspired by Michael Meier's Tripus aureus (1618), depicts the alchemical process called the reviving or resurrection, in which the matter of the work which, was killed in the nigredo, is revived by the power of the stone. This is demonstrated by the stones ability to transmute base metals into gold; to the alchemist base metals are dead, and become resurrected by becoming gold, the highest degree of their perfection. The central symbol, the grain sprouting from the skull, is a reference to the agricultural mysteries mentioned earlier. In the center of the ouroboros of time, the place of immortality, life emerges from death, the grain like Osiris, or Christ is reborn from the earth.

The number of Judgement is twenty, which reduces to two, the number of the High Priestess, guardian of the feminine mysteries. The two parts, spirit and body, are reunited in the soul. The rebirthing, from the womb of the earth, is guided by the Great Goddess.

Tarot wisdom: Judgement is time of rejuvenation and healing. To accomplish this we must let go of what is dead or meaningless in our lives. It is a time to access our behavior, and review our past, and to right wrongs that we have done before they come back to haunt us. Our future judgement must be based on the truth of our experiences.