Mythic Tarot - Judgement


Hermes the Psychopomp, wearing winged helmet and sandals, stands at the bottom of a flight of stairs between a pair of white and black pillars. He holds his caduceus in his right hand as he raises the dead with his left hand. At the top of the stairs is a doorway through which a green landscape can be seen.

  • the ambivalence of the unconscious with its destructive and creative potentials
  • the vertical axis which both joins together and separates Earth and underworld
  • stability, the concept of standing firm
  • one black and on white pillar symbolize all bi-polarities – the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge or Death, complementary opposites in duality and their balance and tension in combined action, spiritual and temporal power, the strong and the weak, tension and release, upward and downward movement, power and liberty, and the will and the law
  • passing between them symbolizes entry into a new life or another world
  • twin pillars represent complimentary opposites in manifest duality and their balance and tension in combined action
  • paired pillars are a gateway
  • representation that the experiences of the past remain unremembered and unchanged in the unconscious until their meaning suddenly becomes clear
  • that which has been preserved or is unchangeable
  • ancient secrets, wisdom or mysteries
  • emblems of the feminine underworld of the instincts which Hermes uses to serve his greater purpose
  • closely associated with life and death (life and resurrection, healing and reincarnation)
  • that which is unpredictable
  • coiled, they represent: cycles of manifestation and latent power; the awakening of dynamic force; cyclic existence; the opposites of dualism which are ultimately united; the spiral cycles of nature; the homeopathic powers of healing and posing, illness and health
  • we see him in his guise as Psychopomp, Guide of Souls
  • emissary of Hades, he summons the dying gently and eloquently by laying his staff upon their eyes, but he can also summon the souls of the dead back to life and also usher them into Hades’ realm
  • he is also Hermes the Summoner, who leads the souls of the dead to their accounting and prepares them for renewed life
  • represents the summing up of one’s past experiences that are then seen as part of an intelligent pattern; then the consequences of those experiences can be understood and accepted
  • he calls for the dead (one’s many and varied actions and decisions) to rise (yield a harvest)
  • he is the true lord of the Fool’s journey, bringing together the experiences and insights gained from each stage of the journey and blending them to form the beginnings of a new and larger personality
  • eading a soul to judgment is a birth of a more complete personality, which arises from the combined experiences of the past joined with insight and the sense that seemingly random events and choices are actually secretly connected
  • rewards (from one’s internal judge) for efforts made and reaping the harvest of sins of unconsciousness and of refusing to take responsibility for one’s choices (karma)

Written in my workbook on 14 Aug 91:
The corpses, on the past, present, future continuum, represent fear in a coffin of hate and anger, strength in a coffin of growth, and love in a coffin or happiness. Hermes is fear of the Judgment clothed in the hope that it will be favorable. He stands between twin pillars of clear thought and purpose and clear vision. In his hand he holds the staff of truth with death and growth entwined around it. The crypt signifies the end of the current journey (for better or worse). Outside signifies the beginning of a new journey.
My key colors were plum (fear, determination, strong resolve) and copen (indecision, hope).