Sacred Circle, Judgment

Red Emma

Can anyone give me some insight into the meanings of the SC Judgment?

This card gives me trouble in any deck, but is the most obscure in the Sacred Circle.



My deck is packed up. So I'm using the link from
to see it.

With the Judgement card of the Sacred Circle, I see a place that seems barren, and very sad, the land scape seems very much dead.
There appears a bright new begining shining thru the barren land, a hope, an awakening...
A renewed vitality, a new way to see things. Clarity.

The purple in the background, would to me be a coming of something very noble, and psychic.

I'm not sure, but it looks like Holly with Berries, and Oak leaves around the edge.

Holly would be of fire nature, I think. Protection.

Oak would be of fire also, Protection, Luck, Money, and Healing.


I've always liked this card, Red Emma, so I'll give you my 2 cents on it. :)

This is a very pagan card in its outlook and philosophy. I don't know your background in pagan historical stuff, so I'm going to assume you have none, and take it from there. No insult intended :)

The scene looks bleak because it's the dead of winter....winter solstice. That's the little baby sun being reborn. It's not strong yet, like it is in the sun card, where it's at midsummer solstice. Winter Solstice is the time of year associated with new born saviors, including the Christ-child. And this little sun is a savior, without it all life on earth would die.

Waaaaay back when, before we got scientific, many cultures believed that the sun would not return without our help. We had to not only help it not to die, but also to grow and become strong. So we had fire festivals, like Winter Solstice, (aka Yule) to do our part, and celebrate the return of the light.

The evergreens shown on the card (holly, ivy and mistletoe) are used as symbols of things that survive the winter "death". The spirals carved in the stone represent the cycle of life-death-rebirth-life-death-life-rebirth, etc.

In the more traditional (Christian) versions of this card, the dead are awakened and called to the last judgement, and then go to heaven or hell, depending. With pagans, it's more cycles of lives, in which the soul (hopefully) learns and grows from lifetime to lifetime.

In my mind I read this card, (and most judgement cards) - as being the awakening of the soul to new knowledge or experience. Sort of a Cosmic AHA! moment. The spirit has just jumped a level, skipped a grade, graduated, suddenly understands something important that was impenetrable until now. It has learned a lesson so well that it will not have to repeat it.
YaY! No Summer School!
This is my understanding of this card, and I hope it's helpful.


That was great!

We'll all have to sit and talk of the Sacred Circle more!


Magpie9: Just wanted to express my appreciation & AHA at your view of this version of Judgement--love it!

I love the images of the Sacred Circle. I suppose the traditional numbering of the cards are so ingrained that the differences with some of the Major Arcana cards in this deck result in stumbling blocks. Instead of a 15-The Devil card, there is 14-The Underworld, (which I like better for associative & insight purposes) & Temperance is numbered 16 (which tends to throw me off).

The opening or doorway is in a black void where no life exists; or pertains to the stillness of no life/death. The stone doorway the way to a new life cycle. Stone has a permanency & solidity that withstands time--at least in the reckoning of Man & perhaps, even of the gods themselves. The spiral engravings on the threshold & on the left block representative of the never-ending cycle of life. Its 5 stone blocks pertains to the earthly or the material; Man. The 6th block is the threshold over which one passes into life or death. 6 the number of harmony, love & completion of a cycle. The crescent-shaped wreaths of evergreens at opposing corners of the doorway suggestive of beginnings after which they grow full circle. That is, either ends of each crescent will reach out to form a whole or a circle according to the seaon. Also suggestive of the Pagan/Wiccan Wheel of the year with its Greater & Lesser Sabbaths. The crescents also representative of the feminine or opposing energy which is needed to offset the masculine. Balance.

I also see this Judgement as heralding the birth of the Sun King; the Lord, consort to the Lady. With the advent of the new Sun, new life & growth emerges in & of the earth.

Its appearance can indicate regeneration or rebirth; a second chance at potentiality; an awakening, revelation or realization. The completion of a metaphorical or actual journey.

Edited for "composition".


Red Emma: If this card has recently appeared, perhaps it signifies being poised on a new threshold; entering a different cycle; a new understanding. Especially if related to a new development.

Red Emma

Thanks, guys.

This really fits a reading I did for myself yesterday. And Meewah, I think you're right about having a new perspective, being poised on a new threshold. (And it's about time!)

Goddess Bless.


*Magpie curtseys, blushes, simpers* Thank you all for your kind words.

floracove, I hope we do talk more about this deck, it's such a good one, and I really enjoy its symbolism.

MeeWah, did you know that the stone blocks are actually the ones at Newgrange, Ireland, which is oriented to the winter solstice? the suns' rays on that day penetrate into the burial chamber. The "new" sun appears to be reborn on that day from the earth womb of the Goddess. This connects in really well with your point that this card synbolises a new beginning, or stage of life. "Poised on a new threshold" really says it! :)

Red Emma, I'm glad to have been of help, and I'm also glad that the card brings you good news. :)


magpie9 said:

floracove, I hope we do talk more about this deck, it's such a good one, and I really enjoy its symbolism.
I think we should make it a point to do so.
I know I'll learn alot, by what you've already shared of your knowledge background in pagan historical stuff!

Very interesting!


Magpie9: Thanks for the fascinating information!

Based on research of some time ago, it seems the mathematical features of pyramids in Egypt, South America, China; a temple in Palestine; & Stonehenge in England track the path of the Sun.

Thus far, have not read the Sacred Circle book. Is this type of information in the book, too?