In the act of forgiving, we perceive ourselves offering a key to another. And it is in this motion that we unlock our own shackles. 

Judgement is one of the most challenging cards to process in the tarot. Reflective of our current moment in history, Judgement reminds us that it is near impossible to not be full of rage. To not inundate ourselves with anger. To not judge others for not doing enough. What could be enough in this world? Just before the end of the major arcana, Judgement invites us, once again, to confront our personal karma. To surrender ego under the light of consciousness. To permit ourselves the embrace of the divine. Even in the face of atrocity. Especially if we are working to dismantle it.

A teacher shared with me today, “choosing the right path isn’t necessarily easier but it does feel lighter.” To embody Judgement is to make a conscious choice. A choice to rise above the material. A decision to witness all life with divine compassion. This does not mean that we do not hold those who commit wrongful acts accountable. It does mean that we choose not to be consumed by pain we did not create. It means we take responsibility for our part in our pact with the universe. It means we refrain from forcing others to feel our experience, a task which they can never fully effectuate. It means we choose not to obsess over people or situations which, ‘if they were just so’, would not make us feel whole. It means we choose to consciously forget, set aside, surrender, do away with whatever itch is driving us mad.

In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. writes of the four stages of forgiveness*: 

  1. to forego - to leave it alone

  2. to forebear -  to abstain from punishing

  3. to forget - to aver from memory, to refuse to dwell

  4. to forgive - to abandon the debt

These four stages do not necessarily always follow this exact order. We are invited, in the wake of rage, to practice of at least one of them at all times. To be actively in this cycle is to gain experiential understanding of Judgement. 

In the first stage, we pause. We commit to not doing anything about it. We take a break from the incessant babbling in our brains. This is a practice of detachment for the letting go that comes later. Estès encourages us in this time, to focus on something else that is strengthening for the soul. To turn to another subject. To write, draw, and dance. To go to natural places. To soothe the body with whatever healing sweetness speaks to you.

In the second stage, we build focus and patience so the “great compassionate nature can participate”. This stage invites us to not react. To turn our attention to how we would be if this thing were not causing us so much hurt. It is not to stop protecting the self, but rather to look outside the problem. To seek assistance. In this stage we avoid agitating ourselves back into conflict. 

The third stage is one of conscious forgetting. This is radically different from denial and is beneficial medicine to the forgetter. It is important to note that this stage develops agency because it is something that you can do for yourself. “To forget is an active, not a passive, endeavor.” It is to push the pain out of your foreground. It is to release your tight grip on whatever aches. “We practice conscious forgetting by refusing to summon up the fiery material, we refuse to recollect.”

The final stage can be conspired in so many ways. What is important is that you make a conscious decision to surrender the debt. This is different from saying that a wrongful act wasn’t wrong. It is not the same as surrendering yourself to someone or something that will continue to hurt you. It is distinct from giving up. You forgive when you make a decision to no longer need anything from the one who inflicted or is inflicting violence upon you. The ritual with which you seal this decision is of your own fashioning. You will know when you have forgiven when you are no longer waiting for anything. When you are not preparing to react or respond, you are free. You have liberated yourself. You have risen above. You have held yourself long enough, with compassion, under the veil of consciousness. You have transformed to a loving witness who will keep walking along the growing, wild, unfolding path at your feet.

*Pinkola Estés, Clarissa (Ph.D.), 1992, 1995, Women Who Run With the Wolves, pgs. 401-403, New York, NY: Random House Publishing

WHAT EVEN IS A TAROTSCOPE? We often think of horoscopes as predictions that are specific to each astrological sign. In Ancient Greek, the term horoscope simply means "I watch the hour." To astrologers today, a horoscope is a chart that maps the planetary bodies in the sky. From this chart, we derive meaning that can influence how we work with energy. Regardless of our unique individual charts, we are ALL working with the same energy from above. Each week, I examine this energy, pull a tarot card and write a guided meditation with the collective in mind. My tarotscopes are meant to be read as inspiration. Please note that because we are all operating with our individual energy, some elements will resonate more than others. Take what you like and leave the rest. Tarotscopes are offered freely in an effort to cultivate collective healing. I am always grateful for your support in sharing this work with anyone you think it might help. If you are inspired or find support here, please consider making a donation to help sustain these weekly offerings.