- English: The Last Judgement
- French: Le Jugement
- Italian: L’Angelo
- Letter: Rēsh ר
- Astro: Jupiter (Thierens) Saturn (Papus)
The Last Judgment. I have spoken of this symbol already, the form of which is essentially invariable, even in the Etteilla set.
An angel sounds his trumpet per sepulchra regionum, and the dead arise.
It matters little that Etteilla omits the angel, or that Dr. Papus substitutes a ridiculous figure, which is, however, in consonance with the general motive of that Tarot set which accompanies his latest work.
Before rejecting the transparent interpretation of the symbolism which is conveyed by the name of the card and by the picture which it presents to the eye, we should feel very sure of our ground.
On the surface, at least, it is and can be only the resurrection of that triad—father, mother, child-whom we have met with already in the eighth card.
M. Bourgeat hazards the suggestion that esoterically it is the symbol of evolution—of which it carries none of the signs.
Others say that it signifies renewal, which is obvious enough; that it is the triad of human life; that it is the “generative force of the earth… and eternal life.”
Court de Gebelin makes himself impossible as usual, and points out that if the grave-stones were removed it could be accepted as a symbol of creation.
Behind the Veil¶
I have said that this symbol is essentially invariable in all Tarot sets, or at least the variations do not alter its character.
The great angel is here encompassed by clouds, but he blows his bannered trumpet, and the cross as usual is displayed on the banner.
The dead are rising from their tombs—a woman on the right, a man on the left hand, and between them their child, whose back is turned.
But in this card there are more than three who are restored, and it has been thought worth while to make this variation as illustrating the insufficiency of current explanations.
It should be noted that all the figures are as one in the wonder, adoration and ecstacy expressed by their attitudes.
It is the card which registers the accomplishment of the great work of transformation in answer to the summons of the Supernal—which summons is heard and answered from within.
Herein is the intimation of a significance which cannot well be carried further in the present place.
What is that within us which does sound a trumpet and all that is lower in our nature rises in response—almost in a moment, almost in the twinkling of an eye? Let the card continue to depict, for those who can see no further, the Last judgment and the resurrection in the natural body; but let those who have inward eyes look and discover therewith.
They will understand that it has been called truly in the past a card of eternal life, and for this reason it may be compared with that which passes under the name of Temperance.
Change of position, renewal, outcome. Another account specifies total loss though lawsuit.
Weakness, pusillanimity, simplicity; also deliberation, decision, sentence.
I saw an ice plain, and on the horizon, a chain of snowy mountains. A cloud appeared and began to grow until it covered a quarter of the sky. Two fiery wings suddenly expanded in the cloud, and I knew that I beheld the messenger of the Empress.
He raised a trumpet and blew through it vibrant, powerful tones. The plain quivered in response to him and the mountains loudly rolled their echoes. One after another, graves opened in the plain and out of them came men and women, old and young, and children. They stretched out their arms toward the Messenger of the Empress and to catch the sounds of his trumpet.
And in its tones I felt the smile of the Empress and in the opening graves I saw the opening flowers whose fragrance seemed to be wafted by the outstretched arms.
Then I understood the mystery of birth in death.
If Saturn denotes ‘death’ and the grave, what more natural than that his counterpart Jupiter should stand for the resurrection from the grave?
While Saturn, Lord of the mineral kingdom, is held to ‘kill’ by his crystallising effect, Jupiter, Lord of the vegetable kingdom and of all that grows and expands and evolves, leading up to sublimation and elevation, abstraction, etc., afterwards, is first the emblem and function of organic life, later on also those of psychic and spiritual life above the material existence, barren and naked, from which it consequently brings deliverance.
The latter meaning is chiefly viewed when symbolising this principle in the card of the Last Judgment.
“An angel sounds his trumpet per sepulchra regionum and the dead arise.” (W.)
Some people say “that it signifies renewal, which is obvious enough …” and “that it is the generative force of the earth and eternal life.” (W.)
The latter fairly covers our definition of Jupiter’s function.
Again W. further mentions, that it “is the card which registers the accomplishment of the great work of transformation.”
Which is also in the line of Jupiter, Io Pater, ‘Our Father that is in the Heavens.’
And every great work needs his co-operation; there is no important or great work done in this world without Jupiter, the planet of ideals playing a prominent rôle in it.
Ideals, that “are the angel part of us,” as Zanoni tells his disciple.
So this card stands for ideals, religious, social or any other and for the elevating effect they have on man; for ideas and leading motives, aspirations, etc., consequently for generalisation, illumination, dispersion, elevation, for all that is honourable on one hand but also for illusions or vain aspirations on the other hand.
It is the sign of deliverance from narrow thought and hampering conditions in the soul as well as in the body and in life.
The card is identified with the Hebrew letter Resh, which “is the head of man, and it is therefore associated with the idea of all that possesses in itself an original, determined movement.
It is the absolute sign of motion, good or bad, and expresses the renewal of things with regard to their innate power of motion.”—”Return to the divine world.”—”Vegetable life.” (P.)
Yes. We might say: thought-power and the idea of motion which it implies and imparts.
Jupiter was the first and chief of the Gods, Theoi, Movers.
An Angel in the heavens blowing a trumpet, to which a standard with a cross thereon is attached. The Dead rise from their tombs. It signifies Renewal, Result.
Renewal, Result, Determination of a Matter.
Postponement of Result, Delay, Matter re-opened later.
20th Hebrew letter (Rēsh ר)
The hieroglyphic meaning of the Resh is the head of man, and it is therefore associated with the idea of all that possesses in itself an original, determined movement.
It is the sign of motion itself, good or bad, and expresses the renewal of things with regard to their innate power of Motion.
The Resh is a double letter, and responds astronomically to Saturn.
An angel with fiery wings, surrounded by a radiant halo, sounds the trumpet of the last judgment. The instrument is decorated with a cross.
A tomb opens in the earth, and a man, woman, and child issue from it; their hands are joined in sign of adoration.
How can the reawakening of nature under the influence of the Word be better expressed? We must admire the way in which the symbol answers to the corresponding Hebrew hieroglyphic.
- Return to the divine World. The Spirit finally regains possession of itself—
- ORIGINAL DETERMINED MOTION.
- Life renews itself by its own motion—
- VEGETABLE LIFE.
- The material world progresses one degree in its ascension towards God—
- THE VEGETABLE WORLD.