Not Yours

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Today’s card is Judgement from the major arcana

I realize we just had the Judgement card recently. I’ll put a link to that post below and in the episode notes for the podcast.

The standard trope is to say that we are repeating a mistake or we haven’t learned an important lesson. This is more benign than that. This is a good example of one card having different threads of meaning that step forward for different readings at different times for different people. We talk about that in “TaoCraft Portfolio” ebook which should be ready for the shops fairly soon.

But again, this serves as a good example of how one card’s meaning isn’t static, or written in stone, and just because you get one meaning in a reading one time, but a different meaning in a different session possibly with a different card reader doesn’t mean that one reading was right and the other one was wrong. It just goes to show that Tarot is a wonderfully adaptable and infinitely useful tool for insight. It is a lens and a portal into the energy and message of the moment, not some irrelevant, ossified pronouncement from on high.

The other day, the energy of second chances and compassion stepped forward. Today it takes on the judge-y ness and judgementalism that makes this card such a nemesis for me. Judgement in other decks is not so much of a problem. Especially in the Witches Tarot and other decks that call it by another name – Karma or what have you. The religious ideas and imagery of Pamela Smith’s artwork pushes old-issue buttons for me that aren’t really related to Tarot at all. Which in itself touches on today’s particular iteration of the Judgement card.

Writing the post earlier this month I realized that when I’m feeling judgemental toward something (or more importantly, someone) it is because that thing is something that would be toxic or detrimental to me. Why should I assume that is true for the other person?

Sure there are some absolutes. You would’t stand silent and let someone drink arsnic just because that isn’t your judgement or your choice….some things are bad for everyone. The same is true of outright racism, bigotry, violent rhetoric or dangerous misinformation. Yes, you oppose it because you judge it to be wrong…but that is the sound reasoning kind of judgement. That kind of thing is about the public spaces where people can come to harm at the hands of others. That’s a whole different matter.

Today’s card is talking about judging the private spaces of others by the measure of how those choices would affect us if they were ours.

Just because something would make us lesser if we did it is not reason to judge others for doing it. A small step in personal growth that we left in the dust ages ago may be a giant leap forward for someone else. Something that may be toxic to us might be nourishment for another.

I realize that is probably obvious to most people, but I’ve witnessed it happening all too much lately. This feels like one of those pushes from spirit where somebody somewhere might need to hear this even though it is uncomfortable and awkward for me to say. I feel pushed to say this for someone, even if it isn’t for most people. If all of this this doesn’t apply to you, by all means reject the message. Let the message flow to the one for whom it is a helpful thing. Let the energy turn on the light where it is needed, even if it isn’t for you.

Let me put it this way – I’ve learned, more recently than I care to admit – that when I catch myself feeling judgemental toward someone else, it is usually because they may embrace something that is harmful or toxic to me personally. Not that it is actively harming me, but in the sense that I view their whatever-it-is as a bad thing. For me to engage with whatever they choose would make me a lesser person. It is all too easy to project my understanding onto the other person. If X makes me a lesser person, then they must be lesser for choosing and embracing it. Again this is talking about the realm of subjective philosophy, not actual harm. Think of it It is the conceptual equivalent of a food allergy in a way. If one person has a severe peanut allergy, they judge peanut butter as a bad thing, and may feel judgemental toward peanut butter, so much so that their primal reflex is to slap a peanut butter sandwich out of other people hands regardless of whether the other person is peanut allergic or not.

I haven’t read it yet, but I’d like to. Buddhist monk Ajahn Sumedho wrote book entitled “Don’t Take Your Life Personally” I think what the card is trying to say today is don’t take other people’s lives and choices personally either.

Your choice is in how you react to circumstances. Beyond that, you have no say in many things. Other people’s choices are not yours.

related: the one measure