Oooooh, spooky cards for Halloween: reversed Judgement and The Priest. If you’re familiar with the Rider-Waite deck, you know that Judgement typically shows dead people rising out of their coffins. What could be more spooky? And the Priest, a symbol of spirituality, on the day when the spirit world is supposed to be at its closest to our own. Do you have goose bumps yet?
I didn’t draw from the Rider-Waite deck (where the Priest, anyway, would have been the Hierophant), but from the Samurai Tarot. Here, the Judgement card shows a woman apparently considering whether or not to throw herself from a cliff, and, at the bottom of the cliff, what I will call her “shadow self” looking up at her cheerfully. (It’s okay–the shadow self can be cheerful!) The Samurai Tarot book says that this card represents the depths, and counsels us to be honest with ourselves and to judge with the heart. The Priest, on the other hand, represents flow — a perfect companion card to reversed Judgement. Because if we let go of our need to judge, what do we end up doing? Going with the flow.
Note that we should not always drop judgements and go with the flow. In the presence of evil acts, for example, Judgement is certainly called for. We don’t want to flow towards evil. But if we are striving to be less judgemental and more understanding in our lives in general, the idea of “flow” can show us the path. What is the Priest doing? Observing the flow neutrally. We can take the position of patient observer when we want to suspend judgement. As long as we’re okay with where the current flow may carry us. Do you see how the concepts of judgement and flow are neutral? Neither one is better than the other. We have to use wisdom to decide when to deploy judgement and when to deploy flow, and patience, in our lives.
But if you see a ghost today — a real ghost, or a ghost of the past rising up in your own soul — I feel relatively safe in counseling reversed Judgement and Flow. The dead are dead. They cannot hurt us. Don’t pick up a dead samurai’s sword and stab yourself with it. There’s no need for that. Likewise, don’t fight the ghosts, and don’t run from them. There’s no need for that either. Be neutral and observe. Expect the flow to take you somewhere that you will appreciate, somewhere that satisfies a deep need.