20: Judgement

A raucous jazz funeral for the entire universe – or for the old self you’ve climbed out of. Send it off with a celebration, remember the good parts, and look forward to the next round. Have you noticed yet that almost every card about ‘change’ so far advocates taking the risk and having fun with it?

Cool blue suffuses this card; this must be the mournful part where you remember what’s done and gone. But pretty soon she’ll be blowing hotter tunes on that horn, jamming her way into a new cycle. Spirits fall upwards, reaching for the next thing: another try? oblivion? flight and glory after being freed from their earthly chrysalis? I don’t know which and you don’t either. None of us can; we can only hope that there’s something interesting after the end. Dance and jam while it lasts, my little cats and kittens, because eventually it’ll be over when you least expect it. And yet the music goes on; there’s always someone out there to pick up the the tune if you played it well enough.

Traditionally, this one’s all about the End Of The World, when the Christian God folds it all up, sits down with the Devil, and works out the score. But sitting here at the beginning of the twenty-first century, looking back at one technological “revolution” following ever faster on the heels of the last one, one might begin to think that the world is *always* ending! But we’re creating a new one as fast as the old world crumbles around us; creation and destruction are continuous acts, not one-time events. Who are we to put a flag at one particular point in time and say, “Here begins the New Age”? Pick an Age in history, whether it be personal or global, and ask yourself when it truly began; the borders are blurry. We’re certainly a long way from the Cambrian Age, at least. But where did the Medieval Era really end? You can’t say that it ended when people stopped thinking with that era’s logic because there are still people thinking that way right now. Probably even you! What’s more medieval than a Tarot deck?

Maybe it’s a good time to sit back and ask yourself what age is ending, and what new age is about to begin. Pick up your horn and play me out of this world – is it time to take your craft, musical or not, to the next level? That’s a judgement right there. Think you’re good enough to go pro now?

(The cyclical nature of creation and destruction is reflected in the palette: blues fade towards white at the top – but our saxophonist is in a pure white dress. Maybe she’s floating up from an older Judgement herself. Maybe she’s just the closest person in this mass of spirits, and the only one we can see in any detail…)