In honour of this great festival I'm profiling XX Judgement from the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck. I have reproduced Arthur Edgar Waite's description of the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) card from the Pictorial Tarot and I have unpacked the Golden Age of Hollywood version so you can see the detail better.
But first - one of the images that didn't end up in the final version, but one I like and am posting because it's Halloween.
Halloween is a good time to be looking at XX Judgement. Halloween is a celebration of and for the dead. The veil between the worlds is thinnest at Halloween so communication with those that have passed is thought to be easier than at any other time of the year. But the card is complicated so I thought Halloween would be a good time unpack it.
Wishing everyone a very happy Halloween. Get out there and party hard! And watch some movies too!
Scenes from the movie...
The legend of the vampire is one of the most lasting themes in movies and culture since Bram Stoker's Dracula was published in 1897. Nosferatu (1922) was an unauthorised rip off of the novel and Stoker's heirs succeeded in gaining a court ruling to have all copies destroyed. Fortunately for us, one copy survived.
There have been many depictions ranging from Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s Lestat through to the more recent TrueBlood series from HBO. There are few spectres that constantly rise from the dead like the vampire tale and it is constantly being refreshed.
And yet these vampires, they seem to get ever more beautiful...
...from the 1994 movie adaptation of Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire".
Until there is this...
...my personal favourite.
How to read XIII Transformation
Usually called the “Death” card - number 13 of the major arcana. Some people find this card quite disturbing when they draw it in a spread. In the Golden Age of Hollywood deck I have called it “Transformation” as that is how it is usually interpreted. In my view it is the major tipping point card of the tarot deck. There are a number of cards that are also tipping points including The Wheel of Fortune and the Knights (or Foci in this deck), but this one is the most potent.
This card takes it’s meaning very much from the surrounding cards in a spread. When you get this card, the advice is to go with the flow - swimming against the tide isn’t advised. The change in front of you isn’t optional. You will end up in a better place but things might feel chaotic and uncertain for a time. Your opportunity here is to work with the change and grow rather than resist it and languish.
The Transformation card indicates changes that feel quite sudden, irrevocable and inexplicable, and are often life-changing. Sometimes major change feels terrible as it requires new skills, talents, resources and often relationships, but this always makes way for something new and better.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.