~ Discovering the Wild Unknown Judgement ~
Today’s card draw in the Discovering the Wild Unknown series is Judgement.
I want to start off by providing an important notice, which will be included in all of this series. However, other things that will be included that you can skip to are:
- Card Description
- Considering the Card, where I look at how I would interpret certain imagery used
- Traditional Rider-Waite definition
I only include the latter as a comparison, to show how wandering down your own understanding of images and symbols can bring you to a similar meaning, though along a different path with different experiences. This is to help expand knowledge of the card.
I will not, however, be including the definitions from the guidebook, as that is not the point of this. Also, I don’t have rights to that material.
I started this series because I had read that people struggled with the deck purely because the definitions in the Little White Book were very Rider-Waite-based, and that there wasn’t much wisdom regarding the animals and symbolism chosen.
This series is to help you to decipher the meanings yourselves. I am by no means saying what I have to say about the cards are correct for anyone outside myself. However, I am providing my daily journal entries regarding the deck to act as a guide so that you can begin your own journey.
When I started tarot, I had no idea what to write in my journal, and thus didn’t. Instead I obsessively read and re-read the Little White Book belonging to the Spiral Tarot (which is why today I can completely quote the book). I didn’t trust myself to know the cards, even when I could recite the definitions. I was afraid to put the book down.
To this fear of lack of knowledge, Kim Krans, creator of The Wild Unknown, writes:
You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. It will be radical. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust.pp. 10-11, The Wild Unknown Guidebook
Description of the Wild Unknown Judgement
The Wild Unknown Judgement shows a giant white bird at the very top of the card. Its wings are open as it’s in mid-flight, and spans the width of the card. It faces forward, but looks down below, though exposes its underside.
The top of the card is completely white, though as the card goes down, outlining somewhat the white bird, it gets darker. The bottom of the card is messy, completely dark, and from this messy darkness rise black birds. They fly toward the white bird.
Traditional Card Meaning
Judgement is the step before graduation. It’s the card that represents having taken the tests, that final one, and knowing that—yes! You’re Done!
While the results of the exams are still in, there is relief that comes over you because you know you no longer have to wait in anticipation for the test. There’s no more preparation, there’s no more planning. You’ve done it. You don’t have to worry about it. In fact, worrying about it is pointless. You’ve done all you can. At this point, it’s a waiting game. Why not celebrate and acknowledge the hard work you’ve accomplished to get to this point?
What I derive from the Wild Unknown Judgement
When I look at this card, the song ‘Amazing Grace’ comes to mind. I think of the hard times that were had but through faith, strength was found. The darkness of the card at the bottom looks as though it is made up of a dense, dead forest, of naked trees so close together that you can barely see through them. Despite that, birds are rising up out of this forestry and toward this white bird at the top.
I think of the application of this card. It makes me think of addicts who have recovered, people who have been beaten by their partners but manage to leave, those who are suicidal but fight for the Will to live.
While I generally have seen this card as a test having been taken, and relaxing and celebrating that there are no more tests, I actually see that in a much deeper, more profound way. The comparison I often use is that this card is like taking final exams before graduating from school. The depiction of these dark birds coming out of the darkness toward this pristine light bird makes me think of far deeper hardships that someone might struggle through and rise above. No one can know how hard that test one, but everyone should celebrate that they made it out. They don’t know if it’ll last, if they’ll keep away from their addiction, keep away from their partner, or slip back into self-destructive ways, but in this moment, at the time this card is drawn, they have. And that success should be celebrated.
A lighter analogy might be a mother fighting to birth her child after a hard and intense labor. Often mothers say, ‘I can’t, I can’t,’ when they are exhausted. Yet, eventually the baby comes. It’s that moment of relief, when they know all the labor was worth it, and while they don’t know what comes yet next, they can be so grateful to be holding on to that tiny life.
About the Deck
The Wild Unknown Tarot is a 2016 Harper One publication, created by Kim Krans. The deck is widely available at most bookstores who carry Tarot cards, but also on Amazon. Kim Krans always wrote The Wild Unknown Guidebook.