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by Cerulean

Card Meaning
Artistic Media
Artist's Bio


This card illustrates a modern allegory of Judgment. Traditional images of Judgment include a man, woman and child awakening from tombs when the music of a trumpet sound from an angelic host. In this card, the man, woman and child are in different stages of sleeping, waking and dreaming. Their expressions and reflections of life passages and death are quieter than the traditional European images.


Small streamers of hiragana calligraphy on the card were traced from an Issei (first generation) pioneer. On a festival day in celebration of ancestors, she wrote a script from a famous poet, Lady Shikibu. The poet echoes the Lotus Sutra passage of the "long night adds its curse to our lot. Out of darkness, we enter into darkness". The old meanings and symbolism of traditional Japanese and European scenes showing the weighing of souls for good and evil deeds on Judgment Day can be dark and dire. Lady Shikibu added an element of hope in her last poem, a prayer:"Now I set forth out of darkness on yet a darker path. O blessed moon hovering over mountain rim. Shine clearly on the way I take ahead."

The Eastern scripts and insects from the Land of the Dragonfly blend with the vision of the woman in profile, the child's waking dream and the young man's reviving thoughts. They all are being revived and dreams of their past souls and passing are falling away. A Salvador Dalisque image to the right is under the calligraphy for "hovering over the mountain rim."

Certainly the humming of wings of the spirited insects call a more tender note to the gentle sleepers than a blast of trumpets to waken the people from mortal sleep.

Card Meaning

Revival, rebirth, passage from death into life, reflection of past actions. Illumination and enlightenment.

Artistic Media

Each of the images and calligraphic script was hand-drawn or altered at least three to five times. The original elements were then scanned into a lighter black and white design and handcolored with pastel and color pencils.

Artist's Bio

Cerulean Mari is experimenting with concepts related to Eastern and Western studies. Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free tarot reading with this deck.

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