The Judgement represents the moment the sense of separate self is removed and the True Self is revealed or “remembered”. The Self calls and the call is heard.
Our intuition (the female figure; naked and free from egocentric distortions) prompts the active psyche (the male figure; also naked and free from egocentric distortions) to look up to the Self calling (the angel). That is: the psyche turns within and faces its source thereby realizing the Self. The blue figure represents a “spiritualized ego” rising from a tomb. This ego does not claim to be separate from the Self, neither does it claim to be one with the Self. Psyche and Self as Realized as Not-Two. This realization is not a mental stance.
The gist of this arcanum is that there is a prompting to look within and find the source of the psyche. The prompting can come from the Sun (a teacher for example) for some time. Eventually it becomes spontaneous and effortless.
This arcanum points at the ultimate moment of discrimination where the Self is (for lack of proper words to describe) known in its True Nature. The persistent and most subtle false notion of “me as an author of experience separate from the universe”, and all the restlessness and suffering that that implies, is absent in the realization of the True Self. “Deeds are done but there is no doer thereof”.
In essence, this is the same realization present in the Hanged Man. However then it was a total surprise; we were caught off guard. We had been serious spiritual workers but we had no clue about what we were working for. We were working to save the ego from death, no matter how well disguised the intent was. We had been sincerely working in ignorance and in the dark.
The Hanged Man’s surprise was of knowing that we are not what we thought we were therefore the immortality we were seeking was imaginary; the surprise of knowing that immortality is irrelevant altogether. Definitely, our view of the world and ourselves were turned upside-down. Immortality can be relevant only to the ego-identified consciousness. The True Self, realized in the Judgement, is timeless; it was never born; death does not apply.
Here, in the Judgement, after the Self has pierced the psyche (Hanged Man) and after a period of cleansing (Death) under the light of consciousness (Sun) the psyche has been purified enough of suffering, degrees of ignorance and doubt in order to allow it to align itself with Truth and “move” in the direction of Truth (rather than in circles within itself) without any hindrances.
The question may or may not remain:
The call is heard by whom? Who remembers or realizes the self?
If the psyche claims that “I remember” (as it also claims: “I forgot”) then the notion that psyche and self are separate remains, and the spiritual path remains in force as ignorance of “Self as Not-Two” is still in force. That means that the process started with the Hanged Man has not ended yet.
Some authors refer to the Judgement as the final realization. That is both correct and incorrect. It is not correct if the claim of “I realized” persists. If that claim is absent and does not return then it is final; all that remains is The World as the Realization that the call, the hearing, the notion of a path are and have always been the Self and nothing but the Self in manifestation. Specifically, spiritually, manifested as the divine hypnosis of “me-separate-from-the universe”.
From Strength through the Judgement we may cycle numerous times. Sometimes linearly, most often multi-directionally and simultaneously. These aracana represent the major factors in the spiritual development towards Self-realization.