top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichael Stern

Contemplating Archetypes: The Judge and The Tear

This article was originally published in the Integral Alignment newsletter. Subscribe here.

I like archetypes. I also like tarot-style decks. They are both great tools for self-inquiry.

So I was excited recently to draw my first cards from The Wild Unknown: Archetypes deck.

Seeing as they are archetypes, I thought they might be relevant for you, too.


(August 1, for the New Month.)

Immediately after pulling the card, a bunch of judgments arose, including judgments about my tendency to be judgmental. (For real. I laughed out loud.)

I gazed at the card, letting the images do their work.

Then, as I sat contemplating The Judge, the essential question arose:

Am I living in alignment with the deepest truth of my heart?

At the moment of my death, when I must reckon with my life and myself, how will I fare?

Finally, I read the description of the card in the guidebook.

“When this archetype remains unconscious or is captivated by fear, wise discernment turns into painful judgment of self and other. Ironically, The Judge’s energy can be the seed of racism, bigotry, and fear-mongering. This is The Judge out of balance - building walls, separating from 'other.' When this same discerning force is made conscious and healed, however, The Judge may be found advocating for civil-rights causes, standing up for the underdog, providing resources for those in need, and forgiving again and again. Love is the deciding factor. Awakening this archetype is essential for the complex times we are in. Get your judge in order - the world needs it.


(August 3, for the Full Moon.)

The past few days I had been in touch with a sense of grief, with the fragile and fleeting nature of life, both precious and painful. It was subtle, sacred, and slippery - hard to look at directly, hard to hold steady in conscious awareness.

The Tear seemed to be speaking to that.

From the guidebook:

“Tears are droplets of letting go. Often The Tear is what is needed in order for a situation to break into its next level of intimacy or vulnerability. Through our watery eyes the ancestors catch a glimpse of us, and we are reminded of their eternal embrace. We sense our humanity, our humility, and we allow ourselves to be held. It is likely this card appears when there is grieving yet to do, a sinking down into disappointment or despair that, once acknowledged, will bring a shimmer of clarity to our dewey eyes.


The Judge.

Discernment. Advocacy. Right Action. Compassion. Truthfulness. Righteousness.

The Tear.

Mourning. Release. Opening. Allowing. Flowing.


Where have you built walls, perhaps seeking protection but instead simply increasing disconnection?

What do you need to let go?

Do you give yourself space to grieve?

Are you in touch with the fragile preciousness of life?

Are you living in alignment with the truth of your heart?

If not, what would you want to change? What are the obstacles? Where can you find support?


I'm curious to hear how these archetypes resonate for you. Hit reply and let me know.

1,189 views0 comments


bottom of page