Everybody gonna pray, on the very last day, when they hear that bell a-ring the world away!
This is the card of new beginnings, of rebirth, of the slate being wiped clean and everything starting anew. Like Death and the Tower, it’s a card of transformation, but unlike those two, it’s a card of transformation without destruction – and it is much more powerful than either of them. Absolution transcends and defies the power of death. There is rebirth not through discarding negativity, but through integration of all parts of the self. The spirit is cleansed and restored without loss or addition. It remains the same, but different.
Traditionally speaking, Absolution means you are going to be called to answer for your actions and inactions. But unlike in Justice, this isn’t about how you are to be punished or rewarded for what you’ve done. These things are instead resolved, so that you are allowed to move beyond them. You must understand what you’ve done and take responsibility for your past in order to truly put it behind you. It’s about knowing where you have been, so that you know where you should move to now.
This is an intensely spiritual card, a sign of self-development and evolution. Traditional tarot decks call it Judgment – the angels call, the trumpets sound, the dead rise, and the world ascends. You are made equal in the eyes of a higher power, you are called to stand and your chains are broken. You are freed from your past and your debts are paid. You have a second chance. Accept what is offered to you, and begin life anew.
You want that second chance. You want to be free. But you just can’t move beyond your past, and your previous actions are spoiling the opportunity you’ve been offered. You might have concluded that you can’t ever be forgiven for your past, to the point where you’re too ashamed to face your deeds – and as such, can never move beyond them. Or the idea that the slate has been wiped clean might just seem too good to be true, and you’ll ruin your new life with thoughts and fears of the old one. Or maybe you’re taking that second chance as an opportunity to fall right back into your old ways, without learning anything from the experience. Either way, the shadows of your old self are bogging you down, and you will likely regret your choices here. The day of reckoning will come someday, and you can’t run from it forever.