I didn’t remember this version when I turned it over today. At the time of buying this deck, I would probably not have realised that its imagery isn’t wholly traditional. In this illustration, Archangel Michael (who appears in the Christian legends of Judgment Day) is shown defeating the satanic dragon.
Even though the title assigned to this card is Reaping Rewards, I usually see Judgment as a time of waking up and responding to some kind of calling.
We often think of a calling as being something major. In some cases it is, but this card can bring about a need for change after reflection and evaluation within everyday scenarios as well. There will be times when we look at things and decide what we need to take forward in a situation and consider what we must leave behind. We make our own judgements.
What decisions are you making for today? What realisations have you come to? Did you wake up this morning and smell the coffee, so to speak? Today is about shaping your future and using both your instinct and intellect to instigate change. When I look at this version of Judgment, I see Michael as making a stand; he defeats what is no longer important, once and for all, because he knows he cannot move forward on his journey without dealing with it.
Illustration from Winged Spirit Tarot by David Sexton, published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc. 1999