Audio by The Reverent Marigold
a stained glass window depicting Judas Iscariot
In the Church of St John the Baptist, Yeovil England, one stained glass window depicts Judas with a black halo.

"Betrayed With a Kiss"

The patron saint of those who feel wronged by G-d or by fate;  those who have questioned or abandoned faith;  the betrayed;  and those who struggle with suicide.

three candles on a greed wreath
the Nine of Pentacles tarot card, upright
The Nine of Pentacles upright represents the creation of abundance, and the ability to now enjoy the fruits of past labour. It reveals a stable foundation of comfort, luxury, harmony, and rest — all as a reward for hard work. This is a well deservered success.
a church with a shining light at the top of its steeple
my judas rosary. at the end is an inverted crucifix paired with two sparrow shaped beads. the 'hail holy queen' bead is in the shape of cupid inside a heart. the 'hail mary' beads are all blue pearls, and the 'our father' beads are red with flowers carved into them. these are spaced out with additional black teardrop shaped beads. my judas rosary again, but now zoomed in on the inverted crucifix and sparrows at the end
This is my Judas Rosary! I made it myself, and all of the beads were chosen with symbolism in mind. For example, the crucifix is inverted in a way that's meant to borrow from the Hanged Man tarot card imagery, while the two sparrow beads represent Judas and Jesus' spirits.
a dove flapping its wings a dove flapping its wings
an altar inside an altoids tin. it has the Nine of Pentacles tarot card on one side, and a collage of images on the other depicting Judas Iscariot, and sometimes Jesus hugging him. There are also flowers, stones, and lace in the altar
This is the physical altar I made for Judas! It's inside an altoids tin, and at the bottom are some beads on a string — these are the same beads as on his rosary. I can remove these and use them like a miniature string of prayer beads :-). Excuse the weird colors in the gif, the altar is shiny in person and difficult to photograph.
a flower bush with butterflies flying around it
a digital painting of Judas hugging Jesus
I'm a big fan of Jesus Christ Superstar and its portayal of Judas. Here's a painting I made inspired by the musical! This is specifically based on the Swedish arena tour from 2014.
a wooden cross with flowers blooming on it
a small tan sack
Although you can't see it, inside this bag I keep a heart carved out of clear quartz. I've dedicated it to Judas, and sometimes carry it around in my pocket to use like a worry stone.

 Saint Judas Iscariot 

Judas Iscariot was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. He was chosen by Jesus/G-d for this purpose, with his role in the New Testament story already planned out ahead of time. In exchange for 30 pieces of silver, he revealed Jesus’ identity to the arresting soldiers of Caiaphas in the Garden of Gethsemane, therefor acting as the catalyst to Jesus’ necessary crucifixion.

No one can say for sure what motivated this action. Most modern Christians teach that Judas was truly moved by plain greed, with some going as far as claiming Satan (to them: true evil) had entered Judas’ body during this time in order to corrupt him. But alternatively, losing faith in Jesus may not have had any cruel intentions on Judas’ part. It's been recorded that some of the other disciples thought these 30 pieces of silver may have been taken by Judas in order to be redistributed towards charity. To a non-believer, the life of one egocentric false-god in exchange for the lives of many poor and marginalized people would have been a fair trade-off.

Also imaginable, is the possibility that Judas was fully aware of what he was doing. His supposed betrayal — as well as the clear sacrifice of his reputation — may have simply been what he knew needed to be done in order to help his beloved Rabbi achieve his own (much more acclaimed) sacrifice for all of humanity. They may have planned the arrest together, or Jesus may have instructed Judas outright to go forward with the arrest.

Regardless, we do know that even if he experienced a brief lapse in faith, for at least some time Judas was a devout follower of Jesus. Even after the arrest, Judas loved Jesus enough to became wracked with guilt over what harm was now being committed against his Rabbi.

While Judas' actions clearly led to Jesus' death, inversely it was also Jesus/G-d's actions that led to Judas' death by constructing this fate for him in the first place. In this way, Judas and Jesus' stories are perfect complements to one another. So it's no wonder why their relationship has been so deeply explored through both storytelling and study over the millennia since.

Notably, it should be added that Judas was unlikely to have been punished in the afterlife as many Christians claim — after all, Judas’ reward for his services was prophesized by Jesus himself. Mathew 19:28 states:

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones[…]’.”

This statement inherently includes — rather than excludes — Judas from the numbers, and is a statement which historians believe was very unlikely to have been falsely scripted by the Church in retrospect (as some passages are).

So not only was Jesus beloved by Judas, but he loved Judas in return.

In my practice

Judas is the only saint I work with directly. I consider him my patron saint and hold him very close to my heart. During my Catholic upbringing, his story was not one I was told very much about. I knew that Jesus had been betrayed, but little else. However, as an adult Judas' myth has now resonated with me a great deal and consequently I’ve been working with him for some time now.

I do not push for details on Judas' personal life, out of respect, but I gather that his spirit is doing well and is happy in the present day. With reference to his afterlife, I’ve drawn the Nine of Pentacles card upright; a card that depicts a robed figure walking through a serene and picturesque garden. This is a reading that promises abundance and comfort in exchange for previous labor and sacrifice. Now I use this card as a motif for him, since I find it an extremely comforting thought; almost like a personal reminder. Despite the hardships he faced during his time as a mortal man, and regardless of how his name is treated by others on Earth, all signs point towards Judas being happy and loved!

As a saint, Judas is very forgiving and respectful. When I speak with him I feel completely safe and protected, even from the other saints (who I like privacy from as an ex-Cath). In my experience, he’s clearly empathetic towards not only lost faith — but even towards the outright rejection of G-d! Despite his own allegiances, he never pushes any beliefs nor opinions onto me, and he never disregards mine. Additionally, he seems to be vaguely familiar with and sympathetic towards the lives of some non-Christian spirits I work alongside (granted, I don’t speak with any other saints so I can’t say for sure how unusual this is or not). Either way, I get the impression that Judas has the ability to act as something of a “go-between” between the Christian Heaven and those elsewhere (like me!) who would like to reach out from a safe spiritual distance.

To honor Judas, I make altars in his praise. This includes the pocket altar photographed on the left, as well as this webpage itself! I’ve also dedicated a handmade rosary to Judas, designed with his story in mind. Judas warmly appreciates these efforts, as I’m sure any saint would, but without ever demanding further devotion or worship.

As for offerings, what he loves most are donations to charity. These can be given either in his name or not, since the point isn’t at all recognition but instead: the act of charity itself. I’ve learned this fact both through tarot readings as well as first-hand, so I feel very confident in providing this advice. When I give money to the causes important to me, he seems more receptive to my efforts in reaching out. These causes have been in support of: healthcare (especially Planned Parenthood), reproductive rights, AIDs relief, medical debt relief, BLM funding, direct donations to those in need, and bail funds. The last of which Judas seemed especially grateful for.

I list these hoping to give you some ideas of where you could direct your money as well (and I'll be providing a few direct links below!), but please don't lose sight of the fact that the primary motivation of your offerings should be genuine passion and care, not self-interest in furthering your own magical practice. Beneficial mutual aid is never “tainted” by intentions, but Judas teaches us selfless charity. So with that all said, if there are any other causes which you personally feel a pull towards supporting — especially anything local within your community — it would be most productive to focus on those charities rather than indifferently following whatever lists you're given by others.

If money is tight for you, as it likely is, don't let that discourage you from helping in whatever small ways you're able to. For starters, any amount you're reasonably able to sacrifice is enough. Mark 12:41-44 states:

“[Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’ ”

Judas would like you to follow this mantra as well.

Additionally, If you can't spare anything financially, or if you’ve already given all that you can but still wish to offer more in Judas' name, surely any kind of charity work you're able to provide will be more than honored by him as long as it's important to you and helpful to others. Financial support goes a long way in our society, but it's not the only avenue available to supply relief. Volunteer work, acivism, habitual kindness, and even something as simple as spreading the word on who needs support, are all invaluable actions you can contribute.

Personally, I’ve also begun working for a local non-profit organization. My job position helps care for shelter animals, while the organization as a whole provides for my community in many important ways. Though I didn’t have Judas in mind while applying for and accepting this job, I like to think that my experiences with him helped guide me in this direction, and I look forward to all the different ways I’ll be able to honor him through my work going forward!