20 could be obtained by be 10 + 10, expressing on one hand the individual and on the other hand the universal, but taken just as 20, it is neutral and expresses a state without activity, resulting in stability.
The Being, immobilized, looks at the completed cycle, one in the realm of the personal with 1 through 10, and the other one universal with 11 through 20, and makes ready to embark on a new movement forward. He compares his assets and losses, the consequences of his actions, and makes a judgement about himself in order to learn whether the first phase of his evolution is over—that which led him to the World—or if he will obliged to resume his journey with the Fool.
General and Abstract Meaning
This Card signifies THE INESCAPABLE CALL OF THE DIVINE AND THE SPIRITUAL PLAN IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, REQUIRING AN EXAMINATION AND REVIEW OF WHAT HE HAS GAINED AND WHAT EXPERIENCES HE HAS HAD.
In the symbolic interpretation of the figures and details of this card, the angel represents the divine part which Man, being incarnate in the material world, has left in the divine plane; the angel is represented as a human figure because Man, during his incarnation has need of seeing himself and reflecting on himself in his image. The two wings, flesh colored, show that that which he has abandoned momentarily is able to be brought closer to him, and his arms, being red, indicate that this divine part can be reached and drawn through the deepest matter where it could sink. His yellow hair testifies to the fact that this part of Man is of an intelligence which is in its essence divine, and that he is not able to take it with him into the material world. He is surrounded by blue clouds, because often Man loses every trace of this part of himself, hidden to him, but he has the ability to separate these clouds and to see again his own divinity while elevating himself through spirituality and intelligence.
The trumpet signifies that Man is always able to hear the voice which calls him. It also symbolizes the vibrations which awaken his sleeping consciousness in order to cause him t osee the fruits of his actions and their inevitable repercussions. The rays, by alternating blue and yellow, indicate that the intellectual, divine part of Man, although not incarnated, reflects its incarnation which it cannot ignore in because of the link between the two. The absence of blue rays comes the fact that the angel, being in the realm of the divine, has no need of spirituality. The pennant, white with a yellow cross, indicates the abstract nature of the divine plan, intangible for us, and impenetrable without the spirit (the yellow) of sacrifice (the cross). This penetration is inevitable because the divine plan is a devouring flame which softens the incarnations of Man towards it, as evidenced by the pennate attached to the trumpet, in other words, the emission of the vibration which wakes Man up and calls him to the divine.
The two figures facing us represent humanity, male and female, and their state of consciousness is symbolized by the third figure whom they contemplate. This one has her back to us, expressing also the fact that this state of consciousness is secret, and she looks at the angel who is known only through the divine. She also represents the state of mind which permits Man to find that which he will forsake when going back to its source, and will make it possible to be incarnated anew. [Translator’s note: I am puzzled by this. “Elle représente encore l’état de conscience qui permet à l’homme de retrouver celui qu’il laissera en remontant à sa source, et lui rendra possible de s’incarner à nouveau.”]
The posture of the two figures facing us signifies that, in order to know one’s state of consciousness, it is necessary to collect and examine oneself as if in a mirror. The hair of all three figures is blue to show that the material world is only able to evolve when a ray of spirituality has touched it.
These three figures do not refer just to Man, but to the awakening of that which is more material, symbolized by the tomb, in the actions performed on the three planes: physical, spiritual, and mental. They adapt themselves also to everything which lives on the earth, because when the state of consciousness is awakened, everything that is alive approaches its creator.
There are three of them and not a multitude, in order to signify that consciousness is only awakened in an individual’s life and not in collective life.
The tomb is green to indicate that the sepulchre, an image of death, far from being sterile, possesses an enormous power of fertility.
The ground is yellow and the figures are not coming out because it is only slowly, and with the assistance of divine intelligence that Man emerges from the depths of his material being; the difficulties of his journey are symbolized by the rough state of the soil.
This card comes after the Sun to show that Man has taken his origins from the vibrations of the divine force and that he is not able to realize them in harmony, except through a succession of returns to the Earth; although he remains in contact with the heights through the divine part of him, there is nevertheless a suffering part of him which belongs to the incarnation, because, if it is an integral part of God, it is also an integral part of the Material Cosmos.
Position of the Figures
In the position of the figures, the motionless one, seen from behind, suggest stopping, inaction, while the two others, slightly turned, a woman on the right and a man on the left, sho the contrary orientation of activity and passivity, that which, in this card, makes come to a halt, because they are fixed on the figure seen from behind.
The angel is moving forward, but his action is expressed through his trumpet, to motivate the activity of the lower world towards the spiritual.
Specific and Concrete Meaning
The name “JUDGEMENT” has been given to this card, not in the sense of justice, but that of comparison and evaluation of the human being through his own mind.
Meanings as They Relate to the Three Planes
MENTAL. The call of Man to a superior state, his disposition towards and his desires for elevation.
ANIMISTIC. The lack of spiritual radiation.
PHYSICAL. A good card. Library work, compilation, classification. Stability in a good or bad situation. Health and equilibrium.
INVERTED. Error in one’s own affairs or in general, hardships resulting from an erroneous judgement.
In sum, in its Elementary sense, JUDGEMENT represents Man, awakened from sleep in the material world by his divine part, which obliges him to examine his soul in its nudity and to judge it.