The Tarot contains many archetypes, especially in the Major Arcana. You could say that the lower cards are related to folklore and fairy tales, populated with common folk, animals, and royal courts; these cards represent the common, lower paths of personal development. The archetypical images in the Major Arcana are related to the esoteric mysteries of consciousness and the structure of the universe. The lower cards delineate a practical path through one of the suits, but each suit is a path of realization in itself. The trumps represent the path of the esoteric student. The lower cards show the minutia of daily life — the trials and tribulations of ordinary consciousness — while the higher “trump” cards represent universal concepts related to self-realization.
To anyone with the slightest interest in mythology, the archetypes in the Tarot are clear to see. For example, a goddess or god represents a guiding principle for humanity: the universal concept behind the figure is what makes it an archetype. An archetype is a symbol that conveys a universal concept, usually in the form of an image, that is instantly understood no matter its geographic origin; archetypes transcend cultural boundaries and temporal beliefs.
~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul by Aliyah Marr
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