Archetypes in the Tarot

Jungian psychology contains a few key concepts that can be used to show how the Tarot might work. Carl Jung coined the term “archetype;” he believed that there was a collective conscious shared by all peoples, no matter their native beliefs or culture; archetypes are the universal fruits of that consciousness. Archetypes are very powerful symbols that directly communicate with a part of our brain that deals primarily in images — the right brain. Each image holds a great deal of non-verbal information which is much more accessible and direct than verbal or written language.

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.
~ Excerpt from The Tarot Key: Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul

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The Tarot Key
Unlock the Secrets of Your Soul

Do it Yourself Tarot
The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Read the Tarot

The Tarot of Creativity
Deck of 78 Cards


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