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22 archetypes

22 archetypes

The Major Arcana is the name given by occultists to the trump cards of a tarot pack. They are typically numbered from 0 to Prior to the 17th century, the trumps were simply part of a special card deck used for gaming and gambling. The terms "Major" and "Minor Arcana" are used in the occultand divinatory applications of the deck as in practising Esoteric Tarot and originate with Jean-Baptiste Pitoiswriting under the name Paul Christian.

Michael Dummett writes that the Major Arcana originally had simple allegorical or exoteric meaning, mostly originating in elite ideology in the Italian courts of the 15th century when it was invented. The construction of the occult and divinatory significance of the tarot, and the Major and Minor Arcana, continued on from there. Each Major Arcanum depicts a scene, mostly featuring a person or several people, with many symbolic elements.

In many decks, each has a number usually in Roman numerals and a name, though not all decks have both, and some have only a picture. Every tarot deck is different and carries a different connotation with the art, however most symbolism remains the same.

The earliest decks bore unnamed and unnumbered pictures on the Majors probably because a great many of the people using them at the time were illiterateand the order of cards was not standardized. Both placements are considered valid. By the 19th century, the tarot came to be regarded as a "bible of bibles", an esoteric repository of all the significant truths of creation. Etteilla is primarily recognized as the founder and propagator of the divinatory tarot, but he also participated in the propagation of the occult tarot by claiming the tarot had an ancient Egyptian origin and was an account of the creation of the world and a book of eternal medicine.

As the following quote by P. Ouspensky shows, the association of the tarot with Hermetic, kabbalastic, magical mysteries continued at least to the early 20th century.

The fact that we question the Tarot as to whether it be a method or a doctrine shows the limitation of our 'three dimensional mind', which is unable to rise above the world of form and contra-positions or to free itself from thesis and antithesis! Yes, the Tarot contains and expresses any doctrine to be found in our consciousness, and in this sense it has definiteness. It represents Nature in all the richness of its infinite possibilities, and there is in it as in Nature, not one but all potential meanings.

And these meanings are fluent and ever-changing, so the Tarot cannot be specifically this or that, for it ever moves and yet is ever the same. Claims such as those initiated by early freemasons today find their way into academic discourse. Nicholson [11] uses the tarot to illustrate the deep wisdom of feminist theology. Santarcangeli [12] informs us of the wisdom of the fool and Nichols [6] speaks about the archetypal power of individuation boiling beneath the powerful surface of the tarot archetypes.

In the popular mind, tarot is indelibly associated with divination, fortune telling, or cartomancy. Tarot was not invented as a mystical or magical tool of divination. There is a line of development of the cartomantic tarot that occurs in parallel with the imposition of hermetic mysteries on the formerly mundane pack of cards, but that can usefully be distinguished.

It was the Comte de Mellet who initiated this development by suggesting that ancient Egyptians had used the tarot for fortune telling and provides a method purportedly used in ancient Egypt. Etteilla 's original method was designed to work with a common pack of cards known as the piquet pack. Marseilles tarot deck. The society subsequently went on to publish Dictionnaire synonimique du Livere de Thota book that "systematically tabulated all the possible meanings which each card could bear, when upright and reversed.

Following Ettielle, tarot cartomancy was moved forward by Marie-Anne Adelaid Lenormand and others. She was so popular, and cartomancy with tarot became so well established in France following her work, that a special deck entitled the Grand Jeu de Mlle Lenormand was released in her name two years after her death. This was followed by many other specially designed cartomantic tarot decks, mostly based on Ettielle's Egyptian symbolism, but some providing other for example biblical or medieval flavors as well.

By the early 18th century Masonic writers and Protestant clerics had established the tarot trumps as authoritative sources of ancient hermetic wisdom and Christian gnosis, and as revelatory tools of divine cartomantic inspiration, but they did not stop there.

In that book, Christian identifies the tarot trumps as representing the "principle scenes" [ dubious — discuss ] of ancient Egyptian initiatory "tests".

Decker, Depaulis, and Dummett write:. At one stage in the initiation procedure, Christian tells us These twenty-two paintings, he is told, are Arcana or symbolic hieroglyphs; the Science of Will, the principle of all wisdom and source of all power, is contained in them. Each corresponds to a "letter of the sacred language" and to a number, and each expresses a reality of the divine world, a reality of the intellectual world and a reality of the physical world.

The secret meanings of these twenty-two Arcana are then expounded to him. Christian's attempts to give authority to his analysis by falsely attributing an account of ancient Egyptian initiation rites to Iamblichusbut it is clear that if there is any initiatory relevance to the tarot trumps it is Christian who is the source of that information.Tarot Archetypes 4 The Gods of Olympus.

Fresco by Giulio Romano, Gods of any mythology are clear representatives of different archetypes. Here is a list of keywords for those archetypes and their meanings in short.

Archetype Keywords The archetypes are symbols to which we all can relate. They represent significant aspects of life - people around us as well as events. Not even C. Jung, who was the one to make new use of the old Greek term, made a complete list of archetypes.

He just stated how they work in the human mind as well as in society, and gave a number of examples in his writing. The Tarot consists of 78 cards - 22 in the Major Arcana and 56 in the Minor Arcana, which is in turn divided into four suits with 14 cards each. Each can be said to represent an archetype. That's quite clear regarding the Major Arcana cards, but not always with the Minor Arcana.

What the cards symbolize depends on how they are illustrated.

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In some Tarot decks only the Major Arcana and the face cards of the suits are illustrated. Not the pip cards. In others, like the Rider-Waite deck used on this website, every card is illustrated. That makes a difference as to how they should be interpreted, and therefore also what archetype they should be assigned.

In the following list I focus on the Rider-Waite deck, when extracting keywords for the Tarot cards. Still, in some cases I deviate slightly from what the illustrations suggest, when the symbol the card carries points to an archetype that needs to be interpreted differently. Note that there is no general agreement on the archetypes and meanings I suggest below. Some are less controversial than others, but still trust your own intuition more than this list. Each user of the Tarot needs to be clear about what the cards mean to her or him in a reading, whatever other users claim.

Major Arcana Archetypes The 22 cards of the Major Arcana are easy to connect to their respective archetypes, however they are illustrated. To no surprise, these cards are generally regarded as the most important and significant of the Tarot.

In a divination spread, Major Arcana cards mark the most important events or circumstances. Actually, the Major Arcana cards can be described as archetypes in their own right: The archetype of the Magician, the archetype of the High Priestess, and so on.

Still, they need to be specified and explained, which is what I have aimed to do with the keywords below. Here are their archetype keywords, with short explanations of what they can mean in a reading: The Magician Wizard : surpassing the plausible. The High Priestess Secret : hidden influence. The Empress Benefactor : gentle power. The Emperor Supreme ruler : irresistible power. The Hierophant Priest : spiritual authority. The Lovers Love : intense affection. The Chariot Conqueror : success in spite of resistance.

Strength Hero : a great feat. The Hermit Solitude : isolation. Wheel of Fortune Chance : the unpredictable. Justice Judge : the rule of law. The Hanged Man Martyr : sacrifice.In literature, an archetype is a typical characteran action, or a situation that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature.

Many literary critics are of the opinion that archetypes — which have a common and recurring representation in a particular human culture, or entire human race — shape the structure and function of a literary work. Such experiences include such things as love, religion, death, birth, life, struggle, and survival.

These experiences exist in the subconscious of every individual, and are re-created in literary works, or in other forms of art. He or she is a character who predominantly exhibits goodness, and struggles against evil in order to restore harmony and justice to society.

Such a character may be represented as a Fairy God Mother, who guides and directs a child, Mother Earthwho contacts people and offers spiritual and emotional nourishment, or a Stepmother who treats their stepchildren poorly.

Examples of a mother figure include:. He or she is inexperienced, with many weaknesses, and seeks safety with others. Others like him or her because of the trust he or she shows in other people. Usually, the experience of coming of age comes in the later parts of the narratives.

Examples of innocent youth include:. His or her task is to protect the main character. It is through the wise advice and training of a mentor that the main character achieves success in the world. Examples of mentor include:. It is a duplicate or shadow of a character, which represents the evil side of his personality.

Examples of doppelganger in popular literary works include:. A character whose main function is to go to any extent to oppose the hero, or whom the hero must annihilate in order to bring justice. Examples of villain include:. The main character takes a journey, which may be physical or emotional, to understand his or her personality, and the nature of the world. Examples of archetype in journey include:.

The main character undergoes experiences that lead him towards maturity. Examples of archetypes in initiation include:. It represents the clash of forces that represent goodness with those that represent evil.

Examples of this archetype include:. The main character falls from grace in consequence of his or her own actions. Examples of archetype in fall include:. The use of archetypical characters and situations gives a literary work a universal acceptance, as readers identify the characters and situations in their social and cultural context.

By using common archetypes, writers attempt to impart realism to their works, as the situations and characters are drawn from the experiences of the world. Archetype Definition In literature, an archetype is a typical characteran action, or a situation that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature.Archetypes are energetic imprints that exist in the psyches all of us, even though throughout history we have tended to externalize these archetypes as Gods, Goddesses, and planets.

For instance, the 11 known celestial bodies of our solar system Chiron included are often misrepresented in astrology as forces out there, acting on us. It is when we disown the energy of any particular planet within us, that we misconstrue the influence of that planet as a malefic trouble maker! The 22 archetypes of the Major Arcana come to us from the shadowy realms of forgotten pre-history, in all likelihood part of a wisdom that once passed for general knowledge, yet was lost in the looting, pillaging and burning of Hellenic and Alexandrian libraries.

That said, the tarot re-emerged in medieval times, was fortified in the late 19th century mystery schools a la Aleister Crowley, and with the mass distribution afforded by modern games companies, have seen a major resurgence.

Although Tarot cards have long been used as a parlor game and fortune telling device, Tarot archetypes are a key to 22 expressions of soul energy, and to the 21 steps we take on the journey of soul growth.

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The 22nd archetype is the Fool, who represents the vagabond traveler we all are through out the cycles of incarnations on the physical plane. Twenty-two might seem like an awfully crowded room, a giving us a psyche of Sybil-plus proportions. However, there are really 10 core archetypes, with the remaining 12 representing a deeper level or another layer of one of these primary archetypes. One way to imagine our psyches is as a room full of 10 pregnant women, two carrying twins.

The room IS crowded, it just doesn't seem unmanageable because the other 12 are nascent and dormant beings that have yet to be born. It is an evolutionary challenge as a species, then, to begin to express the 12 Higher Archetypes by giving birth to and nurturing them in our lifetimes. So who are the all star cast? This is your assignment in life, your mission impossible, your destiny Young Skywalker.

It is the archetype that challenges us to the greatest growth in this incarnation. In that respect, it can be seen as our most undeveloped archetype, the supporting actor of other lifetimes that has risen to top billing in this one. You can run, but you can't hide from your soul archetype. It's lessons are the mandatory course requirements for graduation in this lifetime. While everybody comes into this world with a primary archetype assignment, some of us wild and crazy souls arrive with a double course load.

Major Arcana

These are arguably the old souls who've been around and around the karmic block, multitaskers who have taken on the challenge of two archetypes. On the other hand, these just as well could be souls who failed the last grade and are doing make up courses!

Key 0, The Fool Tarot: The 22 Archetypes of the Major Arcana with Shannon Port

Who knows, but my experience of what I call Dual-Soul people is that they invariably live two separate lives--part one expressing the primary archetype and part two the Higher archetype. Most often this shift occurs once the individual has mastered the primary archetype, and is free to tackle the more complex vibration of the Higher archetype. Possibly the role of these individuals is to raise the collective to a higher level of spiritual awareness. Or to just bug the hell out of us!

OK, this is deceptively simple, and I've heard it before. It needs to be some algorithmic equation of Pythagorean complexity in order to be meaningful. The most profound truths in life are always the simplest! First, take your date of Birth and do the math below.

We'll use "Dan" as our first example. Dan is born Sept. Because 23 is Higher than 22 the last archetype of the arcana we must reduce the number think of making gravy from watery stock! How do we do this? Dan's Primary Soul Archetype then, is 5. You will see in the next article that 5, is the Hierophant.

Dan then, is a Hierophant Soul. Think Pope! However, there are those with dual souls. Lets take "Sindy" as an example.They are the wisdom archetype embodied in human form. Within the wisdom archetypes there is a balance between the left-brain rational capacity and the right-brain intuitive talent.

In other words, these archetypes help you check in with both your head and your heart.

Appendix: A Gallery of Archetypes

Gut responses are tested against common sense. Action is measured and skillful. Words are not wasted. Opportunities to learn wisdom are in everything from painful to joyful experiences, there is no distinction.

Wisdom can come from a flower or a bush, a great teacher or a grocery store clerk. The wisdom can come in a flash or build over time. With one of these archetypes, the power of the sacred, is taken more seriously than what is apparent to the five senses. This person understands that there is more than meets the eye.

What is happening now is the consequence of a vast number of preceding choices and invisible forces. Acting in the light aspect of a wisdom archetype makes you a messenger for the divine. Someone with the guide, crone, or sage archetype is a channel for divine guidance and does not take this responsibility lightly. Friends, loved ones, and clients benefit from the stellar advice of a wisdom archetype. With the wisdom archetypes, there is no place for solutions. That is not your job.

The job is to guide someone through the chaos of the ego and into the order of the soul. This is not about weighing all the options and definitely not about having any of the answers. It is about asking the right questions, listening, and offering cosmic truths to accompany people on their voyage. The guide, crone and sage archetype are spiritual teachers.

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They impart knowledge about the nature of the cosmos, the mystical laws, and universal truths. Traditionally, the sage archetype is seem as the masculine manifestation of the guide archetype, but this is changing. Both women and men can have this archetype. Typically, the sage archetype is associated with age. Elders feel most comfortable calling themselves sages. Many people come into the sage archetype later in life.

22 archetypes

I think we say too often that young people have an old soul. On the other hand, someone born with the sage archetype has the capacity to bring through the wisdom gathered in past lives or the collective unconscious. That is if they are able to temper the pride that can come with such power. By staying humble and reverent of what they have access to as well as in close contact with their elders, the wisdom of young sages can be extremely transformational in a community.

Another archetype closely associated with seniority, the crone archetype is synonymous with the Wise Woman.

As part of the trinity of maiden, mother and crone, this archetype embodies the culmination of feminine wisdom. Images of a small, white-haired, wrinkled and slow moving old lady come to mind with the crone archetype. Women who carry the crone archetype are likely to seriously and tenderly mentor younger women and to commune with peers in full-bellied, open-hearted displays of humor.The archetypes listed here in boldface type are just a few of the many ancient patterns that exist in human consciousness.

Many additional archetypes that are closely related are mentioned in parentheses, such as Hermit found under MysticTherapist under Healeror Pirate under Rebel.

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Remember that all archetypes are essentially neutral and manifest in both light and shadow attributes. Accordingly, I have tried to include both sets of attributes for each listing, along with cues to help you determine whether a given archetype may be part of your lifelong support team of twelve. In evaluating whether an archetype is part of your intimate group, pay special attention to whether you can perceive a pattern of influence throughout your history, rather than only isolated or recent incidents.

Never evaluate your connection to an archetype only by obvious markers. You have to stretch your imagination and burrow into yourself to discover your life patterns, lessons, and gifts. This inner knowledge does not surface easily.

Every one of us is touched by the Addict archetype. The only question is how much of our lives is consumed by it. Besides the usual suspects—drugs, alcohol, food, and sex—one can be addicted to work, sports, television, exercise, computer games, spiritual practice, negative attitudes, and the kinds of thrills that bring on adrenaline rushes. In its positive aspect, this archetype helps you recognize when an outside substance, habit, relationship, or any expression of life has more authority over your will power than does your inner spirit.

22 archetypes

Confronting addiction and breaking the hold that a pattern or substance has on you can impart great strength to your psyche. Discovering the empowerment that comes with perseverance has a life-long impact, becoming a reference point for what you are able to accomplish.

From a symbolic perspective, the shadow aspect of the Addict represents a struggle with will power and the absence of self-control. People who are extremely intellectual or emotional frequently have a close link to this archetype, because they struggle to balance these powers.

Without this internal balance, the will may give up its power to an external substance that exerts authority, providing shadow order to your life. The shadow Addict compromises your integrity and honesty. Many addicts, for example, steal as a means of supporting their habit. Although that challenge is a part of all of our lives, the degree to which an addiction controls you and your lifestyle determines whether the Addict is part of your intimate family of twelve.

For instance, you can be inconsistent in your exercise program yet quite disciplined in your spiritual practice. Needing a substance or practice or person so intensely or regularly that you compromise relationships, finances, integrity, character, or emotional and psychological well-being, however, indicates that you should look very seriously at this archetype as a possible choice.

People who relate to this archetype have recognized early on a passion to transform social concerns, specifically in behalf of others.Technically speaking, an archetype is a primal pattern of thought—inborn, instinctive, and imprinted on every human's subconscious mind.

Carl Jung, a psychotherapist and a colleague of Sigmund Freud, was the first person to popularize the theory of archetypes. He studied dreams, myths, and legends, and concluded that we're all born with an innate ability to understand archetypes.

22 archetypes

In fact, he said, we're all pre-programmed to look for archetypes in our everyday lives, because they serve as a framework for our understanding of the world. Jung's descriptions of commonly recognized archetypes include the hero, the maiden, and the wise old man. Other archetypes include the animathe feminine aspect of a man's personality; the animusthe masculine aspect of a woman's personality; the mother, which typifies a nurturing, emotional parent; the father, a physical, protective parent; the trickster, or rebel; and the shadow, the hidden, antisocial dark side of human nature.

Every card in the Major Arcana embodies an archetypal figure:. The Fool is the happy wanderer who sees the world through the eyes of a child. Most tarot experts agree that the Fool represents each of us—naive travelers through life, off on a grand adventure, out to learn whatever experience the tarot can teach us.

The Magician is the skilled and cunning master of all he surveys. He represents an individual in control of life's tools and techniques, like those on the table in front of him. Typically, they include a cupswordpentacleand wand —the four symbols of the Minor Arcana. The High Priestess is the enigmatic keeper of spiritual secrets. Secretive and guarded, she knows the secrets life holds—but she shares them only with the wise.

The Empress is the archetypal mother who nurtures and protects all of her creation, including humankind. The Emperor is the authoritative protector and provider who rules the known world. A father figure, he brings order out of chaos so that civilization can prosper.

The Hierophant is a symbol of traditional authority and influence. He's the head of a hierarchy, determined to maintain his religious and cultural traditions.

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The Lovers embody the twin principles of opposition and attraction. While an appearance by this couple could encourage any hopeless romantic, the card also signifies a choice to be made between two equally strong desires.

The Chariot is a vehicle for forward motion and change. The young charioteer is in command of his physical and emotional drives, even when they seem to oppose each other. Strength is the lovely lady with the heart of a lion.

She gently holds the jaws of a powerful wild cat, patiently controlling a force that could otherwise eat her alive.


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