The tarot cards are really a pack of archetypes. Archetypes are basic personalities or typical expressions of things. For example, the concept of a mother is an archetype. What we think of when we talk about a teacher would be another. Carl Jung worked a lot with archetypes as a part of the psychological frame work. A pack of Tarot cards contains many archetypes. Some of these are personalities, like the emotional brooding leader (King of Cups). Others are roles we play in life, like mother (Empress) and teacher (Hierophant). Still others are archetypal times in our life, when we have to gather our strength, to continue to push forward toward our goals. (9 of Wands)
The pack of 78 cards contains many of the aspects of life we face. There are cards we associate as “good” and cards we associate as “bad”. Ultimately all the cards contain positive and negative aspects. All of the cards can be represented in high energy vibration or a lower energy vibration depending upon your view point.
I was having a conversation with a friend, and the idea that all of the cards live within all of us came up in discussion. Sure there are cards, or archetypes, that we more readily relate to. I, for example, relate to the Moon card. It embraces the defined feminine. Additionally, the Moon is ripe with mystery. The Moon card has the magic of the night within it. It speaks of a childhood running through the woods, with flashlights, playing in the sand near a bonfire next to a glistening lake, and sitting peacefully in the grass in awe of the Aurora Borealis. The Moon card is associated with the sign of Pisces, which furthers my connection to it. Even though I love the Moon card and associate it to myself, it does not define me. It is not all of me.
I hate to see the Devil card come up in a reading for myself. I do not like to think about my associations to this card. What am I chained to? What aspects of myself do I not like and shy away from “looking” at. What addiction may be holding me back? But, however much I do not care for this card, lets face it, we all have aspects of ourself we do not like. So, although this card is not full of the beauty and mystery of the Moon, it too is a part of who I am. It comes with helpful advice to look at those parts of myself and my behavior that are preventing me from stepping forward into the next glorious phase of my life.
Ultimately we are diverse and complicated people. Our lives ebb and flow between happy times of celebration and troubled times of growth. Both are necessary to help us appreciate the good and move towards being better. Which of the archetypes of Tarot cards do emulate today? Which do you hope to be tomorrow?