Symbols And Archytypes



A symbol is an image, word or object, a reference point that draws you through it to some deeper meaning. Religions employ symbolic language & images as a path to the spiritual. Symbols are interpreted differently by different belief systems.


“As the mind explores the symbol, it is led to ideas that lie beyond the grasp of reason.” (Car I G Jung Man & his symbols)


Whether Major or Miner, each card conveys information through it’s scene or activity, it’s characters, their interaction, and the stance or attitude that seems to be depicted (passive / aggressive; friendly / hostile; aloof / close). A variety of symbols are imbedded in each picture. They effect our perception & activate our inner self. Symbols allow us to express facets of our experience & personality in an artistic presentation that is beyond language, but readily recognized by the subconscious. They bring together ideas that are not necessarily linked by logic. We may not be able to articulate them, yet we ‘know’ their meaning intellectually and in our hearts.


Tarot images are pictures of the things, people, events, ideas, and emotions that shape & populate the imagination. These same things, people, events, ideas, and emotions are recorded in many other works of the creative mind such as-fairy tales, soap operas, Greek tragedy, the bible, history books. They make up the stock characters & plots, the predictable crises, the continuing conflicts of human life. From the “other woman” to the idea of god, from the rite of the passage to the traveling flimflam man, all the constant figures and themes of experience are essentially just continuing variations on a group of basic forms-forms which come as standard equipment with every human imagination.


These devices are called the archetypes (in Greek meaning “first forms”), and they are found in all times and places and modes of expression, though their out ward manifestations differ.


One useful way to look at the tarot is an illustrated map of this archetypal realm. Another approach to understanding the nature of the tarot is to think of it as a language – composed of symbolic representations. Yet another way is to conceive of the tarot images as notes in a musical scale, each one having a different effect on the nervous system. And we may also envision the tarot as chapters in an enormous book which can be read in any order and each story will be complete & true. Every one must decide which way they are going to approach the tarot. They should choose the way that makes sense to them, feels most comfortable, & works most effectively.


NOTE:- Archetypes represent the sum total of the inherent potential of the human psyche. This is a huge in exhaustible treasure house of ancient knowledge dealing with the most profound relations between man & the cosmos. !!!


These archetypes are the universal qualities or patterns of energies operating with in each of us. According to Jungian analyst & Episcopal priest John Sanford, they are the “essential building blocks of the personality.” The central archetype-the unifying & organizing force at the core of our personality pushing us toward wholeness-is what Jung called self. Some Jungians call it the soul (in metaphysics the self is the one will. Our understanding of the will develops as we gradually reject the delusion that we are separate and recognize that we are the centers of the one being or one self.)


Well coming back to the major arcanas, they depict the greater mysteries of life. These are the major lessons which we have no control over. They act as guides to inner development, they depict universal forces with in us that are attempting to express to, or through, us. Our higher self may be bringing them to our attention as we progress in our spiritual journey toward wholeness.