My Tarot History
I was first introduced to the Tarot when a friend in college excitedly told me he could do a “reading” for my future with this original source of intuitive cards for spiritual development. Once I viewed the compelling images of the 74 cards of the Alistair Crowley Tarot deck he presented, I was “hooked” for what is now 34 years of studying and presenting related workshops on the power of the Tarot to integrate and support self-healing and heightened awareness.
I expect to continue this wonderful exploration throughout the rest of my life. In a time when we reach, sometimes desperately, for transcendent meaning and timeless solutions to sustain and renew us, the Tarot offers many creative pathways to enlarge our perception and experience.
Mythic Origins in Atlantis
Precursors to modern-day playing cards, the Tarot, according to some reports, originated in ancient Egypt, even from legendary Atlantis, as an encoded source containing the secrets of the universe. Twenty-two cards called the Greater Arcana, deleted from present-day playing cards, are said to be the source of these universal secrets of spiritual power.
I frequently use the Greater Arcana as to enhance insight, awareness, creative expression, and mind-body healing with clients I see in my Centering™ practice. Each of the twenty-two cards speaks to us through commonly understood myth as an easily-translated spiritual metaphor that can have tremendous relevance to better coping with common life challenges. These metaphors provide transformational guidance which support integrative self-healing and development.
Greater Arcana as Archetypes
It has been said that the order of each of the twenty-two cards of the Greater Arcana describes the progressive journey of developing consciousness that we are meant to take as incarnating souls seeking enlightenment through our spiritually-directed experience on the earth plane. The titles of each of these cards are archetypes in and of themselves.
I like to use the Rider deck, which I feel offers powerful multidimensional images that easily lead the viewer, whether they are familiar with Tarot or not, into deeper levels of authentic, self-directed spiritual understanding which can then be well intuitively directed throughout one’s life. I also typically suggest as a reading resource any books by Eden Gray, particularly The Complete Guide to the Tarot, which offers clear, insightful descriptions of the meanings of each card and how to integrate the Tarot with astrology, the Kabbalah, numerology and meditation.
Archetypal Meanings of Each of the Greater Arcana
Join me in an imaginary romp through each of the metaphorical portals of the Greater Arcana and their corresponding archetypal titles as the necessary steps we must take as spiritual beings adventuring through lifetimes on the earth plane, to successfully complete our ordained evolution. Each card offers its own unique challenge as necessary healing and creative transcendence to support the next. And so we begin . . .
0 – The Fool. The challenge is to accept the fact that we cannot know, as we live our life, all that ultimately supports choice, and yet we must choose and accept responsibility for the choices we make. When we find and ultimately surrender to our spirits, we let them dictate our choices. This allows us to heal, evolve, and unleash the strength and power of this newly-integrated Self who can correspondingly change reality.
I – The Magician. It is this extended Self who can cocreate reality through drawing on divine inspiration, and shift experience.
II – The High Priestess. Now the spiritually aware Self has the power to discern how to express and direct spiritual understanding in the physical world, and keep its secrets as part of known spiritual responsibility.
III – The Empress. All the potential of abundance on the physical plane can be created and enjoyed as limitless possibility and full cognizance of the universal law which supports it, for integrating individual with common good.
IV – The Emperor. Conscious rulership over all decisions holistically directs intent and corresponding action to create right order and provision in the world.
V – The Hierophant. The capacity of rulership extends to create a divinely ordered society and be the spiritually responsible representative on the earth plane.
VI – The Lovers. The fully revealed and available divine masculine and feminine selves, integrated and balanced within enlightened consciousness, birth an integrated, loving being who is at peace within. All resultant experience becomes a mirror of harmonious, blessed relationships.
VII – The Chariot. The completely integrated Will can successfully direct all lesser parts of the Self toward higher, spiritually chosen ends with accompanying awareness and action.
VIII – Strength. Accepting the unconditionally loving gentleness of the spiritual center allows unending strength to correspondingly “gentle” all parts of the Self, especially the perceived shadow, to tame and redirect impulse toward divinely guided choicemaking.
IX – The Hermit. Matured through completed experience, one is free to undertake a spiritual quest for enlightenment to scale the heights of corresponding perception and understanding of the nature of existence.
X – Wheel of Fortune. Fully revealed destiny moves in alignment with consciously-directed, spiritually-guided action to create corresponding cycles of desired experience.
XI – Justice. The well-integrated personality is now free to eliminate any excess baggage that no longer serves it, and rebalance and support just outcomes.
XII – The Hanged Man. One is now ready to consciously choose to sacrifice the ego to resurrect the resultant spiritually-freed self to exist at the next highest level of consciousness.
XIII. – Death. A complete transformation occurs through the death of an old self and old way of life to “wipe the slate clean” for spiritual rebirth.
XIV – Temperance. Fully revealed spiritual consciousness experiences everything in moderation, and all in right integrated balance and direction.
XV – The Devil. A complete understanding of all that creates and support bondage in relationships through surrendering to the physical world by separating the Self and the Self in partnership from the spiritual world occurs through resultant experience.
XVI – The Tower. The above understanding extends to the world which must seed its own destruction through being built on a correspondingly faulty foundation, to insure necessary healing and enlightenment.
XVII – The Star. Awakened consciousness knows how to draw from fully developed intuition and accompanying divine guidance for integrated healing and resultant miracles.
XVIII – The Moon. Complete intuitive understanding integrates with all emotional cycles, and determines experience.
XIX – The Sun. The freed inner child can move through the physical world in trust, wonder and delight, and receive all corresponding gifts as expressions of the spiritual power of love, happiness, abundance and creativity.
XX – Judgment. The fully revealed spiritual determination of the truth of existence offers redemption for all linked beings, and the power of forgiveness.
XXI – The World. The whole, completely integrated spiritually aware being exists knowing oneself as the very center of the world and the Self who carries the world, and therefore chooses all reality, all experience as a reflection of the One.
Your Own Integrative Spiritual Journey
Where is your present experienced and spiritually directed step? Let each title speak to you and perform its own integration, offer its own path to self-healing and spiritual development.
May your journeys be fruitful. May you receive many blessings. May you find your own integrated sources of freedom and the way to lovingly extend these to all to whom you have the honor to meet.