The Soul
Physical Manifestation / Choice
Tarot Major Arcana - The Popess
Expansion
Mastery / Control
Education and Social Rules
Emotional Relations / Passion
Accomplishment
Cause and Effect
Introspection and Assessment
Repetition or Cycle Exit

Worldly Path

the beginning

I call Arcana one through ten the Worldly Path because initially the soul is focused on world objects and experiences and is unconscious of its Spiritual nature. Some people refer to this phase as materialism, but in reality, the objects the soul focuses on can be mental as well as physical, and have a strong emotional component. During this period we could not care less about true spirituality. It is all a big party of desire and fear, of pleasure and pain, at the exclusion of inquiring into the source of all and what unites us all: Spirit. Things change when the Hermit begins to stir and do his job.

The Soul

The Fool

the soul

The archetype of the soul who chooses to experience lifetimes on the physical plane. It is the metaphysical aspect of Being. Throughout this site, I refer to it as “soul”.

The soul lives through time and learns and grows traversing numerous incarnations.

The text below is based on information channeled from the entity “Michael” (not the archangel, a different Michael). The text itself is not channeled. This is my personal interpretation and how I connect the dots.

INFANT SOUL
In the early stages and early incarnations, it will focus on survival on the physical plane. The Magician is the central arcanum in this soul age. It has to create the basics and the basis for life.

BABY SOUL
Focus on structures such as family, family lines, clans, and the security of groups including closed and/or tightly regulated religious groups. After learning about survival in the infant stage the soul now wants to retain security. The main arcana are The Empress, The Emperor, and The Pope.

YOUNG SOUL
Now that it feels secure the focus is on the individual and individual exploration and accomplishment. “I am the center of the universe”. “Me” is the most important thing here, often at the expense of all else and all others. Wars are a tool of self-expression. The main arcanum is The Emperor and The Chariot.

MATURE SOUL
“Me” has been fully explored in the young soul age. Now the arcanum The Lover kicks in and the focus is on the relationships between individuals. Emotion and empathy are developed. “We” is more important than only “me”. “You are like me, I am like you”. Social maturity and human rights belong to this soul age. While creating and paying karma goes on since the beginning, here it becomes more and more emphasized so The Hermit becomes more active.

OLD SOUL
The focus is on “being”, and the well-being of the whole. We and I and the whole are all One living organism. Wars become uninteresting and undesirable by any measure. Unconditional love and Being is what matters in this soul age. Those reading this are likely to be old souls, or late mature, at the earliest.

Spiritually speaking, younger souls mostly have no interest in the Hermit or on any of the following arcana. Their focus is almost fully on the physical plane which is represented by arcana one through ten — the Worldly Path. Spirituality is unconscious and when conscious it is projected as a divinity “outside” in the form of a mental object called God who allegedly is out there to make me happy or punish me.

The Hermit is an archetype that souls access more and more as the soul ages, it acts as a transition from consciousness focussed outward to inward; from the physical to the psychological. So late Mature Souls and Old Souls focus from the Hermit all the way to The Judgement; thus “from Strength to The World” I call the “Conscious Path”.

After a large number of lifetimes lived old souls have experience with and have activated all arcana. However, in lifetimes when the goal is of a spiritual nature arcana eleven through twenty are the most active.

Arcana eleven through twenty concern the psychological aspects of the mind with respect to spirituality. With arcanum twenty-one representing that which is neither physical nor psychological, nor metaphysical, but the Essence of Being.

Physical Manifestation / Choice

The Magician

choice

The archetype of choice and manifestation. The Magician is a manipulator of the elements and creator of objects and experience. He shows our fundamental desire to manifest in the physical world, thus choice is, by force, the first step in the arcana series.

Through the Magician we live aware responding to the requirements of life on the physical plane and to the natural creative impulses from Spirit.

We can also say the Magician represents “Free Will”. Although the notion that our will is “free”, that is: without constraints outside our control, is a form of imagination. The concept of free-will is in practical terms a mental tool to elicit awareness of choice and untapped power from a weakened individual, rather than a reflection of a general actual law.

Tarot Major Arcana - The Popess

The Popess

intuition

The archetype of memory and intuitive knowledge. Female, receptive, passive, introspective. The Magician embodies the creator or “chooser” of experience through choice and action. Experience generates memory. Memory is stored passively in the soul’s “memory bank”. That memory bank is the book the High Priestess holds. 

She is looking to her right, that is, at the Magician, and receiving the input from the choices he makes and thus the experiences he creates. Conversely, she is informing the Magician by making the knowledge of past experiences available to him so that he may use it in his present decision-making.

Thus the Popess is the archetype of knowledge gained through experience, rather than through teaching received from the outside, which the Pope is about. The Popess teaches passively, via intuition, via knowing, from the “inside”, while the Pope teaches actively through ideas and rules.

Expansion

The Empress

female principle

Now that the incarnation game is on, after creation and accumulation, expansion is needed to produce bodies for souls to incarnate in. We need a couple to procreate so we have the Empress and The Emperor next.

The Empress and The Emperor are simple but profound archetypes and mean much more than what we carry in between our legs.

They depict the two fundamental opposites to be found in duality manifesting in countless forms physically, emotionally, and mentally.

They represent modes of energy. Yin and Yang, passive and active, asserting and receptive, pleasure and pain, water and fire, female and male…

From a spiritual standpoint. The empress is the female archetype.

In its most basic and instinctive manifestation, it fulfills half of the reproductive function. Notice her scepter touching her genitals and the little green leaf sprouting from its base. We will see that same scepter in the Emperor’s hand while facing the Empress.

As the soul grows from being an animal into being a full human we come to embody the Empress in all that the female energy entails: receptivity, emotionality, adaptability, yin, softness, care, love, acceptance, humility, motherhood; as well as the distortions of all those qualities when manifesting in their negative forms.

Being incarnate in a male or female body is only one factor in the exploration of these two opposite energies and while in many cases the biology supports the energy, in many cases it does not. 

Female energy manifests in a male body and vice versa, in varying degrees and forms.

 

Mastery / Control

The Emperor

male principle

All that the male body and psyche entail: initiative, intellectuality, conquering, mastery, yang, action, protection.

Again, as the other half of reproduction, the Emperor’s most basic manifestation is that of procreation, shown by the scepter he is offering the Empress and hinted on by the egg under the eagle.

We incarnate in this or another lifetime to experience a male body and psyche. Build, control, explore, expand, be a boy, a father, defend or attack the weak, be a leader or a tyrant, etc.

Education and Social Rules

The Pope

rules

The archetype of education and dissemination of knowledge, rules and guidelines. Male, active. No need to ask, the priest will preach. Telling the “truth”, according to his own understanding, to those who do not know the truth. Teaching “right” from “wrong”. He represents law and social and personal rules in general; not only religious laws and rules. The bottom line is that the pope is socially placed a step above the rest of the people and the people’s behavior will be expected to conform to those laws and rules. The Hermit will eventually question those laws and rules and assess whether following them is spiritually beneficial or not.

Emotional Relations / Passion

The Lover

passion

The Emperor and Empress are archetypes of love focused on physicality. In The Lover, we are humans relating to humans on an emotional level, rather than merely physical. Choice based on emotion. Passion.

This is a male archetype. Choice means action. Thus the central figure is male. His feet pointing in opposite directions emphasize the notion of choice. Being between two human beings emphasizes that the choice is of an emotional character. The young woman’s hand on his heart re-emphasizes it.

Is this a new choice? (Young woman.) Or will he draw from previous experience to make it? (Older woman.) What does experience tell him is the right decision? Eros will compel him to make the choice. No matter what, the choice will be made. The heart will be moved.

There is a vulnerability in his position, shown by only his legs being uncovered and exposed. He is putting his neck on the line. The consequences of his choice inviting this or that person in his life will be his responsibility and his alone.

Being the archetype of love it is also the archetype of hate. Thus, since karma is rooted in emotion, The Lover bears the seed of the creation of karma through transgressions of will, as well as positive karma through genuine altruism.

Accomplishment

The Chariot

achievement

The archetype of achievement of goals or success in enterprise. It displays a male figure holding a wand, implying achievement is through action. If, as the Magician, we created something, it was for a purpose. This archetype addresses the achievement of purpose. It could be to build a church, become an engineer or artist, or commit murder, it does not matter. The archetype is about success, achievement, or accomplishment, regardless of the subject and of scale. The larger scale being the accomplishment of the soul’s plan for a particular lifetime, which will be screened by Justice and the Hermit and eventually turn the Wheel of Fortune as appropriate.

Cause and Effect

Justice

cause and effect

It has to be fair or else the soul becomes restless and peace is disturbed. The greater the perceived injustice committed the deeper the lack of peace. Thus this is the archetype of karma — cause and effect. 

The soul will seek the balance of justice so it will seek to pay for its transgressions and thus learn to live fairly towards others as well as ourselves. Likewise, the soul will seek to be paid if it suffered a transgression.

The soul will likewise measure the success of its own achievements and seek to “pay itself” if a goal was not achieved or a plan was not executed.

Justice is a law. It looks squarely at us and is ready to execute it shown by the upright sword. Is the heart as light as a feather? As in the Egyptian story of Maat? If so, we move on to a new cycle in the Wheel of Fortune and can enter the kingdom of heaven. If not, we go back and set things right.

Related article: Justice vs. Strength.

Introspection and Assessment

The Hermit

attention

The archetype of introspection, investigation, and assessment.

The mind turns within and begins to analyze all that has gone on before and question what the whole business of incarnation is about. Scrutinizing our choices and their consequences.

The Hermit, in its simplest form, means to “pay attention”, “meditate”, “be conscious”. It is not an attainment, it is an action or state of awareness.

The Hermit is looking at the arcanum Justice, to his right. Has it been a fair game? If so, at a particularly ripe time in the soul’s journey, we move forward and skip to Strength. If not, we enter the Wheel of Fortune and come back to the Magician to pay, as well as receive, by allowing others to pay us, and do justice. Here we have a hunch that we are more than animals or humans and that there is more to life than meets the eye.

The Hermit heralds and initiates the conscious spiritual path and can be said to be the initiator of spiritual work when such work is needed.

Related article: Justice vs. Strength.

Repetition or Cycle Exit

The Wheel of Fortune

cycles

The archetype of repetition and cycles. We do not do things only once. If we fail in the embodiment of the previous archetypes we will come back into incarnation and do it again until satisfied with the result achieved.

The soul’s measure of success for a lifetime is shown by the arcanum The Chariot. Have we done what we set out to do in this incarnation? If so, a new cycle may begin. If not, we may then repeat the plan. That is why Justice is right after the Chariot.

Besides accomplishment, there is another prime mover of the wheel. We cannot escape the Wheel of Fortune until debt is paid. The Hermit and Justice with their natural-law-abiding wisdom make sure of that. The sphinx figure holding the sword atop the Wheel of Fortune is Justice. It is touching the wheel and decides when to turn or when to stop the wheel.

The result of paying karma successfully (which the Hermit’s is an enabler of) and moving forward rather than cycling back, indeed is spiritual maturity, wisdom, integrity, and Strength. Those are requirements to initiate the next stage in spiritual work.

Related article: Justice vs. Strength.