The archetype of the soul who chooses to experience lifetimes on the physical plane. It is the metaphysical aspect of Being.
The soul lives through time and learns and grows traversing numerous incarnations.
The soul can experience five distinct phases or ages on the physical plane. If you are reading a website about Tarot and spirituality it is very likely that you are an old or late mature soul. So, these five ages will likely make sense to you intuitively. And some of their patterns may be recognizable to you in yourself and others.
In the early stages and early incarnations, it will focus on survival on the physical plane. The Magician is the central archetype in this soul age. It has to create the basics and the basis for life.
Focuses on structures such as family, blood 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 archetypes are The Empress, The Emperor, and The Pope.
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 archetypes are The Emperor and The Chariot.
“Me” has been fully explored in the young soul age. Now the Lover archetype 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 active.
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.
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 World.
After a large number of lifetimes lived old souls have activated all archetypes in the Major Arcana. However, in lifetimes when the goal is of a spiritual nature archetypes eleven through twenty are the most active.
Archetypes eleven through twenty concern the psychological aspects of the personality with respect to spirituality.
Archetype twenty-one represents that which is neither physical nor psychological, nor metaphysical, but the Essence of Being.