Thursday, 31 March 2022

The Tarot and Archetypes -- A Primer with an Example


A substantial part of the Ra Material touched on the Tarot cards designed by Ra for teaching adepts the blueprint of the evolution of the mind, body, and spirit. This is a difficult part of the Material to grasp, also may not be very important information for general seekers. Ra designed each of the Tarot card in the major Arcana to represent an archetype of the mind, body, or spirit cycle as planned by the Logos. Each development cycle contains seven archetypes: Matrix, Potentiator, Catalyst, Experience, Significator, Transformation, and the Great Way. This was specifically designed for this Logos, that is, the blueprint of development applies to the entire solar system.

When we process our life experiences through each archetype in the order planned for a cycle, we make progress in the corresponding cycle of mind, body, or spiritual development. Each tarot image gives hints to the characteristics of the archetype and its relationship to other archetypes. This article contains my understanding of the archetypes so far. It doesn't mean these understandings are correct nor they are complete. I write this as a helpful starter for anyone who is interested in the topic, and as an exercise to streamline my views so far. Please take what resonate and leave the rest if they are not helpful.

In my view, the cycles depicted through the Tarot cards is like a blueprint or map for our development. Each card contains the key elements of the archetype, but not how the archetype is experienced or used. Different people may utilized each archetype differently. It may be like a location on a map, everyone arrived at the same place may tell you completely different views and feelings about it. Each location provides an unique set of features but what one will experience at the location may vary. 

Ra also pointed out that the Tarot was a tool designed for the adepts. Who are the adepts? that's a question may require another essay to discuss. I am not very clear on this overloaded term. According to "The Children of Law of One" by Jon Peniel, an adept is someone who has experienced the Universal Consciousness, also know as enlightenment or samadhi. By this definition, I think most of the readers of this article, me included, have not reached adepthood. However, it seems to me that Ra defined adepts as someone who's no longer a "seeker" or beginner -- those who are interested in information beyond the veil but may not be clear how it relates to their higher goal in life --  adepts are those who has consciously chosen to live their lives in service, either on the STO (Service to Others) or STS (Service to Self) path. In this sense some of us are already adepts. Still, many may pursuit spirituality out of curiosity, out of a deep seeded yearning without knowing what it will lead to. In that case this document may not be very helpful to them. 

The Tools versus the Process

In Ra76.9, Ra talked about "arrive at the position of being able to become and experience archetypes at will". Many people, myself included, inferred from how the term "archetype" is used in psychology or how the cards represent in divination, tend to think that the archetypes represents some type of the personality that we need to assume, that we need to act certain way to be like the archetype. Ra has corrected Don multiple times (Ra92) when Don stated one archetype would do this or that. Ra pointed out the it's our mind/body/spirit complex that moves between the archetypes, not the archetype itself. 

The archetypes mark the toolset we utilize in our progress, but is not an actor in the progress (Ra92.17). Since Ra used the word "distill" a lot when describing archetypes, the archetypes may be seen as a set of filters we can use to turn the muddy waters that's the life experience into golden nectars that nurtures our mind, body and spirit. These filters need to be used in certain order to produce the desired outcome. The filter has basic features but is also customized by us with each use. Matrix is the basic filter that we all have to start, yet we are not consciously aware of it, initially only use/apply the filters instinctually or accidently. When we become aware what we want to accomplish in life, we can properly use these filter to accelerate the process. The cycle of filters is applied again and again through out our 3D incarnation to produce ever refined essence. Without the awareness of these filters, we can become stagnated. The Tarot describe the feature of each filter so we may properly apply them. 

The Symbols

The major Arcana of the Tarot deck are pictures illustrating the concepts Ra wish to pass on to us. Symbolic images are everywhere. Here I will summary a few frequently used feature.


Male figure represents the masculine principle, and female the feminine principle. Masculine principle represents the manifested, out-reaching, or conscious in terms of mind; Feminine principle represents the unmanifested, awaiting, or subconscious in terms of mind. They are heavily used especially in the archetypes of the Mind. 


Ra indicated that the square shape, or T-shape, such as a 90-degree bent leg, represents the 3D illusion, the environment of our incarnative experience.


Wings often represent the spirit. The location of the wings, upper or lower, may represent the current state of the spirit.

Left/Right, Dark/Light

The left side of the figure represents the negative nature or path (STS), and the right side represent the positive nature or path (STO). The same applies to the dark and light coloring.

Zodiac Symbols

Certain animal figures has their own symbolic meanings associated with Zodiac. "The signs of the zodiac run in this sequence: Ram, Bull, Twins, Crab, Lion, Virgin, Balance, Scorpion-Eagle, Centaur, Goat, Water-bearer, Fishes. Everything that condenses into matter is manifested on the material plane and runs its own lifetime through the full circle of the zodiac." They may be relevant to some Tarot images. 

Scorpion-Eagle: "The sign of the Scorpion-Eagle represents the great turning point when the crawling worm is transformed into a high-flying eagle, redeemed, a being that has awakened and become conscious in the divine self. The worm -- Scorpion -- must kill itself in order to become an eagle." (source of quoted sentences : "Initiation" by Elizabeth Haich, mentioned in Ra41.23).

The Mind Cycle - An Example

The Ra Material was only able to cover one cycle of the development in detail, the mind cycle. The seven archetypes in the Mind cycle also has a name associated with the image: Matrix - Magician, Potentiator - High Priestess, Catalyst - Empress, Experience - Emperor, Significator - Hierophant, Transformation - Lovers, and the Great Way - Chariot. 

I will attempt to use information from the Ra Material to explain meaning contained in the images. Hopefully, this will be helpful for continuing deciphering of the body and spirit cycle.  Keep in mind that this is an examination of power-ups, not how and when they are best used.

Card #1. Matrix of the Mind, the Magician

Matrix is the basic filter we are all equipped with. The Magician is the nature of the basic unfed mind. It is a male figure, indicating our conscious mind. The Magician has the power to manifest in reality. This is the nature of the Mind that creates and transmutes. On the Magician's right hand, he holds the symbol of the magical ability of transformation: a globe. 

His left hand points to a square cage with a bird inside, symbolizing the spirit trapped in the 3D illusion. The Magician is within reach of free the bird from its cage, but how? He could break the cage with brute force or his magic ability -- maybe this is the choice hidden within the Matrix. Knowing the Magician is knowing that we can create our own reality.

Card #2. Potentiator of the Mind, the High Priestess

The Potentiator generate the potential for future opportunities of learning.  It brings further Catalysts and Experiences into our existence. The High Priestess is female, indicating the potentiating carries out in our subconscious. I think a good example of Potentiator in action is in Ra53.8 where Ra explained that an UFO encounter Morris experienced as a child was the result of his "inner voice" altering him to see a thought form therefore "awakening in it the desire to seek the truth of this occurrence and of the experiences of its incarnation in general." In this case, the Potentiator worked by planting the seed for Morris' inner desire for further seeking.

Ra said that the dark and light pillars indicate polarity inherently exists in the Potentiator. Matrix and Potentiator forms a paired group with an inherent tension between and male and female principles. The Matrix is intended to reach for the treasure that the Potentiator can reveal. The Priestess's left shoulder is exposed, her right shoulder is veiled. I interpret it as the left hand path will appear more alluring and easy to reach while the right-hand path requires deeper contemplation to unveil. 

Card #3. Catalyst of the Mind, the Empress

The Catalyst is any events that alert our senses, in this case, alert our minds. It is also female, which means it works in the subconscious. Ra said Empress indicates the nobility (thus importance -- my interpretation) of the archetype (Ra78.36). The Empress sit on the square box that's our 3D illusion, perhaps indicating that Catalysts are always within our reach but "does not enter manifestation"(Ra92.27). On her right hand, she holds the globe signifying the magical nature of the mind. On her left hand, a bird with wing out stretching. Ra explained the significance of the bird in 93.10I take it as spirit directing the mind in processing of the Catalyst. The Empress' feet are on the left side, indicating a bias towards a left-handed (negative) interpretation of the catalyst (Ra93.8). Ra agreed with Don that the unstable platform beneath the Empress' feet indicating the processing of Catalyst can be easily swayed between the left-hand or right-hand path (Ra93.9)

Card #4. Experience of the Mind, the Emperor

The Experience is how an event is experienced by us, in this case, by the Mind. The Emperor is male, thus indicating the Experience is a conscious process. Like the Matrix and the Potentiator, the Catalyst and the Experience are a pair that informs each other. The Emperor also indicates nobility and that "through the catalyst which has been processed by the potentiated consciousness that experience may ensue."(Ra78.37) 

The Experience also sits atop the 3D illusion that's the box. The bird that was on the left side of the Empress (the Matrix) is now on the chest of the Emperor, indicating the spirit shown to the Catalyst needs to be internalized to result in Experience. Facing left, the attention is more easily drawn to the negative side of the experience (Ra94.15). Ra also indicates that the white cat sitting in the right side of the box indicating protection offered for the right hand path in the 3D illusion (Ra95.22). The emperor's right and left side signifies difference of the right and left-hand path approach in processing the experience. The stretching left hand and T-shape of the leg indicating the left-hand path carries out the experience through manipulation (Ra95.27), while the right hand retain the tool of transformation by the Magician -- the globe. 

Card #5. Significator of the Mind, the Hierophant

The Significator distills the essence processed from Matrix to Experience to aid in further polarization.  The wings above the picture indicating the Significator is guided by the spirit. The male figure is within the square frame instead of above it, indicating the Significator becomes conscious part of the 3D experience. Unlike in the Potentiator card where two pillars are of dark and light color, the pillars in the Significator are identical, possibly indicating no inherent polarity within the Significator. There is a small figure on each side of the Hierophant, dark on the right side and light on the left side, Ra said it indicates that negative experiences often produce positive (right hand path) progress and vice versa (Ra97.16). The difference in placement of left and right hand of the Hierophant could be an indication of actions of the left and right-hand path. The right hand is placed in the center of the body, indicating the importance of an open heart in the interpretation of the right-handed path. The left-hand holding a sward, indicating possible protective action resulted from fear based interpretation of the left-handed path. 

Card #6. Transformation of the Mind, the Lovers (or Two Paths)

The Transformation is a conscious choice of the Mind done from information distilled from Catalysts to Significator. The picture is pretty clear, the male in the middle is faced with the choice of the left and right-hand path. There is a genie with a bow aiming towards the left-hand path. Ra said it means the left-hand path being the path of separation, needs protection; while the right-hand path seeing others as self, does not feel threatened. (Ra99.8)

Card #7. The Great Way  of the Mind, the Chariot

After a conscious choice is made in Transformation, the Great Way results. The Great Way has many similar elements of the Experience and the Significator. Readers can build their interpretation from the interpretation hof previous archetypes. The wings below the Chariot indicating spirit's role in supporting the Great Way. The wing-like veil extending from the left top corner of the chariot probably has some meanings, but I'm not quite sure what. The lions that pulls the chariot are light on the left side and dark on the right. I assume again it indicates some type of balancing.