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The Tarot--an esoteric look at the energies at work

{written by : Carol Powel-Smith}

Article word count : 1885 -- Article Id : 481
Article active date : 2008-09-01 -- Article views : 13526

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Article is about :
The major arcana is reviewed in detail, showing how Archetypal energies relate to the Tarot.

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The Tarot is a pictorial representation of the forces of Nature as conceived by the Ancients according to a use of conventional symbolism.

Early Qabbalists thought that Numbers and their interplay best described the Universe. The Tree of Life attempts to connect the ideal meaning of a number with the actual number.

For example the number 7 contains the idea of Venus. Venus is the ruler of the 7th Sephirah on the Tree of Life.

In Tarot :

Aces represent Kether---Fire
2’s “ Chokmah---the idea of Fire
3,4,5 each becomes less ideal and more actual
6 the energy is balanced
7,8 the energy is spiritualizing itself
9 the energy is purified and balanced
10 materialization, but with seeds of renewal

Tarot keys 1-10 represent the essential ideas of the Tree of Life. The Court cards and small cards form the skeletal structure of the Tarot and act as a map of the Universe.

The Court cards represent Father, Mother, Son and Daughter ARCHTYPES.


THE FOOL KEY 0/22--- represents Mankind, the limitless energy of Spirit. You are the Fool, but do you know it?
The Fool takes Life as an adventure to be enjoyed. He inspires us to be open with others and with ourselves. He is the trickster/clown Archetype. He is the originating and animating principle, the suggestion of possibilities to come.

Spiritually, the Fool is open, unbound, and unquestioning love of the universe. He is the power of the soul that makes life interesting. He reminds us not to take life too seriously.


The first 10 Major Tarot cards depict the crucial strengths we need on our journey.


1- THE MAGICIAN Discipline to translate ideas into action;
knowledge of natural process

2- THE HIGH PRIESTESS Seeker of deeper meanings; tuning into hunches

3- THE EMPRESS Motherhood; feminine sexuality, generative forces
that bring ideas to fruition

4- THE EMPEROR Fatherhood; masculine sexuality; confidence,
5- THE HIEROPHANT Mastery of the spiritual self

6- THE LOVERS Recognition of opposite aspects of
7-THE CHARIOT Ability to achieve and persevere

8- STRENGTH Ability to resolve conflicts between the
conscious and unconscious
9- THE HERMIT Recognition of the Divine within

10- WHEEL OF FORTUNE Adaptation to change; recognition and
understanding of cycles


Major Arcane Keys 11 through 20 depict tests and challenges we must face. The first 5 Keys represent the toughest test we will encounter (Keys 11—15).
The Keys 16 through 20 are a mixture of tests and dilemmas we have to face, not as hard as the previous ones.


11- JUSTICE To balance instinctual and analytical abilities;
to identify opposing qualities. Searching for

12- THE HANGED MAN To define situations; expand perspective;
reversing false images

13-DEATH To abandon outmoded or false attachments;

14- TEMPERANCE To resolve tension of opposites; the Higher Self
in action

15-THE DEVIL To identify projections and shadow content;
acknowledging your hidden recesses

16- THE TOWER To destroy false conceptions; reorganizing the

17-THE STAR To develop meaning and direction in life;
Universal guidance
18-THE MOON To develop ability to wait for “hunches” to ripen;
cycles of inner development

19- THE SUN To learn to balance conscious and unconscious
material; renewal

20- JUDGEMENT To develop a sense of self within a greater
community; explore inner aspects of self.
A summons that is heard and answered within.

THE WORLD KEY 21 represents Unity, Integration, and Wholeness on all levels.
This Key indicates we have passed through the challenges and tests and we know how to act within the appropriate structure.

This energy heralds the completion of a cycle and the potential beginning of a new one.

Archetypal Energies of the Tarot

KEY O—The Fool Krishna, Dionysis Archetype of Unconditional Love

One must give oneself completely in total trust.

KEY 1—The Magician Hermes, Mercury Archetype of Illusion & Reality

Helps you to interpret situations rightly & not be afraid of appearances—the Light will win. Brings creative intelligence & causes shifts in consciousness so that you can see what is true and what is false.

Key 2—High Priestess Isis, Persephone Archetype of Creative Wisdom

A bridge or channel between your higher & lower natures. Brings sudden insights & wisdom.

Key 3—The Empress Demeter Venus, Aphrodite Archetype of Abundance

The power to create and attract love, beauty, harmony & material prosperity. She dissolves feelings of insecurity, lack & limitation, family discord, sexual & career problems.

Key 4—The Emperor Zeus, Osiris Archetype of Power & Authority

He works with the Empress in bringing Divine thoughts into manifestation. He controls the energy vortex through which the magnetic powers converge if not blocked by ego projections. Positive attributes are: vigor, vitality & strong decisiveness with reliance on the will of God.

Key 5—The Hierophant Chiron, the High Priest Archetype of Spiritual
This is a contemplative energy. Within it is a Divine force that will create new vibrations of higher understanding. An energy of a deep understanding that you are the creator of your world.

Key 6—The Lovers—Paris, Anubis Archetype of Loving Relationships

This represents the life force of masculine & feminine opposites bonded together & complimenting each other in one specialized causal power. It represents responsibility for making choices illustrating duality unified. This energy heals and harmonizes relationships & deepens our awareness of our Divine consciousness. It seeks to prove there is really only one relationship & that is with Divine Consciousness.

Key 7—The Chariot Ares, Serapis Archetype of Victory & Triumph

This energy steers you to your goals along the path of least resistance, circumventing problems before they arise. It brings tenacity, persistence & boldness. Use this energy to shift from “need’ to “have”.

Key 8—Strength Heracles, Daughter of the flaming sword Archetype of Spiritual Strength and Will

This Archetype is a synthesis of feminine & masculine energies, since aspects of strength & will are blended into one power of force. Strength is passive, Will is active. Yet strength provides the force to give power to will.
This Archetype brings enthusiasm, confidence, inspiration & vitality. The lion is the ego which must be controlled before the advent of Christ Consciousness.

Key 9—The Hermit Cronis Archetype of Discernment

This Archetype works with us intuitively to give us perception and discrimination so we know what doors to walk through. The Hermit is the seeker after truth on the path to enlightenment. He strives for unity, harmonizing the conflict vibrations. His goal is to help to see the way, to see through the illusions. To see through the fears, conflicts and confusions which arise from our blindness to the laws of Cause and Effect.

Key 10—Wheel of Fortune Jupiter Archetype of Cycles & Solutions
Life is a series of cycles spiraling upward. There is contraction & expansion. Before the spiral begins the next cycle it levels out first and falls back slightly, but catches itself in time and resumes its upward arc again to form a new pattern. This energy is the Causal Power of expansion.

Key 11—Justice Athena, Minerva Archetype of Order and Harmony

Order and harmony are born out of joy. Athena tells that divine order can only be achieved through the destruction of that which is disorder. She inspires selfless service for the joy of it, to maintain balance and fairness and live in integrity. Justice teaches that only balanced forces can endure.

Key 12—The Hanged Man Promethius, Neptune Archetype of Renunciation and Regeneration

Renunciation is letting go or surrender. Regeneration is being reborn into spirit or restored to the original state of being.
This archetype maintains consciousness in ”surrender mode” to help us relinquish all sense of separateness with the master soul and prepares the personality for the merging with the divine. If that energy is blocked, we develop victim consciousness.
You must let go completely or you cannot be re-birthed. You must empty your mind of the belief that you can do good for others, empty yourself of all responsibility towards anyone(except your children until they are adults). The primary meaning here is Reversal---reversal of thought.

Key 13---Death Thanatos Archetype of Death and Rebirth

This archetype represents metamorphosis and its function is to help us dissolve the error patterns and false beliefs of the ego.
This energy means change and transformation.

Key 14---Temperance Iris Archetype of Patience & Acceptance
Through this archetype, there is no fear of the future for you learn to trust the I AM channel for God. Live with acceptance, knowing that every activity is divinely timed. Iris brings the quality of moderation in all things and an ability to remain steady on a spiritual path as life swings back and forth.

Key 15---The Devil Pan Archetype of Materiality & Acceptance

The basic teaching is how to live with your feel on the earth and your head in heaven. Our role is to have everything without possessing anything. Pan is the tester but also the protector who continuously monitors and measures the growth of consciousness and as necessary injects thought of caution and discretion into your mind.

Key 16 The Tower Mars Archetype of Courage & Perseverance

We become what we contemplate, that is the law. The Tower represents the body; it is the structure of error & ignorance, which is struck by the lightning of the Super-conscious emanating from Truth.
Mars’s energy may stimulate passion, and even pushes conflict, but it is always to release you from ego control & provide the heart & courage to continue toward the light. When purification is needed a “flash of clear vision” is sent and the awakening is accelerated.

Key 17 The Star Pandora, Ganymede Archetype of Service & Synthesis

The greatest form of service is to live life in conformity with spiritual truth, for every service you provide affects the destiny of humankind. The Star symbolizes and promises beauty, truth and universal understanding, hope and faith.

Key 18 The Moon Artemis, Diana Archetype of Imagination & Liberation

Everything in our lives is the visible manifestation of the thought forms we have consciously or unconsciously created. The function of this Archetype is to help you strengthen the vision of the inner eye, to see with the mind---as opposed to viewing with the physical eyes to; liberate the soul from the dominance of the personality.
This Archetype symbolizes the life of the imagination and of spiritual liberation.

Key 19 The Sun Apollo, Ra Archetype of Truth and Enlightenment

This Archetype represents the power that resurrects the soul. The Sun deals with enlightenment through self-knowledge. This energy lifts us up above the problem and into the consciousness of the shining Sun that radiates the fullness of the God Self.

Key 20 Judgment Pluto Archetype of the Creative Word

This Archetype provides creative keen insights, strength of purpose, and affinity with nature. Pluto energy is used to remove blocks of false belief and lifts us up above the appearances of our miscreations where the spoken word can be used to correct the condition. This energy is about comparing, deciding, and decreeing--- using the creative word.
Here the spiritual nature is being liberated from physical consciousness through the use of the spoken word.

Key 21 The World Shiva, Kronos Archetype of Success

This is the energy of cause and effect. You write the script and this Archetype produces it. If you are hostile, you are writing the script to be in hostility and love stays away. If you are loving, you are writing the script to be in love. Every action you take in thought, word and deed has its reaction in the world of form.

Author Bio :
Carol Powel-Smith is a retired Radiation Therapist and a graduate of the Quantum Quest School of Energy Healing & Enlightenment. She is the author of the book:Escape From Planet Earth--the Soul's Journey Home. Having lived 2 years in the far East and 4 years in Africa she has studied many different philosophies. Carol may be reached at web site

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