Tarot Archetypes questions

Are the major arcana tarot descriptions of any given deck (such as those of rider waite) inline with the tarot archetype teachings in the Ra Material?

Do you bother doing reversed cards in your spread? I feel like whether or not the interpretation is negative should be left up to the mind but I want to hear other people’s take.

I perceive tarot as a language through which I connect with my higher self. Similar to any language, the language of tarot undergoes transformations. Some elements may be lost, inaccuracies may emerge, yet others evolve into new manifestations.

Personally, I primarily use The Rider Tarot, although I believe most tarot cards and interpretations can offer value. Rather than fixating on the absolute correctness of current cards and interpretations, I advocate for developing a deep familiarity with the cards and establishing an intimate connection with one’s higher self, enabling the proper utilization of the cards.

If certain cards and interpretations deviate significantly from tradition, I believe it’s reasonable to discard them. Conversely, if the cards and interpretations align acceptably, debating their correctness becomes irrelevant; one should simply commence using them.

For me, the utmost priority is nurturing this ‘intimate relationship with the higher self,’ which is my focal point. I possess the Rider cards and rely on a specific interpretation book.

Before I commence a reading, I dedicate time to contemplate these cards, gazing at them and absorbing the interpretations (read them all at least once), all while directing my intention towards my higher self. This intention could be expressed as follows: ‘I will employ these cards. I will refer to this interpretation book. Higher self, become acquainted with it; let it serve as a conduit for communication between us.’

Subsequently, once I have the card spread, I focus on the images depicted on the cards in my possession while adhering to the interpretations from my chosen book.

If I would like to take into account reversed cards in the spread and wish to explore them, I approach them with the message to my higher self: ‘Reversed cards hold significance. I will focus on the both layout. Higher self, please consider this at the next card deal.’ If, on the contrary, I would like to disregard these cards, I would approach Tarot with the opposite intention.

To summarize, I believe that while there are reasonable limitations in the graphic depiction and interpretation of tarot cards, the crux lies in establishing communication with one’s higher self. It is through this ‘language’ of tarot cards that the higher self communicates its chosen messages (from the higher self’s consciousness/unconscious mind to the consciousness of the 3rd density self/conscious mind). What we can do is ensure, for our part, that this information is transmitted without loss, and our higher self will complete the rest.

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I don’t think so. Not in any 1 to 1 way that I’ve found, at least.

For me the practice of tarot occupies a different place in my life than the study of the archetypes in the Ra material although they do bleed into each other. It is fun to explore the link between the two as I’m studying the Ra material. Like taking guesses at the ‘etymology’ of the visual language of the modern tarot images. Did the Catalyst of the Mind eventually find form in the rider waite Empress because of the fecundity of the union between the unconsciousness and the conscious? Etc, etc

I do appreciate the “releasing of strictures” as a type of guard rail in our journey to understand the archetypes. I can feel it when I’m holding onto an aspect of an image too tightly and losing it’s essence (losing my way, going off the road…to continue the guard rail metaphor).

I don’t read reversals either. Same reason as you. I feel it’s important to approach the cards with an openness to the shadow aspect. I feel it is always there and always worth conscious consideration.


From a creative standpoint - that reminds me of
the idea of drawing things upside down. This frees
up focus to line and shape. Possibly how a person
conveys a concept graphically is distinct from the
entirety of the concept understood, where line and
shape trigger memory of the concept abstractly.
Some people may be visually cued, and others
not at all. How people express creation differs.

For example one person might see a road sign,
slippery when wet, and slow down in caution.
Another may ignore the signs and speed
up, feel the car slide and adjust steering to
compensate. Some people live cautiously,
some people live dangerously. So when an
archetype appears, do you bother or ignore?

Are you saying that reverse cards do not necessarily have to be interpreted negatively but change the manner of viewing? If that’s the case then that would make a lot of case and I would totally do it that way. I feel like I have some programming that has to be deprogrammed to do it. I’ve watched so many movies where a reading is done and there is an upside down Death or Devil card displayed and the reader foresees something bad in the protagonist.

I spent time in internet searching for what reversed cards are, but still have no idea :frowning:

According to my understanding, reversed cards are normal Tarot cards, except that if pulled from the deck they appear upside down. Unless I missed something and it is about something else :wink:

Each card has its own interpretation for straight alignment and reversed alignment. When choosing cards and interpretations, you can consider that each arrangement is intepreted as a straight alignment regardless of whether the card appears reversed or not, or on the contrary, you pay attention to the alignment and look at whether the card is straight or is reversed and read the card’s interpretation for its normal alignment when it is straight, or read the card’s interpretation for its inverted alignment when it is reversed.

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Thank you… but what upside down interpretation is correct?

The one at the bottom is an upside down card. The one above, well, I don’t know if there’s any way to use that kind of card arrangement. The cards from the very beginning of drawing them from the card deck are known. Or I don’t know about something… Or never used.

Generally still when it comes to intepretation, I treat a reversed card as a different interpretation of the same card. On the other hand, there is also the “shadow of the card.” Personally, I interpret it in such a way that the “shadow of the card” has the card in normal alignment and the “shadow of the card” has the card in reversed alignment too.

That is, if I had The Sun card. Then I can interpret it normally. I can also interpret it as an inverted card if that comes out. I can also pay attention precisely to its “shadow.” The shadow of The Sun card would be to interpret it as Black Sun, that is, as its opposite.

So, it’s just like with numbers. If I had the number 3. The inverse of this number would be 1/3. The opposite of 3, it would be -3. And the last possibility would be the inverted (reversed) card and its opposite (shadow): -1/3.

All these possibilities can be considered I believe. The issue is to make an agreement with yourself on what you will pay attention to the next time you read the cards and stick to it consistently.

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Modern Tarot decks are primarily geared towards divination; their accompanying text is often tailored to that view. This is different from their original function as a teaching tool for the Archetypes, according to Ra. Given this, it’s unlikely the two will have a close correlation in most instances.

On a related note, one of the things that has maddened me about the original Ra Contact was why they didn’t just ask Ra for the original oral descriptions of each Archetype, given that the Archetypes were orally delivered to students during Ra’s original teaching of them. Instead, the group works backwards from distorted images as a basis. Maddening!

I am interested in retrieving those original descriptions.


Yea I wanted to know more about the archetypes myself. My friend told me the best way to know the archetypes is to embody each one (for a specific time period) and document the experience. He said you cannot connect with them or contact them since they are part of you. Makes sense to me.