On awakening’s path there are stages that one has to face and cross in order to move forward. It helps to know what those stages are and what is expected from you.
Since ancient times symbolic representations of the path to awakening were given by different mystical approaches to the mysteries. The alchemist, the occultists, and others, they all have their ways of mapping the road ahead, but on this article I am going to show you these awaking stages using the metaphor depicted by the Tarot cards.
Tarot – Ancient Visions of Awakening
Most Tarot cards are exquisite graphic representations of the hidden archetypes present in all of us. They give form to something that we feel, but that sometimes we are unable to articulate in a rational way.
Deep down in our collective unconscious archetypes live. They are energetic imprints that exist in our psyche. They serve as templates for being, meaning giving, and givers of potential directions in becoming. For instance we all know the archetype of the Mother. It doesn’t matter what culture we experience, or how far into the past we travel, there will be a human role to be filled as being a mother. Of course, all mothers are different, but deep down they pattern originates from the same template, the Mother Archetype.
Archetypes don’t stop there. There are more: the Hero, the Thief, the Wise Person, the Healer, the Warrior, the Shape-Shifter, and so on. There are other examples where these archetypes are externalized in mythologies, in the form of Gods and Goddesses, or in astrology, as embodiment of planets.
Carl Jung, one of the most interesting psychologists, gave interest and relevance to this idea of archetypes being depicted by the Tarot cards in connection to his concept of collective unconscious.
The 7 Major Arcana on Awakening’s Path
There are seven major arcana Tarot cards that are a perfect sequence of events, challenges, defeats, and victories on the road to awakening.
Those seven Tarot cards are:
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The Aeon
- The Universe
Let us see more in detail what those cards represent and how they are linked and metaphorically show up the different stages on the path.
The Devil – Fair to say that this card was re-imagined during the Middle Ages to The Devil. Before that it used to depict Pan, more in line with the Dionysus mythology of sensual experiencing, and finding ecstasy in trance.
Anyway, the basic meaning even if the name has changed, has to do with being comfortable with a more earthly connection, and its pleasures (no judgement intended).
In a broad sense this card reveals the symbiotic relation to an accepted belief system that holds ones reality in place and unchecked. Those beliefs are so ingrained that we are chained to them without awareness, and as such we become involuntary slaves of it. One is then subservient to that way of being without awareness, blurred by the intense feelings of routines, pleasure of the senses, and mob herding.
Like what happens to many, comfortably existing in a world where doubt and uncomfortable questions are voluntarily put aside in order to live an oblivious existence devoid of deep Self connection.
The Tower – Is the unforeseen splinter that crashes your well maintained belief system, and sustained reality view.
It is the full collapse of all that you had based your existence on; the values; the belief systems; your personal mythology; the comfortable reality bubble that you lived in.
Most people will try to hold on to the stagnant belief system that they hold so dear, in the vain hope that after the storm is gone, one will be able to go back to the previous way of living, and all will be all right again. They are so wrong, as life bluntly will demonstrate. There is no turning back.
The Tower is a hard lesson in letting go, or non attachment if you will. Through this existential striptease the Ego (The Tower) is demolished and devoid of all the superficial ornaments no longer needed for the next steps on the path.
One might feel lost, lonely, depressed, and afraid, crossing the desolation of the real that is presented in front of your eyes.
The Tower is the dissolution of possessions, either physical, emotional, or mental. The spiritual life to be revealed needs the nakedness of Ego to make room for the new.
The faster you learn the lesson of letting go the faster you will move on to the next stage of the process. Being able to affirm that is ok to let go is a major triumph of the spirit in relation to the materialistic domain. You are throwing out what is blocking your path to make room for the new, the new spiritual YOU!
Learn to relax, and accept what is happening.
Fearlessness is learned when you have nothing to hold on to, leaps of faith are possible, and new horizons of being might come into perspective.
The Star – In this stage you are still walking in the dark, full of doubts, and uncertainties. This is perfectly normal, and expected for someone new to threading the mysterious alleys of consciousness, but at last this darkness enables you to see the STAR(s) that will guide you the way.
The Star is a glimpse of the ultimate goal, it will serve you as the organizing principle to build upon your new identity; the new meaning, and purpose of life. Guidance from above. A personal long distant call from the Universe.
As depicted in the card you are being poured from the collective unconscious with spiritual nourishment (energies, ideas, perspectives) to build upon your new Ego, on a higher frequency.
The Star gives you that inner trust that in spite of all the things that are happening to you at the moment, you are able to hold the connection to a higher level of guidance. Irrational as may seem, and without any facts to prove it, you feel protected.
The Start points to the emergence of an inner light that begins to resonate with you, and offers guidance. Things begin to become a little easier and brighter. Life’s forces combine to assist rather than hinder.
It is time for accept the power in self acceptance, halt self-criticism, and rebuild your new skills and strengths. The emergence of a new self-esteem.
The Moon – In this stage you will be confronted with your own personal unconscious, the shadow, and your inner fears. You will have to find the needed perseverance to move through the path in the direction shown by The Star.
This is a major test, as you will have to move through your own darkness, confronting your personal shadow, illusions that you cling to, and also the unlovable parts of yourself.
On the other hand, you are offered the light of The Sun to come, expressed by the reflection of The Moon. You will have to trust the guidance that you don’t see, but you can feel, making use and developing your intuition. That will help you to move forward and across the initiation portal guarded by the double Anubis.
Here there is the need to learn between the illusions, uncertainty, deceit, and correct intuitive abilities. The lesson here is to acknowledge that things are not always what they seem. By learning this you will be able to reach deeper secrets, unknowingly carried deep inside you.
Through these challenges you also learn self reliance and intuitive discrimination.
The Sun – In this stage is time for celebration. You came from the shadows, victor of the challenge of the underworld, breathing again, with renewed strength, surfacing to the clarity of thought, purpose, and aim.
The Sun card rejoices in the warm sun’s rays fostering trust, hope, and happiness. There is the restoration of your inner power, at a different level, with a sense of protection and safety. There is openness to the materialization of new possibilities.
These new energies brings forth expansion, growth and new projects, also the excitement and mood to celebrate through movement, dance and laughter.
You learn a renewed, sharp and efficient way to deal with, resolve blocks, and difficult problems. New perspectives and fresh viewpoints present themselves effortlessly. There is a feeling of boundless dynamic energy to embrace life, shinning from within you.
The Ego is restored in a new light and level of consciousness, due to the inputs from the Collective Unconscious and challenges/gifts from the Personal Unconscious (the Shadow is no longer the foe but strength to reckon with).
It is time to celebrate the whole path, and the newly emerged being, stronger and wiser. Let your inner light shine. Let yourself shine.
The Aeon – Another is a card that before had a more Christian name as Judgement or Resurrection. Recently Crowley renamed is as Aeon.
In this reinterpretation of this awakening archetype, Aeon represents the fusion of the two previous energies, The Sun, and The Moon, or if you will, the male and female energies coming together generating a new being.
In a way this card talks about the end of fear of death, and the joy of rebirth at a new level, being reborn to spirit. This is like what the alchemist aim represented with the Alchemical or Mystical Marriage.
The one that started the journey is “dead” at this point, and it is reborn as the ruler of itself, carrying the freshness of being a child again.
The past is left behind as we step into the light. It is the total turning point of the journey. This card depicts long meditation on life changing decisions, before we make up our minds and act. Atonement of our whole being will lead to knowing and doing exactly what we need to do. Perfect alignment at all levels, which leads to moving forward with confidence, no doubt, and no fear.
The lessons learned through the journey will be materialized, and life will be in accord with it.
You are the treasure of the journey and you realize the power and lightness of trusting yourself in every present moment. You are the time, the NOW.
The Universe – This card represents the final stage of the process where the journeyer becomes the Universe dancing the rite of creation in total ecstasy.
This card depicts the mystical union, total oneness with everything. Energies throughout the body are one, the level of consciousness has totally spread. There is no division. One moves beyond duality. It is the completion of the journey.
There is bounty as a reward for our early efforts. You are a child of the Universe. You found you way back home. You are the Universe!
The End of the Awakening’s Path
As we see the Universe is the final stage of this journey, but there are more journeys to experience and new levels of consciousness to unfold.
We started as chained prisoners, matured through the experiences of the journey awakening to new horizons, becoming wiser, freer, and balanced. The self-imposed obstacles and traumas are gone. We have become whole, integrated, into an expansive cosmic consciousness. The Shiva dance.
The Start of a New Awakening’s Path
Awakening is not a place. The journey never stops and new horizons of consciousness will unfold.
After the Universe the cycle restarts and we are ready to become The Fool with total freedom to start, with intuitive non rational knowledge; becoming a child again to explore a new spiritual path and expand in further new Awakenings.
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