5 card Carl Jung archetypal tarot card reading

By Roop Lakhani - 10:37:00

Five archetypes

Persona Archetype

A persona refers to a person’s public face, the image of themselves that they present to the world. Carl Jung himself describes the Persona as “a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”. It is believed that every person has at least one persona, based upon either various archetypes or comprised of qualities influenced by societal roles.

Shadow Archetype

A Shadow is made up of a person’s negative characteristics, or at the very least the aspects of ourselves that we consider negative. This is the side of a person that they are hesitant to show to the rest of the world because they are ashamed of these negative qualities and wish to keep them hidden from view. A Shadow can also include repressed ideas or aspects of your personality that you don’t want to acknowledge.

Anima Archetype

This archetype represents feminine characteristics within men (the alternative, Animus, refers to male characteristics within women). Anima represents aspects of the personality that might be considered by many to be traditionally feminine, such as empathy. While traits like these are indisputably part of our personalities as a whole, certain qualities are often withheld from a person’s Persona, particularly if they are trying to project a masculine front to the world. Jung also theorized that there are four levels to Anima development; he named these levels Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia.

Animus Archetype 

This archetype represents masculine characteristics within women. Animus can be represented by qualities that are seen as traditionally masculine, such as assertiveness, courage, vitality, and strength.

Self Archetype

According to Jungian psychology, the Self is the realized product of integrating all the aspects of your personality; it signifies the unification of a person’s consciousness and unconsciousness.

For eg. I find this tarot spread particularly helpful when I'm trying to make hard decisions - and there are so many different voices and approaches that are in my mind. Sometimes it helps to clarify the points of view that these aspects of myself are trying to say. For example, if I'm trying to make a choice about whether to start a new business, my Persona archetype may feel nervous about how I will be perceived. My self archetype may be overjoyed, and know that it is the right thing to do. My Animus archetype may be concerned about the more practical aspects of the whole situation. And so on and so forth. It's about teasing out all the ways that we may look at something, before coming out with a final answer that makes most sense for us.

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