Carl Jung: The Mystic Who Discovered Our Inner Tarot Deck

Pick up any book about Tarot cards and randomly thumb through it. You are almost certainly to find in the majority of them several references to Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology. It is his work that framed the concepts of the collective unconscious and the theories of archetypal imagery and synchronicity that serve as the vital underpinnings of Tarot readings and practice. In fact, Jung’s breakthrough precepts actually legitimizes the study of Tarot and its ability to connect with our inner-selves.

On the other hand, you would be surprisingly hard pressed to find any references to Tarot cards whatsoever anywhere in the voluminous writings of Jung. How can this make sense in light of the great influence and association the learned Jung has with Tarot cards? Is it a mere coincidence? Or does the answer to that question reside in Jung’s explanation of synchronicity “as a meaningful coincidence?”

And amazingly one he did not recognize? Let’s step back and begin to put this puzzle together.

Carl Jung was a member of the seminal triumvirate of the founding fathers of the science of modern psychology. They were Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Wilhelm Reich. Freud is the most well known of the three, followed by Jung and then Reich.*

The supernatural and parapsychology was no stranger to Jung. He personally underwent a near-death experience, had clairvoyant dreams, incidents of precognition, encountered various hauntings with actual manifestations and poltergeist activity. He conducted experiments in telepathy and had a spirit guide known as Philemon, who flew out of the sky one day and landed at Jung’s side. Jung gave him the nickname of the “Old Wise Man” and they often conversed as they walked together in Jung’s garden. Jung claimed he had a second soul, one that allowed him to access the occult realm. Many of his beliefs were derived from The Tibetan Book of the Dead which he consulted though out his professional life. He used the I-Ching to help diagnose patient’s maladies and suggest treatment methods. He investigated the arcane arts of Alchemy and Astrology as well.

Jung’s grandmother was a “ghost seer” and his mother when a child protected her father, who was a curate from ghosts while he wrote his sermons. The subject of Jung’s dissertation was a 15 year old medium with exceptional abilities. The medium was his cousin. Probably one of the more startling claims Jung made was that he talked and preached to the dead. This claim is supported by his privately published Septem Sermones ad Mortuos (Seven Sermons to the Dead) which was produced via automatic writing. Some reviewers consider this text to be an example of Jung’s best written pieces. His final book was about Flying Saucers. He originally thought that this sighting were projections from our inner psyches. However upon awaking from a particular vivid dream that involved UFOs, he recounted his guess and instead stated “that we were actually projections from the Flying Saucers.”

As you can gather from the above, Carl Jung had profound inner and outer visions that both guided him to, and tormented him with the truth of all things. Yet it all reveals an incredibly open-minded individual that marched to some very different drummers.

Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung and Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method


Returning to Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious will help us understand his association with the cards. He thought of the collective unconscious as the “soul of the world” and it is in that “soul” that our shared symbolism of the archetypes dwell.

He also postulated that an event in a person’s life can trigger an internal mechanism that allows access to the collective unconscious. Once this process begins an archetypical configuration takes place. He called this “being” that formed during this configuration a “psychoid.” It was part real in the sense that it was manifesting itself and taking on a form and it was also part psychic due to it’s origin in the depths of the unconscious mind. Which Jung described as “the deposit of all human experiences back to the beginning of time. It is the source of the instincts, since archetypes are merely the forms that our instincts have assumed.” At this point the conscious mind can now recognize this primordial archetype, and understand the message it is trying to convey through its symbolic form. After this triggering episode has subsided, the “psychoid” melts back into the regions of the netherworld.

These “psychoids” are somewhat like the Tulpas that are reportedly created by Tibetan monks** through shear will power. These are also temporary beings that are brought to actual physical life for a short time, perform the tasks that they are created to complete and afterward return to nothingness. It is easy to see the wide influence that The Tibetan Book of the Dead had on Jung.


Perhaps the only way we can answer that is if we look at Jung’s definition of archetypical characters. Jung felt they were a “universal disposition of the human mind with which the mind organizes its content.

Below are Jung’s archetypes and what Tarot cards I feel best reflect the character of each archetype as described by Jung. I will only use the Major Arcana*** for this exercise.

A. The Animus and Anima – together they form a syzygy which is Greek for “a divine pair”.
The anima is the female in man and the animus is the male in the woman.

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TAROT CARD: VI – The Lovers

Card meaning: Two people coming together, a partnership, union, reunion, two elements uniting or events coinciding.

B. Old Wise Man – Ancestors, conservative teachings, a spiritual guide. Jung called Philemon the “Old Wide Man.”

TAROT CARDS: IV – The Emperor, V – the Hierophant, IX – The Hermit

Card meanings: All three of these cards jhave the same thematic to various degrees. They are authorities, they adhering to a conservative doctrines, they have great knowledge gained over time and freely shared or set down by decree.

C. The Self – Not the ego, but “a totality of a heavenly kind, a glorified man, an Adam.”


Card meaning: The totally free spirit, the universal optimist, the trickster, what we all are at certain times in our lives, the promise of all good things to come. The Tarot deck is also called the Fool’s journey because the Fool travels through the deck either leading the way or bringing up the rear. It is one of the most potent cards to appear in a spread.

D. Self-Expression – Creativity, gestures, ritual

TAROT CARD: I – The Magician

Card meaning: Making things happen, conjuring, taking charge of everything in your life, creating something out of nothing, being the center of attention, an Alchemist.

E. The Persona – The face we turn towards the world, meaning, transformation and order

TAROT CARDS: II – The High Priestess, VII – The Chariot, VII – Strength

Card meanings: For the Priestess, one of serenity and introspection, calmness and inner control.

intuitively knowing the outcome of all matters. To be the Charioteer is to be in complete control of everything, change forward, getting places, overcoming obstacles to get where you need to be.

F. Orientation – The four directions of the compass, crossroads, appointments

TAROT CARDS: X – The Wheel of Fortune, XI – The Hanged Man, XXI – The World

Card meanings: We are all always traveling up and down on the Wheel of Fortune. As for the Hanged Man, we often find ourselves in a place where everything is upside down and we don’t know what to do and what direction to take so we remain suspended and inactive. While all this is going on, the World keeps on turning regardless of what we do or not do.

G. Change and Evolution

TAROT CARDS: XI – Justice, XIII – Death, XIV – Temperance, XX – Judgment

Card meanings: Justice reconciles all things in life. Death is change, either and end or a new beginning is signified here. Temperance calls for a new way of living in moderation and measure behavior. Judgement. final decisions must be made and from those decisions a new way of doing things will emerge.

H. Success – accomplishment, good fortune

TAROT CARDS: III – The Empress,

Card meaning: The card of birth and fertility, indication that a situation will turn out successfully,

good fortune ahead.

I. Love and Immortality

TAROT CARDS: XVII – The Star, XVIII – The Moon, XIX – The Sun

Card meanings: What love song doesn’t include the Sun the Moon and the Stars in it? If you “listen” to these three cards you can “hear” the song of the celestial spheres. In the Star card hope always springs eternal. The Moon our nearest neighbor in space and one that constantly meddles with our ocean tides. And then the Sun, which is the source of life and the constant promise of a new day everyday. 

J. The Shadow – the dark aspect of the personality, an evil that needs to be cast out or assimilated

TAROT CARDS: XV – The Devil, XVI – The Tower

Card meanings: The Devil, the dark angel, obsession, trouble, temptation, your choice to choose either good or evil. The Tower is the card of liberation. Perhaps you have pent up behaviors or beliefs that are doing you harm? A destructive lighting bolt hurled from the heavens suddenly casts you from your high tower to the ground below to start again.


As stated earlier, Carl Jung did not specifically write about Tarot cards. Yet uncanningly the symbolism of the archetype and the theory of the collective unconscious which he created, mirror the symbolism and practice of Tarot cards exactly, although on different but parallel tracks.

If we accept the notion that these “psychoid” archetypes reside in all of our minds, then each one can be identified by applying Tarot card symbolism to them. In essence we are indeed carrying around a Tarot card set in each one of us. The value of this proposition is that by using Tarot cards regularly and committing the cards to memory you will quite possibly be able to unlock the wealth of your unconscious mind in a controlled manner, thereby leading to a greater understanding of the workings of your inner-self and a way of cultivating your intuitive powers.

This recognition of both your outer-reality and inner-thoughts serves to unite both important aspects of being. Overcoming such fragmentation can go a long way in the healing process to become an individual.

Written by Bernie O’Connor

Other Worldly & Interdimensional Realities

Art by WERC

by Dr. Jon Klimo, Ph.D.

From the leading edge of physics to a variety of non-ordinary experiences that many are having, our species is awakening to the possibility, even the likelihood, that or kind of physically-based life on Earth may comprise only one small part of a larger, more inclusive multidimensional reality inhabited on many levels by many kinds of beings.

Over a hundred years ago, philosopher and psychologist William James wrote, “Our waking consciousness is but one special state of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different,” adding that “no amount of the universe is in totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded.” We may now extend this thinking to include the possibility of “forms of worlds and realities entirely different” from ours, accessible by means of, and inhabited by, such other forms of consciousness.

I would like to speculate on the nature of this otherworldly realm that may lie beyond the physical and me be higher dimensional in nature. In doing so, I will entertain a variety of perspectives, ranging from what has been called perennial philosophy and the metaphysical, to the most advanced theories of present-day physics, extended into para-physics to push such thinking, and extending our psychology into parapsychology in the process.
One particularly exciting aspect of this cross-world or inter-dimensional field of study occurring today is called “electronic voice phenomena” (or EVP), more recently also being called “instrumental trans-communication” (ITC). This EVP/ITC-type research uses a variety of technologically assisted approaches in an attempt to make contact with and record communication thought to be from surviving human spirits. I am engaged in a five-year grant-supported research project devoted to this work, and I have expanded it to include trying to record extraterrestrial as well as human spirit presence. I will conclude this article with a brief description of this work.

Parapsychology and Ufology

The study of whether we survive the deaths of our bodies in some kind of non-physically based afterlife or astral plan comprises one of the three main branches of what was earlier called psychical research, and now is addressed by the more formal scientific discipline of parapsychology. The other two branches are extrasensory perception, including telepathy, and psychokinesis, or anomalous mind-matter interactions. Since its roots late in the late 19th century, it has been the job of this field of parapsychology to investigate claims of survival of death, including attempts to understand if and how living consciousness and personality can operate separate from the physical body and brain and within an experiential domain quite different from the one we know here on Earth.
In a parallel manner, beginning halfway through the 20th century, the field of ufology has been studying flying saucers or unidentified flying objects, “UFOs.” As part of this, the more-recent sub-field studying the beings, usually called aliens, extraterrestrials, or “ETs,” associated with such UFOs could be called extraterrestriology. Particularly, a growing percentage of reports of UFO/ET researchers, witnesses and experiencers, including contactees, abductees and channelers, describe anomalous vehicles and he hypothesized extraterrestrials associated with them in ways that point to an otherworldliness that implies they are not just physically-based beings from another physical world interacting with ours, and that their consciousness interacting with ours may be quite different, as well.
The ability of UFOs to appear to enter and leave our physical dimensionality, and of ETs to interact with our environments, bodies and minds in anomalous ways, makes us question the objective reality of our own world. Their feats point to the possibility that the native habitation of at least some extraterrestrials may be very different, perhaps operating at a higher dimensionality, density or frequency domain than our own, and reflect their ability to appear to u se capabilities parapsychologists would deem telepathy and psychokinesis to interact with our consciousness and our world.

Speaking as both a parapsychologist and a ufologist, I think it is curious and problematic that these two complex fields, that seem to have so much in common, have had virtually no interaction with each other. Reports from UFO/ET experiencers are rich in descriptions of the kinds of abilities, phenomena and processes long studied by parapsychology, including telepathy and other ESP, mind control, mind anomalously affecting matter (psychokinesis), transubstan-tiation, levitation, teleportation, out-of-body experiences, and materialization and de-materialization, to name just a few.

Both fields of study appear to be dealing with phenomena, processes and experiences that bring into question the long-held tenets of physical reductionism regarding the nature of objective reality and of the Cartesian dualistic distinction still being maintained between the two supposedly completely separate and distinctly different realms of mind and matter. I think these two fields should now join forces, especially with regard to trying to better understand our relation to a larger universe and its inhabitants. I believe there is some kind of Rosetta Stone at work here whereby ufology and parapsychology can better shed light on each other’s endeavors to help usher in the emerging, new, more inclusive scientific paradigm as well as help midwife the shift that seems to be occurring in our consensus reality.

Ufology as Cross-World Studies

It appears we are in a midst of a second Copernican revolution that has two aspects.

1) What ufology is studying, and what experiencers’ reports are reflecting, is leading us to the realization that we’re not the center of the universe, nor alone in it either. Rather, we are but a very small part of a vast, seemingly populated universe with myriad other physical and probably non-physical worlds and planes of existence.

2) At the same time, parapsychology and related consciousness studies are leading us toward a related understanding. The realm of the subjective-mind, consciousness, intention, and the inner realm in general, has long been seen as subservient to and less than, or downright unreal compared to, the domain of the physical, of external reality, with consciousness being seen as only an emergent epiphenomenon of brain. But we may be gradually discovering that the reverse is true: that it is local experienced physicality that revolves around and is dependent upon the inner causal realm of consciousness and spirit, with the cross-world components of subtle energies and higher frequencies and dimensions mediating between.

The old notion of inner and outer, subjective and objective, realities seem to be growing ever more confounded and intermixed. The outer is experienced as becoming more inner-like and the inner as more outer-like. Just read the descriptions in the growing reports from UFO/ET experiencers. Carl Jung coined the term “psychoid” o refer to whatever possesses the qualities of possessing both inner and outer reality, of being both subjectively and objectively real. I believe we are entering the experience of a true post-dualistic, or post Cartesian, reality. We will know it by its fruits in our ongoing personal and shared experience. With it, a new worldview and a scientific paradigm with new technology will emerge.

My conjecture is that those who we are calling extraterrestrials– at least those who are not inhabiting and embodies at the same physical-level density, frequency or dimensionality as we are– have evolved to a level of being able to engineer at will within and in terms of a true post-dualist unified field universe, within which crossworld and interdimensional operations can occur. They appear adept at telepathy and related manipulative expertise on what could be called the mental plane, and experiencers within their sphere of influence tend to experience a breakdown of the old inner-outer dualistic dichotomy as a result.

Extraterrestrials also seem able to use advanced forms of psychokinesis, what parapsychologists see as anomalous control of matter by mind. In some cases it appears that they control their vehicles with their minds alone; and there have been reports that their vehicles appear to be alive and at one with them.

Many can alter the way they manifest to us, showing experiencers on occasion that the basic nature of their kind of personal embodimenet, as that of their ships, is more like light or related immaterial energy that they are capable of manipulating like the subtlest of artist’s clay in the hands of their technology.

Like parapsychology, ufology continues to provide a challenge to what we have long thought was real and possible; we are being ushered into a truly post-dualistic unified field psychoid realm of experience, one in which our extraterrestrial visitors seem extremely versed and proficient. The real action may lie in their ability to engineer the relationship between what we might think of dualistically as inner or mental forces and higher dimensional, higher frequency, subtler energy domains which, in turn, influence and are responsible for what occurs on our physical level reality when they visit us.

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