Before I get into a fuller discussion of The Archetype Universe, I first want to clarify where I am coming from in presenting this realm. Many would look at the idea of The Archetype Universe and assume that it is pure fantasy. I, for my part, do not. From my perspective it is real and the Archetypes that reside there are living beings. It may sound crazy, especially in this current age of rampant materialism. But I firmly hold this to be the case in light of my own experiences, and in that light, I am not alone.
In regards to the reality of the Tarot and the Archetypes as living beings, there were two geniuses who approached this question from a positive perspective. The first was British Occultist Aleister Crowley who wrote concerning the Tarot in his 1944 work The Book of Thoth, “Each card is, in a sense, a living being; and it’s relations with it’s neighbors are what one might call diplomatic. It is for the student to build these living stones into his living Temple.” (Crowley pp. 47-48). And he further clarifies towards the end of the same work, “It being now established, at the conclusion of the Essay, that the cards of the Tarot are living individuals, it is proper to consider the relations which obtain between them and the student.” (Crowley p. 249). Agree or disagree with his perspective, it seems clear to me that Crowley considered the Tarot and the Archetypes behind the cards as living beings who could commune with one another, and with the initiated student who understood this esoteric truth.
Another who considered the Archetypes as being living beings who dwelt in the realm of the Collective Unconscious was Carl Jung. Jung was a Swiss psychologist who lived from 1875 to 1961. And in his work Liber Novus (The Red Book), Jung speaks very poetically about his communion with the Archetypes and the often strange messages and insights he received while connecting with these ethereal forms. While I have only just begun reading this book, I feel it is clear to me (at this point anyway) that Jung considered the Archetypes with which he worked to be living beings. This is the perspective that I share, as it matches my experiences with the inhabitants of this realm as well.
So from the insights of these two great minds who lived at around the same time, we can see that considering the Tarot and the Archetypes behind them as living beings is nothing new. But there is another school of thought that goes a bit deeper in explaining how these beings might be considered living entities.
In the book The Kybalion a great deal of consideration is given to the construction of The Universe and how a Divine Mind (The All) could possibly have brought it all into being. In The Kybalion the writer states something that now seems obvious to all; that matter is made of energy. But, what kind of energy is the Universe composed of? The answer given in The Kybalion is Thought Energy. Matter and all that exists is made up of the Thought Energy emanating from The Mind of The All (or God). Now if this is true, I think we can begin to see how all that is (not just the Tarot or the Archetypes) might be considered to be, in a very real sense, alive. If all that exists, both in realms seen and unseen, is made up of the living Thought Energy emanating from the Divine Mind of The All, then all things might be considered to be alive in a very deep and real sense. We, the Archetypes, plants, animals, even rocks and minerals are all composed of Living Energy coming from the same Living Divine or Metaphysical Source. So, if one accepts this point of view, it can be seen that all “things” are alive. Remember that notion the next time you slam a door or pound your fist on a table. Deeply considered, this point of view is a real game changer.
So, with all that said, I think you can see how a few nuts such as Aleister Crowley, and myself, can run around saying that the Tarot Archetypes are “alive.” For, indeed, to me they are. But, don’t just take my word for it. Take some time in meditation to reach out to The Archetype Universe and connect with some of the inhabitants there. After a few years of practice, you may well come to the same conclusion. “It’s true…All of it.”