Key Phrase: A new light is born in the world.
Symbolism: A multidimensional figure representing your Highest Self (soul, atman, etc.) as it emanates and “descends” into physical creation. The figure holds the light of Consciousness in its hands, presenting it to itself and working with itself at each new level of unfolding. The light of consciousness reflected and refracted within you and the physical universe. The nude figure indicates that, despite the sacrifice, your Light is unencumbered by the dirt and detritus of disconnected physical existence. The diminishing figure indicates our connection and power dim as we descend into the cold, opaque, and unascended physical universe. Remember the promise. Full power will be restored when we all achieve graduation.
Narrative: This archetype teaches a sacred truth, which is that we are all sparks of eternal Consciousness, that we all “descend” into physical manifestation, and that we all hold the Light of Consciousness so we can uplift and ascend physical creation.
At the highest and most aligned levels, this is the Light of your Highest Self as it, as You, pass into physical existence in order to incarnate and complete The Great Work. Know, this is not the work of soul evolution or karmic cleansing. This is the work of planetary evolution. You are a lightworker here to uplift this planet. Remember the promise; know this is work is for the greatest good of all life and all beings, and not just a select chosen few.
At mundane levels, this is positive recognition and affirmation of Self, and positive and life-affirming work. This is, psychologically, the healing and exaltation of the Bodily Ego as it unites and merges with its own Highest Self (i.e. its own Spiritual Ego). This is self and Self, reunited. A creative and healthy emanation.
Old Energy Narrative
Key Phrase: My soul evolves.
Symbolism: The wise man hides high up on a hill, teasing those below. The only way to access the truth is to make the arduous and dangerous climb. As we have seen, not everybody has the talent, genetics, strength, or will to get this job done.
Narrative: In the old energy, this archetype reflects and amplifies the Fool in School narrative. Here we see “the eternal seeker, the Pilgrim soul”1 following his own inner light. In some commentaries, this is a guide that offers mentorship and guidance to the Fool on their journey.2 This is one who has “chosen the right path” and achieved their evolutionary goal.3 Here we see the fool perfect, karma cleared.4 “Here is the Great Promise. In humanity are the potencies of Divinity, to be evolved by climbing the steeps of experience; and the end of the Path is union with our Source.”5
Of course, evolution and personal development are not bad things. What makes this message old energy is that this is presented as evolution of the soul and not the physical unit, or society, or the planet. But remember,
- The hermit is simply an amplification/reiteration of the Fool in School narrative. Reject that narrative. Your soul is not evolving, the Body is. Your soul is not clearing karma, you are moving this world towards graduation. You have no evil inside. You are not here to prove your worth. You do not need to be chosen for inclusion. If there is personal work to do it is the work of healing from the Toxic Socialization you endured, and reconnecting to your powerful Highest Self. Remember, your soul is not here to engage in a personal journey. Your soul is already a joyful and powerful lightworker here on a mission to uplift the planet. As you descend down through the vibratory levels of creation, it is you that brings the truth and the light to this, as yet, dark world. To move forward,
Group study questions
- The message of the old energy fool in school narrative is that you have personal work to do. Think about your religious and philosophical beliefs. What were you taught about your nature and purpose? Were you born with “original sin.” Is your birth the consequence of karma in a past life? Are you here to learn lessons and evolve your soul? Sharing the details with the group will help you and others clarify and clear your own indoctrination.
- One of the most important messages of the Lightworker card is that no matter how deep down into the dark we may fall, we are all emanations of the Divine Highest Self. Yet, we never hear this root truth. Instead, in the old energy, emperors, empresses, hierophants, and hermits teach judgment, inequality and privilege for a few, and exclusion and exploitation for the many. Spend a few moments considering the judgmental ideas and ideological excuses you use to exclude others from this planet’s bounty? Are they stupid? Are they unworthy? Are they primitive? Are they lazy? Are they bad? Are they the wrong skin color? Share your observations with the group. Then, move beyond these dualities and, as depicted in the Lightworker archetype, see everyone for what they are, expression/refractions/emanations of a Divine and beautiful Light.
1Wang, An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot.
2Wen, Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth.
3Papus, The Tarot of the Bohemians, 116.
4Mary K. Greer, Tarot Constellations: Patterns of Personal Destiny (Newcastle, 1987).
5Case, An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot.