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  • Writer's pictureTero Goldenhill

The Mind Apps & Tarot

We do it all the time: install new apps on our iPhones, Androids or whatever, and delete old apps which we no longer need. Or which no longer work. It’s a shame we aren’t taught to do the same thing with our minds.


It’s one of my favourite uses of tarot, and something I teach to my students: using tarot to become aware of the various programmes (or apps), which are running 24/7 in the background in our psyche. Quite a few of these inner apps are seriously out-of-date, or no longer working.


If we want to be living meaningful lives, we can’t have a Windows 95 running the show, or base our decisions on a Maps App, last updated seven years ago. We should have up-to-date programmes, both in our minds and in our high tech gadgets.


The Archetype App


The 22 Major Arcana cards of the tarot contain the main storylines of humanity. It’s all there: the trials and tribulations, pain and pleasure, the various drives which push and pull us from one situation to the next. The ups and downs, the lowest of the low and the highest of the high, the good, the bad and the in-between.


If we want to delete an old app which no longer serves us - and possibly install a new, better one - the first step is to know which app are we dealing with. We can use the Major Arcana to show what kinds of apps are playing on repeat in our lives. It’s only after this conscious recognition that we can do anything about it.


Because the archetypes like to hang around, essentially remain, once they’ve established themselves, it’s not so easy to get rid of them*. Take addiction, for example, which could be personified by the Devil, Major Arcana no. 15. Once the archetypal addiction has established itself in our psyche, and we let it play on repeat 24/7, year after year, the "deletion" won’t happen by simply pressing a button. To uninstall anything from our psyche, we need to work on it. The same goes with "installing" a new inner app, to create a meaningful and living connection with a new archetype.



So, what kind of outdated apps are still installed in your MindPhone? Maybe now is a good time to go through the list and find out, using the Major Arcana. If you want, you can pull one card to symbolise the most out-of-date app, and a second card to show what could be done about this.


“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” —F. M. Alexander

(I would continue here: scratch the surface of a habit, and you will find an archetype)



*to be fair, we can’t actually get rid of archetypes, it’s not how they work. They form the basis of our human lives, they’re the foundation, and we can’t remove our foundation. However, through tarot or other inner tools, we can discover which archetypes feature predominantly in our lives, are they in or out of balance, and what we can consciously do in order to create more balance - or integration - with them.

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