[Note: While Dr. Jung was aware of the “Tarot” and at one point students did research on it, the fact is Dr. Jung rarely refers to “Tarot” in his Collected Works, Letters, Seminars, etc.” Also note that Dr. Jung never created or endorsed any so-called: “Jungian Tarot Deck.” Such decks are strictly the creation of others.]
If one wants to form a picture of the symbolic process, the series of pictures found in alchemy are good examples, though the symbols they contain are for the most part traditional despite their often obscure origin and significance.
An excellent Eastern example is the Tantric chakra system, or the mystical nerve system of Chinese yoga.
It also seems as if the set of pictures in the Tarot cards were distantly descended from the archetypes of transformation, a view that has been confirmed for me in a very enlightening lecture by Professor Bernoulli. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 81
Yes, I know of the Tarot. It is, as far as I know, the pack of cards originally used by the Spanish gypsies, the oldest cards historically known.
They are still used for divination purposes. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Page77
A group of researchers at the C. G. Jung Institute had for some time been investigating intuitive methods such as the J Ching, geomancy, Tarot cards, numerology, astrology. Cf. “Synchronicity’ CW 8, pars. 863ff., and ch. 2: “An Astrological Experiment.” ~CW 8, Page 107, fn 2.
Under certain conditions it is possible to experiment with archetypes, as my “astrological experiment” has shown.
As a matter of fact we had begun such experiments at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, using the historically known intuitive, i.e., synchronistic methods (astrology, geomancy, Tarot cards, and the I Ching).
But we had too few co-workers and too little means, so we could not go on and had to stop. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol II, Page 538
Another strange field of occult experience in which the hermaphrodite appears is the Tarot.
That is a set of playing cards, such as were originally used by the gypsies.
There are Spanish specimens, if I remember rightly, as old as the fifteenth century.
These cards are really the origin of our pack of cards, in which the red and the black symbolize the opposites, and the division by four-clubs, spades, diamonds, and hearts-also belongs to the individuation symbolism.
They are psychological images, symbols with which one plays, as the unconscious seems to play with its contents.
They combine in certain ways, and the different combinations correspond to the playful development of events in the life of mankind.
One could really say that the movement of images in the unconscious coincided with the movement of events in the history of mankind.
The original cards of the Tarot consist of the ordinary cards, the king, the queen, the knight, the ace, etc.,-only the figures are somewhat different-and besides, there are twenty-one cards upon which are symbols, or pictures of symbolical situations.
For example, the symbol of the sun, or the symbol of the man hung up by the feet, or the tower struck by lightning, or the wheel of fortune, and so on.
Those are sort of archetypal ideas, of a differentiated nature, which mingle with the ordinary constituents of the unconscious.
The Tarot in itself is an attempt at representing the constituents of the flow of the unconscious, and therefore it is applicable for an intuitive method that has the purpose of understanding the flow of life, possibly even predicting future events, at all events lending itself to the reading of the conditions of the present moment.
It is in that way analogous to the I Ching, the Chinese divination method that allows at least a reading of the present conditions.
You see, man always felt the need of finding an access through the unconscious to the meaning of an actual condition, because there is a sort of correspondence or a likeness between the prevailing condition and the condition of the collective unconscious.
Now in the Tarot there is a hermaphroditic figure called the diable.
That would be in alchemy the gold.
In other words, such an attempt as the union of opposites appears to the Christian mentality as devilish, something evil which is not allowed, something belonging to black magic. Visions Seminar, Page 923
The mouse turns blue because of the intruding fish.
The pure clear water is blue, the mountains are blue, the sky is blue.
Romantic longing searched for the “Blue Flower.”
The little boy described by Maeterlinck searches for the bluebird and finds the way to the primordial images.
Blue coats are worn by the wise women who, as swan virgins, are linked to the water, to the mist, and to the sky.
Mist rises from the water, rises up into the blue sky, to fall back on earth as rain.
In alchemy and tarot, blue is the color of the moon, of silver, and of the soul. Children’s Dreams Seminar, Page 351
In harmony with our remarks in the proceeding paragraph, she then describes a synchronicity experiment Jung proposed at the end of his life.
He suggested that once it was clear that an archetype had been constellated—because of some serious psychological stress, for example—then several divinatory procedures whose functioning depends upon synchronicity could be employed.
For example, imagine if the man in “Healing Old Wounds” were in analysis so that his dream life and active imagination could be carefully observed and simultaneously he could cast the I Ching and have skilled practitioners read his Tarot cards and horoscope.
Then the results of all these procedures should converge to the same archetypal meaning. ~James Hall Jung-Rhine Letters, Page 19-20