Working with the archetypes of Tarot has positively influenced my life in many ways, and my love for this sacred divination tool has only grown over time. But to be honest working with my decks regularly is a fairly recent development for me.
Even after having a reading performed for me in college by a mutual friend at the time (which I wrote about in Part 1) I didn’t work with Tarot directly or even purchase my first deck until many years later.
Sometimes coming around to what it is we desire takes small steps, like tiny drops dripping from the clouds as they carve away the stone around the once barren temples of our hearts – nourishing our spirit with curiosity as we blossom into being.
Even after secretly working with The Hanged Man archetype in my personal and creative life I still didn’t fully embrace what working with archetypes could offer me. I sidestepped this desire to learn more about Tarot out of internalized shame and fear of what people would think.
But by the time I was finishing up my remaining general education, I took some classes to earn credits for my degree as well as out of interest. It was during this time frame that I stumbled into a Comparative Mythology class that changed my perspective forever – even deepening me into my love for Goddesses, such as the Creator- Destroyer Kali (which is a story for another time).
During the course of the semester I learned a lot about ancient origin stories and myths, and how they have perpetuated over time through the ages. Though one of the sections that piqued my interest the most was the one about Jungian archetypes and how they show up in the human psyche. Many of these archetypes, I later came to discover, are the very same ones reflected in Tarot.
All archetypes that are clear portals into the subconscious mind and help us to grow in infinite ways.
Luckily, in addition to studying these archetypes on a surface level I had the opportunity to dive deeper into The Trickster archetype – who felt like a facet of The Fool and The Hanged Man.
In my particular essay I chose to analyze the character Dr. Monreau – a character who on the surface is the villain though in his own mind he was the inspired genius who had a vision for the future.
So in my journey in uncovering the psyche of this character I was able to reflect on my own relationship with the victim-villain paradigms within myself. It allowed me to scratch beneath the surface of my inner light and swim deep into my own shadows.
How am I perceived as the villain in the world – while being revered as an inspired genius by others? In what ways do I play the victim and am pulled apart by the very things in which I create, while in other ways how do I perpetuate these shadows through the stories I repeat to justify the actions I take?
Although not the typical feminine archetypes that I normally connect to as a modern-day spiritual entrepreneur – whether soft or strong – learning about The Trickster archetype allowed me to heal the wounds within and identify the facets of myself that many would label as dark, evil or horrendous.
Because being a light-worker isn’t always about being in the light.
We cannot always walk the path of light and love, riding high on our unicorns as we sprinkle glitter into the ethosphere.
Instead we must examine the lost parts of ourselves that are deeply wounded, grotesque and angry. It’s about being a shadow walker who embraces the ugly, the festered, the manipulative and terrifying – because ALL aspects of ourselves are worth cherishing and hold deep medicine for not only our own souls, but also the world.
Because when we embrace our shadow, our light and all in between – we heal the wounds that have long been ignored and can embody this human experience more deeply than ever before.
Be on the lookout for Part 3 coming very soon! Since I expanded so much on Mythology and Jungian archetypes in this post I will be dedicating an entire blog to how I really deepened into my love for Tarot through an ongoing art commission that became a crash course in both the Major and Minor Arcanas, which truly showed me how beneficial it is to work with these archetypes and symbols in my life as a spiritual practice.
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