Tarot Cards: Wise Dream Shamans
What is an archetype?
Primal Images, Relationships, and Activities
When pondering archetypes, consider primal images, relationships, and activities. Archetypes are universal (across cultures, language and age), immediately recognizable, and powerful. Everyone recognizes the following:
- The stages of life: birth, maturity, sex, aging and death...
- Community leaders: King, Queen, Shaman, Joker, Judge, Executioner, Priest/ess...
- Special Animals to Humanity: Horse, Fish, Eagle, Dog, Bee...
- Activities: Birthing, Burial, Bonding, War, Adventure...
- Places: Castle, Temple, Campfire, Shoreline, Mountain...
Archetypes are central, primal and deeply profound to our human experience. They exist in all levels of our consciousness but especially hold significance in our deep unconscious minds.
Tarot & Archetypes
For centuries people have been using the Tarot for meditation, consultation, divination and artistic inspiration. It has been described as a "sacred text in card form", "archetypal tinker toys", and mysteriously compelling.
It is compelling! It's a series of archetypal images that tell a moving story of the Fool's Journey to Enlightenment. We are all the fool in our lives moving through the stages of life, always changing, developing and growing until we reach the end of our life on earth and pass onto spirit.
We love, war, grow old and rise to the challenges of being human to the best of our abilities at any given time. We struggle to understand ourselves, heal the sick, help the infirm, pray for forgiveness and aspire to reach the end of our lives without regrets well content with the will of the gods. This is the universal human condition and it is mapped out in a series of images in the Tarot.
The names given to the cards give us a hint of their archetypal connection. King, Queen, Knight, Magician, High Priestess, Fool etc. are members of a community we all recognize. Leaders, spiritual guides, attitudes and positions that are central to the organization of community no matter where you reside in the world. Communities and societies must have some form of organizational structure.
Activities to which humans must all at some point in their lives embrace are depicted. Strife, initiation, conflict, loving, work, and creating are also depicted throughout the Tarot. All humans will experience these activities at some time in their lives.
Buildings such as castles, temples, mountains and animals are also depicted. Few archetypes are left out in the Tarot. It is a veritable treasure trove of archetypal imagery which is why it has attracted the attention of so many artists over the years.
Art & Tarot
Just 50 years ago there was only 2 decks in print, now there are more than a 1000! Artists working with any medium have been attracted to the imagery in the Tarot and have taken on the rather daunting task and challenge of designing a deck. Decks are available from almost every culture: Celtic, Africa, Aboriginal, Middle Ages, feminist and Eastern and hundreds more besides.
Every artist who has taken up the challenge to create a Tarot deck has experienced it's power to transform. All have commented in awe how this Tarot project changed their lives so profoundly. From leaving marriages, to moving, to having children - in fact, taking them the archetypal stages of development!
Dream Archetypal Art
Dreams & Archetypes
Interpreting Your Dreams
If we live to be 80 years old, we spend about 20 - 25 of those years in the dreamworld. The fact that so few of us really understand what our dreams are saying to us is truly astonishing. Indeed few people even recall their dreams and when asked, they say, "Oh I don't dream." And shrug as if that isn't really sad at all.
The fact is that we do all dream an average of 7 - 8 dreams per night. If we recall one we're doing well. If we spend time in our day pondering our dreams we are doing excellently, and if we record them, paint them, take their advice, use them for artistic inspiration we are aficionados!
Dreams speak in an archetypal language that must be translated to be understood. Many dream dictionaries offer meanings of those symbols but they often fail to fully satisfy our curiosity and investigations. Mostly because they fail to take into our personal association to the symbol and are incapable of utilizing synchronicity.
Dreams & Synchronicity
Synchronicity is when two events take place that are related but non-causal.
- We have a dream about a bouquet of roses and the following day in conversation with a friend are told they have decided to take a horticultural course on growing roses - we ask ourselves, "What does this mean? What is all this bit about roses?"
- We have a dream about a magician and the following day a flyer about a magician coming to town on our birthday is left on our car windshield - we ask ourselves, "What is it about magic that I should be paying attention to in my life?"
- We have a dream about an old friend that we haven't spoken to in 20 years and the following day they send us a friend request on facebook - we ask ourselves, "What is this friend bringing to me now? Why are they back in my life?"
We didn't cause the event to take place. It happened that it took place both inside our dream world and in our waking life. This is called synchronicity. When two events takes place both in our dream lives and our waking lives, we tend to pay them special attention. They are numinous. They demand pondering.
Synchronicity, like puns, humour and symbols are important processes of our dreaming self. To effectively translate your dreams you must engage all to reach an accurate interpretation.
Discussing Tarot on Rogers TV
This video features Kathleen answering questions about Tarot and doing quick readings for callers listening to the show.
Dreams & Tarot: Perfect Partners
How to Use the Tarot to Interpret Your Dreams
The possibilities are limitless for utilizing the Tarot to help you work through your dream's meaning. You can ask questions of each dream segment and draw a Tarot card to answer the question. Here are a few examples,
- You dream there is a man chasing you. Who is he? You draw the Emperor card in answer to that question which means authority, father and patriarchy. You might ask yourself, "How is patriarchy pursuing me? Do I feel like running away from my father for some reason? Do I fear an authority in my life? Who?"
- You dream you are falling off a cliff. How are you losing control? You draw the Moon card which means unconscious, intuition, and the dreaming mind. You might ask yourself, "How am I not paying attention to those intuitive feelings possibly to my peril? What is in my unconscious mind that is sabotaging my efforts to move forward?"
- You dream you are in a canoe on a fast moving river. How is my journey preordained? You draw the Hanged Man card which means out of control, gaining a new perspective and loss of ego. You ask yourself, "How am I passing over control to another for my life?
If you know a bit about the Tarot you can do a full reading on your dream. The beauty of this process is that both the Tarot and your dream life rely on synchronicity and symbolism. You are using a tool that speaks the same language as your dreamlife! It's transformative.
Did you find this article inspiring enough to try the process?
Please share your thoughts!
I would love to hear from any of you who have tried this methodology for working with your dreams. Please don't put personal dream material in your comments. We often don't realize how personal our dreams are and what we are revealing in sharing a dream with someone.