The following article is a guest post from Tarot reader, witch and psychic medium Stacey B. I am excited to have her guest post for you all, over to Stacey!
Working with Deities, Archetypes and Mythological Figures in Tarot Readings
Firstly, a huge “Thank You” to Lisa Boswell from myself and the Tarot Pugs for the opportunity to share this method of tarot reading with all you lovely readers! Many, many, thanks!
When we ask the tarot a question, who are we really asking?
From where do we seek our guidance and wisdom?
Who’s really telling us the answers, the wisdom, the guidance?
The wisdom, guidance and information received from tarot can come from different sources; sometimes we see this information coming from within ourselves, our higher self or even Spirit / the Universe.
For some tarot readers, this information can be viewed as coming from spirit guides, ancestors or loved ones in spirit – sometimes perceived as a mediumship-style tarot reading (or classified under that terminology.)
But, can we also apply this technique to other entities such as deities, archetypes or even mythological figures to get the answers we seek through the tarot?
Working with deities, archetypes and mythological figures in tarot readings can be as effective as doing tarot readings that call upon spirit guides or even Spirit.
Let’s look at archetypes first as these concepts are prevalent in the tarot and collectively in society, culture and even psychology.
Working with Archetypes in Tarot Readings
An archetype is described as a typical example of a certain person or thing; or a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art or mythology.
Jungian archetypes are described as “universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are a psychic counterpart of instinct.” (Wikipedia)
In tarot, the major arcana has predominant archetypes, notably:
The Hermit seen as a sage, wise, old man who is isolated but guides others as a type of psychopomp to help them on their journey.
The Empress as the Mother archetype in the prime of her life as nurturer, provider and caregiver.
The Emperor as the masculine archetype, also father figure and counterpart to the Empress as Mother.
We can work with archetypes to get the answers we seek from the perspective of the archetype and find guidance that we may not have seen otherwise.
In Jungian psychology, these archetypes are viewed as part of the collective consciousness and therefore are already part of our own psyches.
No matter how you identify, these archetypes are within every single one of us and can be “tapped” into anytime and anyplace.
These archetypes are a part of the human collective consciousness.
So how do you work with an archetype in a tarot reading?
It’s all about the frame of mind – if you’re good at putting yourself in other people’s shoes, you can envision how this archetype would answer your question and interpret the cards.
For practice, you can use one of the archetypes from the tarot and meditate / study the imagery before or during the tarot reading.
During the tarot reading, you could ask the image / archetype how they would respond or any advice they may have to give in regards to the tarot spread or cards laid before you.
To work consistently with an archetype, meditation, journaling and studying about a particular archetype can be helpful to gain clearer perspective into the archetype and how you relate to this archetype.
To understand more about symbolism and archetypes, books on psychology may be an interesting place to start.
Working with Mythological Figures in Tarot Readings
Similar to working with and studying archetypes, mythological figures can also be called upon for guidance and advice in tarot readings.
How you work with mythological figures in tarot readings will depend on your spiritual beliefs.
Mythological figures can be called upon for tarot reading advice and guidance in two ways:
• You either believe that the mythological figure is a representation of an idea, moral or ethical story and symbolizes an aspect of within yourself; or
• You believe that the mythological figure exists as an entity and can be called upon to give advice, wisdom and guidance.
There’s no right or wrong belief in either of these ways and each way can yield similar or just as valid interpretations, guidance and significant results in a tarot reading.
Whether you believe the mythological figure exists or not, you’re still “tapping” into the essence of that mythological figure and the energy that the name or entity contains.
Some possible mythological figures that could be consulted for advice in tarot readings could be:
• Baba Yaga
• The Fates
• The Furies
• The Norns
• Oracle at Delphi
• The Valkyries
Before working with a mythological figure in a tarot reading, it’s best to do some research and study about the figure.
Find stories as far back and as original or authentic as you can find; have a look in libraries and in bookstores in addition to searching online.
Meditate on the mythological figure and really get to know more about them, who they were and what they’re all about.
Find pictures of the mythological figure and place their photo in your home, on your altar or some place where you can see it daily and while you do the tarot reading.
The more you learn and understand the mythological figure, the easier it will be to receive their advice, guidance and wisdom as you call upon the figure in your tarot reading.
Working with Deities in Tarot Readings
Working with deities in tarot readings can be similar to working with mythological figures.
This will also depend on your spiritual beliefs and how you view your relationship and connection to deities.
When starting to work with deities in tarot readings, it’s best to start with a pantheon that you’re familiar with and perhaps have worked with previously in your spiritual practice.
Just as it’s rude to walk up to someone you barely know and ask them to give you advice without introducing yourself or offering anything in exchange, it’s not ethical to simply barge upon a deity to give you advice right away.
If you have a working relationship with a deity, this will be easier for you.
You’ll have your own method for offerings in exchange for guidance and assistance that you can call upon during your tarot reading.
If you wish to work with a particular deity for advice and guidance in a tarot reading, but haven’t worked with that deity previously, take time to get to know the deity beforehand.
Spend a week or more researching and studying the deity through books, online, libraries, etc.
Find out as much as you can historically and in modern terms how to work with the deity, what they prefer for offerings, their mythologies and stories, etc.
You can even create a space in your home for the deity with photos, offerings, candles, etc. for the deity prior to the tarot reading.
If you don’t practice a spirituality that tends to the gods, you can still do research on the deity and the culture at that time to understand the mythology from a historical point of view.
The key is to understand the aspects and energy of the deity “inside and out” and connect with the energy and essence of the deity.
When you feel you understand and connect easily with the deity, you can find a prayer to the deity and recite it and/or make a small offering of food, wine or burning an anointed candle prior to the tarot reading.
When finished with a tarot reading after connecting with a deity, you can thank the deity in your own way, spend time in meditation or leave another offering at your altar.
Thank the deity in whichever way feels right to you.
To Believe or Not to Believe in Deities, Archetypes or Mythological Figures in Tarot
Whether you call upon your higher self, your spirit guides, your loved ones in spirit, your ancestors, mythological figures, archetypes or deities, tarot provides us a way to seek answers from a different perspective and to see things in a whole new light.
Even if you don’t “believe” in deities, archetypes or mythological figures as something that physically exists, you can still utilize these methods as a way to gain a different point of view which can sometime be easier than simply just imaging “Spirit” as this vast, intangible source.
Having something to visualize, to conceptualize and perceive can allow the mind to grasp onto an idea or perception that’s easier to understand.
“To believe or not to believe,” that is the question for you to ask when it comes to combining tarot, mythology and spirituality.
So, in our parting words herein:
“Where does your wisdom in tarot come from?”
Stacey B. is a tarot reader, psychic medium and an eclectic witch who began her journey into tarot and witchcraft over 20 years ago. Stacey is a predictive and spiritual tarot reader who works with deities, spirit guides and the Akashic records in her tarot readings. Her spiritual practice includes dark goddess spirituality and low (folk) magick with influences of hoodoo and Slavic witchcraft.
Stacey resides with her two pugs, Rocky & Rosie (aka the “Tarot Pugs”) in Canada where they share their home with two cats. You can find more writings about magick, witchcraft, dark goddess spirituality and tarot at TarotPugs (www.tarotpugs.com).