A leap of faith is required to start any journey into the unknown. The fool Archetype is an enthusiastic "Yes" to the journey, motivated by grandeur delusions of what may be ahead while not paying much attention to the potential danger. It is characterized by an optimistic confidence inspired by infinite potential requiring no evidence to support the reasoning. This lightheartedness invokes joyful social interactions, while looking for opportunities to joke around and encourage others.
At the beginning of 2018 I decided I wanted to try being a digital nomad internationally. My Swedish friend who I nicknamed Celestial Star-Struck invited me to a week long music and camping festival called Sáiva located far north east of Sweden in an area called Padjelanta. It is far enough north to see the northern lights.
It all sounds magical and impressive when I talk about it, like being called to adventure in distant lands. As the date of departure got closer I started to realize the scope and challenges of the trip I had agreed to so enthusiastically. I had a health concern which gave me an easy reason to cancel and stay home. But I imagined the Aurora Borealis shining off in some cosmic horizon, luring me to step into the foggy unknown. The only way I could get myself to go was to believe in enchantment and embrace the optimistic ideology of a fool, embarking on a journey without knowing what was on the other side.
When I arrived in Sweden it was full of wonder and excitement as I had imagined. But there was another element I was not prepared for: The language barrier. Granted almost everyone speaks English in Sweden, but as I traveled further and further away from the main city of Stockholm, more and more people spoke Swedish around me. I found myself unaware of what was going on or being talked about. I started to feel foolishly under-informed about the situations I was getting into, and how I was supposed to interact with strangers.
It was an important lesson about the archetype: when you step into a completely unfamiliar place with naive optimism, it almost always leads to an uncomfortable feeling of falling or foolishness as everything is different and all the normal ways of being no longer work. I felt a bit lost and dependent on my English speaking friends to direct me and let me know what was going on.
At one point everyone started singing together in Swedish. I looked around quite puzzled until I worked out that they must be singing happy birthday. I tried not to draw any attention to myself as I felt like a clueless outsider, patiently waiting for an opportunity to speak English to someone and get caught up on what else is going on.
This shadow element of the archetype of feeling uncomfortable and potentially falling into danger is just part of taking a journey into the unknown. It forces growth and learning new ways of being as well as teaches us compassion for others who are foreigners to where we call home.
This unknown danger ahead is represented by the Alligator in the drawing. The fool does not consider that there could be an alligator ahead. If you start to fear the potential alligator, then you fall out of the Fool Archetype, as it leads to preparing for the worst, or feeling under prepared.
This archetype is particularly useful in setting your mood in a good place to start any activity. It is acknowledging the infinite potential each moment brings to open up to something absolutely amazing. Life is joyful and fun when you see the bright side. It's always a good time to tell a joke or make someone laugh. Even if you have to be a bit silly or take a risk to do it. Say Yes to whatever life offers you and give it all you got!
The magician archetype is all about using intention to manipulate the alchemical elements available in a way that manifests experiences that illuminate truth, awareness, and purpose in an inspiring and enchanting way. By effectively manifesting what is needed, the magician can take a step to higher ground instead of falling into challenging situations that a more foolish archetype can get themselves into.
Now that I have leaped off the edge, ventured deep into the Northern Wilderness of Sweden and the Sáiva Festival has began, I reflect on how I have been acting as well as what it has taken to get here. I will now set more clear intentions to manifest the kind of experiences I want. I am here to create art, feel inspired and go on a spiritual journey. The major arcane of the tarot will be my guide.
From this place I will act with purpose and passion while grounded and clear.
In order to create what you can imagine; time and attention much be focused on it. This requires other aspects of life must be in balance:
The Magician Archetype Drawing Shows the 4 elements starting out as out of balance on the left, then they become in balance on the right. The creative process is holistic, requiring many elements to come together in a unique way.
One of the major lessons of the Magician Archetype is about focus and procrastination. This archetype is massively creative and able to manifest anything in life. But time and attention are a limited resource, so its just as important to NOT spend creative energy on certain tasks, as it is important to spend focused creative energy on specific chosen activities. Some activities may feel like creative magician energy, but it may be procrastination or a distraction.
For example: Spontaneously stacking rocks at the beach in impressive rock statues may feel like a creative magician archetype activity, but if stacking rocks does not contribute to a bigger picture of manifesting what you want, a skilled magician archetype will identify this, acknowledge it as a recreational creativity activity, and if it is not time for recreation then it is time to stop and get back to spending creative energy on manifesting what matters most.
The next archetype, The High Priestess is particularly good at deepening the vision of what is most important to manifest. That will come next.
I call in the presence of spirit guardians, light beings and divine grace. May I receive wisdom and guidance in alignment with my highest self and greatest intentions.
Messages come in the form of symbols of universal human experiences, stories and revelations. This inward vision can be accessed through ceremony, daily routines, and rituals that are guided by meditation, intuition, nature and the tarot.
I am grateful to spend time with Izabelle Sweet who embraces and amplifies the high priestess archetype. This has taken me 1 step further on my spiritual journey and is channeled into this drawing.
One of the most effective ways to turn inward is to sit in meditation. By quieting the mental chatter while sitting in stillness, deeper aspects of the self come to the surface. The High Priestess Archetype prefers to turn inward to find motivation and insight. It can be though as an introverted expression of deepening the spiritual process of creation. From this place visions of answers to unresolved questions can emerge.
While I was in meditation I was inspired by the shape shifting nature of the divine source. Often appearing as a dynamic face that shifts with it's surroundings, presenting information in a subtle and non-verbal way. I came up with this character named Divso to represent Divine Source. This made it easier to relate to and be in the presence of it.
This silver necklace I purchased for a lover the day before she broke up with me so I never got an opportunity to give it to her. It has haunted me for years, unable to deal with the emotional weight associated with it's original purpose, while also unable to discard it due to it's value and beauty.
"which depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. is often interpreted as a symbol for eternal cyclic renewal or a cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The skin-sloughing process of snakes symbolizes the transmigration of souls, the snake biting its own tail is a fertility symbol."Source:
"A double Ourosboros in alchemy symbolizes volatility."
Although volatility causes transformation which often leads to growth, it can also be a rather destructive force and can destroy a foundation, like a break up. After acquiring the necklace as a gift for my partner at the time, while our relationship was already being challenged, it became extremely volatile and ended the next morning with her leaving and never coming back. I didn't get a chance to give it to her.
Due to it's personal emotional weight transformed into depth and insight, as well as the traditional spiritual meaning, it is the ideal symbol of the High Priestess for me. I have given it to Izabelle Sweet as a thank you for her sharing her high priestess perspective with me during the time I lived with her and while I was studying this archetype. I photo shopped it into the art piece in the bottom left corner as a reminder of sacrifice, death and rebirth as a spiritual process.
The High Priestess Archetype is an ideal archetype to embody when dealing with Tarot Cards a tool for self reflection or social interaction with others. While studying this archetype I pulled 3 tarot cards daily and placed them out on an alter as a daily ritual.
Tarot cards can help deepen social interaction with friends and strangers by bringing the topic of conversation to what shows up in the cards. I spent time giving tarot card readings to friends and acquaintances, being sure to remain tuned in and respectful to the process. I tell people a few things to help them understand how it works and to feel comfortable:
I learned the important of an invocation to set the intention and to help tune into my higher self.
The Empress Archetype is the outward expression of having a vision and then nurturing it into life. This can be expressed through visual vibrancy and color. In this art piece it's represented by the nautilus shell she is manifesting. It's simplistic spiral form representing an infinitely expanding growth from the loving attention of a motherly force.
The Empress Archetype is a balance of the element of Water and Earth. The water fall and lake represents her connection with emotion as ripples out in constant motion and transformation. The Earth Symbol in the Rock formation to the right as well as the solid throne she sits upon symbolizes her groundedness and stability as someone you can rely on to provide a strong foundation to grow from.
Taurus is the astrological symbol and the personality of the Empress. You can see the symbol of Taurus on her necklace and at the base of her throne. Qualities associated with the Empress and Taurus are: Reliable, patient, practical, devoted, responsible, stable.
The Moon on the top left is merged with the symbol of the Divine Feminine Goddess. It represent an ideal to pull inspiration from while accessing a feminine higher self. The Moon is connected with the night, insight, introversion, and the unconscious. It's phases are a reminder of the cyclical nature of all things and our direct connection to that cycle.
The angelic bird in the top right symbolizes the loving and goodhearted nature an Empress Archetype embraces. She protects those who cannot protect themselves. These young creatures are represented by the little ones who sit on top of her throne.
Her throne has the symbol of Venus at the top, as that is the planet that the Empress gets her power from. The 12 stars at the top of her throne represent the 12 zodiac astrological symbols that the Empress and the Emperor rule over with leadership, wisdom and guidance. The Throne is symbolic of the authoritarian power of the Empress, as this archetype offers protection and nurturing in exchange for jurisdiction, power and respect.
The figure in the bottom right represent my experience of the Empress and the witnessing of such divine beauty. It is best represented with art, poetry, and non-verbal expressions. All qualities the Empress Archetype is in tune with. The figure is drawing what the Empress is nurturing into existence, but it's a mirror image, representing that an image of something is not the same as the actual thing.
When I started to study the Empress Archetype, I met a woman who I will refer to as Eva. I treated her with love and respect and experienced her as a divine feminine force. Soon after we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend. It became clear that in-order for me to amplify the divine feminine, I needed to study divine masculine at the same time. conveniently the next archetype is the Emperor.
The Empress and the Emperor are so intimately connected that it makes sense to study both archetypes at the same time. So as I studied and drew the Empress I saved space for the Emperor next to her.
The Emperor's associated astrological symbol is Aries as he gains his power from the planet Mars. He is the embodiment of divine masculine as such is a protector, provider and leader. The Ram with the Aries symbol on his forehead symbolizes the force behind the calm presence. It's not that the Emperor uses force to get what he wants, it's that he is willing to use force to defend his community or values. This is reinforced by having his sword behind his shield. It's force is not in intimidation by from knowing how and when to use it.
"Use only with purpose. Return only with Honor."
The Sword is a symbol for the element of air which is associated with the mind and decision making. The Emperor archetype is purpose driven, decisive and confident. He does not react with emotion such as anger, fear or desire. Instead he weighs the options and decides based on logic, even if he does not have all the information, or if it's a hard decision that will cause suffering. This is where rules are made and discipline is used to enforce these rules.
The Emperor primarily expresses himself through speech or written word. This could be manifest in a contract, story, or an important list. This is why the character in the bottom left is writing down what he is learning from the Emperor Archetype. The Emperor speaks clearly and forcefully.
Fire is the element of passion, energy and assertiveness. The Emperor Archetype uses his passion for his values to strengthen his position and stand for what is right. This is symbolized in the fire staff. When an Emperor feels strong emotions such as anger fear and joy, he does not immediately react to them. Instead they are channeled and transformed through the Air element of the mind to become purposeful. For example: anger can be converted into determination and focus.
The symbol on the shield is a Vegvisir otherwise known as a Nordic Compass:
"[...] is a symbol of protection and guidance believed to be used as a compass by Vikings. The word vegvisir means 'wayfinder' and 'sign post' in Icelandic language."
It's on the shield as a way of defending himself by helping other find their way when they are lost, instead of by striking them down with force and creating more enemies.
The Emperor Archetype helped me tune into my presence and masculinity. I became more aware of my posture and began a morning exercise routine. Exercise is uncomfortable and easy to simply skip. It takes self-discipline and determination to stay with the goal of gaining more strength and better posture. By embracing the Emperor Archetype I am able to face the discomfort to push my body harder.
The previous archetypes help establish a vision of how my life could be if I am in alignment with my higher self, values and stay purpose driven. With those visions, the Emperor archetype enforces the steps needed to move towards goals.
For example: The High Priestess showed me that spontaneous substance use such as drinking alcohol socially or smoking weed to chill out are out of alignment with my higher self. They are sacred sacraments meant to be used in ceremony with the intention of deepening my journey or changing my perspective. I know that now, but I still did it on a regular basis. The desire to drink or smoke in social situations or spontaneously during time off can be stronger than just a vision of how things should be. This is where the Emperor Archetype is helpful: By viewing the vision of the High Priestess as sacred, it is not ok to violate the rules and act childishly. An Emperor embraces this discomfort and does the right thing instead of the emotionally driven decision. While studying the Emperor I have better control over my desires, and prefer to go to bed on time so that I can wake up on time to start my morning exercises.
The Empress Archetype also helps strengthen The Emperor Archetype, because the Empress Archetype find the Emperor Archetype attractive (And Vise Versa). So when I align myself with the Emperor Archetype, I make better decisions for my relationship with my romantic partner, amplifying intimacy. Ill give an example:
I was spending the weekend with my girlfriend Eva, when an old female friend visited spontaneously. I was welcoming to this friend as I usually am to anyone who visits me planed or not, but it became clear that my girlfriend was not happy that my attention was now split between 2 people, as our plans were effected. Eva and I had set intention to go for a walk and watch the sunset together, but with my other friend here, we could have to accommodate them no stay home to be social. In that situation I embraced the Emperor Archetype to contemplate what I should do. I recognized that I would have to take the dis-comfortable route of telling my visiting friend that Eva and I already had plans for the evening and that we are not available to visit. My old friend left slightly awkwardly but what followed was a magical time with Eva. We found an awesome sunset spot and basked in our joy for each other. By prioritizing Eva with clear communication despite the discomfort, I created a better situation and increased Eva's attraction for me. I felt good about myself too as I understood how the Emperor Archetype faces discomfort head on as an opportunity to demonstrate my values and do the right thing.
The Hierophant Archetype is the High Priest. He is the masculine extroverted expression of the same spiritual energy and wisdom that the High Priestess Archetype of the 2nd Card (II) Embodies. This expression tends to be more joyful while expressing passion for God out loud. This requires a high level of knowledge and experience with a particular spiritual linage or philosophy. The archetype is associated with preaching and mentorship both giving and receiving.
While I studied the Hierophant Archetype I was drawn to a deeper level of understanding of my spiritual perspective and relationship with the Tarot. I felt compelled to clarify and express my understanding of Pantheism and Tarot in a enjoyable and passionate way. I recorded videos about pantheism and I started creating an online course that teaches spiritual concepts using tarot as a framework. It is called: Behold Arcana .com.
I have written up my perspective on Pantheism on this blog post that is on BeholdArcana.com. Basically pantheism is the most accurate and best suited spiritual perspective available in the 21st century. It is the belief that: God is Nature. There is no super-natural, miracles, or personals transcended God being. Pantheism is scientifically accurate and provides the believer with a holistic and environmental conscious expression of spiritual that strives to be in harmony with the Earth and other sentient beings we share the planet with. One can be a pantheist without being a member of any religion, but there are religions that are panthest, such as: Taoism, Buddhism, Shinto, Modern Paganism, Core Shamanism (or Neoshamanism) and Most Native American Earth-Based Religions.
During this time I studies many religious and spiritual perspective. In particular I spent time integrating Christianity, which is the dominant religious perspective of Western Culture for the past 2000 years. I reviewed the many known flaws and burdens of proof it cannot account for. It is not compatible with pantheism as the claims are based on taking cultural mythology as historical truth, even though the Christian bible was written many years after the events it talks about, has gone through many revisions and translations, is full of contradictions, has impossible miracles, involves blood magical rituals and addresses very few of the issues we face today. Pantheism would be compatible with Christianity, if Christianity allowed for it's own teachings to be taken as metaphorical, instead of true. Christianity as an allegorical mythology and one spiritual perspective among many, would make Christianity a useful religion to be a follower of. There are religions that see Jesus Christ as one among many ascended masters, or use the term "Christ Consciousness", such as the Self-Realization Fellowship. But how Christianity views Jesus Christ as a literal and personal savior is inherently flawed, miss-leading and limiting in the 21st century.
I found that the Christian perspective is unsuited for the future of humanity as it exacerbates an infinite resource mindset that ignores the current issues of our time while adding to the level of pollution and destruction we are currently experiencing on Earth. Christianity dumbs down spirituality and comforts the believer into accepted life as a gift from a loving creator God who has super-natural powers and controls everything yet hides from our perception and does not intervene in any measurable way. From the Christian perspective the most important aspect of life is getting into a literal eternally infinite heavenly afterlife where all the current issues we face do not exist and do not matter. This takes responsibility away from the believer and puts it on a mythological and imaginary character who will clean up after them and make things right. This mind-set may have worked ok for pre-industrial revolution times, but as we become more technologically advanced and resources become more limited, the perspective has become outdated, ignorant and even destructive.
A good example of this is to examine the diet of different spiritual groups and religions. Christianity provides almost no guidelines that make any sense for our current time, leaving Christians to tend to follow outdated ideas of the standard American diet which promotes the ethical atrocity of industrial farming and environmental destruction caused by over fishing. This also leads to health decline and painful diseases that a Christian God provides no explanation, protection or guidance for. While Pantheism inherently teaches humans to eat a plant-based, as health science and vegan ideology is in perfect alignment with the concept the God is Nature. This addresses a major issues of our current time. Pantheists live in harmony with nature and take scientific understanding to make holistic decisions on topics such as diet and modern ethical practices. Buddhism is a Pantheistic religion that promotes vegetarianism as a spiritual practice to minimize suffering of sentient beings.
I felt a desire to preach about the destructive flaws of Christianity out loud, because if more Christians became aware of the psychological, philosophical, scientific, and spiritual benefits of pantheism in comparison to Christianity, more people will strive to become in harmony with the Earth and nature for many generations to come. The future of a Christian nation is a self for-filling apocalypse of environmental destruction and decay due to the logical flaws and delusional beliefs brought about by the inaccurate and outdated belief system.
Illogical and cult-like spiritual beliefs and religions can be seen as bubbles of illusion. The believers who are a member of the delusional group are within a bubble. All their fellow believers live in the bubble together, re-enforcing the bubbles walls while rejecting any evidence of the walls. All those outside of the bubble can see the bubble that they are in. This bubble can act as an echo-chamber while people who believe the same thing get together to re-enforce their beliefs. If a follower of a religion only reads books and listens to the preachers of their chosen religion, they may never become aware of the bubble walls. Everyone is susceptible to this particularly through tribalism and indoctrination. This is why it's important to listen to many spiritual perspectives. If you are aware and study all religions on Earth, you'll be able to see how mythology plays a roll in all of them, in particularly the creation story. If you can see other religions bubbles of illusion from the outside, you are more likely be able to identify when you are in one yourself.
I acknowledge that Christianity has contributed some benefits to society over the course of the past 2000 years, while it was one of the most useful and accessible believe system of it's time. It has helped so many people find moral guidance and inner peace. It has also allowed the believer to feel a personal relaitionship with the divine life force that flows through nature and living beings, by personifying it in a mythological human refereed to as Jesus Christ. It has helped many people find community, talk about spiritual topics, find a level of healing from addiction and disconnection, while learning from a role model.
Now that we have access to the internet, Christianity has become harder to believe in because it is extraordinarily unlikely due to the scientific method and the availability of information to compare Christianity to other religions and mythologies throughout human history. When Christianity is understood in the context of human nature, history, tribalism, political power and sociology, it can be seen for what it is: a mythology suited for the culture and time period it was created.
Christianity lines up perfectly with the astrological age of Pisces. They both started approximately the same time and share the symbol of the fish. The exact date that Pisces ends is unclear but due to the precessional rotation of the Earth, every astrological age last approximately 2160 years. This number can vary by up to 200 years every astrological age because it depending on the unique size of the constellation from the perspective of the Earth. Some constellations are bigger than others so they take longer. The astrological age we are moving into is the age of Aquarius. An age perfectly suited for pantheism, new age spirituality, higher awareness, environmentalism and access to the internet.
I decided to include 1 cryptic Christian symbol in the drawing, as it is a symbol that appears in the traditional tarot imagery for the Hierophant. It holds spiritual truth beyond the teaches of Christianity. In the middle of the drawing, on his chest and behind his praying hands is a cross with 3 horizontal lines. It represents trinity:
This 3 levels of awareness are echoed by the 3 positions of the mans hands in the drawing. In this way, the Heirophant is aware and involved with all 3 levels of spiritual trinity.
The symbol of Tarus is included above the Trinity Symbol as a circle with a half circle above it that look like horns. It looks more like a neckless. The Heirohant is associated with the Zodia sign of Tarus - The Bull. Tarus is an Earth symbol. The downward facing triangle on the chest of the man has a line through the middle, which makes it the alchemical symbol for Earth element.
In his 2 hands on either side hold 2 objects: on the left is a Nautilus Shell, which is the symbol of Pantheism. On the right are 3 tarot cards, representing the use of Tarot for spiritual insight and guidance. These 2 symbols capture the 2 balanced aspects of my spirituality.
My spiritual perspective is: Pantheism. While my spiritual practice and path is within the Tarot. Tarot adds stories of universal human experiences and archetypes to gain wisdom and insight. The imagery speaks in a non-verbal way that helps provide different perspectives on the current situations and level of awareness an individual is at. The major arcana of that tarot is an ideal guide of progressively more complex spiritual concepts yet can be experienced personally by applying the teachings in every day life and challenging situations.
Tarot cards are unable to predict the past, present or future in any super-natural way. Receiving a tarot card does not mean the receiver is getting a psychic message, or it is a comment on who they are or what will happen next in their life. Tarot cards are not meant to be used for telling someone's fortune. They are universal human experiences represented in artwork that is dense in symbology and metaphor. Everyone should be able to relate to every card in some way, so every card is relevant to your life. They can be seen as perspectives or emphasizing certain lessons or ways of being. This can be applied to any situation you are currently facing on whatever level of awareness you are currently on. The person receiving the card or the reading is the one most qualified to interpret that meaning for themselves. As a card reader I am here to help that person see the meaning for themselves. They are like a dream in that they are not real, yet feel very real and hold uniquely personal interpretations.
Tarot cards facilitate deep conversations with yourselves and others. They are a powerful tool for spiritual growth and insight.
Traditionally there are 2 students present on the Hierophant card. While I did work on mentoring my nephews who came to visit during this time, I didn't feel this was significant enough to include. Instead I spent the majority of my time talking to a video camera, represented on the left, and building my website Behold Arcana, represented on the right. These are in place of where the 2 students would traditionally be.
I learned that my nephews lacked interest in the level of spirituality I was presenting. Ultimately I needed to refine the style to be more story and action based for them to get fully engaged with the path of using Tarot as a spiritual guide for personal growth. This brought me to develop 3 levels of courses:
A seeker can start on whichever level they find most appealing. Each lesson and course build upon the last, so it's best to do them in order.
I acquired and read so many books while studying this archetype! This is represented by the open book at the based of the drawing.
The shadow element of the Hierophant is a arrogant self-righteousness. If someone believes they know the highest level of spiritual insight, they may become condescending and closed-minded.
"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."
Daniel J. Boorstin
The documentary series called "Wild Wild Country" is a true story about Osho. It illuminates what can happen when a well intending but overly powerful Hierophant Archetype becomes the dominant authority of a group of followers. The shadow elements of the High Priest are ultimately what caused the demise of the Osho and his commune.
It is extremely important to stay humble and open-minded while passionately expressing personal spirituality.
The crossed keys at the base of the seat is also a traditional Hierophant symbol that shows up in the Rider-Wait Tarot card. It represents spiritual knowledge the unlocks insightful wisdom. Something I felt strongly while studying and embodying this archetype.