The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them—all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards; the knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the king was the white rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand and a scroll of parchment in the other.
Alice in Wonderland
As the Moon rose, casting its light on the world of the Weasels Pond there was a sudden noise behind us. A small infantry, comprising of all sorts of wildlife, surrounded me, demanding to see my passport. When I couldn’t produce one I was unceremoniously marched off to the Royal Palace and chained up in a dank cell. I remembered Gulliver, who was imprisoned by the Lilliputians when he first reached the island because they were frightened by his massive size. I hoped things here could be quickly resolved. However, the Weasel, who was supposed to help me squeeze out of sticky situations, had been charged with being an accomplice, was no where to be seen.
Bereft I sobbed and wailed at the indignity of it all, at my stupidity. What fool encouraged me to clamber into this alien world? I could be tucked up in the safety of my home, but no, I had decided to join what was promoted as an adventure. Shivering and shaking in a dank prison is certainly not my idea of an adventure!
Suddenly the silence was broken by a gruff voice who literally yelled out demanding that I get a grip and shut the horrible wailing noise.
Startled I looked around to identify who was reprimanding me so harshly. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I spied a beast hanging upside down in a corner.
Now some folk would stain their underwear when finding themselves confined with a Hanged Beast, but not me! I was relieved to find I have a companion, even if that companion was decidedly gruff.
I thought of the Guided Tarot imagery that I sometimes listen to and I decided that I could interview this creature and glean some advice. A Hanged Beast was sure to have some timely suggestions for me about what kind of energy, what kind of action is needed to extricate myself from this prickly situation.
As the Hanged Beast took in my overtures he barely moved. He seemed completely at ease hanging upside down.
“Why don’t you use that new deck, the Archeo, to determine what kind of energy you actually have that you need to manifest” he dryly suggested.
I was confused! This deck was back at home in my work space there.
The Hanged Beast smiled a knowing smile. “This is a magical place. We can beam it up for you” And with that I found the Archeo sitting next to me.
I drew a card! It was none other than the Sage who reminded me to pause and quietly meditate upon my situation.
Over to You
Christopher Vogler has written in depth about the stages of the Hero’s Journey, which is what we have probably embarked on. Every traveler is invariably confronted with a number of challenges. Tarot decks take us on these archetypal journeys and have become invaluable tools for writers and artists alike. Then, of course there are some outstanding Archetype decks like Archeo by Nick Bantock and Archetype Cards by Carolyn Myss.
Choose a deck from your collection. Enter it and wander for awhile.
What challenge are you faced with?
Which Major or Archetype helps you shift your perspective and move forward?