card meanings & reading
The Last Judgment, by Michelangelo 1541. "The Judgement" is also one of the Tarot cards.
Mythical and Symbolic Ingredients in the Tarot Cards
Archetypes - symbols of fundamental ingredients in human life - are used in abundance in all forms of divination. Also the Tarot card deck consists of a number of archetypes, representing aspects of our world and our lives.
Myth EmergesMost of what we call myth was originally speculation in an effort to explain the world and all its dazzling phenomena. It was a process in which imagination assembled the inner world with the outer, sort of like a jigsaw puzzle.
When the images that were formed made some sense in both worlds, they were kept and expanded all the way to complete cosmologies.
The Evolution of MythThe formation of myth was a kind of research. Myths that helped people relate to their reality became trusted and were orally transmitted from generation to generation, until they were written down – if not replaced by other myths along the way, and forgotten.
So, myths have their own evolutionary law, their own survival of the fittest.
Those that gain trust are enforced, also improved as human experience increases. The ones that for one reason or other become less convincing will be discarded.
The purpose of the myths is to shed some light on what to make of it all. Some elements and themes came rather naturally, because of what could be observed already by primordial man.
Dreams made him aware of something existing apart from the palpable world his body inhabited. So, myths emerged about what existed beyond and around what the eyes could see.
And people were born out of the bellies of their mothers, soon growing just as big as them. Myths were needed to explain it.
Also, during their lives, fate struck people very differently, rewarding some tremendously and striking down hard on others. Again, myths were made to explain it.
How did it begin?The earthly life and its burdens raised numerous questions in the heads of our ancestors. So did the sky high above their heads.
The sun with its warmth and light appeared and disappeared daily. The moon moved differently and its light was as cold as it was weak in comparison. Not only that, but in the cluster of little white dots on the night sky, some moved and the others did not. Myths took care of that.
The greatest mystery of all was from where it all came. Had there been a beginning, and if so, what caused it?
One woman out of whose womb the first child fell. But if so, where did that woman come from? One man, whose seed had planted that first child in its mother’s womb. But again, where would that man have come from?
This was the greatest challenge for myth to meet, and many myths did. Some did it well enough to survive for thousands of years. A few of them are still around.
Some of these myths, but not as many as one might think, also dealt with the possible future end of it all.
For more on myths of creation, go here:
Myth Making SenseWhen watching myths as ancient explanations to the mysteries of life, patterns become clear.
In all the cultures and eras we have been able to study, myths of old form systems of explanations for worldly life as the human mind experiences it.
Whatever primordial man wondered about, could be dealt with in a myth. So, their number increased, as did their complexity. They gave solace and a comforting feeling of life making sense.
This was a need of the mind, satisfied by the very capacity of the mind that created the need. In the distant past, when little was known about how the universe works, myths substituted that ignorance.
This mechanism of the human mind, speculating where knowledge is scarce, goes on today.
Archetypes - the Themes of Myths
Archetypes of the Tarot
List of Tarot card Archetypes