Images and symbols can bypass the intellect and linear ways of knowing. Symbology is a fascinating way to give expression to our innermost beliefs, struggles and questions. At the same time, symbols invite us to tap into information stored in the subconscious.
The use of symbolism in stories through mythology and archetypal study, such as what Carl Jung revealed so many years ago, has laid the foundation for psychological development and understanding. Fairytales have similarly shaped our morals and beliefs for many generations. Little girls everywhere still fantasize about mermaids, princesses, and the knights and heroes who rescue them. (I know … we need to shift these stories!)
Before language, humans thought in pictures — and we still do (although words have become our dominant intellectual tool). The use of animal totems or birds has long been utilized in many indigineous cultures. A hawk represents a messenger; a coyote may signify a trickster.
Internalized archetypes shape our lives
Our subconscious holds stories and beliefs that were developed by our experiences and usually formed in childhood, and these archetypal patterns continue to shape and influence how we feel now and what we believe, whether true or not. When we listen to a song or watch a movie that moves us deeply, our subconscious is responding and reflecting back to us a story that is within us.
The hero or heroine, the victim and martyr, the wise woman/man and villain — these represent important facets of our human psyche, both light and dark aspects. This is why uncovering symbolic archetypes within us, both positive and negative, can show us what has been blocking us from reaching our full potential.
This is why I love to work with symbols. My Goddess Portal System uses both words and symbols to help you open up to the area in your life where you currently need to focus your energy. Another way to explore your inner wisdom is with oracle decks. They contain symbols, archetypes and also words that help us understand and extract new and often hidden meanings that would otherwise go unnoticed.
The Tarot includes 22 major arcana representing various archetypes that we might experience and encounter at various stages and times in life, such as the Fool, Magician, Lovers and Hanged Man. The four suits in modern day playing cards — hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades — are similar to the Tarot suits of cups, coins, wands and swords. And likewise, the court cards — King, Queen, Prince and Princess— each have specific and symbolic energies and wisdom.
So, what’s been driving your behavior lately? What emotions are at play under the surface of your consciousness? Goddess, why not shuffle a deck of oracle cards (Tarot, Colette Baron-Reid’s Goddess Power oracle deck, or whichever deck you have on hand) and see what pops out for you!
Cheers to new discoveries!