WHAT ARE ARCHETYPES ?
At their core archetypes are collective stories that are repeated across cultures. Carl Jung defined twelve primary types that represent the range of basic human motivations. These include Ruler, Creator/Artist, Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Rebel, Hero, Wizard, Jester, Every-man, Lover, Caregiver. Tarot cards have an amazing ability to trigger a connection to the unconscious mind where these universal truths and patterns help us understand the truths that animate our everyday lives.
Many traditional Tarot decks like the Rider-Waite-Smith decks focus on images and symbols from the medieval royal court to help us access these deep patterns of being. These decks are popular because they have proven to be an effective tool in triggering a connection to the archetypes present deep in our unconscious.
A DIVERSE APPROACH.
But we need not limit our approach to the unconscious with one set of iconography. Images from Other cultures, representations of varied body-types and fluid gender representations allow us to view universal archetypes from a different perspective and this in turn can open up a whole new level of understanding and allow us to experience the archetypes more fully. We are reminded of Joseph Campbell's famous book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in which he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero shared by world mythologies. Clearly, we understand the meaning of the hero better after approaching the hero from multiple perspectives and cultures.