Archetypal ART: Carl Jung coined the term “archetypal” he drew this term from studying and working with the unconscious realm of existence. Jung studied the Tarot and in his research he believed that archetypal art can symbolize the unconscious knowledge. This unconscious knowledge is really what the Major Arcana stands for, the hidden secrets or our unconscious knowledge. The symbols in Tarot art are very important to the message the cards reveal and the personal and impersonal psyche will determine the meaning and or message that is meant to be delivered. Now the term the unconscious mind is said to be expressed in humanity, it manifests in all life forms within the nervous systems. It describes how this structure of the psyche autonomously organizes experience. Our own intuition or our personal reservoir of personal experiences is unique to each individual, this is different from the collective unconscious which collects and organizes knowledge with each member of a particular species. In reading tarot we discern the relevance and look for the relationships in the cards so that we can integrate into our life and or lifestyle. The Minor Arcana is also rich in symbols and understanding those symbols is essential to a clear interpretation. For instance, a river to me may symbolize a journey, either physical or spiritual and a river to you may mean danger and or the depth of sorrow or cleansing and healing which both would be correct. I believe that the study of symbolism in art is one of the requirements to increase my ability to see the hidden knowledge of the Tarot so rich in symbolism. Dream work is also imbued with symbols, study dreams and you will know your unconscious which is your own archetypal art.
The Knight of Swords. This is a Minor Arcana card. I was thinking of doing a 78 card deck, but was called to create the Major’s and not the Minors. However, I did draw and commission two minors. This is one of them. Swords represent the mind, the mental plane of consciousness. I like to see peak energy here and the brilliant idea comes or you are lit up in a cherry and dancing mood. For some the Knight of Swords brings troubled times, thus the clouds forming in the background among a darker sky. Some see an opinionated, impulse driven person in your area of energy. All interpretation for me is based on relationship to the other cards in a spread. This card depicts the Balinese “Baris” dancer. This dance is of a young warrior and portrays his feelings prior to battle. It glorifies manhood and his confidence and commanding presence. There are thirty different types of Baris dances, and this one is one in which you often see at weddings or family events and is considered non-ritual, although to me it is highly ritual. I have seen a 13 year old perform this dance, it is the first dance that young boys learn.
When he, the Baris dancer, first comes on the stage the dancer’s movements are slow, studied, careful and precise in his feet, his hands and his whole body. His eyes flit as if he is seeking out the unseen foe and is in an unfamiliar place. When he moves to center state his slowness starts to speed up as his confidence becomes that of a self-assured warrior as he rises up on his toes like a ballerina to his full manhood, his stature as a warrior. His body is absolute still, his legs and arms subtly shake and then he turns fast around on one leg and his feet move quickly to the beat of the gamelan orchestra as his face portrays the storm of passions and the quickening of the temper as only a warrior must have.
The Archetype of this art is that of a warrior, masculine energy, (this includes women we all have both the divine feminine and masculine energy). With everything lost, the warrior rides over the hill and saves the day! Tough, courageous, the warrior will help us to come up with a brilliant idea, to set goals and achieved them, to move forward quickly thus alleviating the sloth in oneself, courage, discernment, bring meaning to what you do and to win over the shadow self that seeks to destroy us. The light of the Sword cutting through the illusions that we project outward into our reality. Like all cards each one has its opposite, its duality. The Knight of Swords can be bad person, who uses Warrior skills for personal gain, greedy to the max without thought of morality, ethics, which was the archetype of the Wolf of Wall Street. Often this type does not see or care about the good of the whole group, although he/she will convince you that they do care. This duality operates as one who will compromise all principles to get what they want, stormy clouds indeed!