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By: Nikki Savage


I’ve been using cards more and more in my practice.  Oracle cards and Tarot.  Mostly as a meditative, contemplative practice.  I lay the cards out by chance and see how those stories, pictures and all the thoughts and emotions they draw, how they relate to my story, my situation, my life, all of life.  I am falling in love with the dance of the archetypes in Tarot.


Before I took the time to really look at archetypical patterning in the world and in my life, I never really gave thought to the cards in relation to their greater story.  If I had Death, there was an ending and so as with all endings another beginning.  It is a card of transformation.  That was that.


But there is more to that story when I see Death is preceded by The Hanged Man, a card of surrender, acceptance and sacrifice.  And it is followed by Temperance, a card of nurture and balance.  With more of the story, I can look at the ways that I can accept Death (my new beginning) more gracefully and ways to make time to allow this transition to integrate.  How I can regain my balance.  Because just behind Temperance lies the Devil.  I know I want to feel solid in my new space before I have to deal with the drag of the material world at its worst.


The story of the archetypes through the Major Arcana resonates with the human story.  Let’s revisit the Death card and see how it may tell story in life.  Think about a change.  Let’s say a career change.  And let’s make it more interesting by putting a family in the mix and make the shift be to something completely unfamiliar but “hopefully” better.  We never know until we try right?  So you go to the point where you need to either leave or stay and quit complaining.  The crossroads, the Hanged Man.  And you choose to go. Death to the old to allow for the new.  Now hopefully you are giving yourself that healing kind of love as you make the transition to the unknown new experience.  Because no matter how much you wanted the change, there can be doubt and there probably will.  Maybe in the form of your own fears, maybe the voices of those around you, maybe the pressure of society’s standards – the Devil has reared its ugly head.   If you have given yourself the love, the Devil can’t really rattle you.  You have done the work of loving your changing self where you are.  You are too solid to be rattled. And move through the transition with grace.


I can see and relate to that story.  And there have been times when the Devil is the card I’ve drawn.  And I know now, that may mean I skipped that love part somewhere in my transition.  That I have some work to do on my balance. And if I don’t, The Tower is right behind.  So get myself back in balance or risk something falling apart.  Of course.


Yes, the Major Arcana is the story of life.  And keeping the larger story always present when you use your cards can really deepen your relationship with the cards.  Yes, I have a relationship with my cards.  The always offer me great advice.   And in the spirit of working more with the Tarot, I will be writing about each of the Major Arcana and the archetype they hold space for.  I’ll be using my two favorite decks at the moment: Celtic Wisdom (Caitlin Matthews) and The Wild Unknown (Kim Krans).  I hope you’ll join me with your deck and build a relationship of your own.




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