One link of Many Between Mythology, Symbolism, and Tarot

A Mythical motif seen in the traditional Tarot deck (harkening back from the late Medieval period), is the Arthurian Legend. In the Minor Arcana Court cards we envision King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, the Knights of the Roundtable, and the youthful Pages receiving and delivering messages.

In the Minor Arcana suits, Cups symbolize the Grail—the container of our hearts and emotions; Swords symbolize the strength, knowledge, and power; Rods connect us with Merlin and belief beyond our five senses; and the Pentacle emblazoned on Gawain’s shield symbolizes the “phenomenon of physically endless objects signifying a temporally endless quality” (, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight).

When we imerse ourselves in the imagery of the Tarot cards through a lens of the Grail Legend (Malory’s, Troye’s, or Tennyson’s variants, or the countless modern versions, such as Mists of Avalon, Camelot, Sword in the Stone, etc.), our personal and the collective unconscious is stimulated, bringing forth important messages that inform the questions we ask.

According to Carl Jung in his “Visions” * lecture, “…[We have] always felt the need of finding an access through the unconscious to the meaning of an actual [my emphasis] condition, because there is a … correspondence or a likeness between the prevailing condition and the condition [and myths] of the collective unconscious.”

* “Visions: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1930-34 by CG Jung, Volume 1”

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