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Archetype Cards Cards – September 15, 2003
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Yeah, it's different than Jung, but it's possible to learn lessons from multiple sources. Some of the cards are on the weak side, but no deck is perfect. All in all using this deck was a big positive in my life. I've moved on from it, but it was a great and useful teaching tool for me.
Each card lists a brief light aspect along with a shadow aspect (a positive and a negative), so if you are an experienced reader and intuitive you won't need the little book at all. I found it helpful to read the interpretations of archetypes from others as well, and you can locate plenty of that on the internet for free.
The cards in this deck may depict some classic ingrained gender biases, such as Athlete is male, and Teacher is female, but overall this deck does not portray men in a negative light as was suggested by one reviewer.
There are three male cards that can be viewed as being classically negative: Thief, Addict, and Martyr (although I don't personally view the martyr as negative overall as Jesus was martyred along with many others for their faith).
There are seven female cards that can be viewed as being classically negative: Vampire, Saboteur, Gossip (two women on this card- double whammy!), Beggar, Prostitute, Femme Fatale, and Victim. Maybe begger isn't a negative, but I sort of see it that way. A lot of this is obviously going to change regarding your own interpretation.
Both the Fool and Gambler cards are very gender ambiguous in my opinion, and can be viewed as being male or female. (I added pics) Student, Trickster, Shape-Shifter, and Messiah I also find gender ambiguous. The Warrior card to me appears as a male, but maybe the long hair makes some see this card as female?
Three cards out of the 78 in this deck portray males "serving" females: Priest, Mentor, and Healer. I'm not sure how teaching, healing, or serving as a spiritual guide is negative...? Interestingly though, both the Slave and Servant card are depicted as female, but the reviewer pointing out the political gender biases failed to mention that. Actual female slaves and servants are apparently not noteworthy, but men serving women is a bee in the bonnet. Hmm.
Four cards show both genders in the main role as archetype: Midas/ Miser, Monk/ Nun, Samaritan (some may see this card as two females, but one looks male to me), and Hero/ Heroine.
Three cards do not include gender at all. Destroyer is a volcano, Bully is an angry cloud (don't argue that the cloud has a gender, please), and Pioneer is a lightbulb.
Six cards in the deck are child cards. Nature, and Magical are female, Divine and Orphan are male, and Eternal and Wounded show both.
Excluding cards that show both genders as archetype, are gender ambiguous, are not human, or are child cards there are nineteen cards with male illustrations, and thirty six with female illustrations. I can see how this might bother some sensitive users that can't stomach the idea of a world sans patriarchy, but everybody else probably won't even notice it.
Another thing to remember is that ALL the cards have positive aspects. There are no true bad guys. This isn't Lord of the Rings with orcs and goblins, guys. Human beings are complex.
Hopefully, looking at the pictures of the cards I added will help you decide if this deck may be useful to you, or it looks like utter rubbish. There are decks that I can't stand that friends of mine love, so you just never know with these things. Unless you can sort through them yourself in a store before buying, it can be really tough picking out a new deck. Hope this helps!
The reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the Light Attributes/Shadow Attributes written on the front. I think it takes away from the meditative qualities of the cards. The descriptions are too limited and not as Carl Jung would have intended. They're more new-agey. They would have been better left in the booklet that comes with the cards. Here are some examples:
ADDICT Archetype: Light Attribute - Helps you recognise and confront addictive behaviour. -- sorry, but how is that even an attribute of this card. I would say since addiction is an overemphasis on something, a light attribute would be to redirect the addiction/obsession to something more positive. It would NOT be to recognise your addictive behaviour. That would be more of an attribute of the LIBERATOR
MOTHER: Shadow Attribute - abandoning children -- how is that an attribute of a mother archetype? the other descriptions are better: smothering the children, being overprotective, etc.
SABOTEUR: Light Attribute - Highlights your fear of self-empowerment and the changes it would bring to your life. -- don't see how this is a light attribute. I would say a better description of this is to allow the sabotage of negative things in life (such as a bad relationship).
I try to ignore these writings on the front of the cards and make my own as I understand them.
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