Reading the Cards
The HeroRise Masculine Archetype Deck allows you to explore what Masculinity means to you through art, language, and Archetypes. When working with Archetypes, the most important thing is having a personal meaning and relationship with them.
I will be sharing different ways of using the cards. This is not prescriptive. Feel free to create your own rituals and practices with the cards. Utilize whatever speaks to you, and disregard anything that doesn’t.
Making an Inquiry
Our world is wild. It can be a constant barrage of change, disappointment, victories, and growth. If someone asks me, “How are you doing?” My mind becomes flooded with so many things I usually say, “I’m good.” With such a broad question, I find myself staying on the surface level.
A well-placed question can give focus and context. Think about this question, “Is there anything you are struggling with at work?” Do you find that a more straightforward question to answer? In a way, that is how this deck works. Your psyche is an intricate place. It’s overwhelming to try to comprehend its totality. By separating it into parts, it’s easier to focus.
The Archetypes help you hone in on whatever is bothering you. I like to think of it as a thought tunnel. It gives you a more useful context than just, “How are you doing?”
This works both ways. If you sit with an Archetype and ask a vague question, you will get a vague collection of thoughts. A well-placed question is more likely to lead to useful contemplation. The depth of your inquiry, both internally and externally, is an essential part of working with these cards.
I suggest being in a quiet and introspective space when working with this deck. Try meditating, slow breaths, stretching, or whatever helps you relax and become present. This will allow you to move from the cluttered thoughts of daily life into the deeper realms of the subconscious.
- What part of myself have I forgotten?
- What’s the best step for me to take in my relationship right now?
- How do I move closer to my purpose?
- What else should I consider that’s been missing in my life?
Active and Passive Readings
When working with Archetypes, I use them in two ways. First is an Active Reading. What I mean by that is going through the deck and intentionally picking cards and working with them. Think of it as playing a solo role-playing game. I let my imagination take over and get into a deep space of play and inquiry. By looking at the images and meditating on them, I can gain new insights.
During the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020, I was having a hard time navigating my friendships. Some friends took none of the precautions suggested by health officials, while others became complete shut-ins. I felt myself judging my friends based on their choices, leading to a lot of stress. I was regularly trying to figure out if I was doing the right thing and if they were doing the wrong thing. I decided to go through the deck and pick two Archetypes to explore the question of friendship and judgment. I chose the Judge and Comedian.
I started by looking through the lens of the Judge Archetype. My mind explored the balance between personal freedom and the public good. I examined how and why I made judgments and wondered if it was to prove myself right or protect others. I gained a lot of insight into why and how I judged my friends.
Then as a foil, I looked through the lens of the Comedian. I fell into the absurdity of the situation. The wide range of reactions highlighted the ridiculous complexity of humanity.
Picking these two Archetypes allowed me to reveal a new way I could interact with my friends. It was ultimately leading to less stress and anxiety. I found a better way of balancing my judgments with light-hearted laughter. The Active Reading gave me an imaginative space to examine my thoughts and feelings.
The second way is a Passive Reading. This is also called divination. You do this by asking a question, shuffling the deck, and drawing random cards. If you find yourself in a rut or running an idea around in your head, the spontaneity invoked by a Passive Reading can help. It can help you break your old pattern and think outside the box,
As an example, I was finding myself confused over an attraction I had for a friend. We had a deeply intimate friendship, and whenever I would want to explore more, she didn’t return my interest. I had a hard time uncoupling my past patterns, current feelings, and my best steps forward.
I did a Passive Reading and drew three cards—one for past, present, and future.
For the past, I pulled the Strategist. I instantly recognized my pattern of overthinking and strategizing that I brought into our connection. I would try and think of perfect situations that would let her see me in my best light. It sometimes made things feel forced or inauthentic.
For the present, I drew the Final Approach from the Hero’s Journey. I could see how my current frustrations had me gaze into my shadows. Whenever I would feel a blockage in myself or her, I would look deep into my psyche. Because of our closeness, I was also able to communicate
For the future, I pulled Integration. Reflecting on this card, I realized I wanted to change my focus and instead of wanting more, I tried to appreciate the depth we had. I began to get rid of the strategizing mind and found ease between us.
This Passive Reading was incredibly helpful. After the reading, I saw my negative patterns and moved into gratitude instead of anxiety.
I call this style of reading passive because it can feel like it’s happening to me. Whatever cards come out of the deck randomly are the clues I focus on. Whereas with an Active Reading, I use willpower to choose outcomes and associations.