The last eight posts on the Hero’s Journey have been from the subsection called “Transformations of the Hero.” They taught us about the link between the primordial hero and the human race, the hero’s childhood and death, and the different roles of the hero (warrior, lover, emperor/tyrant, world savior, and saint). We’re now moving into the last subsection of “The Cosmogonic Cycle” called “Dissolutions,” which tells us about the end of life as we know it. We start with the microcosm, the death of the individual. Then Campbell discusses the death of the macrocosm or the end of the world.
When I began studying Tarot with a mentor in 2008, I made a decision to take Tarot more seriously than I ever had. And I made a surprising discovery: I was scared of them. What if I got The Tower? What if I got The Devil? What about those crappy Swords cards? This all came from a single thought: There are good Tarot cards and bad Tarot cards. When I learned to change that thought, I became less afraid of them and found greater comfort in my Tarot work.
Whether the hero is a saint, world redeemer, emperor, tyrant, lover, and/or warrior, if he is of the physical world, he must die a physical death. Knowing, however, the true nature of existence, Joseph Campbell tells us in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” he has no fear of it. This is the lesson the hero’s departure teaches us. Fear of death is the mind tricking us into believing in an illusion.
In a Tarot Facebook group, Lonnie Scott of TribeAwakened.com wrote that Pamela Coleman Smith, whose birthday was February 16, was an excellent storyteller. He then gave us an exercise to pull a card, preferably from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and use it as a basis for a story. This sounded like fun, so I thought I’d share my story. I pulled the Knight of Pentacles.
In the Hero’s Journey, Campbell tells us that the hero always has helpers. He really can’t triumph without their supernatural aid. When the Hero’s Journey is our journey to accomplish change or gain spiritual knowledge, we need helpers too. This can come in the form of internal help or external help. Tarot can guide us in understanding what or who that help is and how to take advantage of it.