Demons at the Gate

March 10, 2006

This lovely image is another from the Greenwood Tarot – The Guardian. Many thanks to Chesca Potter .

The hero or heroine of mythology represents you and me, the everyday self (the I, or ego). If and when you embark upon the underworld adventure, it begins the same way it does in myth — by leaving home. You leave your commonplace world and roles and your familiar way of understanding yourself. Soon (at the threshold of the underworld, the kingdom of the dark) you encounter a demon — a shadowy element of your own unconscious — that guards the passage. This is the first test.

There are two ways you can continue at this point. If you defeat the demon or conciliate it (perhaps by making an offering or using a charm), you enter the underworld “alive” (with some ordinary awareness remaining). If you are slain or dismembered, on the other hand, you descend in “death” (stripped of all normal awareness). But you descend either way, and that’s what’s most important.

Bill Plotkin
Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche


One comment

  1. This is one of my favorite decks! I’m really enjoying my visit to your blog

    Acey in Massachusetts

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