Symbolically Speaking

Exploring the symbols, metaphors and archetypal patterns found in myth, pop culture, literature, astrology, religion, psychology, Tarot, art and history--and why they matter.

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Janet Boyer

Janet Boyer

Janet Boyer is the author of Back in Time Tarot and Tarot in Reverse, as well as the co-creator (with her husband, artist Ron Boyer) of the Snowland Deck and Coffee Tarot . She is currently working on her third and fourth traditionally-published Tarot books--Naked Tarot (Dodona Books, 2014) and 365 Tarot: Daily Meditations (Dodona Books, 2015). As a respected, trusted Amazon Hall of Fame/Vine Reviewer, she's penned over 1,200 published reviews that have also been featured in print magazines and other online outlets. In addition to being a Tarot teacher, author, deck creator and professional reader, she is also a frequent radio guest (and former host), essayist, short story writer and homeschooling Mom. Her hobbies include cultivating flowers, tending biota, watching retro TV on DVDs (60s + 70s), trying new recipes (she's an award-winning cook), serving as a Patron of the Arts, photography and reading (especially mysteries/suspense). Visit Janet online at JanetBoyer.com.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Whether through myth, fairy tale or film, one of the most easily recognized archetypes is that of the Mother. Archetypes are universally understood patterns of behavior that transcend geography, ethnicity or era.

Triple goddesses spanning many cultures have three expressions: Maiden, Mother and Crone. The Maiden, or Virgin, reflects independent women who are often unmarried. The Mother is the second stage heralded by fertility and growth. The last stage, Crone, is the archetypal expression of the “wise old woman” who has come into her own. Perhaps the most popular Goddess Triad found in mythology is Persephone (Maiden), Demeter (Mother), and Hecate (Crone).

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Foot on headThe archetype of the Bully manifests the core truth that the spirit is always stronger than the body. Symbolically, our physical bodies can ‘bully’ our spirits with any number of reasons why we should back down from our challenges, which appear to overwhelm us by their size and shape….Conventional wisdom holds that underneath a bully is a coward trying to keep others from discovering his true identity. Symbolically, the Cowards within must stand up to being bullied by his own inner fears, which is the path to empowerment through these two archetypes.” – Caroline Myss, in Sacred Contracts

Goliath, Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future films, Bluto from Popeye, Patty Farrell in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films, Mean Girls, Lotso Bear from Toy Stoy 3, Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts…the Bully archetype is arguably one of the most recognizable in literature and film.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I've been fascinated with Archetypes for well over a decade. It's one reason I blog on the topic (along with Symbols) here at PaganSquare.

Turns out that Caroline Myss, a modern pioneer on Archetypes is out with a new book on the topic (that's coming under fire on Amazon from seasoned fans of her work) called Archetypes: Who Are You?. I guess it's a watered down version of Sacred Contracts that reads like a commercial tie-in.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Cea Noyes
    Cea Noyes says #
    I'm not entirely certain that these are "archetypes" in the same way that Jung defined archetypes but, be that as it may be. This
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Hi Cea! Glad you enjoyed the test. I happened to come across a quote from Jung today in Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousa
  • Cea Noyes
    Cea Noyes says #
    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I think you have it. The quiz deals not with symbols, but with specific concepts. If
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Ohhhh, I'd love to hear more about your experiences with teaching archetypes that way, Cea! By the way, I caved in to curiosity a

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Bunny Q P

If ever there were a “breeder” card in the Tarot, it would be the Queen of Pentacles.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Rainbow waterSomewhere over the rainbow—according to the cinematic song from The Wizard of Oz—is where bluebirds fly.

Every March, we’re reminded that a pot ‘o gold lies at the end of the rainbow. Some say wisdom hides there, too.

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Gh movie Here in the good ol’ Keystone State (Pennsylvania USA) we’re celebrating Groundhog Day on February 2.

In case you’ve lived under a rock the last few decades (or underground in a burrow), in 1993, Groundhog Day was commemorated in a movie starring Bill Murray.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Symbols are motifs, letters, numbers, figures and characters that represent something else.

Ultimately, symbols are short-cuts. Like the tip of the funnel, they lead to something wider and deeper. But the entrance to that "biggerness" lies at the point of symbol.

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