The Transpersonal Cards of the SoulCollage® Deck
Now there are three!
I’m suggesting that people create two other transpersonal cards for their SoulCollage® deck, alongside the Source card. These two would be a SoulEssence card and a Witness card. Let me tell you why I am suggesting these, and you can decide if they are right for you.
A second name for SoulCollage® has always been, in my mind, the process of the One and the Many. This name helps me remember that although we are made up of many parts, we are, underneath, a whole. This is true on a personal level and on the level of all creation.
In many traditions there are special words for talking about the Oneness of all that is, and for me that word is “Spirit.” There are other words for talking about the diversity, uniqueness, and separateness of all that is, and for me that word is “Soul.” Much of what we do in SoulCollage® is soul work: we discover and dialogue with our inner and outer guides, allies and challengers. With the help of cards that we create, we separate out our different parts (like children in a big family), and we name and embrace each one. Ego, which really is a whole community of inner personality parts, is not considered bad, but rather is appreciated for what it does, and its members held accountable. Certain archetypes also work through our souls, and so do some very shadowy parts. All this is juicy, interesting, frustrating, surprising soul work!
Still, while doing all this separating and dialoguing, it’s important to remember that soul work is always done against the backdrop of Spirit. The One is forever present as container of the Many. Most of us don’t spend hours in silence and meditation. But, if and when we do, we may experience Spirit holding all our parts together, and what a gift to the soul that experience is! Without Spirit, by whatever name it is called, Source or Love, Mystery, Higher Power or God, without It, creation would simply fly apart if it existed at all.
The SoulCollage® process suggests that you make one card for this center, a card we call the Source Card. It is not a card for a specific divine being but for the Ground of Being, for the Unmanifest out of which everything flows and back into which everything dissolves. When we create this card and put images on it, we understand that these images only point towards the One, for Source is imageless. The Source card, as symbol of our Oneness, is central in our deck, and we place it in the center of our readings to symbolize Unity.
I had an experience with my Source card that began my thinking about adding two other transpersonal cards. I’ll share it briefly because it shows how our SoulCollage® decks can evolve and even change over time. In the SoulCollage® book (pg. 8), there is a picture of my Source card, or what was at that time my Source card. I used just two images in this card: a background image and (on top) an image of a bridge with a figure crossing over towards the light.
One day I was browsing through magazines, and I came across the very same image I had used, years before, as the background of this Source card. When I saw it, it took my breath away. Yes! I was thrilled to refind this image because I knew immediately that, by itself, it was the best image for my Source card. All along, the card I had called Source was truly my archetypal Death card. The next day I made a new Source card with this single image, and I put a new backing on the old card to indicate it belonged in my Council as my Death Neter.
Doing this opened up further musings… Perhaps there were other cards in a SoulCollage® deck that might have, as their background, the Source card image. But what cards? Were there other transpersonal cards that also were part of Spirit, part of the container rather than part of Soul?
The first one that came to mind was a card for that unique spark of Source that is present in every created form, a thing’s entelechy. It is this spark of divinity within each of us that is our particular essence. C.G. Jung talks about creating mandalas to show this reality: “…their basic motif is the premonition of a centre of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which is itself a source of energy. The energy of the central point is manifested in the almost irresistible compulsion and urge to become what one is…”(Found in The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, p.357.) This seems to say that deep within each living being, and indeed all created forms, from their beginning, is a spark containing a pattern and a thrust towards what it can become.
In SoulCollage® I call this our SoulEssence. I made a card for mine against the same background as my Source card, and you can see it here. This card shows a female figure rising above a whole group of more defined figures of various ages and both genders. This group represents all my soul parts that mostly do their busy life without paying much attention to Her, my SoulEssence. The child parts are closer to her, and one seems even to imitate her, perhaps moved by that inner compulsion Jung describes. Some parts seem to have momentarily stopped to stare in her direction as though something had caught their attention. Others just go on dancing. I place this card in the center of my readings, alongside my Source card. It also, like the Source, has no voice of its own but is known through all the Neters.
But then, my musing mind asks, how is this connection between Infinite Source and my particular SoulEssence known at all? Who is it in me that can recognize it? Why, if all beings have an essence, are some conscious of it and some not? A few humans over history have been so transparent to Source, and manifested their SoulEssence so fully that they were said to shine. The rest of us strive towards that state of consciousness, and what draws us there is what I will call the transpersonal Witness.
It is not so easy to describe this reality, but let me try. The Witness is a given in every soul, along with one’s SoulEssence. It draws us up to higher and higher consciousness, towards the capacity to see the play of our inner parts against the backdrop of the Source. The Witness sees without judgment. It sees our unique SoulEssence manifesting diversity in the midst of Divine Oneness.
Many of us are working towards this place of knowing, and we know how far we have to go. We may glimpse this Oneness and our Self held within It during moments of silence or in moments of awe. How we treasure those brief and amazing moments, and how we reach to find them again, and more fully. We may get help in this reaching from certain Committee members like the Questioner, Journeyer, Mystic, Spiritual Self, and others. There are surely archetypes in our Councils who have grabbed us like the Seeker or the Creator or the LightBearer or the Compassionate One, and these powerful energies will push us in the direction of our Witness.. Along with these allies, we’ll have actual teachers, living and dead, who point out paths towards this higher consciousness. Make SoulCollage® cards for any and all of these Neters whom you experience guiding you, and consult them often in your readings.
However, we must remember that all our wise and wonderful Neters are part of the collective of this world, both conscious and unconscious. All are influenced and partially shaped by history, by different cultures with their underlying beliefs and prejudices. They all have their shadow sides, every one of them. Consult them, but do not imagine them in this place of the transpersonal Witness, which is beyond our earthly realm of light and shadow. The Witness draws us up towards Itself, but we cannot consult It directly. It beckons us through our finite and flawed psyches.
So, find an image for this Witness who is drawing you to consciousness, and paste it also on the background of the Source. Put it in the center for readings, along with the other two transpersonal cards, and feel how it draws you up towards a place of Spirit, a place of knowing Oneness as container of your Many.
I include my card for the Witness which also is one image placed on the Source as background. I did not use a human image intentionally, but a face that is at least kind and not judgmental.
Place these three transpersonal cards in the center for readings and feel how it draws you up toward a place of Spirit, a place of knowing Oneness as container of your Many.
Copyright© 2006 by Seena Frost