I have been in possession of 3 decks designed by Kim Krans for a while now because I love the imagery but haven’t been ready to use them until recently. There’s a quality of starkness to them, a no-nonsense feeling, that I wasn’t prepared to face. They’ve been calling to me lately, so I’m dipping my toe in to really get to know them. This post is specifically about the Wild Unknown Archetypes deck. I won’t touch on every single card because that would make for a long read; I’m going to write about some of the cards I had the most dramatic or surprising reaction to.
The imagery of this archetype makes me profoundly sad. In the very first card in the deck (The Mother), the snake seems coiled protectively around the egg/seed/pearl, but it is looser in the picture. That, combined with the little hand grasping for something it cannot reach, breaks my heart. This is a card signalling the need for compassion and welcoming acceptance of the whole, no matter how broken it appears.
The Hunter & The Warrior
These archetypes initially seemed extremely like each other to me in concept, so I had difficulty discerning why I had a more negative reaction to The Hunter until I read Kim’s meanings in the book. To me, The Warrior is more primal, it’s something less controllable, instinct from the lizard brain whereas The Hunter is more in line with “civilized society”. So, when I contemplate the idea they both participate in activities that end in death, I find it more frightening to think of the bringer of death presenting as someone innocuous.
The black and white human eyes peering out from the ginger cat’s face spooked me. In addition to the cracks and splits in the face, those made the word “façade” spring to mind. I saw Robin Williams in my mind’s eye—someone who is hurting internally while externally committed to making others happy. By no means do I think everyone who appears jovial or wants to make others happy is depressed, but it’s a convenient mask.
The Empty Room & The Castle
Anyone who has ever walked past a jewellery store with me will tell you I’m a self-proclaimed magpie. It hardly came as a surprise to me to feel an affinity for The Castle and just as expected for me to experience apprehension when faced with The Empty Room. I don’t like being anywhere all by myself for an indefinite period. Being comfortable with aloneness without succumbing to loneliness is something I’m sitting with and working on.
The amount of peace I experienced while looking at the Kairos archetype card was surprising. Time is a concept I’ve sometimes struggled with externally (it took me an embarrassingly long time to competently read an analogue clock) and internally (constantly ruminating over the past or worrying over the future as opposed to living in the present). Still, I feel I’ve come into temporal synchronicity in the past year or so, which helps me resonate with this card now.
The Seed & The Stone
For me, the emotions I experience when studying the images for these archetypes are two sides of the same coin. In the Seed archetype, we see the beginning and almost unlimited potential. In the face of unlimited potential, I freeze up—“If I have no ceiling for what I’m capable of, how will I know when I’ve reached where I need or want to be? How will I know I’m not just settling?”—and the potential can feel wasted before it’s even been tapped into. Eternity is offered by the Stone archetype and I am thrust into a crisis of worthiness. What can I offer that deserves to last forever?
I reflected on time when I wrote about the impact the Kairos archetype had on me, which was vastly different from the emotions these cards stirred in me. Then I realized Kairos is bigger than just me. It’s everyone in all of time; while these archetypes are more personal, they’re tools that I have to rely on myself to use and use properly.
No one is one single archetype, and it’s okay to be uncomfortable with archetypes you want to embrace more. I also highly recommend figuring out which archetypes you don’t want to embrace, or the ones you want to moderate within yourself. Possessions won’t make me less alone when no one else is home and they certainly won’t help me feel less lonely, but that doesn’t mean I can’t embrace the Castle archetype when presented with a sparkly necklace from my husband.