The “monomyth” – – a series of archetypes or a model typically used in literary theory – – is discussed in this third article of a four-part series. I apply the monomyth to the unusual context of biographies. Later in this article I then substitute Joseph Campbell’s archetypes (like “departure”) with tarot archetypes (like “The Empress”, “The Tower”, and others).
I will apply tarot to Eminem and Mark Zuckerberg, however I begin with the monomyth applied to the real life biography of Bill Gates. Just like with Moses’ story as I noted in the first of this four part series, the core monomyth archetypes to look out for are: (1) departure, (2) fulfillment, (3) return.
Falling in love with computers as a bright and skilled youngster, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard in 1975 (departure) to embark on founding his own software company, Microsoft. Bill Gates by the 2000s generated enough shareholder wealth to become the wealthiest human alive (fulfillment) and has since returned his money to humanity by sharing as much of his wealth as he can, lifting millions of children out of poverty.
Joseph Campbell actually has seventeen archetypes which are just as common and applicable as these three essential ones. Humanity can’t escape these archetypes because the heroism is the human condition (as made evident with the monomyth). My point is that the same is true for the twenty two cards or archetypes of the Builders of the Adytum Major Arcana (tarot cards).
Let’s now interpret hip hop rapper Eminem using tarot.
Card 3, The Empress, represents fertility and abundance, as well as patiently cultivating intellectual vigor. Eminem is creatively dynamic and has successfully turned his talents and passions into gifts which he shares with the world. Eminem gives birth – – metaphorically speaking of course – – to new pearls of wisdom.
Card 9, The Hermit, represents withdrawal to cultivate discernment and soul searching. Seeking sobriety, especially apparent in “Not Afraid,” after a relapse in his battle with substance abuse, Eminem retreats and checks into rehab, yet always returning to the spotlight sharing excellent poetry with his audience.
Card 14, Temperance, represents self-control, moderation, virtue, seeking clarity and a healing energy. Eminem tactfully approaches the divisions and conflict that mark the hip hop community with compassion and understanding rather than with bitterness and anger, notably so in “Like Toy Soldiers.”
That’s tarot applied to Eminem’s music and biography, in brief. Next I cast tarot onto Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his enterprise.
Card 10, The Wheel of Fortune, represents seizing the opportunity and realization of your destiny. Facebook was a startup where Mark Zuckerberg took full advantage of his privilege and maximized the opportunities offered by his social position to become the most successful millennial entrepreneur to date. Yes, Facebook has a serious Fake News problem all over the world. However Facebook has also been used by youth as a social media syndicate to overthrow their despots and rebel against their oligarchs.
Card 19, The Sun, represents new friendship and shining in the spotlight. Mark Zuckerberg, marrying his long time girlfriend in 2012, committed himself to learning Mandarin. Mark Zuckerberg has endeavoured to build bridges and friendship with Chinese business tycoons and politicians.
Card 16, The Tower, represents the evisceration of ambitious plans, as well as the end of one order and the beginning of the next. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is disrupting the struggling corporate media oligopolies and thus destroying America’s decaying neoliberal propaganda apparatus. We can all thank Mark Zuckerberg with exuberance as we celebrate the destruction of the dreadful media empires of old, like CNN and the NY Times.
That’s tarot applied to celebrity Eminem and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In the next issue I note the clear connection that tarot has with Trent University’s former Chancellors.
The author of this four part series is “The Initiate,” a Trent alumnus who majored in Philosophy from 2003-2008 and who can be reached at [email protected]. This four-part series is available in full at www.theinitiate.agency with more essays by the author over at www.summitministry.coffee.