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Eternal Child Archetype

October 3, 2013 4 Comments

Each of us has a child archetype within our psyche. Carolyn Myss outlines six kinds of archetypal children. They are:

  • Eternal child
  • Divine child
  • Magical child
  • Orphan child
  • Nature child
  • Wounded Child

The eternal child has an attachment to youth and immaturity.  The positive eternal child is the stuff that ads are made of, enthusiastic, fresh and free.  The shadow eternal child has a resistance to responsibility and rejection of the aging process.  The need to stay youthful may lead to extreme dependence on others for security.  The puer aeternus is a man who never accepts responsibility.  He is frequently a character in fiction, and sadly appears often in real life.  Peter Pan is a modern eternal youth story with Tinkerbell playing the puella aeterna.  Clinging to youth can prevent one from reaching the full range of emotions and insights.  Youthful enthusiasm and a willingness to make fresh starts are the positive aspects of this child persona.  Adults who are consistently unreliable or dependent on others reflect the worst aspects of the eternal child.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Knight Archetype

October 3, 2013 6 Comments

Chivalry is one of those double edged swords. Knights are loyal and honorable as an ideal; love and honor do not always triumph.  The good knight is brave in service to a higher calling or just ruler.  The shadow knight is romantically delusional and may serve a corrupt ruler.  Self image is all important to the knight, since he needs to be seen as helpful and brave.  He may find himself drawn into needless drama to save damsels and others who signal distress.  This may become a pattern in life, endlessly saving others.

Today the knight may be spiritually correct, always defending worthy causes.  His love of honor and his loyalty to cause or leader can be very confusing in this character.  If the leader demands self sacrifice and self neglect, this archetype can feel self righteous about taking this shadowy path.  Loyalty to destructive or greedy powers can be the undoing  of the modern knight, just as it was in history.  Romantic notions of service can be a cover for the absence of chivalry and honor.  It is usually easy to spot the knight riding either a black horse or a white one that symbolizes intent.  This archetype distinguishes itself from  all the characters by being loyal as well as romantic.  The knight displays his loyalty above all else, since it is the source of his identity.  Do you know any knights in your life?

Lover Archetype

August 15, 2013 2 Comments

The lover archetype is often used in literature, and has both good and evil tendencies.  The lover brings passion and full appreciation to a person, place, or thing.  The shadow lover brings obsessive and self-destructive devotion playing the part of a lover.  Joy, tragedy, and identity arise from this archetype; often personal romance is the central theme in a life.  If dreams and history are examined, we will learn what kind of lovers we really are.  Each romance has two different equal and opposite reactions to each action.  Possessive fantasy is an unhealthy substitute for healthy adult emotions.

Like pendulums swing, we as lovers also swing and revolve around a center of pure, potent, eternal love.  Our human tendencies to project onto others that with which we cannot deal create turbulence in  romance as well as platonic relationships.  The lover who brings to the relationship  a self well loved is more likely to find a lover who also takes care of and appreciates his or her own fine qualities.  If outer trappings like cosmetics, status and wealth are primarily valued, there may come to pass a shocking chill when these things go into decline.  If we depend on another person or group to always agree with us or compliment us we are not very likely to form relationships with much depth or meaning.

If your life story became a romance novel or a movie what kind of lover would you be?  Who would be the hero of the story?  What obstacles would the hero overcome?  Who is the author of your love story? Is it possible that someone else designed  your romantic ideal?

Femme Fatale Archetype

March 24, 2013 9 Comments

Rita Hayworth embodied the ultimate femme fatale in her movie role of Gilda. She was the pin-up goddess that excited WWII soldiers with her sexy alluring figure. Classic dangerous women come in a few formats. In literature this woman can be everything from a succubus, destroying men in their sleep, to a sexy helpless woman hiring a private eye.  She differs from the Vamp in her indirect approach.  She uses manipulative behavior to acquire money and men without investing any personal emotion.  In some stories, she also kills her victim.  When she is rejected, like Scarlett O’Hara is in Gone with the Wind, she may experience an opening of the heart, and a change.  Is this woman totally a myth, or do we see her in our lives?  Are there public femme fatales?

Dreams and Dreamers

March 22, 2013 5 Comments

Your dreams are personal and they arise from the collective unconscious as well as your own. We all share a foundation of unknown mythology that our ancestors built into our beliefs. We share, and sometimes rebel against, cultural practices and teachings.  To deeply analyze our own psychological types dream work is necessary. The setting and the characters portrayed in dreams are metaphorical players in our spiritual lives.  Deeper understanding of our own unconscious leads to better understanding and appreciation for all of life.

There has been an attempt to hijack the word dream and turn it into a house or a car, or that illusive American Dream.  The big consumer consciousness promotes purchases of certain items in order to fulfill a dream.  It also spotlights outer image as the key to dreaminess.  I think it is important to note that marketing experts use the personality types to design ad campaigns and sales persons use them to craft the appropriate pitch for the prospect.  The archetype technique is being used strategically to manipulate you and your dreams.  If you submit willingly you will buy a lot of stuff with dubious dream fulfillment.  Take the reigns, gentle reader.  Design your own dreamscapes and accept no substitutes.

God Archetype

February 20, 2013 5 Comments

Jung's Kundalini

Jung’s Kundalini

One of Carl Jung’s most controversial theories was his view of the God within. He was drastically disappointed in his first communion at the Swiss Reform Church. His father was the pastor and Carl was a faithful member of his church. He expected something more, or different, when he attended that communion. He basically never stopped pursuing that ecstasy he had wanted through religion for the rest of his life.

His later years were consumed with individuation, which he considered to be the meaning of existence. He used artistic expression, dream journaling, and isolation in a primitive tower built by his own hand to achieve his own individuation. He studied ancient alchemy and philosophy. His belief that symbols contain the most direct and deep meaning lead him to study ancient texts and charts. To Jung individuation was not a substitute for God, but a deep search for the divine nature of self.

His investigations were deep and lengthy.  He stated that he only studied of God as a psychological  archetype and not as religious doctrine.  His idea of the collective unconscious is that images and symbols are primordial.  We absorb symbolic messages but do not analyze their meaning.  That is why Jungian therapy can include sand box drawing, word association, and art  to discover archetypes.  Dream work is a pivotal part of Jungian analysis. In his tower, reading about ancient alchemists, living without modern conveniences, Jung came close to living in a dream.  Most cannot afford such an extravagant personal quest for the divine, but we can all do a little dream investigation.  Does God enter your dreams?

dream spiral

dream spiral

Shape Shirfting

January 24, 2013 1 Comment

The archetype of shapeshifter is known as an element to build characters for plots in novels. It is also well known in mythology. Shape shifting involves skill navigating between levels of consciousness. It is related to the trickster Coyote in legend, but has less specific goals. In dreams this character can be a savvy guide. Flexibility is the theme and the great talent of the shapeshifter. In therapy or self realization the archetypes can be used to enlighten the eternal aspects of the human story. Another name for this character is spell caster.

My own direct experience with this energy came through a very funny Yaqui friend of mine in Mexico. First he effortlessly got me to wear a medicine bag made of deerskin. I am a very prissy vegetarian and asked him for one with no animal parts. He dangled it and told me it was my medicine but if I didn’t want it…I grabbed it and put it over my head faster than you could say Cachora is your shaman. It was, indeed, my medicine. A few months later he made me turn in my medicine. He freaked me out by attaching a buffalo tooth. When he gave it back with the tooth I was laughing so hard. I remember joking that next I would be wearing an entire coyote head around my neck. He announced that he would be able to be with me at night while I wore the tooth. I do still wear my medicine sometimes, although I have not seen Cachora in years. The medicine fell on the floor, breaking the tooth in two pieces, revealing the center of itself while I was at a hot spring on a personal vision quest. I thought about that buffalo. I thought it was significant, then promptly super glued it back together. My medicine still works and I still think it is funny. It reminds me to check all levels of consciousness before making moves.

Space, Time, Alchemy

January 19, 2013 3 Comments

Alchemy Symbols

Alchemy Symbols

Alchemy is the act of transformation.  Throughout history the alchemists have studied nature and mystery.  We participate in alchemy when we focus our spiritual talents on the elements of the earth.  Inventors and those who are especially creative tap into alchemy to turn imagination into reality.  It has been associated with medicine, but all science is the realm of the alchemist. Carl Jung brought alchemy and archetypes into psychiatry.  The collective consciousness communicates through symbols and dreams.  The alchemists, like wizards and magicians, use mythical power to transform or create.

Our time and space are literally created and projected by us.  We are active participants in our entire experience of reality.  My favorite alchemist in history is the Swiss Paracelsus, who practiced medicine and magic at the same time.  He was searching for the Christian version of pagan natural magic.  He promoted Jacob Boehme’s Doctrine of Signatures, a spiritual belief that plants are designed to communicate their healing properties to man.  His work was both controversial and respected during his lifetime.  What distinguishes the alchemist from a wizard or magician is a constant experiment.  The science of chemistry was developed from the  never ending experiments of the alchemists.

If you could focus your spiritual energy on nature to transform your life, what would you transform?  If you were to focus do you think you could change the quality of your experience?

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