For years I lived a job that didn’t spark me, a schedule that drained my soul, the thread of a desire to be creative wore on me- an artist, writer, traveler or entreprenuer, but the confusion on how to start and the right path to take was just as paralyzing as the fear of failure. Maybe you can relate. The way I finally stopped spinning my wheels was through the discovery of archetypes and how engaging them could fully eliminate confusion.
archetypes are promordial ideals that show up on stories, mythology, and religion. They reflect aspects of ourselves and our lives, ther are the link between us and the cosmos. THey exist, according to Carl Jung, in our collective unconcious able to be tapped into at any time.
Archetypes aren’t just nice fantasies that we imagine in our spare time. Instead, they are useful counterparts as real as we are, intervening in our dreams and guiding the choices we make. We all know someone with a really strong warrior archetype and how he stops at nothing to accomplish his goals. Sure, he may feel fear or uncertainty but the righ path is laid out in front of him because he knows what the warroior feels like. He knows who he needs to be to access his warrior-self in a meeting.
Similarly, we can do the same thing to clarigy our goals and obtain a beter understanidng of ourselves and our purpose. And truth be told you are probably using archtypes in ways that don’t completely serve you.
How NOT to Use Archetypes
Over the course of my twenties I spent time questioning and doubting if I could ever be brave enough to take creative autonomy (North Node in 5th house Aries themes). The moves I made with writing and dance were leveraged against perfectionisms and not feeling good enough and taking myself out of every creative decision. I didn’t know that I was defaulting to patterns of thinking that were actually destructive. I had been activating the negative survival archetypes with every effort I made.
The Four Survival Archetypes are defined by Caroline Myss as The Child, The Prostitute, The Sabateur and the Victim. These are typucally the archetypes we default to when we are living in a state of confusion, overwhelm and fear.
- Our child archetype is suseptible to feeling abandoned or orphaned, he or she carries around wounds and desperately want to be adopted by someone who can take care of them so that they can stay in the remedial safe-space.
- Our prostitute is willing to negotiate his or her soul because of the physical fear of the world. They will sell their creativity, integrity and personal power for the sake of security.
- Out saboteur is afraid of our own empowerment because the fear of change takes over, and he or she will do whatever they can to sabatoge opportunities and remain in an inferior state to who we can ultimately grow into.
- Our victim is lives in a boundariless world where, make no mistake, they will seduce you into marterdom where you will make the same choice again and again to live as the doormat to the world. It’s an easy place to stay because it’s always easier for the victim to point the finger at someone else for his or her shortcomings rather than take personal respondsibility.
All in all if you are living in a state of confusion you are (most certainly) activating at least one of these four survival archetypes. Caroline Myss goes into incredible detail on how to hear what your survival archetypes are telling you. I recommend checking out her work:
Worse, when we live in confusion and accept that this is the way it’s going to always be, expecting defeat and disappointment with ourselves we become experts at living in realms where we resist our own growth. Why? Because we are comfortable here (THIS COULD BE INtRO) … no matter how much we hate it this is what we know, what we have habituated, the comforting warmth of a slowly smothering blanket. The screaming inner child doesn’t know any better which makes even more important the idea of moving on to archetypal relationships that serve us.
Life gaurantees growth and change… you might as well have some fun while doing it. -me
Choosing archetypes that serve us or better ways of relating to archetypes that are already present in our lives is crucial to our evolution, especially as creatives. We all have tha capacity to grow and discover who we really are. The good news is when we engage their journey we don;t have to do it alone, with help we can become fuller versions of ourselves, touch the sky and actually have some damn fun, which, in my humble opinion, is the best way to grow.
Archetypes fill in the gaps between who we currently are and who we want to be. We may know what we want to see at the finish line– the book deal, the solo exhibition, playing a piano at a sold out concert, speaking at our first conference… but it’s not necessary to know how ecactly we are going to get there and good thing we are not alone.
The gap between point A and point B can be filled with the activation of an archetype that will sort of act as a GPS, guiding us in our thought, habits and assumptions, revplutionizing the way we see and engage with our world.
This works because archetypes bring a different understanding to life’s delimas and obstacles. Tapping into the sage archetype can activate the part of our subconcious that is wisdom-oriendtated, we can reframe a problem by asking what would my inner sage say? When we are dealing with stage fright, our inferiority/imposter syndrom, we can ask that part of ourselves that only nows how to be a confident badass to show up and steer the ship our (inner queen).
From the warrior, to the wolf, we are able to shake loose a default ways of thinking and ultimately serve the most important archetype: ourselves as the Hero of our own story.
I wrote about the hero in the blog post “The Most Important Myth” which explore more about crafting your own story and orientating yourself in life. The Hero archtype is ultimately you and the unfolding of your desitney and your destiney us ultimately your greatest adventure. All the other archetypes (even the survival ones) opperate as one intricate cosmic system that reorientates as to our heroric destiny. This is my estimation. They show up and bring in the flavor or our senses, nudge us to put on the good feeling songs (the songs that will elevate us), dance with us in our dreams, advide us through our shadows and bring magic to a world that so desperately needs that saturation. Life can become so beautifully meaningful and exciting– leaving no room for confusion to rear it’s cloudy head.
Call to Action- stay tyned for ways to engage with archetypes that support your creative expression:
-visual and performance art
-the written word