Archetypes are systems of readiness for action, and at the same time images and emotions.
The last few days of The Healer’s Gathering in Sisters, Oregon has been great. Whenever we attend powerful healing workshops like this, people have childhood issues surface and they have the opportunity to process their feelings and heal the Child Archetype.
The Child Archetype is the one of the four main archetypes: the Child, the Victim, the Prostitute and the Saboteur explained in Caroline Myss’s incredible book Sacred Contracts.
There is the Wounded Child, the Orphan Child, the Magical/Innocent Child, the Nature Child, Puer/Puella Eternis (Eternal Boy/Girl), the Dependent Child and the Divine Child.
After taking a class from Caroline Myss on Sacred Contracts as well as Medical Intuition, I taught this work for many years. This information is a combination of information from her book and my interpretation and sharing.
The mature child archetype is the part of us that nurtures us and is lighthearted and innocent. The child watches for the wonders of the world, no matter what age we might be. It brings playfulness and balance to our lives and brings out the best in others.
The core issue of the Child archetype is dependency verses responsibility. It governs when we take responsibility, when we have a healthy dependency or interdependency, when to stand up to the group and when to embrace the community.
The Wounded Child Archetype remembers the abuse, neglect and traumas that were experienced in childhood. Since therapy has become more acceptable, many people identify with this archetype. It is the child that blames their parents for their lives, their choices, and the dysfunctional relationships they create. The positive side of the wounded child is they have the desire to help other wounded children and have a deep ability to be compassionate.
The shadow side of the wounded child is they blame others for their pain and get stuck in the past, not moving through the painful memories into present time.
The Orphan Child Archetype is well known in childhood stories. Orphan children do not feel they belong to their families. One of my favorite stories is the Ugly Duckling. I was so happy when I realized I was not a duck at all, but was a swan. I had often felt I was dropped out of the sky into this family and wondered, “who are these people?” Orphans who do not belong to the tribal spirit of the family often become independent early and feel like they raised themselves. As Caroline Myss says “The absence of family influences, attitudes, and traditions inspires or compels the Orphan Child to construct an inner reality based on personal judgment and experience.”
The shadow side of the Orphan is they suffer from feelings of abandonment. They often seek out surrogate families or support groups in which to connect. Creating and maintaining healthy relationships is often a challenge for the Orphan Child.
The Magical Child / Innocent Child archetype sees beauty in all things. They are able to maintain wisdom and courage when what is happening around them may be catastrophic. A good example is Anne Frank. When her family was hiding from Nazis, she was still able to believe that humanity was good.
The shadow side of the Magical Child leaves the person without a sense of possibility and a lack of transformation from evil to good. Pessimism and depression can surface, especially if the child had a dream that was discouraged by adults. Another shadow side is when the adult gets lost in fantasy and does not believe action and energy are required to obtain a result. They get lost in magical thinking.
The Nature Child Archetype manifests as a child who has a strong, intimate bond with the earth and with animals. They may show a tender, emotional side, but also can be tough and have great survival skills, “the resilience of Nature herself.” Often nature children can communicate with animals and these animals may even rescue the nature child in some way. Nature children also may have developed abilities to communicate with nature spirits and work with them to help the planet. Veterinarians and animal activists are often nature children. Today is Earth day and I imagine many of the activists connected with Earth Day are nature children.
“The shadow aspect of the Nature Child may manifest in a tendency to abuse animals and people and the environment.”
The Eternal Boy/Girl Archetype manifests as an ability to stay young in body, mind and spirit. These children continue to have fun and enjoy life even as they age. I imagine many who write books on anti-aging have this child archetype.
The shadow Eternal Child manifests and an inability to grow up and be responsible. They live outside the conventional norm of adulthood and remain child-like, not taking on the responsibilities of the adult. Some of my clients have referred to their husbands as being “another child to care for.” These men have the Eternal Child archetype. For a woman, the Eternal Child archetype can manifest as extreme dependence on those who take care of their physical security. The woman cannot be relied upon and does not accept the aging process. “The Eternal Child often flounders between the stages of life because they have not laid the foundation for a functioning adulthood.”
The Dependent Child Archetype will appear needy and dependent and have a heavy feeling within that nothing is ever enough. They are always trying to replace emptiness from childhood, but they can never figure out what the emptiness is. They often suffer from depression, sometimes severe. If you identify with this archetype, you can use it to alert yourself to when you are becoming too needy and self-absorbed. Although this is my own thinking, I often refer to women who have this archetype in full activation as the female narcissist. Everything becomes about them and their needs.
The Divine Child Archetype (excerpted from Caroline Myss) is closely related to both the Innocent and Magical Child, but is distinguished from them by its redemptive mission. It is associated with innocence, purity, and redemption, god-like qualities that suggest that the Child enjoys a special union with the Divine itself. Few people are inclined to choose the Divine Child as their dominant Child archetype, however, because they have difficulty acknowledging that they could live continually in divine innocence. And yet, divinity is also a reference point of your inner spirit that you can turn to when you are in a conscious process of choice. You may also assume that anything divine cannot have a shadow aspect, but that’s not realistic. The shadow of this archetype manifests as an inability to defend itself against negative forces. Even the mythic gods and most spiritual masters — including Jesus, who is the template of the Divine Child for the Christian tradition — simultaneously expressed anger and divine strength when confronting those who claimed to represent heaven while manifesting injustice, arrogance, or other negative qualities (think of Jesus’ wrath at the money-changers in the Temple). Assess your involvement with this archetype by asking whether you see life through the eyes of a benevolent, trusting God/Goddess, or whether you tend to respond initially with fear of being hurt or with a desire to hurt others first.
I hope this is helpful for you. Use this to look at your relationships with others and see where you fit! Enjoy!
“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind”
Yesterday I shared information about the Saboteur Archetype and asked you to journal about your own Saboteur. I committed to doing this myself to find out what was underneath my over-caffeinating behavior on the drive to Sisters, Oregon.
What an incredible experience it was. I sat at my friend Susie’s house overlooking the mountains and journaled. What I realized was I was actually stressed to make this long drive, but I wasn’t letting myself feel this. Instead of planning to care for myself on the drive, I just pushed through.
The other issue was, as much as I was delighted to go to The Healer’s Gathering, I was hesitant to spend three days in a group of 100 people. Being extremely sensitive has been great for my work as a psychic medium, but it also makes some other situations challenging.
When I journaled, I realized that often in my life I have been over-stimulated in situations where others do just fine. For many years I didn’t understand that I was so sensitive and often my responses appeared to others that I was being a victim. Today I know that those of us who fit the category of Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) have to take care of ourselves and plan ahead. It has been nearly impossible for me to communicate so others understand the situation, and it just created conflict.
To all the other HSPs – You are not victims! Say yes to self-care! I’m listening to this too!
In another blog I will share more about Highly Sensitive Persons, but today I want to continue with Archetypes and share about the Victim Archetype.
This information comes from information from Caroline Myss’ work in her Sacred Contracts book and the classes I took from her on Medical Intuition and Sacred Contracts. I have also added information that I have gained from working as a mental health counselor and chemical dependency professional for over 20 years.
Remember that we all have 4 archetypes that we share. These are the Child, Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute. The gift of the Victim Archetype is Self-Esteem.
In the process of self-healing, you have to come to terms with your victim self and move beyond this state of being. You can identify your victim, confront the behavior, love and forgive yourself and bring your energy into present time. In fact, unless you can bring at least 80% of your energy into present time, you will not have the power to self-heal. What do I mean by bringing yourself into present time? Watch your thoughts. Do you go off to the future (which can create anxiety) or drift off to the past (which can cause depression) or are you able to be present in the moment?
Enjoy exploring this archetype that can bring you high self-esteem once you embrace this part of yourself and move on!
Guardian of Self Esteem
Core issue is whether it is worth giving up your own sense of empowerment to avoid taking responsibility for your independence.
When you don’t stand up for yourself after awhile you no longer can tell the difference whether you are being victimized or not; so either you are being victimized and don’t know it or you are not being victimized, but act as if you are.
The victim archetype helps you decide what you will or will not do; a guardian of personal boundaries.
Lessons associated with the victim archetype demand that you evaluate your relationship to power, especially with people with whom you have control issues and have to set boundaries.
Primary objective is to develop self-esteem and personal power.
You have contracts with people whose primary purpose is to help you develop yourself-esteem through acts of honesty, integrity, courage, endurance and self-respect.
The victim will entice you to feel sorry for yourself.
You can act like a victim and give in or call upon your companions and guides for help.
Like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, you need to have the courage to look at your victim and make it your ally.
Do you victimize yourself in the way you interpret conversations with other people?
Does your victim alert you to protect yourself rather than letting people take advantage of you?
Does your victim motivate you to be shrewd in the dealings of whatever house it is in?
Does your empowered victim allow you to take risks in your life?
The victim urges us to act appropriately when we are in danger of being victimized.
The victim can alert us to being victimized through passivity and rash or inappropriate actions.
It can also alert us to how we victimize others for personal gain.
In shadow it may show how we play victim for sympathy or pity.
Join with me in delving into this Victim Archetype in your journal!
“What drains your spirit drains your body. What fuels your spirit fuels your body.”
It was an easy seven hour drive to Sisters, Oregon and when I arrived, I was so happy to spend time with my dear friends Doug and Katie Cavanaugh. Matthew Kocel, one of the speakers at The Healer’s Gathering was there too and I was able to listen to them jam! Dancing was fun too!
Where I really messed up on the drive though, was getting my second sugar-free soy latte on the road. Somehow my wisdom went out the door and almost half of my food intake was from lattes. Feel free to share why soy, coffee, and sugar free products are not healthy. I get it!
Rather than beating myself up though, I am going to journal and explore the Saboteur within. This clearly was a self-sabotaging behavior. According to the teachings of Caroline Myss there are 4 main archetypes we all share. They are the Child, Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute.
From Caroline’s Sacred Contracts class, her book and my own experiences, I have created a list of characteristics of the Saboteur archetype. The Saboteur Archetype is the Guardian of Choice.
The core issue of the Saboteur is fear of inviting changes into your life; changes that shape and deepen your spirit.
The other side of destruction is rebuilding and rebirth.
Use the saboteur to consciously dismantle areas of your life you need to fix or heal.
Makes itself known through disruption and resistance.
You can silence the saboteur with acts of courage and following your intuition. Listen to the small voice and make choices – small ones to begin with.
The shadow saboteur will play on your fears that you are not good enough to accomplish anything on your own.
We are afraid that if we are enlightened we will be alone, wont’ be vulnerable, capable of sensual love, so we feed the shadow saboteur, the part of use that is fragmented.
We fear empowerment because we think it will remove us from the warmth and comfort of loved ones.
We fear empowerment because we don’t want to be responsible for our actions and therefore consciously or unconsciously encourage our weakness and hold onto our fears; we do want to be around others that are empowered or enlightened though.
Work with your saboteur to see where you may be doing yourself in (what are you doing you know you should not be doing and what you are not doing that you know you should be doing?
When you make the saboteur your ally it can call your attention to ways you might be sabotaged or sabotage yourself and then you can make other choices The intellect of the scarecrow can work with your saboteur to alert you to when you are doing yourself in.
Join with me and delve into your own Saboteur and become clearer on your own Choices!
Much of what I have taught over the years has been about manifesting and creating the life you want. In order to do this, often you have to bring the past into present time to heal. What I mean by this is that when you focus on the past and live in the past, your life is controlled by what you felt and thought in the past. What happens is you continue to feel those feelings in the present. Living in the past leaves no room for what you are experiencing in the present. Living in the past, having your thoughts and feelings consumed by the past, can also control your future. Your past becomes your future.
Living in the past can create depression.
Living in the future can create anxiety.
When I talk about healing the past, what I hear most is “how do I do that?” Well, there are many modalities for healing the past. One that I teach is to become aware of the memories and the wounds. Feel them and change your beliefs around them. Your feelings are a result of your beliefs. Often your beliefs flitter so quickly in your mind, you have difficulty noticing them, grabbing them and examining them.
The ones you can identify is where to start. In your journal, write out a list of people and situations where you have been hurt or angry. Allow yourself to feel your feelings as you remember. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself.
Look at where you may have contributed to the situation. Take inventory of your own actions. You can use the successful process from the Big Book of AA. When taking inventory, write out where you were selfish, self-centered, frightened, or to blame.
Now, you may not have had any responsibility in the situation, especially if you were a child. In that case, look at what was going on in the other person’s life at the time.
People do the best they can at the time. Sometimes their best is destructive and hurtful to others, but it still is the best they can do with the awareness, teachings and the consciousness they have at the time. Are there some things you would like to do that you don’t do? Are there things you do that you wish you didn’t? Have you behaved in the past in ways you would not behave today because you know better? No one is perfect.
Anger is a secondary emotion that covers up pain or fear.
You may have had desires, demands or expectations of someone. Then you find they didn’t either give you what you wanted or they behaved in ways that hurt you.
If this is so and is in the past, in order to heal yourself and move on, you can forgive them. If it is a present situation, then you can make choices on how you choose to handle the situation. If choose to continue to stay in a destructive situation, it is your choice. The responsibility then becomes yours. You cannot blame the other person when you choose to stay. What happens when you blame someone else is, they then have the power to change the situation and you become a victim. When you take responsibility for your choices, you remain empowered and in control of your life.
If you still have a lot of pain or anger about the situation, write out what happened to you. You can write it over and over until the “sting” or “charge” is gone. You may want to read it over and over to a safe, loved one until it is no longer controlling you. You can forgive and move on. This does not mean you agree with what happened, it just means it no longer controls you.
Only you have the ability to clear your past and live fully in present time, thus giving you the power to create the life you want to live.
Clearing frees you to live in present time.