I highly recommend “archetype dialogue” as a fun, dynamic mode of active imagination and/or journaling. It can help you to meet & greet your own usually unconscious ensemble cast of archetypal personas that are very important facets of your own Self! Just as an example of how freeform yet deep-reaching and energizing an informal practice of archetypal tuning in and dialogue can be, allow me to model the approach by engaging in conversation with my own ARTIST Ally.
The process is simple. Relax and invite your archetypal cast of characters or one of them in specific to engage in dialogue. Allow yourself to shift between consciousness states naturally. It may help to consider how dominant archetypes are associated with role personas you occupy. Shift attention to a situational mode in which you normally ‘channel’—as it were; or, enact—the archetypal viewpoint you wish to engage with (e.g., if you are a teacher, the Teacher archetype, or as a Parent, the Nourisher or the Elder Leader archetype). In this dialogue your core conscious persona—“you” as your normal subjective self, or Soul—will usually remain the interviewing or initiating narrator.
So, to begin:
L: What may I call you?
A: I am April; you know: lw/avril !
L: Oh, well that is lovely then. It makes sense!
A: Tell the story for your blog post; I’ll help…
L: Well, okay. When I was in college in Buffalo I had an amazing mentor who was a Philosophy professor, Toni (Antoinette) Mann Paterson. She became a good friend. While she was first getting to know me as a student, through a Creative Studies program she was helping facilitate one semester, Toni asked me one day:
“What is your name?”
“Linda,” I answered, bemused because she already knew that.
“No, it’s not! I mean, what is your REAL name?”
“(Long pause)… … April?”
“Yes, That’s it! You don’t feel to me like a Linda, at all. Now April, that name suits you.”
L: Okay, so the name April for me actually goes back to when I was around 7 or 8. My older brother told me I was an orphan. He used the fact that my Mom had lost my birth certificate to convince me I had been adopted. Since I was smaller than my siblings and always felt somewhat an awkward child, it was not hard for me to believe my brother’s ruse. I came up then with the alternate name of April from a little girl down the street who often played on a trampoline in her yard. Having the name of a month appealed to my sense of difference; especially “April”.
A: It was me who was the author of the artistic aspects of your journaling then, when you signed lw/avril !
L: So you were!
A: I wrote poetry, and invented your “Foto” scapes practice of describing scenes with words as you would use a “Camera Obscura”…
L: The name of one of our journals! I—or we, then—journalled constantly back then—filling some 20 journals in the first four years of college. Thanks for that! I have always thought of my journal as a Friend; I guess that is, in part, you!
A: And our Inner Guide, too, the Mahanta.
A: So then, what has been the value to you of our journaling?
L: It has never ended; this very conversation and this blog are extensions of our never-ending alliance!
A: C’est bon! Oui, Oui, mon Amie!
—lw / Avril
I invite and welcome YOUR insights and stories!