Individuation: Who Are You, Now?

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As we proceed through our ordeals, there is the tendency— the capacity I should say— to ‘break apart.’ Various ‘parts of the Self’ are exposed, often unwittingly, and this is good even though it might feel awful at times. Archetypal personas which live within your psyche and are generally hidden or suppressed may rise to a challenge yet may need to be balanced by other segments of your arc of Identity in order to become better integrated within the whole of your greater Self.

Emotions such as fear, anger and frustration may be telling indicators of a dislodging of some usually buried sub- persona. But be kind to your ‘little selves”; they are valuable, dynamic facets of You. Listen to them, dialogue with them, welcome their insights and concerns. Give them love, and invite them to be a more consciously integrated facet of your Self.

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Challenges or ordeals may bring out these ‘pieces’ of our unconscious pantheon of archetypal perspectives because we grow through crises, constantly tearing apart and reconstructing the Self. So, at every Return phase of a cycle of adventure or resolution of a challenge, we can check in to ask:

“Who Am I, Now?”

Some experiences can serve to elevate our individuated consciousness of Self, while other experiences might tend to pull us downward, deeper into non-resolution or fragmentation. That is why Carl Jung and James Hillman, as archetypal psychologists, encouraged any process of active imagination and archetype dialogue that can help you to identify and ‘own’ your ‘pieces’ so you might re-integrate them into the unique, mature Self you are capable of expressing.

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These parts of Self might show up as an uncharacteristic outburst (or, inburst, unspoken or unexpressed outwardly), alerting you that you are ‘out of sorts.’ Or they might show up as dream personas or images. Recognizing and imaginatively conversing with or journaling about these upset personas’ concerns can help you to embrace your own depths of character. Only not attending to them can split them off in ways that could be harmful to your health or permanently disruptive to your social relations.

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I recall about 5 to 7 years ago while I was engaged in a process of archetypal psychotherapy myself, I had come to know a Descender archetype within myself that I refer to still as Little Linda.  I have watched her grow up through the years since I first identified her as a young child living in a deep, darkened area like a lower level recreation room in a tri-level house. She preferred to stay hidden, protected from the harsh bright realm of adult emotions, backbiting and drama.

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One Saturday while I was at a spiritual retreat just after engaging in a deep contemplation technique, I was speaking with a friend when suddenly Little Linda peeked out from her normal reclusion, and spoke:

“Hi, I’m Little Linda; I am part of the Linda you know.

I want to be part of this seminar, too!”

Fortunately, my friend immediately understood where I was coming from, or should I say, where Little Linda was coming from that day.  He welcomed her and thanked her for stepping forth. Actually that experience has helped me ever since in that my Little Linda has grown up considerably since then and she is certainly with me always now as a positive contributor to our life together.

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images are from pixabay.com

(selected for this post by Little Linda!)

So, “Who Are You, Now?”

I invite your comments stories and stories!

Let Your LOVER Be Your Guide

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So yesterday once again I was walking the labyrinth path and received this impression:

“Let your Lover be your Guide.”

I recognize that since this is near the end of the month of October in which I have been focusing this blog around the Lover archetype, this message meant for me to let Her lead the way for me as I go forward with some wonderful new opportunities surrounding my book, Your Life Path.  I am about to step forward into a whirlwind of activity, it seems, to complete the final polishing edit and then, after it is published, to promote it so that it will reach all readers who can benefit from its life mapping Tools.

But I also realize this message is meant for you all.

LET YOUR LOVER BE YOUR GUIDE!

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images are from pixabay.com

Archetypal psychology is largely about INTEGRATING your inner archetypal personas, harmonizing them to work together as Allies as you go forward to manifest your goals and to live your greatest life.  While any one or another of your inner archetypal parts-of-Self might dominate for this or that situation, putting the Lover in you first can mean,

Let LOVE lead the Way!

What would Love do, right? I invite you to contemplate and then to put into practice the Path that Love shall forge.

A Shadow of the Golden Child: Trump?

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I don’t like being too political with this venue, but it is striking to me as an observer of the current political platforming in the US presidential campaign that the candidate of D. Trump exhibits all of the distinctive traits of a Golden Child archetype presenting in “Shadow” mode. That means in a modality that inverts the most positive (what I call “Strength”) mode of this primary persona archetypal character form.

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A ‘Shadow Golden Child’ archetype strives to draw a lot of attention to himself or herself, posturing as all-knowing, all-giving or all-wise. This Persona wants power and control over others, a following. H/she is hyper-critical of any who would oppose their own platform or is outside their realm of control. Often this Persona wants to dictate to others what to do and how to do it, but tends to be fairly lazy in terms of actions of their own. They can be jealous, harping, and autocratic as leaders, with many complaints when things do not go their way or when they are not at the center stage of attention.

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Like any Shadow archetypal form, it exists as somewhat of a mirror to the positive, Strength bearing traits the same individual could be expressing if not feeling suppressed or defensive.  I have seen some persons generally exhibiting in this mode for many years gradually become less ‘shadowed,’ usually through developing strong familial ties where they come to take on a more positive, respectable, nurturing role. So let’/s not be typing individuals (Whole Self) images here. As with any shadowy traits it is helpful for the individual to gain more self-awareness and to nurture their own shadowy aspects, perhaps with therapeutic help and/or through good relations. And of course, the same person may present in Shadow mode in one  situation (e.g. publicly) and differently in another (e.g in private).

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Still, I can’t help myself but to cringe at the notion of having a relatively non-self-aware, dominantly Shadow-Golden Self figure as president of a (my) nation! (Of course, there have been many, generally in autocratic societies or under dictatorships).  I suppose we should consider the sorts of constellations of archetypal networks that cluster to form political party segments or social platform groups that give rise to social movements of any one form or another. For myself I want to support a strong Elder Leader who demonstrates strong service and leadership capabilities.

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images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

See Your Golden Child in the Mirror

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Here’s a fun technique for bolstering your self-image: See Your Golden Child archetype (part of Self) in the Mirror!  Your Golden Child is that part of you that is bright and outgoing, full of charm and generosity in (her/his) most positive expression.

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Look your Golden Child in the eyes in your mirror (outwardly or inwardly).  Notice her or his shining expression and gleaming smile, maybe with a bit of mischief in the eyes. Let her or him speak to you, too. What is your Golden Child telling you? What is s/he asking you to do TODAY in order to allow this important facet of your Self to express itself through your thoughts, words and actions?

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Feel free to print this post out and write out a dialogue with your Golden Child in the Mirror space below. Just as an example, here is a brief version of my own Mirror Conversation with my Golden Child today:

GC:   I SEE YOU!

LW:  Ahah, I remember that from Finding Dory and from Avatar too.

GC:  But, do you get it?

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LW:  Sure, “I SEE You!” And since you are ME, too—

GC: Well, a “part” of You as you soooo like to say—

LW: OK, as you are an important part of US, thank you for Seeing Me, and for Being Here!

GC:  Go get’em Tiger!

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pictures are from pixabay.com

LW:  Excuse me?

GC: You know what I am saying, now FEEL IT. BE IT. The Bengal Tiger you were when we were on the Buff State Fencing Team, right?

LW:  You were with me a lot back then…

GC: You bet I was/am! Time is an Illusion, remember? So, ET LA! EXHALE! LUNGE!!!

   I invite you to write YOUR OWN Golden Child dialogue or affirmation in the MIRROR:

MIRROR

You Are a Golden Child!

 

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Leo is the astrological sign of the Golden Child persona archetype according to Dr. Charles Bebeau, the archetypal psychologist who founded the former Avalon Archetype Institute. For the month of August I will focus on exploring the Golden Child archetype with you. I invite you to participate by practicing some of the self discovery tools I will be sharing here.

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The Golden Child is associated with positive traits of being charismatic, generous, and outgoing, with a flair for trailblazing and talented performance. Shadow traits could include a  potential for being overbearing, controlling, vain or or self absorbed. Everyone has a bit of the Golden Child in our unconscious makeup; it is a dominant character mode for some and might show up in a more inhibited or in a situational manner for others.

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When does your Golden Child persona express itself (or would if you’d but let it)?  When are you most in your “on stage” best? Do you feel yourself ‘slipping into’ a more extroversive role when you feel most called upon to do so, or is this a more typical, normal public persona for you? Many other archetypal personas can benefit from aligning or combining with this ‘mask’. As a professor for instance I have a dominant Teacher archetype mode, and before a large class of students sometimes my Golden Child shows up to buttress my Teacher role. Then I find myself able to be more humorous and outgoing than is characteristic of my core, rather introspective nature. It’s almost as if I step aside in a large group environment to give ground to this talented sub-Self of the Golden Child persona. I am so grateful it is there!

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images are from pixabay.com

I invite your own insights and stories!

 

 

Jaguar Dream

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Sunday morning I had an interesting dream that I feel relates to the Warrior archetype concept that we are focusing on this month. In my dream I am preparing to take a big journey, to embark upon a transition/ turning point or a move. I have a pet Jaguar, young, all black (sleek, beautiful!), that I load into a large pet carrier in the rear of my car to bring with me on the journey.  There is a bicycle in the pet carrier, too, with a rear wheel that spins while I drive, so the Jaguar does not have a lot of free space in there. That’s mainly the dream, except that throughout the night I woke several times realizing I had made part of the dream journey, then went back, and gradually as I was waking I thought I wasn’t tending to the needs of my Jaguar in the rear of the car. In the dreaming itself this did not seem to be an issue, but it was to my waking awareness.

It feels to me that the Jaguar is my Warrior Archetype Ally, in the form of an animus/anima figure. (In my archetypal ensemble cast, I tend to have both masculine and feminine ‘anima’ images; maybe because I am rather androgynous myself.)

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(Combine these to see more like my ‘real’ road companion, my pet Shorkie, Sophie)

The spinning bicycle wheel (while I am in motion, driving through the ‘move’) that occupies the same space frame as the Jaguar is a compelling dream image. I guess that may be my Mind, spinning rapidly as I negotiate my way through this upcoming big transition.  But my Warrior-Jaguar instinct or intuition is also important for me to rely upon, and to properly care for and attend to.  I need the Strength of my Warrior-Jaguar Ally to help me negotiate when I reach my interim destination. (This may be the book deal I anticipate or a choice I may confront about that since the proposal began circulating yesterday.)

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It is interesting to be writing this blog during this time as well; sharing about the unfolding process and how archetypal psychology influences my own journey.

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Have you had a dream image that may represent your own WARRIOR Archetype Ally? What form does it take? What message does it have for you regarding your life situations?

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images from pixabay.com

I invite and welcome any story you may wish to share about YOUR Warrior Ally.

Your Elder Leader Archetype

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The following is an abbreviated table showing some characteristic traits of the Elder Leader Archetype (composed by Debra Breazzano, MA/ LPC, an archetypal psychologist.) Do you recognize these traits (or Shadow traits) in Elder Leaders you have known and in yourself in certain sorts of situations?

The Elder Leader: Archetype of Structure, Leadership and Authority

Alchemical Correlation: Earth originating; coming into being
Astrological Association: January / Capricorn
Mission/Purpose: To provide structure, leadership and authority for the benefit of the group or community
Emotional expression: Values composure rather than display of emotions

Can detach from emotions or emotional expression

Thinks through emotions; rationalizes

Focuses on feelings of respect (respecting others, being respected)

Emotional satisfaction through discipline (with self, with others)

Values commitment and devotion

Shadow characteristics: Critical and judgmental (of self and others)

Intolerant of others with differing beliefs

Autocratic, dictatorial and often corrupt leadership

Rigid; unforgiving

Brutal with discipline

Interests/Involvements: Politics, legal systems, military, education, government, business…positions of authority or responsibility

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What–or who–brings out the Leader, and in what mode, in you? Have you felt inhibited in leadership positions because you have been influenced by Leaders with SHADOW characteristics such as a hypercritical or dominating parent or boss?

The Elder Leader archetype is within each of us, and we have internalized this archetype unconsciously from our experience as a collective, recognizable ‘energy’ or persona mode.  Sometimes we first need to work through our reactions to Shadow Leader influences in order to let our positive leadership strengths develop and shine. I can relate to this quite a bit from my own life experience.  For most of my adult life I shied away from engaging with anger either in others or in myself. In leadership roles, where invariably such emotions might be encountered, I found I had a “flight or fight” response. I would avoid confrontation all the more because if forced into an encounter with an anger-expressing person, I could become overly (though briefly) aggressive myself.

Learning about the Elder Leader archetype and exploring its manifestations in my own life history has helped me come to understand that my imbalance around expressions of anger had to do with the fact that my father had a harsh temper and often expressed himself angrily toward me as a force of domination and control.  After reflecting on some of my interactions with my father I have used ‘archetypal dialogue’ to come to a better understanding of how his behavior influenced my own outbreaks of over-assertiveness in stressful situations in reaction to others’ anger.  This has helped me to relax, to pull back from immediate confrontations in order to LISTEN before continuing or advancing in such an encounter. Now I aim to demonstrate understanding of the other point of view without either responding in like mode.  I aim now to arrive at a win-win situation collaboratively with the other person, as I now realize that anger is a common reaction to real stress and real needs.

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images from pixabay.com

I welcome your insights and stories!

The Elder Leader Archetype

 

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Archetypes are both in the world around you and within the structure of your own Psyche. On one level you recognize archetypal images in the forms of roles and “typical” experiences and relationships. At the same time, you have unconsciously internalized these same archetypal formations in the process of being socialized and becoming who you are; developing your complex identity. While this may sound like a different understanding of archetypes than you are familiar with from Jung or Hillman or from more recent, popular authors, as a cultural and psychological anthropologist I see the connection between our role based social identities and the unconscious makeup of human consciousness that embodies at least The Twelve primordial Persona Archetype forms which Dr. Charles Bebeau associated with Sumerian astrological gods and goddesses and that pertain very directly with Jung and Hillman’s archetypal theories and practical therapeutic methods.

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The Elder Leader is an excellent example of how an archetypal form is both externally constructed or projected onto others as well as existing internally as a ‘Persona,’ a facet of a person’s character or–as I see it–a member of a person’s internal ensemble cast of archetype character modes. They may be experienced as ‘inner voices’–like the angel on one shoulder versus the Devil on the other–, and they often appear in our dreams as well as in our basic expression of Self in various distinctive situations.

When our various situational persona archetypes, from deeply unconscious to more consciously felt and expressed, combine with one another to contribute in our life pursuits, we draw upon and hopefully learn to integrate these facets of our Self identity as Strengths. In Shadow mode, however, persona archetype traits can also complicate or harm our sense of who we are and they might inhibit our actions and restrict our dreams.

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Strengths of an Elder Leader persona can help you to achieve your goals and function effectively in any situation, but internal or external Shadow Elder Leader traits and attitudes can also block your progress or limit your enthusiasm and self-confidence. If you grew up with a punitive father figure, for instance, you may have internalized “Shadow Elder Leader” statements that your father  conditioned you to which dog your footsteps, e.g.: “You are not college material!” or “Do something productive with your life, not art (or music, etc.).”  To this day when I am writing, if I start to become didactic in what I am saying, I hear “Heil Hitler!” in my head; then I know to stop writing, loosen up, and be less rigid with what I am trying to say, because my Shadow Elder Leader has been dominating the work.

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The opening paragraph above is more analytical than I usually aim to be with these posts, but if you are reading BETTER ENDINGS FOR YOUR LIFE PATH (this blog), then I do want you to have a clear understanding of how I see Archetypal Psychology uniquely as a cultural anthropologist and how this approach can help you to manifest and Live Your Dream, Now! Basically what I am sharing is that as we  go through life from our earliest conditioning or socialization, we take on roles that help us develop our identity through repeating kinds of situations in our lives (our own recurring Life Themes). Each of these Themes, like Family, Romance, Education, and Work allow us to develop the relevant role aspects of our Self expression as, e.g. a Parent (Elder Leader and/or Nourisher), Lover, Teacher or Learner, and other archetypal persona character modes. Since each of our Life Stories emphasizes a unique blend of Life Themes, Life Mapping can help you uncover which archetypal modes and traits have been most helpful (and, hindering) as you have developed through your life experiences across your distinctive Life Chapters. All this will be in part the substance of the Life Maps Process  tools I will introduce you to with my upcoming book, YOUR LIFE PATH. (My agent will finally begin circulating the book to prospective editors this next month.)street-artists-117290__340

images are gratefully from pixabay.com

 

For Your Journaling or Contemplation Practice:

What are some of your own Elder Leader traits in both Strength and Shadow modes?

 

How do you construct the very notion of an Elder Leader based on your own life experience?

 

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I welcome your Comments and Stories!

Integrating the Lone Wolf

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Have you had an animal image that recurs with similar themes in your nightly dreams? What might this archetypal animus/anima image say about you?

Recently I have had a wakeup call which has made me aware of such an Animus-Descender image in my nightly as well as waking dreams. The image is that of a Lone Wolf, and my wake-up call (literally after walking into a glass wall a couple weekends ago!) is showing me that I am ready to and need to make a change in my life in relation to my Lone Wolf nature.

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The animus figure started appearing a couple of months ago. While waiting with a friend to walk an outdoor labyrinth in a remote, forested area, an unusual, large and scrawny but strong looking hybrid wolf-dog went slowly walking by, closely enough to catch my gaze and eye me as it passed through a clearing. It was similar in “image” to the Wolf in the recent INTO THE WOODS portrayal by Johnny Depp, though not at all threatening or lecherous, just very aware and very solitary. A few mornings ago I had another dream image of a Lone Wolf; this time it was a rather scruffy but healthy looking WHITE with orange blotches, hybrid Wolf-dog, just standing about the same distance from the one I saw in the forest, alone.  Then I realized I have an online banking icon gravatar of a lone German Shepherd…definitely something going on here!

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So when I asked for inner guidance after walking into the wall (which impact spread through my forehead over nearly two weeks) about what sort of CHANGE I am being asked to implement, I immediately saw that Lone Wolf image and now I understand intuitively what it’s about.  For the past few years I have embodied a Lone Wolf in certain respects in my life. I have been less social than I used to be; though I am always somewhat an introspective, quiet sort, I used to be somewhat more socially active. This has felt right and necessary while I’ve been working hard on writing and editing a book manuscript. I have needed not to be so influenced by social opinion, so I have stayed more in the background in some circles.  But lately I notice things are changing. I have been receiving unusual invitations to step forward again, to make presentations and join with others in service.

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The change, I realize, is that it is time to reintegrate my Lone Wolf nature back into my combined archetypal Ensemble Cast. I feel s/he is ready to return to this inner community of persona characters in a collaborative, unified sort of way. And with this understanding  has come a technique to help reintegrate such a Descender archetype energy–or, any.

Is there an aspect of your nature manifesting in some particular sort of attitude or traits that you have been expressing more than usual lately? What is its nature and how has it been helping–or possibly hindering– you with some dimension of your life? Describe its nature as an archetypal form, like my Lone Wolf image. My Wolf, e.g., is solitary but strong; it forges forward where others might not dare to tread, but it acts as if it needs no-one, especially no human, to accompany It.

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Focussing next on the positive qualities of this archetypal persona or animus/anima image, what does it need from the REST of your nature that could help to reintegrate it back into the fold of your Total Self System? For me I see my Wolf can use some Nourishing care, so I have envisioned my NOURISHER archetype stepping forth inwardly to offer food, water and compassion to the Wolf, leading it back more closely to my central Self domain. I also imagine other aspects of my nature: Lover, Mystic and Communicator archetype Allies, welcoming the Lone Wolf back into our common, shared field.  Together we can accomplish more than any of us separated off or alone. I need this Wolf energy to step boldly forth for a next contemplated step toward fully realizing our Life Dream, but it will be better tempered in concert with the rest of this assembly.  Communicator can help express what it is the Wolf perceives; Lover and Mystic recognize the need for timing and service to proceed with the next step of our journey.

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images from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR comments and stories!

Desiderata  

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I have contemplated an important truth this past week, for myself at least, about archetypal psychology—my own. The goal is always balance and integration, working collaboratively with pairings or with broader clusters or constellations (as I like to think of them) of persona archetype Allies. When I find myself out of balance, it may be that one of these personae is being too dominant, “sticking out like a sore thumb.” That is not who I am…For example, I am not “Elder Leader” or “Warrior” standing alone.  My Nourisher, Mystic, Idealist and even my Descender Ally facets can bring balance to my approach to an endeavor with which Elder Leader or Warrior might be tasked.

Whew!  I cannot be that which I am not; I am not within my holistic, integrated Self an overly rigid, “intransigent” person. Even in a situation that calls for me to exercise a disciplinary action I must find repose and come from a center of balance. Still, I must at the same time own and exercise authority in its rightful scope… :

 After writing all but the last sentence above, I dreamed a type of dream I thought I had transcended: a dream in which, once again, I run from a magnificently graceful, powerful Anima image: I run from owning my own Power and Grace. This time it is Mountain Lion. I am in a city scape with a same-aged, female friend. We approach and pass a female mountain lion, laying in repose along the sidewalk. I urge my friend to run once we pass Her, sensing she will pursue us, as that is Her nature.  Mountain Lioness leaps and knocks me to the pavement softly in one bound. I wait for further action but She hovers over me as if waiting for me to act. AWAKEN.

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Two weeks ago while I was already laden with this ongoing test of consciousness, I took a walk with Sophia to a St. Francis retreat center, where in a Garden of Peace I walked right up to the poem-prayer Desiderata, which I recognized immediately was a Healing form of waking dream or golden-tongued wisdom for me at this trying time.

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So, I/we all move on, always seeking Balance which must be won and re-won with every unfolding adventure. There is always another layer of life lessons to explore and integrate, as best we can in the Moment.

 

Better Endings to YOU!

I  welcome your insights and stories!

 

 

Listen to Your Golden Child

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This week we have been exploring together (thanks for all of your insightful comments!) qualities associated with the GOLDEN CHILD Archetype, both as an inner Archetype Ally within your personal unconscious cast of characters and as manifesting in some of your loved ones or others in your life.

Let’s take some time to ask ourselves, “What is my GOLDEN CHILD asking of me Now?”

Some of us are reticent to fully express our Golden Child archetypal potentials most of the time; our sense of “humility” might hold us back from possibly seeming brash or extraverted as much as a fully expressing Golden Child aspect could be.  But listen closely: If you could give full voice to YOUR Golden Child nature, what would it like to say or ask of you, Now?

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Let me try briefly as a model (only); I invite you to do this yourself, either in an active imagination/ contemplation mode or through direct Archetype Dialogue journaling.

LW: Okay, GC, I am wanting to check in with you to see if you have anything you have been wanting to share with me/Us directly. Is there anything you want me to be saying or doing at this time that I am not expressing as well or as fully as you would like? You are my Ally and I trust you to speak forth as you desire!

GC:  Well then, that’s a welcome invitation. Are you telling me I could have full rein to speak my heart?

LW: Yes, absolutely.

GC: Hand me that mike, then! Ok…hmmm…ahem (clearing the throat, pausing to consider deeply)… First, about the book….Don’t hold back! It is ready to be launched; the new titles I’ve been helping you with yesterday and today are better, stronger, more clear. “Don’t hide your light under a bushel,” remember? And “Behold the turtle; s/he makes progress only when s/he sticks her neck out!”

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LW: I hear you; these are two platitudes you have reminded me of since childhood! What else?

[Incubation throughout the day; including active contemplation before the rest…]

GC: As for the other issue we are being confronted with today…

LW: Work related?

GC: Yep. Don’t let this person take further advantage of your “good nature.” Don’t be milquetoast, got it? He will eat you up!

LW: I do know I must refuse to be codependent with an addictive personality.

GC: Then act, strongly.

LW: What would you say?

GC: {I choose not to publish this section; GC provided strong advice on how to confront a pressing personnel issue; advice I intend to follow through with.}

…  

LW: Wow…well, Okay then. Thanks!

GW: Any time. Remember to ACT!

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So then, I invite you to check in with your own GOLDEN CHILD, either as an unconscious archetypal outlook or converse with someone in your life who is not shy about expressing their helpful viewpoints!

I invite and always welcome YOUR Comments and Stories.

 

Life Is… Your Ensemble Cast of Mythic Archetype Characters

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Friday night there was a triple feature treat for me on Turner Classic Movies, with Man of La Mancha, Camelot, and Lost Horizon all playing on the same night! These are three of my favorite tales. Now I know better why these stories all appeal to me: they each have ensemble casts with very distinctive personalities. Don Quixote has his Sancho Panza and Dulcinea, as well as his shadowy foils. Lost Horizon has a range of personalities within the group of plane crash survivors and Temple personages including the Abbot, Conway’s resistant, pragmatic brother, and several other colorful characters each with their own distinct motivations and roles. And of course, Camelot has Arthur’s Merlin and his Lady Guinevere along with his Knights of the Roundtable and his own set of shadowy foes.

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Arthur’s Roundtable image is what I want to focus on as we begin a new month here at Life Paths for Better Endings. Carl Jung makes reference to a similar Roundtable that he saw in a significant dream he describes in The Red Book.  Jung’s table had an emerald green surface and twelve seating positions around it like spokes on a wheel. He comments in The Red Book about the significance of twelve, as in twelve disciples or the twelve zodiac signs, and in his dream a feminine archetypal figure visiting Jung as a white dove mentions “the twelve” as well. Elsewhere Jung has written about the factor of twelve primordial archetypes representing the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) and the three natural energetic phases of any process (origination, maintenance, and dissolution). Dr. Charles Bebeau (with his wife, Nin Bebeau) developed these Jungian concepts—which Dr. Bebeau also relates to god/goddess figures in Sumerian astrology—into a pantheon of twelve universal persona Archetypes for his program in archetypal psychology at the Avalon Archetype Institute formerly in Boulder, Colorado.

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Above is a wheel of Bebeau’s universal archetypes, named as adapted for contemporary psychotherapy by Debra J. Breazzano, MA, L.P.C.. These are The Twelve that I am exposing you to with this year’s blog schedule, pairing one of the twelve universal archetypes with one of twelve positive Life Metaphors each month. As these archetype energy modes are universal, that means that each of us has all twelve of these potentials within us, although each of us develops some more than others especially in relation to the sorts of “typical situations” and roles we establish in our particular Life Paths.

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So, this month’s Life Metaphor is “Life is…An Ensemble Cast of Mythic Archetype Characters,” which are The Twelve Universal Archetype figures identified in the Archetype Wheel shown above.  They are an ensemble cast much as Arthur’s Knights of the Roundtable, or they can be, when they are integrated as a Council of Allies within your integrated, individuated Self. That is the topic we will explore this month!

Elder Leader as Pathfinder: Change It Up!

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On Sunday I blogged about Chefs as Elder Leaders bringing about a new fusion of cultural traditions in our globalizing world. Reflecting further on this theme, “change it up!” comes into focus as a statement about personal growth.

The Elder Leader archetype is a harbinger and often an agent of change. When you become too settled into established routines or habits, beliefs and attitudes, you can always call upon your archetypal Leader persona to set you forth in a new direction. This is because Leaders are Pathfinders. They are not content to stay in a situation that feels stuck or stultifying for very long. When you do resist change or feel hampered by limiting conditions, your Leader might “submerge” and cause a feeling of dissatisfaction—that is a Shadow leader trait—or else it will seek a new direction and set your course in the direction of exploration or, at least, envisioning a future set of possibilities.

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I have been feeling somewhat impatient or hedged in about my own creative development lately. I have been getting plenty of things “done” to fulfill my responsibilities, yet now that some of these projects are completed I see a break in the “busy-ness” cloud and I have become more aware of what I wish would be happening beyond my day-to-day routines and workload. So it is a good time to enter into Archetype Dialogue:

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LW: Calling Elder Leader; come in, please!

EL: Very funny. Watts’ up, Doc?

LW: Very funny in return!

EL: Droll perhaps, but hardly funny really. What can I do for you?

LW: I feel stymied.

EL: What is it you are wishing for?

LW: Are you my Genie in a Bottle, then?

EL: That is an apt metaphor, at least.

LW: Well in the biggest picture of things, I want to go Home!

EL: What do you mean?

LW: To find my place, my REAL place or space … you know?  Where I belong, where what I do can be effective and reach those hearts I strive to connect with in a dynamic, helpful way…my Family (both literally and metaphorically). Where I can serve my kindred well and be progressive with my own Soul Journey.

EL: You wish to leave this earthly plane?

LW: No, of course not; you know that is not what I am saying.

EL: You want the world to change around you, to better suit your ambitions?

LW: Yes I suppose, I do want the routines to dissolve so that NEWness can enter. New conditions, new activity, finally proceeding to Live my Dream fully, here and now.

EL: What are you going to do about that?

LW: I thought you are the Leader, the Pathfinder for change.

EL: I am; You are!

LW: You seem rather placid lately; you lead me to act toward my goals but seem content with that activity (writing, resubmitting earlier today).

EL: Are we doing all that we can do, Now?

LW: On the level of basic activity and productivity, yes. But I sense there is more I COULD be doing that could facilitate the greater change. What is that?

EL: Perhaps you are referring to the Law of Attitudes or Assumptions.

LW: Change my beliefs or postulates?

EL: Be open to all that which Spirit offers; do not hold back. Sometimes ANY small change is a step in the right direction, like rejoining the Y as you have done recently.

LW: Yes! Physical activity or “returning to fencing” has always been a way for me to shake off the cobwebs to make greater progress.

EL: Then do two things better: Contemplate better. Trust more.

LW: Thank You.

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I invite you to open a dialogue with your own Elder Leader, whomever and however you might perceive that to be!

Take Me to Your Leader

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This week we are pairing—or aligning—the Elder Leader archetype with the monthly life metaphor of Life is What You Make It. This is an especially fruitful alignment because it is a very natural, common combination culturally.  Leaders “make things happen” by their inherent character, so long as they are manifesting archetypal leadership qualities more in Strength than in Shadow mode. Villains (Shadow leaders), on the other hand, interfere with positive growth or survival potentials, requiring a protagonist’s leadership potentials to be ‘stepped up’ in order to meet the challenge.

Consider the prototypical science fiction line, then: “Take me to your leader!”…what’s that about? First, this line recognizes the archetypal nature of a Leader; we expect to find a leader of some sort in any society, on any planet. The Leader is conceived of as a single, central persona figure, representing an organizing principle for that society.  The Leader’s own character permeates all of the alien or subordinate ‘others’ by virtue of her or his influence over their world and lives.

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Second, the visitors want to talk with the Leader because presumably it is s/he who makes the important decisions and gets things done. If the visiting astronauts are ever to get Home, they know it is only the alien Leader who can facilitate their Return and implement the necessary process to make it so. The visitors’ main concern is that the Leader might be in Shadow, a villain; then they will need to count upon their own intrinsic leadership strengths in order to overcome that opposition and find a solution that can get them Home under their own steam, as it were.  Either way, it is archetypal qualities of the Leader that must be appealed to in order to achieve the protagonists’ goal.

To be clear then for those fairly new to this blog or to the concept of archetypal character modes, archetypes can be defined and understood in two interconnected ways. Archetypal characters in one sense are simply character MODES; that is, they are typical forms that are found in fictional, mythical and everyday situations around the world. The Leader is found everywhere with fairly normative character traits, albeit each society may attribute to the Leader archetype some culturally relevant traits.

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In another aspect, archetype character modes–according to archetypal or depth psychologists such as Hillman and Jung—are also found in each of our personal unconscious makeup, so that the Leader is a complex of potential character traits inherent in all of us.  The fact that universal archetype modes show up in the day to day SOCIAL ROLES we occupy as well as in our nightly (or daytime, waking) DREAMS simply shows that as we grow up in and are socialized within any given cultural milieu, we internalize facets of these archetypal character modes as a matter of adapting to our social personas in life.  These sorts of archetypal layerings of our psyche may be more or less conscious to us, and their positive and/or Shadow traits may become embedded in our general personality orientations.

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So then, a useful active imagination or creative visualization technique we can try this week is to contemplate a sticky situation or a difficult decision in your life right now. Imagine you are a member—the leader—of a visiting astronaut crew, shipwrecked on some alien planet. Inwardly imagine a group of aliens approaching and surrounding you. Step up and address the one who appears to head up this alien delegation, and ask: “Take me to your Leader!” Imagine what transpires after that on your own, focusing on the situation about which you are seeking greater clarity.

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I invite and welcome all of your comments and stories!

Releasing Shadow-Leader Impacts

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We all have within our psyches all twelve of the primordial universal archetypal energies that I’m presenting over this year, month by month. Each of these archetypal character forms can express in masculine or feminine form and also in either Strength or Shadow modes. This next few days I invite you to consider Shadow aspects of your own Elder Leader persona.

Many of us acquire SHADOW ELDER LEADER messages as a result of having encountered Shadowy elder leaders in our lives, most often in the form of parental figures but it could also be from experiences with other “shadowy” leaders.  I can own that my father, a complicated man, often displayed negative attitudes in the family by expressing a very challenging, critical point of view. The middle child of five, I was quite often the target and recipient of his sharp criticism. My older sister Lee has told me that one of her first memories of me was when I was four and stood up to my dad’s abuse, saying something like, “You can hit me, but you can’t make me cry.”

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My relationship with my father was really quite a mixed bag. He was often an exceptionally GOOD parent and leader, but he exhibited as well a mean streak and a quick temper. Since I was the child most able to “stand up to him”, I was also the child most targeted for his disdain or rage, even though he and I also sometimes shared very deep private conversations that showed me he valued our connection as I also appreciated his complexity.

One terrible memory that I will share to explain the sort of Shadow Elder Leader example I am developing here happened when I was maybe 4 or 6. I remember it like a nightmare and even thought for many years later on that maybe it really had been a dream; but no, it was real.  I was the only child at home, alone with Dad. I was in the front yard at our family home in Cincinnati. He came out and called me with a tone I immediately felt was accusatory and threatening. I remember running as he chased me around the yard and carried me into the hallway near the living room, enraged because I had tried to run away.

For every word you say, I am going to hit you with this.” (brandishing a belt in his hand).

“But Dad, what did I…” (followed by five excruciating slashes on my four-to-six year old rear end.)

He led me into the living room and forced me to sit in an armchair while for what felt like several hours (who knows how long it really was), he sat facing me from another chair, glowering at me, ready to strike again at any word I might utter.

This nightmarish reality penetrated to my core and lodged deeply in my psyche. I must have dissociated to some degree in the moment of that experience, as I don’t remember anything more except sitting in stunned terror and turning inward, of course not speaking and not looking in his direction at all. I never did learn what he was even angry about, although I have a dim sense that it was about something my sister had actually done but he had thought it was my wrongdoing.

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Many years later while I was in graduate school, I shared an adventure with my father when he sold me a used car (for a good price, by payments), and he drove all the way from Buffalo to Phoenix to deliver the car to me. We met halfway (me riding by bus to join him in New Mexico during a blizzard), and we drove together to Arizona. At some point I reminded him of the childhood trauma I had held onto since the event described above. He denied that it had happened at first , supporting my thought that maybe I had only dreamed the encounter, but then he admitted that he remembered the experience too, and he apologized.

I shared with him then that moments like that one had haunted my psyche since childhood. I became fearful of ‘adults’ or even of fully becoming an adult myself, developing somewhat of a Peter Pan complex (“I’ll never grow up!”). But sharing about this painful memory and having my father acknowledge its occurrence helped me to gradually resolve the feelings associated with those sorts of encounters with my father. Later in his life we talked much more about his own punitive attitudes and behavior and I came to understand the difficulties he himself had also carried from his own childhood and later harsh experiences. By the time of his passing we had fully resolved our early conflicts and we reached a very loving, mutually respectful relationship. But it has taken many years yet for me to separate out positive from Shadow Elder Leader attitudes and traits, both in my relationships with others and in myself.  My general tendency for many years was to deny anger until it might explode within me, usually at only the frustrating final end of a close personal relationship. Eventually I have resolved most of this, but only after I had dealt with these Shadowy memories and fears could I enjoy developing the full potentials of my own most positive leadership potentials.

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So what I am sharing here is about how others might often come to represent or mirror archetypal traits that through such encounters may also lodge within your unconscious psyche orientations. It helps and is even necessary to confront these sorts of buried impulses in order to illuminate their influence directly so as to arrive at a more realistic assessment. Forgiveness is possible when we expose these shadowy residues to the light of our conscious understanding and mature perception. Then we can release these Shadow impulses once and for all, or at least we can learn to integrate these memories within a more positive understanding that might help us to develop empathy for others going through such experiences themselves, strengthening our own positive leadership roles.

I welcome your comments and stories at the SAFE SPACE that I hope this blog site has become. I thank Brenda for commenting about this site as one exhibiting “solidity”; that has inspired this personal sharing that I hope might stimulate some productive reflections in others.

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Invite Your Dream Guide to Show the Way

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Jung would say the Persona is the general archetypal domain for all 12 of the primordial universal archetype figures I am presenting to you here based on the archetypal psychology of the late Dr. Charles Bebeau’s Avalon Archetype Institute. These persona archetypes often appear in our dreams. They may take either masculine or feminine forms and they might present in positive (I call this their Strengths aspect) or in negative (Shadow) manifestations.

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This week we can combine the Life Metaphor of Life is a Dream with the persona archetype of Teacher.  The Dream Master or Dream Teacher is a figure I work with closely in my own spiritual practice.   You can invite your own Teacher archetype to appear in your dreams as an Inner Guide or to communicate with you via the dream state.

A couple of years ago I had a wonderful inner encounter with my own Dream Master. In a dreamscape just before waking, I found myself among a small group of people at the base of a canyon area. My Inner Guide was there. He showed us that our destination was on top of the canyon and said there were two ways to get there. We could either try to climb the rock canyon wall directly up to the top, or there was a wide, winding trail that we could walk. The people in this little group were of various ages. Two of them, a young man and a young woman, immediately went scrambling up the nearly vertical cliff wall and they were out of sight quickly, en route to a quickly attained destination. The rest moved off toward the long, winding trail to make their gradual ascent up the canyon.

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I watched the two young people scramble up the cliff wall and saw the older group walk to the gradual pathway. I wanted to be like the younger two, so I started trying to scale the rocky cliff. I took about five footholds in the ascent and suddenly, I was stuck! I couldn’t climb up for fear of falling, nor could I descend because I could not see where to place my feet.

I looked down to the canyon floor; my Teacher was still there, watching. He was wearing colors like those of Superman, with royal blues and red.

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I called down to him:

“Master, can you help me?”

He beckoned where to place my foot to descend back to the canyon floor:

“No, not there; a little further down and to the right. Yes, that’s it.”

Very quickly I was safe at the bottom. I walked over to my beloved Teacher.

“Thank You!” I said.

“I have the ability to watch,” my Teacher answered.

Gratefully, I moved on over to the long, winding trail, content now to take my time as the relative oldster I have become. This was the path of wisdom for me. It was clear that my Teacher helped me to descend so I could climb the canyon on a more gradual incline.

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I have never forgotten the wonderful feeling of being loved and cared for by my Dream Teacher’s inner guidance. I knew from reflecting on the dream that it was important that I had ASKED for this guidance. My Teacher has “the ability to watch”. But I have to be willing to ASK for his ever-present protection and  guidance.

Have YOU had a significant dream experience with an Inner/Dream Teacher? I welcome your stories!

Jung’s RED BOOK: Using Mandalas to Ground Your Awareness

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Today I want to discuss Jung’s RED BOOK (or, Liber Novus; 2009) as an example of how to use Totemic Representation to ground and illuminate your personal growth and development.

For a series of evenings starting from November 23 – December 25, 1913, just before the outbreak of WWI,then continuing for 16 years off and on after that, Carl G. Jung, founder of Depth, or Analytical, Psychology and the primary pioneer in the field of archetypal research, undertook an adventurous odyssey; he dived into the netherworlds of his own unconscious depths, and he returned to integrate his dreamlike encounters with the denizens of his unconscious domains within his conscious awareness. Using a form of contemplative practice that he termed “active imagination,” Jung sank willingly into a dreamlike awareness in order to encounter aspects and personae of his own Psyche that he would refer to as Archetypes.

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 To Jung, Archetypes exist in a “collective unconscious” dimension; that is, similar archetypal images or forms are found all over the world and often appear in myths and dreams in similar ways and with similar meanings, although the individual appearance of an archetype might have very individual, personal form and specific cultural relevance. Jung identified several collective archetypes in his active imagination scenarios: an Anima (feminine aspect of a man’s Psyche), Shadow forms, and a Mage sort of figure represented in Jung’s experiences as a philosophical guide or guru figure, Philemon. He also experienced many fairly idiosynchratic figures related to his personal relationships and to his academic, religious, and literary background studies.

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Some of Jung’s archetypal encounters lasted for several nights at a time, weaving a meaningful story.  Every night after his active imagination session, Jung recorded what he had experienced—including dialogue that had occurred with his archetypal figures—in a special journal he called his Red Book. He would sometimes paint some of the content of his experience in the Red Book, too. Every time a storyline had revealed its full significance to Jung, when he came out of his reveries that night he painted a special artistic image to represent his understanding of that archetypal encounter in the form of a circular Mandala (see link).

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A Mandala is a universal sort of artistic image, created in a Circular form within what might be a 4-corner outer frame and with a center image around which the rest of the picture aligns. Tibetan monks and Navajo Indian healers alike use Mandalas in healing and centering rituals. Mandalas represent Balance and the organized coherence and integration of what might otherwise be considered disjoint or even chaotic elements or forces. To Jung, his Red Book mandalas represented the “integration” of archetypal energies within his own Psyche or Soul as he came into greater understanding of their presence and significance.  This process of integrating archetypal energy forms is crucial within Jung’s broader psychological theory of Individuation which he developed more completely after completing his Red Book ‘Descent’ and reemergence.

Jung’s Red Book mandalas—which I can link to only indirectly here so as not to infringe on copyrights—are an excellent form of totemic representation. They served to literally ILLUMINATE the shadowy unconscious forms that might appear in Carl Jung’s dreams and reveries. The process of arranging these archetypal images in Mandala forms revealed the deeper significance of these forms to Jung; it represented the integrationof their MEANINGS within Jung’s holistic understanding of his own Psyche or Self.

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I certainly recommend reading Jung’s Red Book (there is a new Readers’ Edition available that makes this precious gem more accessible and affordable). Even more,I encourage you to engage in an ‘active imagination’ exploration of your own archetypal depths. In Life Paths–also in the next year of this blog that will begin in a couple of weeks from now— I’ll be offering an Archetype Dialogue process to help you discover aspects of your own unconscious archetypal influences that can be thought of as your own ensemble cast of archetypal Ally characters.

For now, though, I invite you to create a MANDALA to represent your LIFE DREAM. Place an image that represents your GOAL ACHIEVED (how you will feel or what your life will be like when you have fully integrated your Life Dream into your daily reality) in the center of a blank page. Around this Life Dream image, place other images or words and phrases to represent significant aspects of this Dream or representing the steps you can take to manifest your Life Dream.  You can refer to last week’s “Yellow Brick Road” and “Your Next Step” blog posts to find or develop material to use in filling out your totemic Life Dream Mandala image.

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I welcome your Mandala image or comments!

A Constellation of Your Archetype Allies for Better Endings

 

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For those of you following this blog or who have at least read last Tuesday’s post here, I can report that the dialogue with my Healer archetype (which I continued in greater depth in privacy after posting the excerpt) proved very helpful. I was able to take a small but meaningful step in the direction of my own Life Dream! So, I am thankful to the blog, and to you all as a collective “someone” (and as individuals) to share this WITH, for the opportunity to explore my own archetypal reservoir.

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This week I have been contemplating the idea of a CONSTELLATION in relation to an ensemble cast of archetypal character modes. Look at this image of Orion, for instance. What makes a stellar constellation more than a random arrangement of stars observed in the night sky? Although it is true that people of different cultures may recognize different constellations more or less, and though of course they will attach different connotations even to shared constellation images, still there is something about a constellation that is like a gestalt, whereby “the sum (total pattern) is greater than the sum of its parts.” I have noticed this in written word forms, too. Think about it; once you rearrange a scrambled word, as in a word game like Scrabble or Words with Friends, doesn’t it just feel better to see the word in its meaningful form?

For example:   NAMGAITION becomes “IMAGINATION”; doesn’t that just FEEL “right” and “better” than the scrambled letters?

So then, let’s turn back to our weekly theme of Your Archetype Allies. The example I usually give to help people understand the concept of a “mythic ensemble cast of Archetype characters” is Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz with her ensemble cast of unrealized or non-integrated parts of Self in the form of the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion (and with Toto as her Animus companion). Notice how as the story unfolds, each of these character shards, as it were, gain strength individually while also gradually forming a coherent unit of archetypal Allies, manifesting fully in the scene in which the 3 (plus Toto) literally don Warrior uniforms and act as a collective, harmonious unit to rescue Dorothy from the Wicked Witch’s castle.  Once this well integrated unit is fully assembled, with Dorothy in the Center again, they have the combined strength needed to accomplish their Mission: to dissolve the energy of the negative Witch. Dorothy can then assimilate and convert that negative power to a positive energy, first by taking the broomstick of the Witch of the West and then ultimately by learning to ‘stand in her own power,’ symbolized by the ruby slippers.

Whenever you think of The Wizard of Oz, you think of the ensemble assembly, right? Dorothy does not act “alone.” Even after she returns to Kansas (her “Conscious” domain; I just realized how similar those words are!), we know that her Allies will always be available in her Unconscious (“not in Kansas anymore!”) Land of Oz.

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So let’s return to YOUR QUEST: a meaningful goal you aim to achieve that you feel a need to develop Strengths for in order to ultimately pursue and attain it fully. Reviewing the Twelve Universal Archetypes I have presented this week, I invite you to consider what COMBINATION of these Archetypal characters, in either Strength or Shadow trait modes (see Sunday and Tuesday’s posts this week for brief descriptions of their character traits), might form a proper CONSTELLATION of Archetypal Allies which could, by serving together as co-workers with You as the central Self, help you to go after and to realize your Goal?

Below I include an Archetype Wheel. This shows the same Universal 12 Archetypes developed by Dr. Charles and Nin Bebeau (and Debra J. Breazzano, M.A.,LPC) that I will be introducing more formally in LIFE PATHS and that appear in descriptions within Sunday and Tuesday’s posts this current week. This Wheel represents how these 12 primordial archetype figures relate to the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) and to the three stages of any process (I=origination,II=maintenance and III=dissolution).

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What CONSTELLATION or combination of the above Archetype Characters could YOU unite with to form a strong ALLIANCE GROUP that can help you achieve your specific Goal? Please see if you can identify a subset of these 12 Universal Archetype figures that you can enlist to accomplish your goal.

I invite you to journal about, talk about, and engage in active imagination with the individual members of your Archetypal Constellation! Get to know each one, their strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, and what they bring to the Assembly that can help you to realize your Goal. You might wish to write a narrative STORY about you and your Archetypal Constellation–like in the Wizard of Oz–that envisions your goal and how your ensemble cast could act together as an ensemble cast to realize your goal or Life Dream!

 

I invite your Insights and Stories!

Mindi Finds her Freedom

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Mindi, 34, heard about life mapping and she came to me with a problem. She had a difficult life pattern that had plagued her since she was a teen.  She would start a relationship, or take a job, or relocate when she felt a spiritual nudge. But then she would soon leave the relationship, job or location, feeling a compulsion to not become bound by that situation. How could she ever feel comfortable with any commitment for the long run?

Mindi embarked on the Life Maps Process. We met over a 9 month period for once a week or so, and Mindi composed her Life Map with Life Themes, Life Chapters, a Parallel Mythic Life Story, and an Archetypal mapping of dominant Archetype influences over her life course. Mindi identified a WARRIOR archetype that she associated with her Life Theme of Spirituality, and she identified a DESCENDER archetype associated with her Life Theme of ‘Physical’ events, among others. These two were significant because they were often paired off in her Life Map as diametrically opposed in relation to critical Turning Points in Mindi’s life.

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Mindi engaged in an Archetype Dialogue practice. She invited her thematically associated archetypes to introduce themselves to her and to each other, using a journal to write out these ‘conversations.’  She asked each archetype at some point what its own GOALS are, and later she asked how each archetype’s goals might relate to her own overarching goals within the Total Self System including her core Self and all of her archetypal character aspects.

Mindi’s WARRIOR archetype associated with her Life Theme of Spirituality claimed Freedom as its primary goal. But guess what? Her DESCENDER archetype that she associated with Physical events also claimed Freedom as its goal. So Mindi asked each of these ‘parts of self’ to define Freedom from their own points of view. Mindi’s WARRIOR self defined Freedom as following spiritual nudges even if they did not make logical sense. Her DESCENDER self defined Freedom as the capacity to leave any situation that could limit her, so as not to become overly attached to any physical situation. This made sense of Mindi’s dilemma: Her spiritual WARRIOR would act on an inner nudge to move or act in a specific manner or direction, but soon after Mindi would act on this nudge, her DESCENDER would compel her to bolt, to move on!

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After Mindi moved further along with her Archetype Dialogue practice, she clarified her greatest STRENGTHS and her most overarching life goals. She was an excellent Communicator (another of her Archetype aspects), and she loved to travel. Eventually she defined a Life Dream that all of her archetypal ‘cast’ Allies could benefit from and that they could all contribute toward, together.  She wanted to become a public speaker, traveling around on the job, and speaking about more than one product or idea that she could support spiritually as positive, healthful products or ideas.

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Some 18 months after Mindi completed her Life Maps Process I received a phone message from her on my phone. She was excited.

“Everything we talked about, everything I said I wanted to do, I am now doing!”

Mindi had moved to California and after apprenticing as a political caucus speaker, she landed a job with a health related company that sells many different products that she can support spiritually because she believes that the products are healthful. She has become a public speaker, never staying too long with any one product or in any one location, as the company sends her to various locations to represent its large array of products.

Mindi has found her FREEDOM! (At least for now…)

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Two years later, Mindi is still engaged with this flexible but productive public speaking career. She feels more centered and she looks forward to discovering where this path will lead her to further down the road.

What Mindi has accomplished at this stage in her life is a greater INTEGRATION of her unconscious archetypal influences and yearnings. By LISTENING to herself..which, is, her “selves” as well as her Core—as we all can when we choose to—Mindi has embarked upon her own ‘Yellow Brick Road’ that can lead her to fulfill her deepest sense of Purpose.

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I invite you to continue with your own Archetype Dialogue journaling and/or active imagination practice. I will present a full process for this approach with Life Paths (or feel free to ask me about that), so,…stay tuned!

The Archetypal Twelve, by Debra Breazzano

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{Today’s post (through Monday) is an Invited Guest Blog from Debra J. Breazzano, MA/LPC, Archetypal Psychotherapist and Gifted Children Program Director.

I invited Debra to answer some questions readers might have about the “Twelve Universal Archetypes” that I am featuring in Life Paths and here at our Better Endings blog. Debra has co-authored articles and chapters with me before on this subject and has written an Appendix about “The Twelve Universal Archetypes” for Life Paths.  I sent Debra a set of questions in an interview sort of format, and here below is her reply.- Linda}

from Debra Breazzano:

The late Dr. Charles Bebeau (1944-2008) was the Founder and Director of several graduate Psychology training programs in Boulder, CO beginning with the Colorado Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in the early 80s, and ending with the Avalon Institute from which his wife, Nin, continued teaching his system of Archetypal Diagnosis under her directorship in Archetypal Academy until 2010.  I was privileged to learn from and teach with Dr. Bebeau and Nin for over 10 years and continue to incorporate many of the Universal Twelve concepts into my own work as educator and licensed counselor in the Boulder and Colorado Springs areas.  Traditional archetypal psychology has generally used dream images, poetic images and mythic-images in its efforts to “provide soul with an adequate account of itself (Hillman: 1983).”

Dr. Bebeau’s unique contribution to archetypal psychology, supported by years of research, concluded with the Twelve Universal Archetypes as a basis for his Archetypal Diagnostic approach.  This pioneering work synthesized the psychology of Carl Jung and other archetypal theorists such as James Hillman with the psychotherapeutic techniques from Wilhelm Reich, Fritz Perls, Carl Rogers and many other profound theoreticians.  From an archetypal perspective Dr. Bebeau explored the unfolding process of the soul and was able to empirically show through numerous case studies the unfolding cyclical processes relating to the Twelve moving through mind, body, spirit, soul, nature, dreams and personal events at one time.  Continuing this work, I also have discovered how powerful using the Twelve Universal Archetypes is, to equip people to meet life directly as they move through the challenges that are inherent to personal growth.

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The question arises:  Why Twelve?

As we know, archetypes are universal principles governing the order of the manifest world. Long ago ancient mysticism and hermetic sciences explored and documented the world of archetypal patterns.  These universal principles are very elusive. In conceptualizing the inconceivable, some of these systems chose to anthropormorphize the archetypes, bestowing upon them the form of angels or gods.  As internal deities or underlying archetypes, these Greater Powers instigate the dramas of our lives.   In archetypal psychotherapy, the archetypes are identified by names which characterize the way they appear in human personality.   The following names are used to describe the Twelve Archetypes that appear in human personality:

Originating             Maintaining     Dissolving

ELDER LEADER    ARTIST            TEACHER

LOVER             IDEALIST   COMMUNICATOR

WARRIOR        GOLDEN CHILD       HEALER

NURTURER      DESCENDER           MYSTIC

These principles are not only metaphysical theories but are a series of structural patterns which underlie all existence and can be understood in practical terms.  On the most elemental level, the individual characteristics of each archetype are based on the interplay of two factors—the four primary elements that are naturally found in the physical world:  earth, air, fire, and water; in combination with the three natural states of universal movement: all manifestation is either coalescing into form, maintaining the form it already has; or dissolving its old form.  The frequency of this interplay is the signature of each of the Twelve Archetypes.  When the knowledge and wisdom of these twelve states of awareness is acquired, consciousness moves from the mundane to the sublime.  The essential pattern of each archetype never changes because it is dictated by a particular vibrational frequency.  However, the possible combinations for manifestations are endless. There are many possible ways the Twelve continue to be combined to produce a great variety of human personalities.  However, the characteristics always echo the same network of relationships unique to that archetype.

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The process of becoming whole is one by which the psyche strives to incorporate all Twelve faces of consciousness into a harmonious blend.  Through grappling with the issues, challenges and personal talents inherent in each personality type, the individual expresses some of the divine force of the archetype.

Are the Twelve the absolute truth of the number of core patterns found at the base of life manifesting?  Possibly.  Or possibly not.   Dr. Bebeau believed and was able to demonstrate that these were the building blocks of the Universe.  However, that answer isn’t relevant if the purpose for archetypal diagnosis is to provide a powerful and useful tool for communicating and understanding each of our own unique personalities on the soulful journey we wish to engage.  For myself, and in my work with others, this system has provided an empowering structure that heals.  The multiple combinations of the Twelve are unending, and each individual is the authority of their own mythic evolution and its meaning.

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In addition, each archetypal pattern has qualities that can be considered “Feminine” and “Masculine” although all archetypes are inherently androgynous for they are embodied by both men and women. When energies expand outward they are designated as Masculine, while inward, contracting movements are considered Feminine.  However, these are not to be confused with gender; nor, does a man or a woman necessarily embody one correlating aspect more easily than the counterpart.  However, due to societal bias, masculine expression of an archetype may be more accepted in a man with their energies focused externally out into the world, and the feminine more socially accepted in a woman with her focus drawn towards an inward awareness.  A truly integrated being has equal access to both poles of consciousness and can express in either in accord with the demands of the moment.

Gold Yin-Yang, symbol of harmony.

Carl Jung’s idea of the Shadow—or inferior function– shows up in a particular wound physically, emotionally, or transpersonally as the  energy manifests in repressed or exaggerated aspects of an archetype. If the wound is addressed with archetypal awareness this shadowy aspect can transform into the healthy expression and the individual aligns themselves again with the awesome life generating power of the energetic force.

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I have discovered over and over again, that when people consciously align their state of consciousness with these natural cycles of life, they accelerate their psychological growth.  The Twelve Archetypes provide the foundational tool for understanding the soul’s evolving process.  Combining this understanding with Dr. Linda Watts’ Life Path Mapping process, the sense of empowerment for an individual as they navigate their journey through life, is truly profound.

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Thank You, Debra!