Your Descender and Shadow Archetypes

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The Descender archetype as part of your Total Self System is not quite the same as what Jung referred to as your Shadow. In the system of twelve universal archetypes I am representing with the Life Maps Process, based on the system of archetypal therapy developed by Dr. Charles and Nin Bebeau and Debra Breazzano at the former Avalon Archetype Institute, all twelve archetypes, including Descender, each have both positive or Strength qualities as well as negative Shadow potentials.

Your Descender is associated with Descent, a part of you that is more comfortable in reclusive, reflective spaces or moods.

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This often submerged unconscious persona digs deeply into the lower layers of life experience and may often bring forth pearls or gems in the process.

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Shadow traits of any archetype are repressed or inhibited modalities. They may result from injuries or express inhibited, fearful aspects related to negative life conditions or from traumatic experiences from the past or present.

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The Lone Wolf animus figure I wrote about in my last post (Friday) has a Descender aspect to it. It stands apart and ventures where others may not dare to tread; this is its nature and it has been of great value to me as a writer, yet now I am seeking to reintegrate my Lone Wolf nature back into its wider community of Archetype Allies as it is time to go forth in a more external, service oriented  manner of sharing and communicating widely.

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Embrace your Descender as one who can show you the depths of any situation or relationship. Also acknowledge your Shadow expressions, as these may lead you to recognize sources of discomfort that can lead you to make positive adjustments and change. Explore the depths, then bring up the gold that can illuminate your passage to reach your desired goals.

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Most importantly, I encourage you to LISTEN to your Descender and Shadow forms, whether they appear in your dreams, your emotional attitudes, or in your outer waking world interactions. They bear important messages for you to learn and grow from. They are your Allies, too!

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I welcome your comments or stories!

Discover Your Descender Archetype

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I started this blog officially on November 15, 2013, so I will complete this yearly round of topics on Nov. 14 of this month; after that I will introduce a whole new process and set of topics for the next year. For November, then, let’s come full circle to focus on the Archetype of the DESCENDER pairing with the metaphor Life Is…A Golden Opportunity.

DESCENDER is one of my primary ensemble cast members as a beloved Archetype Ally. As described by archetypal psychologist Debra Breazzano, Descender is an “Archetype of transformation through death and life/rebirth.” Its Mission is “to honor the descent process and embrace transformation of Self.”

Life is indeed a Golden Opportunity, and your Descender can help you discover its deepest possibilities for you.

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A good way to tune into your Descender perspective is through active imagination that involves an imagistic form of descent itself. Imagine sinking DOWN  into a subterranean chamber or a cave, or even under water. Imagine there a semi-darkened space, with just enough illumination to see by. Find an image of your Descender there; what does he or she look like to you?

Start a conversation. I will model the process here:

L: Hello! I have come to visit with you. What would you like me to call you?

D: I live in your shadows, so you can call me Shade, if you wish.

L:  That reminds me of the shade of a large oak tree.

D: Okay. I can see that.

L: Let’s sit under a shaded tree then to converse. Would that be okay?

{Tree appears, and she: (darker hair, more slim, taller than me) sits down beside me in the grass. The space around us is dim, mainly we have the focus just around us in a luminescent glow.}

D: Why are you here? What would you ask of me?

L: I guess I’d like to ask about what happened with you yesterrday, when you cried out in frustration while I was fighting a cold and with my body aching generally, that we/I had “hit a wall”?

D: That was a waking dream when you walked into that glass wall at the seminar–at the turnaround door at the hotel– Nothing is an accident, remember?

(I did hit my forehead two weekends ago at a hotel. I’m still bruised across the forehead.)

L: Are you saying you led me to bump into into that door?

D: No, that wasn’t me. But it did wake me up! Everything takes SO LONG lately with you, with us, now in this lifetime.  I am tired of waiting — waiting — waiting, and for what? Will it ever really matter? What difference does all of this work make? Is there anything around the bend or just more of the same, always?

L: Those are worthwhile questions and I am glad you are bringing them forth, Shade. On one hand I figure patience is a big lesson here. But maybe there is a way to step things up, too.

D: Maybe talk to our Communicator about that.

L: OK, I will. I just want you to know I do care about your feelings. Thanks for expressing them and let’s stay connected!

 

******   ******

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Archetype Dialogue can help you understand your own motivations and inner conflicts. Tune in any time!

I welcome your insights and stories of your own experiences.