DESCENDER Dreams, Part One

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Have you had significant, memorable dreams where either you are in a dark or “lower” space such as in a basement or valley or the lower level of some house or structure, or where someone else who is a main character in your dream is in such a “lower” or “deep” space? This may be your DESCENDER Persona archetype (part-of-Self). Pay attention and you may learn something important from this often ‘submerged’ facet or energy within your Psyche.

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My DESCENDER dreams often include a young girl, around 10 or 12, who inhabits a lower level of a tri-level house (interestingly my favorite kind of home; I live in one now and sleep in the lower level!).  I have learned to tune in to engage in conversation with my Little Linda part-of-Self, as I call Her.  She embodies my quiet side that would rather stay in the lower, shaded regions rather than have too much concourse with the public or other people in formal sorts of situations. She may be that facet of my Self that most suffers situational anxiety when it comes to ‘professional’ social gatherings.  I embrace this part of myself as a vital and important aspect of my identity. I go to Her in active imagination for  ‘Archetype dialogue’ conversation rather than requiring Her to come to the surface, though sometimes She does reveal Herself in our more conscious experience. She loves to walk along a lake or through a path in the woods, and she is a great companion when I am otherwise alone with my dog Sophie and feline Loki and Emily Friends.

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Please be assured, I am not encouraging nor will recognizing your Archetypal Personas stimulate any sort of dissociative mental or psychological condition such as schizophrenia or Multiple Personality Disorder.  In fact, as William James wrote about at the turn of the 20th Century, we are indeed all of us “multiple” as an archetypal assembly of sub-identities integrated by the superordinate Self, and in fact it is those who have not allowed their diverse archetypal character modes to be well attended to or integrated who may be more susceptible to ‘splits.’ You can easily tell the difference between an archetypal part-of-Self persona and a dissociated “voice”: archetypal elements within your Total Self System ARE YOU and feel naturally to be a point of view that is part of your Self perspective or outlook, though they may represent various sub-selves or distinct outlooks, see?  Jung, Hillman, Myss, Houston, Pearson, Campbell and many other archetypal psychologists have well described the archetypal landscape of the archetypal Unconscious.

So, Dream! Allow your various parts-of-Self Personas including your DESCENDER to manifest in your dreams so you can encounter and engage with them. You will learn more about your Self from understanding their viewpoints and feelings.

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images are from pixabay.com

I welcome and invite your comments and stories. Have you had a DESCENDER dream?

The DESCENDER Rising (Part One: My Descender-Prompted Letter to the President-Elect)

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To the U.S. President-Elect from My DESCENDER:

I have read about your first 100 day priorities. They along with most of your agenda threaten everything I have taken for granted as progressive and helpful for the planet and for this country over which you aim to preside.

Look into the matters you are targeting with conservative policies carefully before you act, please!

  • There are REASONS for the regulations against fracking. They should be increased, not eliminated. Near surface earthquakes are already occurring. Carcinogens are in the emissions, polluting the air and water and endangering wildlife and humans. The super volcano at Yellowstone, for one example, is overdue to erupt, threatening to destroy at very least two thirds of the US (as per National Geographic and a slew of other studies). Fracking increases the probability of that eruption occurring sooner rather than later.   Native American conservationists are wise in calling for resource stewardship in Balance with Nature.                             earthquake-1665892__180
  • Whether climate change is cyclic and/or exacerbated by rapacious human use of natural resources, it poses real and immanent dangers to the continuation of life on this planet.                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Black lives DO matter, and uniquely, as do Mexican-American and Muslim American as well as Native and White American lives and rights or dreams of citizenship.  You will not abate domestic terrorism or “fix the inner cities” (which BTW are diverse in themselves; not all or only African Americans live there) by profiling and deporting or frisking law abiding citizens. There would be a backlash; we have seen this already and you would be responsible. Work instead to improve citizen cooperation, police and community relations and policing techniques.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     stock-photo-team-teamwork-togetherness-collaboration-concept-343048862
  • Marriage equality and gay rights in general should not even need to be legislated, but to protect civil rights, they must be; also Trans rights should be a given in the Land of the Free. (Freedom is not just for those you agree with or aim to mollify for having voted for you; Freedom requires respecting others’ freedoms!)
  • Abortion is a right and a choice that government has no place tampering with. People of VARIOUS faiths (we are NOT a “Christian country”!!!) always consider their beliefs and are free to exercise their own values. To me, as I believe in reincarnation, God or Divine Consciousness is neither so capricious nor so limited as to bestow only one lifetime or one opportunity to experience life in a body; Soul may enter with the first breath and can choose another body if conditions are not favorable for a mother.

Freedom of belief and practices that do not impinge negatively upon the wellbeing and rights of others are a mainstay of the American Way and must be safeguarded and protected.

DIALOGUE leads to progress; FIAT leads to unfortunate despair for ALL.

If you truly aim to “Make America Great,” do so with great care and deep respect for ALL Americans and for all of Life Itself!

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images are from pixabay.com

(This statement is from my DESCENDER, an archetypal ‘part of Self’  embedded within the collective consciousness of all humans.  It rises to express itself from the depths of the Psyche when it perceives a challenge to health and happiness of the individual or the collective Self or Soul. I encourage all readers to tap into the wellspring of the DESCENDER in your own Self; it is a healthy way to “touch base” with your core feelings and values.)

Let’s Get to the Bottom of Things! (I invite you!)

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November is the month of the Archetypal DESCENDER.  It is interesting that this Archetype is associated with a phase preceding the onset of Winter, a time of hibernation either literally or figuratively for many. I love the DESCENDER Archetype part-of-Self; it is one of my own dominant  ensemble Cast members.

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Please don’t mistake the DESCENDER for Jung’s notion of a Shadow archetype. Any of the TWELVE UNIVERSAL ARCHETYPES (shown below) can manifest in either Strength (positive) or Shadow (negative) modes of expression.

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DESCENDER is s/he who Descends to the depths or to the Core/ Heart of matters. (Often it will be your MYSTIC part-of-Self who brings back UP or re-emerges with that which your Descender unearths or discovers.) Consider our use of language to convey our natural Descender impulses:

Dive Deeply into the Matter

Sink Down

Plunge to the Bottom

Plumb the Depths of a situation

“I need some Down Time”

“I feel Depressed/ Down”

Under the weather

“Let’s Get to the Bottom of this”

At Base Level

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This Month of the DESCENDER, I invite you to take time to reflect DEEPLY; to PLUNGE TO THE DEPTHS of one or more situations that deserve your DEEPEST focus and attention. Let’s start with ONE: print out this post and write into the blank space in the CAVE image below (do your own “Cave Art”) ONE THING you feel drawn to EXCAVATE or to inspect on a DEEP level. Journal this month about this topic. Dialogue with your DESCENDER Part of Self (I will give you a template later this month for that sort of Active Imagination Archetype Dialogue).

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And please, do not be afraid of your DESCENDER. It is not a ‘demon’ or even a ‘dragon,’ though if it has been repressed or denied it does deserve to be LISTENED TO and SEEN. To encounter your DESCENDER, you must only DESCEND; don’t expect It (Her/Him) to come to the Surface but you will find your DESCENDER in a cozy place of repose. Hint: Bring a Mystic Guide with you to encounter and learn from your DESCENDER.

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photo images (and Gandalf) are free from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story!

 

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!

Authenticity

   

Tired of lies

People tell themselves

Of each other, of themselves.

Like a child I cry out

When there is no one there

Who listens,  to reply.

As a child I cry out, “love me”

Yet there is no one who can

reply beyond their lie

To themselves, of each other.

So to the Inner Master I cry out,

He replies as always,

“I love you, too!”

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pictures from pixabay.com

To “live your dream, now” means practicing the core values you aim to manifest in your fulfilled life experience NOW, as a way of living INTO manifesting the totality of your Life Dream.  Authenticity is one of my core values. What are yours?

Mystic and Descender, a Match Made in Heaven

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The archetypes of the Descender (known as the Dark Mother in Sumerian astrology) and of the Mystic are often paired in the life experience of the individual. Descender is associated with exploring the depths of life, reaching to the bottom of things, as it were; whereas Mystic has the propensity to accompany your descent and to bring your lessons to the surface, or to soar to the illuminating heights of self-knowledge and spiritual insight.

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The Mystic is a “dissolving” phase archetype (along with Teacher, Communicator, and Healer), meaning that it allows for a cycle of experience to be resolved, the lessons learned and integrated into greater awareness. So, Mystic can sink to the depths and soar to the heavens, bearing a transcendent wisdom. That is why it is helpful to inquire of your own inner Mystic nature when seeking insight or illumination about a troubling situation or decision. Trust your inner guidance to lead you well.

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We find the pairing of Descender and Mystic archetypes often portrayed in mythic fiction or epic fantasy tales.  Arthur has his Merlin to call upon in the darkest moments of his Quest; Dorothy has her Glinda; Harry his Dumbledore; Luke his Obi Wan or Yoda. All of these mystic Wizard or Master figures have the capacity to encompass the lowest and the highest orders of experience and awareness, and the fact that these heroic protagonists have access to these Mystics is a projection from their own spiritual and psychic natures. These Mystic figures appear to be advanced in their unfoldment relative to the hero, yet it is the destiny of the hero to realize these Mystic abilities within themselves; they have projected these external Mystic helpers which mirror aspects of themselves. Do you see?

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Archetypes, whether external or internal, reflect our own inner spiritual and mental potentials. In fact, both villainous and heroic Mystic forms are projections; but it is in the heroic nature of Soul, ultimately, to overcome or tame the negative energies while developing their positive attributes of Being, Knowing, and Seeing. These are Mystic traits, inherent in each of us. It only takes YOU to develop and to integrate your fullest potentials.

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Spelunking Your Cave

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IMAGINE there is a vital, vast, accessible CAVE deep within your own unconscious layers of Self. Today I invite you to visit this cavernous realm of your Psyche and to explore its dynamic potentials.

This Cave is available whenever you feel a need or desire for Descent; it is a place you can retreat to for shelter against the storms and shoals of life. It is where you in your Descender mode may have a hidden place of repose.  It reminds me of the secret forts and special treehouses I built with my siblings and closest friends as a child. Was there a place like this you and your friends used to go to (or, still do) for a special getaway?

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A Visualization Technique: Spelunking Your Cave

I invite you to engage in an Active Imagination form of Inner Adventure.  Close your eyes and simply envision visiting a Cave–or a hidden fort or other secret place–deep within your own realms of Imagination. Find this secret space, and Explore! Please bring a flashlight or torch or some other source of illumination, and you can build a cozy fire within your cave.

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Explore this space fully. Is anything written on the walls?  Would you like to write something? There is charcoal available. Are there artifacts left there from your own earlier or others’ use of this space? What artifacts are these? What is their meaning to you now?

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If your Descender part-of-Self lives in this space or comes here sometimes, meet with him or her; you can engage in conversation and interact. Allow him or her to show you around, or listen as s/he tells you a story.

After you have discovered much of meaning to you in your Cave or place of repose, you can return to your normal awareness and make a record of what you have experienced and learned.  You might wish to journal or to write a letter to yourself about your Cave Adventure. You may create an art piece or a poem or a mandala representing something significant about this Inner journey. You may wish to talk about it with a loved one.

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You are welcome to share your insights or a story about your experience here!

The Descender in You

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shared from LIORA www.twinflame1111.com  

Within each of us reside The Twelve: universal archetypal energy modes or traits that affect our development of character throughout our lives. These twelve show up in the social roles we enact in connection with our relationships and our activities; in our job or career ‘personas’ at work, in our dreams and daydreams or fiction writing, in our sports, hobbies, service roles, spirituality, travel, and at rest. Have you noticed how you might “shift gears” from one role perspective to another, drawing upon or expressing different inflections of your dynamic, diverse Self? Do you sometimes even hear ‘voices’ that seem to come from somewhere within yourself yet that are distinctly focussed on a specific intention?

Your archetypal inner cast of character modes dwell both in the Above and the Below. They are interwoven with your day to day presentation of Self, as the sociologist Erving Goffman would describe, yet they also inhabit or perhaps more properly “live” within your personal (and collective) unconscious, realms of IMAGE and STORY; the same realms in which many of your most significant dreams unfold.  These are real energy modes or beings; parts of your very Self that have formed out of universal primordial energies interacting with the development of your identity over time and across situations.

Archetypal character forms can have both positive and/or negative sorts of influences on the person you are in any given context; upon the person you have become til now and are becoming. We can refer to the positive archetypal traits that show up in your conscious attitudes and behavior as Strengths. Each archetypal part-of-Self may also have its Shadow side pertaining to your fears or inhibitions or negative tendencies.

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The Twelve universal archetype character modes we will be exploring this year are based on the archetypal psychology works of Dr. Charles Bebeau and archetypal psychotherapists Nin Bebeau and Debra J. Breazzano (whose works I will present further in my book and handbook, Life Paths. The twelve, organized vertically according to their associated Elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) and horizontally according to their energy modes (Originating, Maintaining, Dissolving), are:

ELDER LEADER   ARTIST   TEACHER

LOVER   IDEALIST   COMMUNICATOR

WARRIOR   GOLDEN CHILD   HEALER

NURTURER   DESCENDER   MYSTIC

Since these 12 have astrological associations according to Dr. Bebeau, who bases these on ancient Sumerian astrological and mythological figures, I will introduce them here according to their main astrological month. Hence, being November/ in Scorpio, I will begin this week by introducing the DESCENDER.

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The Descender archetype is not the same as what Jung would call the Shadow. In fact, all twelve of the universal archetype modes have Shadow forms, including the Descender; yet Descender also brings positive Strengths to our building and expression of Self.

So, who is the DESCENDER in You?

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Your Descender might show up in your dreams as someone or something literally dwelling in a “below” or interior place, like a basement or cave. Or you might see the Descender in your dreams or daydreams as one who engages in Descent, going “Down” from one place or stage to a deeper, lower, darker domain. As well as in your dreams, your Descender energy may show up in your waking life in relation to particular situations or circumstances. You can learn much from when your Descender appears.

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As a fairly introvertive person, I have a lot of the Descender in me, both consciously in my outer self-expression and unconsciously/ inwardly. I see my Descender usually as a young girl in my dreams; I feel her as a young girl who lives in a low-lit space like the lower level of a tri-level home in the body of my self-identity. She is largely a loner, though connected closely with my conscious Self like a protected–and protective–daughter. She is an observer of my outer activities but prefers not to participate directly with most of the people-interactions I maintain from day to day. My very special friends are her friends, too, though, so she takes more part in our activities with them, like hiking, playing games, talking deeply or going to a movie.

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“Oddly”, I have always preferred to sleep in Descender sorts of spaces. As a child, when not sharing a bedroom with my older sister, I preferred to sleep on my father’s old army cot, either in the basement or in an unfinished attic. This gave freedom to my very imaginative Descender–I call her Lindy. She loves the texture of such dark spaces. These dark, quiet spaces I share with her provide a portal for my creative ideas and fantasies. I would often sneak out when I slept in my family’s basement as a teen, just to slip out into the fertile darkness of the night. I experienced there a natural freedom and sense of adventure upon which Lindy thrives.

Still today, I live in a tri-level home. Two fully furnished bedrooms are in the upper level where my housemate sleeps, but I sleep downstairs on a futon, with my pets. In this ‘descent’ zone, every night I contemplate, write in my journals, and dream!

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Who is Your DESCENDER? What is s/he like? When does s/he appear in your life? Do you constrain, resist, or express your Descender inclinations? What name might you give her or him? How does s/he appear in significant dreams you have had?

What have you learned or could you gain from listening to and nurturing your Descender? What Strengths does s/he bring to you? Does s/he also hold some of your fears or negative antisocial tendencies?

Remember to acknowledge and to love and care for the Descender part of yourself. My goal for us all this year in this blog in recognizing our archetypal facets of Self is to gradually integrate and unify these aspects as an Ensemble Cast of Archetype Allies.

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I invite your Comments and Stories!

 

 

An Archetype Dialogue Process

Today’s Best of Better Endings revisits archetypal character modes. These are your “inner voices” that can be associated with your Life Themes or typical kinds of situations in your life. I call such archetypal aspects “Archemes” because they are associated with your recurring situational themes. Do you have a Teacher (or, Student) Archeme associated with a theme of Education in your life? A Nurturer associated with being a parent? Or perhaps a Lover Archeme connected with your Romance theme? I will develop this concept for you more later when this blog converts to a Life Mapping focus later this month (or see lifepathmaps.com). For now, let me reprise a post about the personal development tool of “Archetype Dialogue”. I invite you to try it! And of course, I always welcome your feedback and insights.- LW (5/6-7/14)

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“For every typical situation in life,

There is an archetype corresponding to that situation.”

– Carl G. Jung (Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious)

Can you think of an issue about which you are conflicted or undecided, for which you can express “two sides” of the situation? E.G. whether to move or to stay with a job or to change a relationship? Or do you have a “personal conflict” over some area of your life that persists through the years without clear resolution?

When you have opposing viewpoints within yourself over an issue that is important to you, it’s as though you are two or more people within your same body or mind. Here, we are talking about what Carl Jung and many others since have called Archetypes. These are submerged viewpoints, your ‘inner voices’ that might feel at odds with each other about how you should approach something.  James Hillman would say these various archetypal aspects of your Self are in your “Personal Unconscious”, and Jung would say we have even deeper sorts of archetypes in our “Collective Unconscious” that are universal.

As an anthropologist I take a practical approach as well as a “depth psychology” approach to archetypal character guises and traits. We all take on various ROLES in our lives that are associated with various STATUSES. These can include kinship statuses and roles (like Mother or Child, husband and wife) as well as occupational and recreational roles, like Doctor and Golfer. Each of these personal ROLES is associated with specific kinds of SITUATIONS we engage in regularly. And each of these brings out deep archetypal—not just formal ‘status’—aspects. Considering various Themes, or KINDS of situations in our lives, each Life Theme may be associated with archetypal character dispositions.  For example, ROMANCE might bring out the Lover in You, whereas EDUCATION may bring forth your Teacher and/or Student “parts of Self”, and SPORTS or MILITARY SERVICE might bring forth the Warrior. Each of these “situational archetype” parts-of-self has their own ‘character’ presence in your unique assemblage of archetypal outlooks. Some are deeply buried or suppressed (e.g. some may be in “Shadow” mode), while others may be more actively integrated within your conscious personality.

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The Life Mapping activity for this week’s topic about Attitudes asks you to write or to imagine a DIALOGUE with two opposing viewpoints—both your own—around a topic you may feel conflicted or “dual” about. It can help to get these divergent sides talking to one another about a situation you are trying to better understand or resolve, especially if leaving it unresolved keeps you “stuck” about that issue.

Let me share an example from my Life Mapping cases. Mindy is a woman who had been experiencing a persistent dilemma for many years. In the course of life mapping she identified two Archetypal outlooks that she associated with a spiritual aspect—she called this her inner Warrior—and a Physical-life side of self, which she called her Descender. Around some of the same issues in her life, her Warrior-mystic and her Descender modes were at odds. Her Warrior wanted to follow inner spiritual nudges: make a move, take or end a job, accept a relationship. Her Descender, though, hated to be pinned to any decision.  Mindy journaled a dialogue between these two archetypal parts of self.  She found that one value was important to both of them: Freedom. But they each defined freedom in diametrically opposite ways! The Mystic thought freedom was about following inner nudges of spirit; it was “Spiritual Freedom”. The Descender wanted Freedom from commitments! So, for many years, Mystic-Mindy would boldly step forth and change locations, jobs or relationships. But almost immediately thereafter, Descender-Mindy would want to bolt; to leave that location, job or relationship. When Mindy put the two to talking with each other over a couple of weeks in her journal, they/she came to recognize how these opposing, archetype-driven points of view were interfering with her ever establishing a STABLE set of conditions. So she started asking them about their goals and she found some they shared. She needed a job, for instance, with built in variety and flexibility. Now Mindy has become a successful public speaker for a health supplements company she believes in. She gives workshops on various products and travels around the country. Both her Mystic and her Descender selves are happy, for once! Mindy has embraced and ‘integrated’ more of her total Self.

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Writing an archetype dialogue allows you to tap into aspects of yourself you might otherwise suppress. Offer a “safe space” to these feelings and viewpoints, knowing that your core Self will remain strong and centered throughout the exchange. Just as an example to get you started, let me illustrate briefly. I call this approach: “Open Mike”. Just set a topic about which you have dual or multiple ‘attitudes’, and invite your various situational selves to speak. If you’re not sure what topic to introduce, ask ‘them’ to suggest one for you!

Open MikeTopic: My currently overburdened schedule

This is crazy! How can we keep this up? You are going to collapse at this rate.

(Self in italics) Who are you?

Just a part of You that wishes you would lighten up a bit…

A Nurturer, I would guess.

Yes. You do need to give yourself more time to relax, dear. Breathe. Go to the gym. Read a Maeve Binchy novel; I want to!

I know but there is just so much to do. I have bitten off so much this year, with so much at stake…

This Life, don’t you mean? I am with you and want to see you reach your goals, too, Lindy, but she is right; you need to find a  balance. Trust that you will get what you need to get done even better when you accept some time limitations.

Are you an Elder Leader?

No; a Communicator, you might say.

Thanks for all you contribute; all of you…

Nurturer: So what are you going to do to ease up a bit?

I will do what I can…feel free to nudge me when you see an opportunity for me to relax for a bit or take Sophie for a walk.

Oh just get over yourself! BORing!

Okay?

You are so frigging serious!

What would YOU have me do?

Wake Up!!

Jester Juggler Juggling Balls Retro

[This is just a brief example of how to begin an Archetypal “Open Mike” dialogue. It is helpful to have a journal dedicated to this practice. You can explore any topics; get to know these ‘parts’ of yourself that are always within you and can help you as  Allies to reach for your Dreams! Use whatever names you want for these; in Life Paths I will be introducing a specific ‘pantheon’ of 12 universal archetype figures based on Jung and on the works of a lesser known archetypal psychologist, Dr. Charles Bebeau-LW]

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I invite your comments, insights and stories.

 

Archetype Dialogue

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“For every typical situation in life,

There is an archetype corresponding to that situation.”

– Carl G. Jung (Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious)

Can you think of an issue about which you are conflicted or undecided, for which you can express “two sides” of the situation? E.G. whether to move or to stay with a job or to change a relationship? Or do you have a “personal conflict” over some area of your life that persists through the years without clear resolution?

When you have opposing viewpoints within yourself around an issue that is important to you, it’s as though you are two or more people about that. Here, we are talking about what Carl Jung and many others since have called Archetypes. These are submerged viewpoints, your ‘inner voices’ that might feel at odds with each other about how you should approach something.  James Hillman would say these various archetypal aspects of your Self are in your “Personal Unconscious”, and Jung would say we have even deeper sorts of archetypes in our “Collective Unconscious” that are universal.

As an anthropologist I take a practical approach as well as a “depth psychology” approach to archetypal character guises and traits. We all take on various ROLES in our lives that are associated with various STATUSES. These can include kinship statuses and roles (like Mother or Child, husband and wife) as well as occupational and recreational roles, like Doctor and Golfer. Each of these personal ROLES is associated with specific kinds of SITUATIONS we engage in regularly. And each of these brings out deep archetypal—not just formal ‘status’—aspects. Considering various Themes, or KINDS of situations in our lives, each Life Theme may be associated with archetypal character dispositions.  For example, ROMANCE might bring out the Lover in You, whereas EDUCATION may bring forth your Teacher and/or Student “parts of Self”, and SPORTS or MILITARY SERVICE might bring forth the Warrior. Each of these “situational archetype” parts-of-self has their own ‘character’ presence in your unique assemblage of archetypal outlooks. Some are deeply buried or suppressed (e.g. some may be in “Shadow” mode), while others may be more actively integrated within your conscious personality.

The Life Mapping activity for this week’s topic about Attitudes asks you to write or to imagine a DIALOGUE with two opposing viewpoints—both your own—around a topic you may feel conflicted or “dual” about. It can help to get these divergent sides talking to one another about a situation you are trying to better understand or resolve, especially if leaving it unresolved keeps you “stuck” about that issue.

Let me share an example from my Life Mapping cases. Mindy was a woman who had been experiencing a persistent dilemma for many years. In the course of life mapping she identified two Archetypal outlooks that she associated with a spiritual aspect—she called this her inner Warrior—and a Physical-life side of self, which she called her Descender. Around some of the same issues in her life, her Warrior-mystic and her Descender modes were at odds. Her Warrior wanted to follow inner spiritual nudges: make a move, take or end a job, accept a relationship. Her Descender, though, hated to be pinned to any decision.  Mindy journaled a dialogue between these two archetypal parts of self.  She found that one value was important to both of them: Freedom. But they each defined freedom in diametrically opposite ways! The Mystic thought freedom was about following inner nudges of spirit; it was “Spiritual Freedom”. The Descender wanted Freedom from commitments! So, for many years, Mystic-Mindy would boldly step forth and change locations, jobs or relationships. But almost immediately thereafter, Descender-Mindy would want to bolt; to leave that location, job or relationship. When Mindy put the two to talking with each other over a couple of weeks in her journal, they/she came to recognize how these opposing, archetype-driven points of view were interfering with her ever establishing a STABLE set of conditions. So she started asking them about their goals and she found some they shared. She needed a job, for instance, with built in variety and flexibility. Now Mindy has become a successful public speaker for a health supplements company she believes in. She gives workshops on various products and travels around the country. Both her Mystic and her Descender selves are happy, for once! Mindy has embraced and ‘integrated’ more of her total Self.

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Writing an archetype dialogue allows you to tap into aspects of yourself you might otherwise suppress. Offer a “safe space” to these feelings and viewpoints, knowing that your core Self will remain strong and centered throughout the exchange. Just as an example to get you started, let me illustrate briefly. I call this approach: “Open Mike”. Just set a topic about which you have dual or multiple ‘attitudes’, and invite your various situational selves to speak. If you’re not sure what topic to introduce, ask ‘them’ to suggest one for you!

Open MikeTopic: My currently overburdened schedule

This is crazy! How can we keep this up? You are going to collapse at this rate.

(Self in italics) Who are you?

Someone who wishes you would lighten up a bit…

A Nurturer, I believe.

Yes. You do need to give yourself some time to relax, dear. Breathe. Go to the gym. Read a Maeve Binchy novel; I want to!

I know but there is just so much to do. I have bitten off so much this semester…

This Life, don’t you mean? I am with you and want to see you reach your goals, too, Lindy, but she is right; you need to add some balance. Trust that you will get what you need to get done even better when you accept your time limitations.

Are you an Elder Leader?

No, a Communicator.

Thanks for all you contribute; all of you, too.

Nurturer: So what are you going to do to ease up a bit?

I will do what I can…feel free to nudge me when you see an opportunity for me to open a novel or take Sophie for a walk.

[This is just an example of how to begin an Archetypal “Open Mike” dialogue. It is helpful to have a journal dedicated to this exchange. Explore many topics; get to know these ‘parts’ of yourself that are always within you and can help you reach your Dreams! Use whatever names you want for these; in Life Paths I will be introducing a specific ‘pantheon’ of 12 universal archetype figures based on Jung and on the works of a lesser known archetypal psychologist, Dr. Charles Bebeau-LW]

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I invite your comments and stories of your own.

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Happy Valentines Day