As with Don Juan, the Femme Fatale represents highly refined skills at manipulating men without investing personal emotion. The Femme Fatale is a sexual and a financial archetype, and either comes from or is drawn to money and power. Seducing men with money and power and for the sake of personal control and survival is a classic part of this archetype, although the Femme Fatale is not looking for a home in the suburbs and the pleasures of family life. Her name is Zeleikha in Islamic tradition ; Tapairu Polynesian nymphs who inhabit the waters that lead to the underworld.
The goddess of death employs them to seduce men away from the earth ; Lorelei in Teutonic myth, a beautiful maiden who drowned herself after being spurned by her lover, and was then transformed into a siren whose hypnotic music lured sailors to their death. The Gambler is a risk-taker who plays the odds. This archetype has far more aspects than are commonly considered, including not just card sharps and racetrack gamblers, but also drug addicts, entrepreneurs, and day traders. From an energetic perspective, gambling is an attempt to outrun the speed at which ordinary change happens.
Acquiring great wealth in a casino in one throw of the dice or by winning the lottery is a spectacular experience not only because of the money but because of the experience of the compression of time. From real estate ventures to scientific research, hunches have often yielded successful fruitful outcomes. To assess whether you are a Gambler, review your ability to follow your intuition and what others might consider risky inner guidance. Ask yourself how many of your decisions are based on gut instinct rather than facts and figures. You can evaluate your relationship to the shadow Gambler according to whether you have a compulsion.
Some people who are obsessed with winning lotteries and striking it rich at casino tables—or in get-rich-quick and pyramid schemes—may spend relatively little money compared to professional gamblers, but their focus on finding ways to beat the odds is a central part of their life. A related form of gambling may affect the way you are focused on looking for lucky breaks in your relationships, rather than doing the hard psychic work needed to make them succeed.
Whether a great worldly power or a great physical specimen, the God archetype represents the ultimate in male dominance. On the positive side, a God can be benevolent and compassionate, willing to use his powers to help others out of love for humanity. The shadow God easily becomes a dictator or despot, oppressing others with those same powers, or using his physical attractiveness to get what he wants without ever returning the affection he elicits.
To claim this archetype among your support circle of twelve, you need to have a life-long sense of great power, used either selfishly or selflessly. The oldest religious tradition on earth may well be Goddess worship, which some archaeologists trace back further than 30, years. It was certainly natural to worship the archetype of woman as the Source of all life, especially in the age before male warriors replaced Her with their combative sky gods. The connection of fertility with exaggerated sexual attributes found in ancient statues of the Goddess survive in modern worship of screen goddesses such as Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield.
The Goddess can be inspiring to women, embodying wisdom, guidance, physical grace, athletic prowess, and sensuality. The shadow side of the Goddess emerges from the exploration of the feminine power, including the exploitation or over-indulgence of movie stars and fashion models. Identifying with a goddess figure as a major archetype in your chart requires that you review life-long associations with the image and personality associated with it. The energy of Venus Aphrodite is prevalent in women who form their self-image strongly around their sexuality.
Besides those mentioned above, you can choose from Tara and Quanyin Tibetan and Chinese bodhisattvas of compassion ; Amaterasu Omigami Shinto Sun goddess ; Shakti Hindu personification of energy as Divine Mother ; Branwen Celtic goddess of love and beauty ; Oshun East African Yoruba goddess of pleasure, love, and beauty ; Pan Jin Lian Chinese goddess of prostitution ; Frigg Norse goddess of marriage, motherhood, childbirth, and midwifery ; Turan Etruscan goddess of love, health, and fertility.
The Guide takes the role of Teacher to a spiritual level, teaching not only the beliefs and practices that make up established religions, but also the overarching principle of seeing the Divine in every aspect of life. Clearly you do not have to be a professional Preacher or Guru to have this archetype, as we can all learn to lead others spiritually through developing our own intuitive spiritual awareness and passing on whatever we have learned with genuine humility. To count this archetype as part of your support group, however, you will need to discern in your life a continuing pattern of devoting yourself to teaching others from your own spiritual insights.
This presupposes that you have gained wisdom through some combination of self-disciplined practice and study and perhaps spontaneous spiritual experiences. Wisdom also comes with age, and so the Crone or Wise Woman represents the ripening of natural insight and the acceptance of what is, allowing one to pass that wisdom on to others. The shadow aspect of the Guide is visible in many modern televangelists and gurus of various traditions who are more interested in financial gain and controlling their followers than in imparting genuine spiritual insight.
The Healer archetype manifests as a passion to serve others in the form of repairing the body, mind, and spirit. Some people, by their very nature and personality, are able to inspire others to release their painful histories or make changes in their lives that redirect the course of their future.
Regardless of the shape of the wound, the challenge inherent in this initiation process is that one is unable to turn to others for help beyond a certain degree of support. Only the initiate can ultimately heal the wound; if it is an illness or accident, it will frequently be one for which there is no conventional cure.
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The Wounded Healer archetype emerges in your psyche with the demand that you push yourself to a level of inner effort that becomes more a process of transformation than an attempt to heal an illness. If you have successfully completed the initiation, you inevitably experience an exceptional healing, and a path of service seems to be divinely provided shortly after the initiation is complete.
The shadow of both the Healer and Wounded Healer manifests through a desire to take advantage of those who need help, including claims that you can heal any and every illness a person has. As scientific reserach has shown, pleasure can improve our health and extend our lives and needs to be part of a balanced life. Indulging the self is central to the psyche of this archetype, whether treating oneself to a health spa or learning the nuances of lovemaking. That the Hedonist is generally thought of as someone who pursues extremes of self-indulgence is more a reflection of our Puritan heritage than of the archetype itself.
It also challenges in a positive way the collective archetypal fear of being seduced and losing control in the physical world. The search for physical ecstasy parallels the search for spiritual transformation, a truth that is apparent in the dual identity of the famous Greek icon of pleasure-seeking, Dionysus. Besides being a god of wine and fertility later adoped by the Romans as Bacchus , Dionysus also represents the goal of mystery religions, like those practiced at Eleusis: ecstatic delivery from the mundane world through the physical or spiritual intoxication induced by secret rites.
See Mystic. The sacrament of Soma also a god of the Vedic pantheon played a similar role in ancient Indian spirituality. Choderlos DeLaclos. The Hero is also a classic figure in ancient Greek and Roman literature, often portrayed as one who must confront an increasingly difficult path of obstacles in order to birth his manhood. Today this archetype holds a dominant position in the social mind as an icon of both male and female power, from the Superheroes of comic books, such as Superman and Wonder Woman, to television and countless movies and popular novels. The Self emerges as the Hero faces physical and internal obstacles, confronting the survival fears that would compromise his journey of empowerment and conquering the forces arrayed against him.
The Hero then returns to the tribe with something of great value to all. From a shadow perspective, the Hero can become empowered through the disempowerment of others.
The manner in which the Hero uses his physical power is a reflection of the spirit of the Hero, represented through authentic acts of heroism. The template for the Judge archetype in Jewish-Christian culture largely derives from King Solomon, who was notable for balancing justice and compassion. Those who manipulate or disgrace justice or violate this creed are held to be social and moral criminals, having damaged the honor of the courtroom and the nation, and the archetype itself. For that reason, this archetype should be understood as one that has the vision to manage the fair distribution of power in whatever form it takes, from violating military codes to breaking marriage vows.
One need not be an attorney, judge, or critic by profession to identify with this archetype. If you are a natural mediator or involved in interventions between people, you may carry this archetype in your psyche. Personal qualities that inspire in you a commitment to lead a life with high standards related to justice and wisdom as well as the manner in which you interact with other people are very reflective of a strong connection to this archetype.
Prolonged suffering from having been misjudged—an experience that walks hand-in-hand with learning forgiveness—should also be considered an expression of this archetype in your life. But as with all other archetypal evaluations, you are not looking for one experience of having been misjudged or misjudging another, but rather a life-long learning process that is centered around the learning of justice and compassion. The shadow Judge manifests as consistently destructive criticism, judging without compassion or with a hidden agenda. Legal manipulation, misuse of legal authority, and threatening others through an association with the law are other expressions of the shadow.
Such manipulation includes the misuse of business authority as well as conventional legal and criminal authority. Fiction: Billy Budd, Foretopman Capt. The King is an archetype of major proportions, representing the height of temporal male power and authority. Both benevolence and cruelty in their extreme expressions are associated with this archetype. Classic to the cruel King is the collective hope of his kingdom that he should fall from his throne.
The King is associated more with the royal blood and inheritance, whereas an Emperor can arise from common society, as did Napoleon. A resistance to criticism, questioning, and challenges in decisions about controlling his kingdom. Throughout history, the pendulum has swung from good Kings to evil, from benevolent, even saintly rulers to greedy, gluttonous criminals. Louis—combined the qualities of a just ruler, fearless warrior, and holy man.
The thirteenth-century sovereign lived for the welfare of his subjects and the glory of God. The need to rule and exert control over a kingdom is key to this archetype. The Knight archetype is primarily associated with chivalry, courtly romance, protection of the Princess, and going to battle only for honorable causes. The Knight serves his King or Lord and so this archetype has spiritual overtones as well of service and devotion.
The Black Knight donning dark armor and riding a black horse represents the shadow characteristics of this archetype, especially the absence of honor and chivalry. Somewhat like the Warrior, the shadow Knight manifests as loyalty to a questionable ruler or principle. In its negative aspect, the Knight can also, like the Rescuer, fall into a pattern of saving others but ignoring his own needs. A true Knight, like the Mystic, walks the fine line between self-sacrifice and self-neglect. But in everyday life, any number of people can play a similar role on a smaller scale, helping to liberate us from the tyranny of self-inflicted negative thought patterns and beliefs, spiritual sluggishness, poor nutrition, destructive relationships, or addictive behavior.
This archetype can be an invaluable ally in helping to free us from old, entrenched beliefs and attitudes that have been inculcated from without, much like colonial occupying armies. Jesus, Muhammad, and the Buddha were Liberators in this sense, offering options to the violence, suffering, and spiritual stagnation of their respective times and places.
You do not have to be a charismatic leader to have this archetype, however. Thousands of people have taken part in long campaigns to win freedom from various kinds of oppression, from the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights movement in this country to the Freedom Fighters of the Hungarian Revolution. The shadow Liberator manifests in those who would liberate us from one tyrant only to impose their own tyranny over our lives—corporate, political, religious, and spiritual leaders who speak of freedom as a way to their individual aggrandizement.
In evaluating whether this archetype belongs in your circle of twelve, ask whether you have shown a life-long pattern of helping to free others from injustices, from adverse economic or social conditions, or simply from their misconceptions. This archetype appears not only in those who are romantically inclined, but also in anyone who exhibits great passion and devotion. One can be a Lover of art, music, gardening, Persian carpets, nature, or needlepoint.
The key is having a sense of unbridled and exaggerated affection and appreciation of someone or something that influences the organization of your life and environment. Even if you have the Lover archetype prominently in your psyche, you may repress this pattern out of a lack of self-esteem, especially regarding your physical attractiveness. The Martyr archetype is well known in two arenas: as a classic political or religious figure, and in the self-help world of contemporary psychology.
Within the self-help field, the shadow Martyr is viewed as a person who has learned to utilize a combination of service and suffering for others as the primary means of controlling and manipulating her environment. Ironically, in the social and political world, the martyr is often highly respected for having the courage to represent a cause, even if it requires dying for that cause for the sake of others. Suffering so that others might be redeemed, whether that redemption take a spiritual or political form, is among the most sacred of human acts.
While people recognize this archetype in others, particularly when they are directly influenced by the individual sporting this pattern, they often cannot see it in themselves. Smoothing relations between potentially antagonistic groups or individuals requires patience and skill, an ability to read people and situations with great acuity. If a good Advocate must empathize with those he is helping, a good mediator must be able to see and respect both sides of an argument or cause, thereby bringing warring parties together.
One member of a family often assumes this role, so you do not have to be a career diplomat to qualify for this archetype. But you must have a life-long commitment to resolving disputes and bringing people together. The shadow Mediator manifests as an ulterior motive or hidden agenda, working two sides of an issue for personal gain. A Mentor is a teacher in whom you can place your implicit trust.
The word comes from the character in The Odyssey to whom Odysseus, on setting out for Troy, entrusted the care of his house and the education of his son, Telemachus. Today the role of Mentor is crucial in a surprising range of life situations, from many forms of art and artisanship to business and spiritual practice. In its shadow aspect, however, the Mentor can take on an overbearing attitude that is more about imposing control than imparting wisdom. The distinction between this archetype and the Teacher is mainly one of degree.
This archetype is associated with the embodiment of divine power and being sent on a mission by heaven to save humanity. For all of its Judeo-Christian significance, the archetype of the Messiah has also become associated with psychological behavior. The Messianic complex, for example, applies to a person who is convinced of his divine mission and, in almost all cases, becomes obsessed with his mission to the point of psychosis, reaching an extreme in which a person begins to hear voices directing him to take lethal action.
Its subtle expression, however, is far more common and more difficult to identify as a personal pattern. People can become obsessed about their spiritual purpose, convinced that God needs them to do something. These two archetypes are so close that for practical purposes you can consider them together. Midas turned everything he touched into gold, including, tragically, his beloved daughter.
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The archetype is associated with entrepreneurial or creative ability. That Midas was a king symbolically implies that the Midas figure has the power to generate wealth for an entire kingdom, yet is interested only in his personal aggrandizement. Greed is his downfall. For that reason, lessons of generosity are a large part of the characteristics of this archetype. The shadow Midas or Miser creates wealth by hording money and emotions at the expense of others, and refusing to share them.
Although the desire to earn a living or become wealthy is not negative, this archetype also represents a need to control the forces around you for fear of losing your wealth. The challenges inherent in the Miser and Midas can go so far as to make a person confront what he is willing to do to create a mountain of wealth. The positive aspects of this archetype are fairly obvious: spiritual intensity, devotion, dedication, persistence, and perhaps wisdom. On the shadow side, the role of a religious recluse could be seen as removed from the real world, overly pious, even privileged in the sense of not having to be concerned about earning a living or raising a family.
Yet, historically, monks have been extremely industrious and involved in real-world enterprises, whether draining swamps and planting vineyards in medieval Europe, working the rice fields in Asia, building monasteries, teaching, or copying and preserving texts. Today the Monk archetype may show up in the ability to be single-minded, assiduous, devoted to a spiritual path or to any great achievement that requires intense focus.
In this sense, novelists and entrepreneurs can carry the Monk as readily as spiritual adepts.
Yet one can be a Monk, even a religious one, without being celibate, as is the case with some Tibetan lamas, Yogis, and Islamic scholars. Then there were Abelard and Heloise, the twelfth-century Monk and Nun who forsook their vows of celibacy out of passion for each other. Both were superior in their fields—Abelard as lecturer, debater, and philosopher, Heloise as a radical prioress and founder of convents—and, although their passion caused them great suffering, it does not seem to have hurt their spiritual work.
The Mother is the life-giver, the source of nurturing and nourishment, unconditional fountain of love, patience, devotion, caring, and unselfish acts. This archetype is the keeper and protector of life, from children to the family to the greater Mother Nature archetype whose province is the Earth and all life. Mother Nature, also known as Gaia, is the Goddess of Life, the caretaker of the living environment of this planet.
She is recognized as powerful, and when storms leave death and destruction in their wake, she may be referred to as wrathful.
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The power of compassion and the endless capacity to forgive her children and put them before herself are essential to the Good Mother. The Devouring, Abusive, Abandoning, and Working Mother each represent different aspects of this primal archetype within the entire human community. Although Mothers have always worked, the contemporary archetype of the Career or Working Mother reflects the crises experienced by many women who seek also to be Devoted Mothers. Measured against the impossible mythic ideal of the Perfect Mother, the Career Mom is sometimes assumed unfairly to be a mother who puts her own needs before those of the children.
This is an archetypal crisis for many women. The Abusive and Abandoning Mothers violate natural law by harming their own young. Connections to the Mother archetype are not to be measured only by whether a woman is a biological mother. If you are intimately connected to nurturing and protecting the environment, including through gardening or farming, or supporting any life form, you should strongly consider whether your bond to Mother Nature is part of a life-long devotion that defines you.
You may also recognize a strong bond to the Mother archetype in the form of one or all of her shadows. While it is difficult to admit, some women may have to face the fact that their children see them through the shadow aspects of the Mother, including the Abusive or Abandoning Mother. The qualities that are associated with this archetype can be expressed in other than biological ways, such as giving birth to books or ideas, or nurturing others.
Perhaps no archetype is more coveted by my students, or more misunderstood than the Mystic. Many want to believe that they have mystical inclinations, yet underestimate how arduous the genuine mystical path is. Yet they also contained sometimes great physical as well as spiritual suffering, hard work, and mundane activities that made up much of their days. If you truly want to name this archetype as part of your sacred consortium, ask yourself if you are ready to pay the price in blood, sweat, and tears. If mystical consciousness is something you engage in once a day during meditation, or on a weekend retreat or a yoga workshop, you may be a spiritual seeker, but not a Mystic.
It may also emerge in behavior that takes advantage of admirers or students in base economic, emotional, or sexual ways. Although networking seems like a very modern skill tied to career advancement in the media age, it is actually quite ancient. Networkers expand their sphere of influence by forging alliances and making connections among vastly different groups of people, and can be traced back to the intrigues of the Middle Ages, Greece, Rome, and ancient China. Networking would also have been an integral part of any military alliance as well as all social and clan confederations inprehistory.
In its positive aspect, this archetype has a it helps us develop social flexibility and empathy that enables it to find commonality with others who might not at first seem to be potential friends, allies, or confederates. Like the related archetypes of Messenger and Communicator, the Networker has the skills to bring information—or power— and inspiration to disparate groups of people.
The shadow Networker merely uses others for personal gain. The Pioneer is called to discover and explore new lands, whether that territory is external or internal. The passion to explore the South Pole is as much a pioneering endeavor as the passion to explore medicine or spiritual practice. Even initiating new fashions, art, music, or literature may qualify as expressions of this archetype. The core ingredient is innovation—doing and creating what has not been done before.
To consider this archetype seriously as one of your twelve, your life must be characterized by a need to step on fresh and undiscovered territory in at least one realm. Those who are forced out of their homeland and made into unwilling Pioneers—the Jews of the Diaspora, Africans bound into slavery, Tibetan Buddhists, or Native Americans—should not be included under the shadow, however. Closely related to both the Author and the Artist, the Poet combines lyricism with sharp insight, finding the essence of beauty and truth not only in the great epic affairs of humanity, but also in everyday acts and objects.
Great poetry extolls momentous events and great deeds, and also expresses wonder at the hidden joys and sorrows that most of us might overlook. The shadow Poet turns his gift for lyricism to negative or destructive effect, as in songs or poems written in support of military aggression or genocide. The ritual that establishes the unique role of the Priest is ordination, the official capacity to facilitate the making of spiritual vows—commitments made to divine authority. Ordination or similar rituals of initiation allow the Priest, Rabbi, Shaman or Medicine Man to serve as a vehicle or spiritual channel of energy for others.
Many of those devoted to spiritual life, such as Monks and Nuns, do not facilitate the ritual exchange of vows and spiritual energy. Ordination also empowers the Priest to convey to the public the power of sacred teachings, rituals, wisdom, morality, and ethics of each spiritual tradition. Because of these profound spiritual responsibilities, the ordained are expected to represent the teachings through personal example. And, so, the shadow side of this archetype manifests through the inability to live according to those teachings, especially in lapses of personal morality.
The connotations of certain words is as significant as their literal meaning in determining the nature of an archetype. But we often use the term today for anyone preeminent in his field, or for any generous individual. Yet the true Prince is a ruler-in-training who is in service to the people he will rule, whether that is a literal kingdom or a figurative or spiritual one, as with Prince Siddhartha prior to becoming the Buddha.
This archetype activates the aspects of the unconscious that are related to seduction and control, whereby you are as capable of buying a controlling interest in another person as you are in selling your own power. Prostitution should also be understood as the selling of your talents, ideas, and any other expression of the self—or the selling-out of them. This archetype is universal and its core learning relates to the need to birth and refine self-esteem and self-respect.
Besides having a rulership position in a court, the Queen represents power and authority in all women. Symbolically, her court can be anything from a corporation to her home. The image of the Dark or Evil Queen has been largely represented by male authors of fairy tales and folklore as a wicked, dark force. She may also be depicted as prone to hysteria and dark powers, influences, or plots, as in the story of Snow White. Queens are rarely portrayed as having a trustworthy support system; instead, they are lonely figures surrounded by a court filled with potential traitors, rivals, and back-stabbers.
Challenges related to control, personal authority and leadership play a primary role in forming the lessons of personal development that are inherent to this archetype. The benevolent Queen uses her authority to protect those in her court, and sees her own empowerment enhanced by her relationships and experience.
The shadow Queen can slip into aggressive and destructive patterns of behavior, particularly when she perceives that her authority or capacity to maintain control over the court is being challenged. The Ice Queen rules with a cold indifference to the genuine needs of others—whether material or emotional. Our images of the Rebel may be too closely aligned with cliches of youth culture to let us see the deeper significance of this valuable archetype.
Whether politically inclined like Martin Luther King, Jr. The Rebel in a support group can be a powerful aid in helping the group break out of old tribal patterns. It can also help you see past tired preconceptions in your field of professional or creative endeavor. The Rebel can also lead you to reject spiritual systems that do not serve your inner need for direct union with the Divine and to seek out more appropriate paths.
The shadow Rebel, conversely, may compel you to rebel out of peer pressure or for the sake of fashion, and so become mired in another manifestation of conformity. The shadow Rebel may also reject legitimate authority simply because it is asking you to do something you find difficult or unpleasant.
Be especially careful in evaluating your rebellious impulses; even if the Rebel is not part of your intimate circle of archetypes, you probably have it to some extent and should pay attention to its urgings. In its empowered profile, the Rescuer assists when needed and, once the rescue mission is accomplished, withdraws.
A Rescuer provides an infusion of strength and support to help others to survive a difficult situation, crisis, or process that they lack the stamina or the inner knowledge to maneuver through themselves. Unlike the Knight, to which it is related, the Rescuer is more common among women, especially in its shadow aspect. Healing and empowering the Rescuer within is a common emotional challenge, because being needed is essential to our nature. Most people can relate in part to the characteristics of this archetype which somewhat parallel the Knight, Healer, Hero, and even Servant.
If you feel drawn to this archetype, then, be careful to compare the characteristics of those others before deciding to add the Rescuer to your family. The Saboteur archetype is made up of the fears and issues related to low self-esteem that cause you to make choices in life that block your own empowerment and success.
As with the Victim and Prostitute, you need to face this powerful archetype that we all possess and make it an ally.
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When you do, you will find that it calls your attention to situations in which you are in danger of being sabotaged, or of sabotaging yourself. Once you are comfortable with the Saboteur, you learn to hear and heed these warnings, saving yourself untold grief from making the same mistakes over and over. Ignore it, and the shadow Saboteur will manifest in the form of self-destructive behavior or the desire to undermine others.
Larry Flynt. The Samaritan is closely related to the Martyr archetype, with the essential difference that Samaritans make sacrifices for those they might be least inclined to serve, as in the Gospel parable of the Good Samaritan. The act itself can be as simple as stopping in the street to give a stranger directions when you are in a hurry to get somewhere. A simple example is the driver who stops in traffic to let another driver make a turn against the flow, with the result of holding up many more drivers in the process.
The Scribe differs from Author or Artist in one significant way: scribes copy existing works rather than create new ones. The Hebrew scribes were originally secretaries who wrote down the preachings of the prophets, but evolved into a priestly class charged with writing and maintaining the laws and records, copying previous scrolls, and committing oral traditions to paper.
Medieval Christian scribes copied manuscripts and helped preserve learning. And we would also have to include that largely anonymous horde of copiers who are busy uploading everything imaginable onto the Internet in the hope of preserving it by distributing it to millions. What makes the Internet the modern equivalent of the medieval scriptorum is that so much information is transcribed onto it not for personal gain but for the sheer joy of preserving and sharing these artifacts with the rest of the world.
The shadow aspect of the Scribe can manifest in altering facts, plagiarizing, or selling information that belongs to others. Unlike the Mystic, which has the Divine as its sole focus, the Seeker is in search of wisdom and truth wherever it is to be found. We all serve someone or something. Because the spiritual path is essentially one of service to others, anyone can relate to this archetype. The Servant engages aspects of our psyche that call us to make ourselves available to others for the benefit and enhancement of their lives. This task can only be done in a healthy manner if the Servant is able to simultaneously be of service to the self.
Without the strength to maintain your own well-being, the Servant becomes consumed by the needs of those around you and loses all focus of the value of your own life. From a mundane perspective, the Servant is associated with money because servants are hired help. Therefore, the core challenge with this particular archetype is making choices that serve your highest potential. If this describes a substantial personal issue for you, then consider this archetype as a possibility for your own chart.
This archetype has long been known to shamans of the American Indian and other native traditions for having the ability to change appearances for a variety of reasons. The Shape-shifter can navigate through different levels of consciousness, dream and waking states and the astral plane. Somewhat related to the Trickster, it is more flexible and less tied to a specific goal. The shadow aspect emphasizes instability, fickleness, and lack of conviction, as can be seen in any number of modern day politicians who reinvent themselves to appeal to the latest popular trends.
The Slave archetype represents a complete absence of the power of choice and self-authority. Yet it is precisely the absence of will power that gives the Slave its potential for personal transformation. This act of releasing your will to a higher authority is also witnessed within organizational hierarchies, such as in the military and corporations. One becomes a Slave to the system. For tens of millions of African Americans, the Slave archetype carries a historical freight that is impossible to overlook.
If Slavery is part of your genetic history, you need to take a close look at the possible presence of the Slave archetype in your intimate family. Others who may dismiss this archetype as having no role in their life may discover that it is more prevalent than most people imagine, because of its many different expressions. The Puppet, for instance, may be manipulated by others. Regardless of how this archetype manifests, however, its core learning is to understand the paradoxical truth that you are only truly free when you have surrendered all power of choice to the Divine.
Love is greater, power is more daring, successes are more astonishing, foolishness is more obvious. We have an archetypal need to be spoken to through stories because they bring us into contact with our inner being. We are, in fact, storytellers by nature. Some teachers are also connected with the Storyteller archetype, but not all Storytellers are teachers. Not all writers are Storytellers, but authors of fiction must be.
A Storyteller communicates not just facts but also a metaphoric learning or experience. Storytellers abound in any walk of life, not just among professional writers. The shadow Storyteller is, in the extreme, a liar, and, in moderation, an exaggerator. The temptation always exists to misuse the skill of storytelling to your own advantage when sharing information.
But the universal appeal of storytelling throughout history suggests some deeper connection of this archetype with the human soul. The oldest written works we possess, from the Gilgamesh Epic to the Bible to the Odyssey, use storytelling to make their points. The Student archetype suggests an absence of mastery of any one subject but rather a continual pursuit of intellectual development. Within the spiritual aspect, the Student, Disciple, Devotee, and Follower imply that one has found a source of teaching, such as a Guru or Spiritual Master, who becomes the instructor and spiritual guide.
The shadow Student usually manifests in tandem with the shadow Teacher or Mentor, avidly learning all the tools of the wrong trade or misusing the knowledge learned. The sahdow can also show up as the eternal Student who never embarks on the sea of life in earnest, but manages to find ever new reasons to continue being schooled without ever putting that knowledge to the test. People who continually use the excuse that they are not ready or have not yet learned enough to advance with their dreams should take special note of this archetype and whether they have a shadow bond with it.
Teaching is the art of communicating knowledge, experience, skill, and wisdom to another. Teaching, or offering instruction of any kind, can manifest through parental guidance, business apprenticeship, or by inspired instruction in ethics or kindness. To determine whether this archetype is part of your support team, ask yourself if others look to you as a teacher in any situation. Are you the one that others seek out for the richness of your experience, or to teach them the ropes?
The shadow Teacher manifests as a desire to manipulate or abuse those you are instructing; to be more concerned with recognition than with imparting knowledge; or, like the shadow Mentor, to teach negative traits and destructive skills, like burglary or how to cheat on the job. The Thief is thought of as a nocturnal, hooded figure who slips silently into places and takes what he wants.
In the hierarchy of thievery, the most respected is the Jewel Thief, associated with glamour, class, and sophistication. The Good Thief steals on behalf of others, as in the case of Robin Hood, and appears to be relieved of all wrongdoing because of his benevolent motive to be of service to others, but often that is just a rationalization. The Bank Thief maintains a degree of respect because the target is corporate and impersonal and the implication is that the thief has an intelligent and strategic mind. The Street Thief and Pickpocket, on the other hand, rank lowest because they rob ordinary individuals and their methods yield small gain.
Symbolically, theft can take many forms, including plagiarism, stealing ideas and even affection. Taking what is not yours because you lack the ability to provide for yourself implies the need to learn self-respect. This archetype prods you to learn to generate power from within. As with so many archetypes that initially strike you as completely unrelated to who you are, this archetype should be evaluated from its symbolic meaning. You may never have stolen one thing at the physical level, but you also need to take into consideration your emotional and intellectual arenas.
Almost as far back as our earliest written records, the Trickster appears as a key figure in the human drama. According to the great historian of religion Mircea Eliade, a Trickster is a human or animal character that plays dubious jokes or tricks, makes fun or is made fun of, and may be camouflaged as one of the demigods of a religious tradition. The serpent who tempts Eve in the Bible was based on similar characters in Sumerian and Babylonian mythology from the third millennium B.
Observing snakes shedding their skin led some to believe that the reptile was capable of renewing its life indefinitely. Like the Prostitute and Servant archetypes, the Trickster seems at first to have only negative connotations, but it can be a great ally in presenting you with alternatives to the straight and narrow path, to people and institutions who seek to hem you in through peer pressure and conformism. The best modern illustration of this dual role show up in the film work of Jack Nicholson and Groucho Marx.
Although the characters they portray are often unsavory or duplicitous on some level, their antics can also be liberating by transcending convention, stuffiness, and predictable behavior. The Vampire is a mythic creature associated with both blood-sucking and eroticism.
Vampires require blood, which they get by biting the neck of their victims during a nocturnal visit. The female victim has been portrayed in the paradoxical circumstances of wanting to repel the Vampire while at the same time welcoming the erotic nature of the connection. The Vampire returns every evening to his source of life until there is no more to be had. The parallels between human lust and vampiric blood-lust are rich: as the Vampire satisfies his thirst for blood, his host grows increasingly helpless and submissive, eventually being drained of any capacity for self-protection.
Symbolically, this relationship speaks of the power dynamics that frequently drive male-female relationships, in which the male drains the power of the female for his own psychic survival, and, once bitten, the female submits even though this will eventually take all of her power.
In some relationships, of course, the roles can easily become reversed. What has been defined as a co-dependent relationship could easily fall under the Vampire template. You may find it hard to identify yourself as a Vampire, yet it is essential to review this archetype personally. Patterns of behavior such as chronic complaining, over-dependency, holding on to a relationship emotionally or psychically long after it has ended, and chronic power struggles are all indicators of Vampire patterns.
Holding onto someone on the psychic level is as real as holding on to them on the physical. Interest in the Vampire archetype has re-emerged through the literary and entertainment fields. The negative traits of the Victim are self-evident. But when properly recognized, it can be a tremendous aid in letting us know when we are in danger of letting ourselves be victimized, often through passivity but also through rash or inappropriate actions.
It can also help us to see our own tendency to victimize others for personal gain. In its shadow aspect, the Victim shows us that we may like to play the Victim at times because of the positive feedback we get in the form of sympathy or pity. Our goal is always to learn how to recognize these inappropriate attitudes in ourselves or others, and to act accordingly. This archetype is associated with purity, applied primarily to young girls.
The Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome lived in service to a goddess and were often severely punished if they lost their virginity. The Virgin Mother of Jesus represents the purity of motherhood, bringing forth the perfect form of male life, a god. Your identification with the Virgin needs to be explored symbolically as a pattern that represents as association with purity as well as the beginning point of creation.
To bring forth virgin ideas is as much an aspect of this archetype as is its application to maintaining virginal aspects of Mother Nature, as in virgin forests. The shadow side of the Virgin is the prudish disgust with or fear of genuine sensuality. Celibate Monks or Nuns ideally learns to channel their sexual energy rather thanmerely repressing it. The Visionary archetype lets you imagine possibilities that are beyond the scope of your individual life and that benefit all of society.
The Visionary brings into view what could be if certain choices are made, or what is inevitable given choices that have already been made. The Prophet proclaims a message associated with divine guidance, as in the Hebrew Prophets, some of whom also appear in the Quran. Islam reveres both Jesus and John the Baptist as prophets.
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Both the Visionary and the Prophet engage their abilities in behalf of humanity rather than for personal use, but while many Prophets are rejected by the group they were sent to enlighten, Visionaries tend to be celebrated for their capacity to read what is just over the horizon. In extreme cases, tainted visions may lead entire societies into murderous or destructive rampages; then the Destroyer archetype may supersede the Visionary, as in the case of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.
Whereas the Knight is associated with protecting Damsels, the Warrior is linked to invincibility and loyalty. Warrior energy is erotic for the male, representing the height of virility and physical power as well as toughness of will and spirit. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem?
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