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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in archetype

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Over at AllergicPagan.com, I've been playing with the idea of Pagans reclaiming the word "God".  I won't go into all the details -- but I got major pushback.  It seems that some words have just been ruined for Pagans.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Drake_in_Oregon-e1298834954465.jpgWhen I was at the Parliament of the World's Religions in October, I had the pleasure of hearing Drake Spaeth speak briefly.  Drake is a clinical psychologist and professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  His professional interests include existential and humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, Jungian psychology, and shamanism.  Drake is a also an ordained Pagan minister and ritual facilitator of the Sacred Hunt, an ecstatic ritual of consciousness transformation, which has become a fixture at Pagan Spirit Gathering and other festivals.  

At the Parliament, Drake caught my attention when he said that "Carl Jung was not entirely kidding when he called himself a polytheist." Drake was responding to the notion that seeing the gods as expressions of Jungian archetypes diminishes the gods, an idea which he said results from a misunderstanding of what Jung wrote.  When I got home, I listened to some of Drake's earlier interviews.  This one, with T. Thorn Coyle, was interesting, as Drake discusses gods and archetypes -- a frequent topic on this blog.  A portion of the interview is excerpted here.  (You can listen to the entire interview by following this link.)  My own understanding of gods and archetypes parallel's Drake's.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Fireverse 6: Mythology is Subjective

Mythology is stories, and stories reflect the mind of the storyteller. We acknowledge that when we talk about how a given mythological tale reflects a culture and its level of scientific and social advancement. The individuals who told the stories also projected them through their own personal lenses, not only as members of their culture but as people with internal psychology.

One of the things I learned while writing Some Say Fire, in which I retold as much of the heathen lore as I could find along with original material inserted interstitially, is that it is impossible to write objective fiction about the gods no matter how hard I try. Even though I relate to the gods either as people with personalities or as nature, when I wrote fiction about them they inevitably turned into archetypes. For example, the ways that Fireverse Odin differs from traditional Odin all turned out to be about my real life deceased father. I didn't intend to do that. I didn't even realize that until after I had enough of a draft completed to show it to someone else and my critique partner pointed it out to me; I knew I had turned my problems over to my higher power by giving them to Loki, but I hadn't realized how much that distorted all the other characters in the story.

Only after I had dealt with those issues was I able to get past them and reach the real Odin. In mythology or fairy tale, the father figure is your father, the road is your path, and the mountain is whatever obstacle you yourself must overcome. Everything turns into dream symbolism.

This same phenomenon must surely have happened when the lore that we have received in written form was first written down. The lore contained in Snorri's Edda must therefore reflect Snorri the individual as much as it reflects the lore as he had heard it in his lifetime, and as much as it reflects his culture and the times he lived in.

Fireverse Odin turned into my father and Fireverse Loki my wounded inner child because those are the personal issues I needed to resolve through my creative writing. Snorri's Odin turned into Yahweh and his Loki turned into the Devil. As a Christian with recent heathen ancestors living in the time of conversion, watching his culture be destroyed by the very thing he most passionately believed in--the Church-- resolving the cognitive dissonance between his Christian beliefs and his love of the stories of his culture must have been his greatest psychological need.

The subjectivity of story, even mythology from an oral tradition, is something to keep in mind in interpreting the lore. Some of my fellow Asatruars treat the Eddas as if they were the word of the gods. The Eddas were written by men; men have human needs, including psychological needs. The storyteller shapes the story even if he tries not to.

Image: image from publicdomainpictures.net

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Shamanic Astrology ~ The Life Changer

Many moons ago, (or Fifteen years ago, )as a Maiden, wild and lost, I went on a first date with someone with a real gem, this date opened the door to heartaches too deep for me to reminisce at this juncture, however, I did take one thing from this first date that stuck with me for the rest of my life. . My painful memories are tempered by the fact that along with a broken heart, this manboy gave me a beautiful gift. He ignited the interest in what was to become one of my greatest loves, Astrology.

When we first met, he asked me what my sign was, and informed me that we were perfectly compatible. Bemused, I told him that I had no idea what any of this meant. He was astonished, since apparently "all Scorpios are into astrology." Really? I hadn't known. Later that week I picked up an astrology book, to see what it was that I was 'supposed' to be drawn to, and there it was, love at first read.

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Sneak Peak!  Goddess Calling...Inspirational Messages & Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy....Coming in April!

 There was a time long ago when Christianity was the liberation theology of our time - but today many realize the ideals of the Sacred Feminine are what we need for a sustainable future, for freedom, justice, women's rights and equality.

Here's a sneak peak about what others are saying about Goddess Calling:  Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy.....Coming in April!
Pre-order your copy on Amazon now!

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    How exciting! This sounds made for me!
  • Karen Tate
    Karen Tate says #
    Hello Caity, Yes, the book will be available in e-book. Please help me spread the word! Thanks for your interest
  • Caity
    Caity says #
    Will this also be available on Kindle?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

You don't know Jung ... and it's his own fault.  Jung concepts are frequently misunderstood by Pagans, both by those who love him and those who hate him.  Part of the confusion surrounding Jung is due to his choice of terminology.  Jung chose terms that -- at least when translated into English -- are commonly used to mean something very different than what he intended.  In this series, I discuss five Jungian terms which are easily and commonly misunderstood: psychic, energyself, individuation, symbol, and archetype.  In this part, I will discuss "symbol".

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
We connect by telling each other stories. We can better understand ourselves by recognizing and exploring our life narratives. Your life story is the tale that you repeatedly tell yourself about who you are, what you want, and what you can and cannot do.” – From the book What Story Are You Living?
 
It can be difficult to discover personal meaning and purpose when we don't zoom out to get a big picture of the patterns we are living. One way we can discover these patterns is through exploring the narrative threads woven through our preferences and behaviors. These narratives, or personal stories, arise from archetypes—or universal templates, themes and symbols—that resonate cross-culturally. 
 
According to author Carol Pearson, Ph.D., there are twelve main archetypal patterns along the three stages of the “hero’s journey”, which map out the progression to individuation. Rather than a linear journey, Dr. Pearson explains that the path is actually a spiral one, where we re-visit previous stages and themes with increasing awareness and wisdom.
 
In this journey, we “play out” twelve main archetypal patterns identified by Dr. Pearson: Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, Caregiver, Seeker, Lover, Destroyer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Sage and Jester. To identify the main stories we are living, Dr. Pearson, along with Dr. Hugh Marr, has created the PMAI—the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator. 
 
What Story Are You Living? by Pearson and Marr provides two self-scoring PMAI instruments that have been scientifically validated. In addition, this fascinating book—written at an eighth-grade reading level—explains mythic stories, how we live out particular narratives, archetypal stages of the journey and more. In addition, the authors explain the gifts and shadow sides of archetypes, showing readers how to work with archetypes, face the challenges of modern life and analyze the heroic journey unique to every person.
 
Archetypes with the lowest scores in the PMAI can also shed light on life patterns, including disowned parts of the self, dormant archetypes, “allergy” (overexposure to an archetype) and more. 
 
About half of the book is dedicated to the exploration of the twelve archetypes. For each archetype, the authors provide a corresponding mythological story, a commentary on the story, and an examination of the archetypal character through film and literature. For example, Harry Potter, Voldemort, Merlin and Darth Vader all embody a form of the Magician archetype. Scholars, wise oracles, guides and detectives tend to exemplify the Sage archetype.

What Story Are You Living? also discusses the imagery of each pattern (for example, an opening flower, the beginning of spring, all forms of art and the sun all represent the Creator archetype), including how each manifests in nature, spirituality and leadership. 
 
The authors also explain what others appreciate about each archetype, the gifts, highest potential, tendencies to guard against, likely courses of action when problems arise, and beneficial actions or qualities. 
 
The results from PMAI scores and the wealth of practical information found in the book can serve to foster understanding and compassion for oneself, others and groups. By recognizing the archetypal stories lived by others—as well as ourselves—we can come to realize that others aren’t necessarily “wrong” or even “bad”, but simply see the world through a narrative lens different from our own.
 
Dr. Pearson and Dr. Marr stress that the PMAI instrument and the book aren’t to be used to “trump” others in an attitude of one-upmanship, nor is it to be used to fix others. Indeed, they explain that the best authority on your life—including preferred archetypal patterns—is YOU.
 
What Story Are You Living? also serves as a comprehensive workbook, inviting readers to examine their childhood memories, favorite myths and fairytales, troubling times and satisfying/fulfilling times. By fleshing out memories and perspective spanning our entire life, we can then ascertain the overall plot of our current life stories—including pitfalls and strengths. 
 
The Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator and this book can help you:
 
• Discover the archetypal patterns and themes that are unconsciously influencing your life
 
• Replace unproductive life patterns by awakening unrealized potential
 
• Discover hidden strengths, motivational triggers and new career directions
 
• Improve personal and workplace relationships
 
For years now, I’ve been a student of archetypal theories. However, some authors, like Caroline Myss, seem to over-complicate the topic by hair-splitting and over-specification. I’ve seen individuals debate Detective versus Scholar versus Librarian versus Truth Seeker—when, to me, they seemed to be expressions of the same unifying archetype. And, in What Story Are You Living?, the authors explain that all of these patterns fall under the Sage archetype.
 
I appreciated the engaging style of this book, as well as the immensely pragmatic approach of the authors. The intricacies offered for each archetypal pattern was utterly uncanny, making it quite easy to spot the main patterns of my family and myself! My main archetypal patterns at present are Sage (28), Creator (28), Magician (26) and Warrior (25), and these patterns do indeed comprise the “myths” that I live by. 
 
I laughed aloud (rather ruefully!) when I read that one of the Creator’s tendencies is to “reduce life to raw material for art”. I’ve been known to “pause” a scene from my life—a situation I’m actually experiencing in “real time”—to take notes for an idea or creative project! (Not very subtle, I know…but you should read the funny example of this very inclination from the book!) 
 
The Creator archetype also explained to me why I have a “highly developed critical sense”, which can work in positive ways (reviewing and editing), but also manifest in rather destructive tendencies (strong inner critic that can undermine the confidence of self and others). This archetypal pattern also helped me realize why I strenuously avoid the “ordinary, shallow and the mundane”—which can border on elitist attitudes (*wince*).
 
My childhood fascination with Nancy Drew and the detectives of Agatha Christie was also explained, as was my fondness for books, libraries, mysteries, research and “the truth” (Sage). In fact, a combination of two of my highest scores—Sage and Magician—explained my penchant for crystal balls and oracles (after all, I AM a Tarot reader!)
 
If you’re looking for a practical workbook and test to discover the archetypes that drive your life, What Story Are You Living? serves as a fantastic resource for individuals, groups, therapists and coaches. You CAN become the “hero” of your own journey, but the first step is uncovering the powerful archetypal stories that influence your thinking, perspective and behavior. 
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