What is an Archetype? An Archetype is a Universal prototype, or model which represents a way of being, patterns of behavior or traits we are able to connect with, understand in ourselves and recognize in others using a name or title (paraphrased from Nancy Newman, Toe Reader, Instructor at South West Institute of Healing Art, Arizona, 2014).
Commonly recognized Archetypes are King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Monk-Priest/Priestess, Mystic-Priest/Priestess. We recognize a variety of prototypes which are more expansive descriptions of the aspects of our being, such as God/Goddess, Lord/Lady, The Manu, Angel/Archangel, Master (gender neutral), Witch/Enchantress/Sorceress-Warlock/Wizard, Sorcerer, i.e., Magician/Shaman: Medicine Woman/Man. We have our Fae: Faeries, Dragons, Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves, Sylphs, Nymphs, Sprites, Mermaids, Endines, Orcs, Trolls, Ewoks, Sand People, Oompah Loompahs, Vampires, Zombies, Hobbits, Ents (Tree People), Elementals and Devas-Nature Spirits-which correlate to the Five Elements, the Seven Directions, our planet, Mother Earth as we know Her to be, the Universe(s) as we know the Universe(s) to be…etc [ Please forgive me, anyone I may have missed in the naming of Things @} ] We see that there are many descriptions of the same basic models in every culture which take different names, forms, manner of attire, adornments, accoutrements (Aaron, the Hebrew Priest wearing the Breastplate of Righteousness inlaid with crystals/gemstones, his brother Moses’ robes, staff and tablets of the 10 Commandments, Monks’ robes of varying color and style, varying headdresses in differing cultures, et al) yet, all depict the same Universal Archetypal energies we are comprised of, offering the same ageless and timeless wisdom through us, to one another in whichever way we, as Sovereign Beings, choose, through our gift of Free Will, to arrange them, to activate and utilize them in our personal journeys.
Sometimes we ascribe negative connotations to our Archetypes: Witches/Warlocks-Sorcery, Vampires, Orcs, Trolls, Zombies (Even The Dark Mother aspects of the Goddess: Kali Ma, Isis’ Dark Healing Chamber, The Void (Dark of the Moon/New Moon Phase) has been previously relegated to this viewpoint as something to be feared) as signals to us that something is out of balance, misunderstood within ourselves or even possibly, within our culture(s) that is inviting us to utilize the healing aspects of the Dark Mother to re-balance, to re-align our personal patterns. We use these models as references to describe when either we, ourselves, or someone else is operating from a place of fear which can lead to a misuse of personal power. Considering The Dark Mother, Kali and other names of this model of healing energy~ the one who wears a skull necklace~we can see beyond the fear aspect She is ascribed as embodying due to Her ability to “destroy” what no longer serves Her, extrapolating the wisdom from the experience, integrating it and bringing it forth into new creative ways which benefit not only Herself, also, All…these skulls may be viewed as Her badges showing the completion of cycles, successful initiations, Her unconditional love for Herself, for All…We can recognize Her as one who is present in the Dreamtime, the Dark of the Night, The Dark of the Moon, Wintertime when everything is sleeping, dissolving, reforming…
We hear the terms Black Magic…White Magic. Doesn’t this bring up the imagery of Witches? Has anyone noticed that the Masculine term, Warlock, is rarely mentioned as common terminology when describing a man who has the same gifts of healing using the medicines of the Earth as a woman we usually define as a Witch, by the way? ~Magic is Magic, i.e., our personal power, our energy, our stewardship of it, isn’t it! Isn’t it true that it is the intention the Magician wields Her or His Archetypal energy that determines whether it is ‘Black’ or ‘White’. We can consider that this is another reference to defining that which is Black as “evil”, that which is White as “good” pointing to Dark, or, Feminine as “evil” and Light, or, Masculine as “good”.
We can see the Archetypal attributes of the Masculine, particularly in the United States of America, through the Armed Forces: the Five Branches of the Military correlate to Five Elements/5 of 7 Directions, don’t they? Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard…notice how much emphasis we put on the Water Element, The Feminine, and the Guardianship/Protection of Her…
Considering the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz sending out her Flying Monkeys, we can recognize the allegories: on many Medicine Wheels, the West represents the Water Element (The Feminine), the Wickedness of the Witch as jealousy, anger, fear having taken hold of her, the Flying Monkeys as Thought Forms being sent out to steal Innocence to assuage her and Water being the “solution” (pun intended), melting away the “power” of the negative attributes of the Western Witch…doesn’t it turn out that she is restored to her original purpose?
In letting there be Dark, as a Human metaphysical process, gives us opportunity to rest, to work through, to disintegrate, or, dis-assemble then re-integrate, or, re-assemble, to dream, weave/reweave, to create…We see in the Natural World that letting there be Dark (Night), many creatures find safety in travel (many animals are nocturnal), protection while migrating, hunting, caring for their young.
Calling our power back, then healing “The Dark”~what we have brought into The Shadow for safe-keeping~by entering The Void (The Dark Chamber of Healing) can be viewed as a journey of self-discovery, self-compassion~”land reclamation”, so to speak. This adventure, depicted in many allegorical references made through age-old (and new) story-telling invites us to call back and restore ourselves through acknowledging, validating and affirming each Archetype which belongs to us, integrating the experiences, updating and giving promotions or other tasks to those whose purposes in those roles are fulfilled. This perspective on calling back personal power, cutting cords to what no longer serves us, integration of the lessons/initiations/, celebrating and honoring our courage to do it, speaks to Soul Retrieval as encompassing Mind Retrieval!
As we recognize that our Minds are tools which are designed to inform us~doing reconnaissance to get the lay of the land for the purpose of keeping us safe from harm (protection), see what opportunities may come available, see what other Minds are up to~we have the power to call our Minds back to where we have been sending them, to offer our Minds a safe place, to send our Minds forth from our Heart Space, our Wisdom, collaborating from a place of Peace, Centeredness and Trust. We are powerful enough to invite our Minds to collaborate with us from the “Command Center” of our Heart Space. We are powerful enough to align with our True Nature through remembering, understanding, and even knowing for the first time, our Archetypal, Divine Blueprints.
Martha Beck reminds us of how to do this by pointing out what she terms as working with the Four Technologies:
in her book, Follow Your North Star. She wittily exhorts us, through artfully weaving the ageless and timeless Archetypal truths into our new world, to drop into these states by reconnecting with our true nature through engaging with the natural world.
She describes the functions of the Archetypes, the art of Presence, simply. She calls on the wisdom of the 14c. “German Mender”, our ancestor Meister Eckhart, to assist us with aptly applying them relevantly as members of today’s global, technologically interconnected culture with an excerpt from his poem, When I Was The Forest:
“When I was the stream, when I was the forest, when I was still the field, when I was every hoof, foot, fin, wing…There was nothing I could not love.”