What are Archetypes?
The concept of archetypes have been studied and talked about since 4th century BCE, with Greek philosopher Plato and his Theory of Forms. However, it was the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung who coined the term archetype and made his visionary theories about individual and collective psychology well-known. He understood the human psyche as containing all psychological processes – both conscious and unconscious. Jung believed we each have an individual and unique unconscious, while at the same time, we all naturally inherit what he termed the ‘collective unconscious’. The collective unconscious contains all of the memories and wisdom we share as a species, as well as archetypes, which consist of universal and ancient patterns, ideas and images. He defined archetypes as patterns of behavior in the collective unconscious that we inherit as biological modes of functioning – also understood as behavioral instincts.
Archetypes originate from ancient ideas and mythologies, and continue to be passed down through generations. This happens through storytelling, religious and cultural teachings, ancient wisdom and so on. Today, we see and feel archetypes everywhere in society via movies, television, advertising, the Internet, songs, the news and many other forms of media. The elite controllers of Earth intentionally influence us by placing these archetypal energies into our awareness through the mediums mentioned, among others. By influencing our thought-forms and through other means of psychological manipulation, these energies impulse us to play out their agendas, which are primarily rooted in fear and frequency limitation.
Without realizing it, we are reliving the same archetypes that have kept humanity dis-empowered and limited for eons. Archetypes influence our beliefs, and our beliefs play a major role in what we experience life.
“Limiting beliefs tend to keep us trapped in one of three roles: victim, persecutor, or rescuer.” – Dr. Alberto Villoldo
These roles are also called archetypes. When these archetypal roles are strong in our psyche, we remain at the feet of other people, constantly giving our power away based on the actions of other people. These archetypes keep us feeling fearful, defensive, jealous, manipulative and competitive, coupled with beliefs in scarcity, powerlessness and separation. These energy patterns got stuck in the collective unconscious a long time ago, many of which we have since internalized. Overtime, this threatens our originality and builds fear of personal expression and creation. Our perceptions remain limited to what we’ve ‘always known’, and we run in circles as history repeats itself.
When universal archetypes become personalized in our individual psyche, they influence our behavior, beliefs, fears, emotions, desires and so on. Caroline Myss, Ph.D. believes we each have a Sacred Contract – a set of agreements that we, as soul, make before we come to Earth. This contract includes certain experiences, people, lessons and roles. She says that within each Sacred Contract contains the dominant energies of 12 archetypes, which play major roles in our lives. Of these 12 archetypes, according to Myss, we all share four: the Child, the Victim, the Prostitute and the Saboteur; then we each have an additional eight archetypes specific to our current lifetime. Click here to read more about Sacred Contracts and archetypes.
Each archetype has a ‘light’ aspect and a ‘shadow’ aspect. Archetypes themselves are neutral, yet the eight archetypes that are personalized in the individual psyche will have specific meanings for the individual. Learning about which archetypes are dominant in your life will allow you to have a deeper understanding of yourself and a deeper connection with yourself, which can act as a catalyst for tremendous growth and healing. Illuminating your archetypes is an effective tool for introspection and self-discovery, which naturally uncovers immediate guidance in various areas of life.
Learning about your shadow aspects is very liberating, as it brings hidden parts of your personality to light. When you remain blind to your shadow aspects, your potential to manage your energy is limited and your experiences are less likely to reflect your unique essence.
“Your shadow aspects are primarily rooted in fear patterns that have more control over your behavior than does your conscious mind.” – Dr. Carolyn Myss
While it may not always be pleasant, facing your shadows is paramount in arriving at greater self-awareness. Self-awareness gained from these understandings can provide you with clarity in light of your life themes, emotional and behavioral patterns, your relationships, the lessons you are here to learn, insight into your life purpose, and so on. Ultimately, self-awareness can transform your life through the ability to better manage your emotions and behaviors, making self-informed, productive decisions that align you with happiness and peace, and taking more responsibility for all areas of your life. With this, you are more free, and more likely to live your life to your highest potential with integrity.
Identifying Your Archetypes
Carolyn Myss created a card deck of 74 archetypes, each with a light aspect and shadow aspect. Each card signifies an archetype that has become personalized in your psyche. This allows you to become aware of these patterns you have absorbed, which then offers you the opportunity to take action based on the information received. To find out your personalized archetypes, place an order for an Archetype Reading, click here!