What is an Archetype?

12 September 2019

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An archetype is an energy pattern within the collective subconscious that becomes manifest in a person.   Understanding archetypes is very useful for understanding dreams, tarot cards, and the subconscious interactions you are participating in.  If you are working to become a more woke person knowing about archetypes will be useful. 

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The later procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular. – Carl Jung

Jung was specifically focused on identifying the archetypes that were also true for all human kind – being manifest in all cultures around the world. You can google Jung’s 12 Archetypes.    However, as we work toward becoming more conscious, we also want to identify archetypes that are dancing in our reality even if they are only archetypes of our specific culture  It may make them less potent in the energy reality of the world, but still pretty darn potent in our individual lives and that is where most of us want to focus.

Let’s just take one archetype to use as an example. 

The Hero/The Rescuer/The Warrior

This archetype is known by any of these names and can show up as any of these characters.   What motivates this archetype is the desire to prove his or her worth through courageous acts.  Weakness and vulnerability cause this person anxiety, so they focus on being courageous and competent.  The blind spot or issue in the shadow is their arrogance.  Specifically, they focus on the battles they have won and their confidence about winning the next battle – so they can avoid their fear and anxiety.

The Archetype Directs Our Interests

What does the hero have to teach us?  It is the paradox of life – that which we most do not want to be is what we hide from ourselves, so we won’t have to see it – it does not mean that others cannot see it.  By becoming the hero, we may accomplish many things and we will also never become more comfortable being vulnerable unless we consciously focus on it.  The hero is seeking a person or situation where they can prove their worth by being courageous AND where they can avoid being vulnerable.  This is the inspiration for superhero’s like superman or wonder woman.   How many of us know a hero type who can’t succeed in relationships or who loses his or her cool whenever they feel afraid – yet we all defend that person as being “a good person” because of all the times they have been courageous to help others.    This becomes the wounded warrior when the person in the archetype believes that the archetype is what makes them loveable instead of being their WHOLE self.     You can see from this example that an archetype is a way for us to embrace the best part of ourselves while hiding something that needs healing.  An Archetype is also something that everyone knows how to identify and respond to – so we begin to be treated as if we are the role and it can prevent us from getting comfortable with our authentic self.   When this Archetype shows up in your life in another person – it may be that you are feeling as if you need to be rescued – or it may be that you make the hero feel safe by not forcing him or her to be vulnerable.   If you have attracted this archetype during a time of your life when you needed or wanted to be rescued – it may be difficult to maintain the relationship when you no longer need or want that.