Last weekend was one of the most enlightening times in my life. I attended an Archetypes workshop led by the wonderful Brian Dale. I have read some of Carolyn Myss’s books, including ‘Sacred Contracts’ in which she discusses ‘archetypes’ or personifications of our self. First mentioned by Plato then by Jung, Myss is perhaps the foremost current person raising this subject to consciousness. Brian, a fellow Australian, has a wonderful understanding and being a teacher is able to assist others to understand and discover what archetypes we have brought into our lives.
In brief, archetypes, as personifications, help us to understand who we are and why we do, think and behave as we do. They certainly help us make sense of who we are. Over the years I have read many types of ‘personality type’ frameworks, but archetypes goes to the core of our being.
As humans we have four common archetypes and eight individual ones. These twelve make up our core self, used daily, and about 80% of the time. The other 20% is comprised of another twelve secondary archetypes that assist in in infrequent times, or in given situations. The third layer, what we aspire to, comprises another twelve archetypes. This combination makes us the unique individuals that we all are. How exciting that as humans we are so very different.
In working through my own archetypes, and having read both Myss and Dale’s interpretive books, I went into the workshop with a basic understanding of which archetypes I work with. This is rather common when you do have a basis understanding. Defining the rest often requires interaction with others to help provide clarification. Simply put, to understand which archetypes you use involves reading through the vast list and identifying which ones describe you fully.
The list of archetypes is currently over 80, a rather daunting number. Reading the names of the archetypes, and listening to your own self together with reflecting on your life, many ‘jump’ out or connect. Of course there are manny that we would like to think we are and many that we do not want to consider. This is particularly true given our belief systems that operate within us and what society defines and gives meaning to.
To assist us narrow down the list, Brian provided a series of yes/ no questions and against each listed a small number of archetypes. Working through this it is clear which archetypes appear more often. As archetypes often fit within a group of similar personifications, it is the reading of each and discussion with one with experience that enables us to narrow the field.
As the subtitle of Brian’s book ‘Archetypes’ states, ‘Why you do what you do’, determining and understanding our own archetypes helps us to make sense of who we are. With this understanding we are able to accept and own our own unique self. It brings us to a place of claiming our own power and quiets the voices from society and others who tell us we should do something else.
As I drove home last Saturday I was filled with such a deep sense of thankfulness and appreciation and acceptance of my self. I have reached a place where I can truly stand in my own power and own who I am, finally not feeling the need to submit or react to others opinions.
The bottom line is …
I am who I am
I make no excuses for being me
I love and embrace my own uniqueness
What others think or say of me is a reflection of their own self and the interplay of their own archetypal combination
I can finally stand tall in my own power and give thanks for being me