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Finding your Archetypes

Friday, November 02, 2007

The process of finding an archetype should be joyous. Don't worry about choosing unwisely. Because archetypes spring from the collective consciousness, every archetype is present in every one of us. But some archetypes are represented more strongly. Your goal is to find the one, two, or even three archetypes that resonate with you most powerfully, those that represent your heart. Do not choose who you wish to be, or even which qualities you most admire, but seek out the qualities that you feel drawn to, that motivate you, that inspire you. You will know them when you find them. Best of all there are no wrong answers.

Here is a guided meditation modified from A Mythic Life by Jean Houston. Even if you don't actually "do" the meditation, just reading it will help to give an idea of how to go about finding and choosing the archetypes you want to work with during (and after) this project.

Start by taking a few deep breaths. Slowly inhale and exhale, releasing any tension or tightness or resistance that you're carrying in your body. Keep taking slow, deep, smooth breaths, allowing each exhalation to take you to a deeper, quieter, and more relaxed place.

Now imagine that you are walking along a beautiful, tree-lined country path, far from the turbulence of the city. You observe the lush countryside as you stroll along, with birds soaring overhead, white-tailed rabbits scampering across the path, and butterflies fluttering about.

You come to a clearing and you notice a charming rustic cottage with a thatched roof. The door is open and welcoming. You look inside and see a den and a hallway leading to the back of the house.

You feel very safe and comfortable here, as if you're returning to your own home, and you begin to walk down the hallway into a small room.

You notice a closet door, which you open. Pushing aside the clothes, you discover an opening at the back of the closet.

Moving through the opening, you find that it leads to an ancient stone staircase, which winds down and around, down and around. The light is dim, so you carefully descend, one step at a time, holding onto the railing and being very careful not to fall, descending deeper and deeper and deeper.

You finally reach the bottom of the stairway and you find yourself at the edge of a broad river reflecting rays of silvery moonlight.

Sitting by the side of the river, you listen to its hushed passage and gaze into the star-filled eternity of the night sky. Off in the distance you see a small boat sailing toward you. It glides up, and a figure shrouded in linen robes stands in the boat and beckons you to enter. Feeling safe and protected, you step aboard and you're given a flowing garment, decorated with ancient symbols to change into.

The boat sails through a narrow tunnel, which seems to go on forever. The bearded boatman in the stern begins changing some unfamiliar mantras, and after a few moments you notice that your sense have become much more alert. you're relaxed yet curiously exhilarated.

A light appears at the end of the tunnel and grows brighter. As you move closer to the light you become aware that it is an invitation to enter the virtual realm. As you accept, and immerse yourself in the light, you suddenly find yourself becoming weightless. You begin floating off the boat and experience yourself merging with this nourishing light.

You become this light. You are now a virtual being, a sphere of pulsating light. From this realm of pure potentiality, you can emerge into quantum and material reality in any form or shape, and at any location in space-time that you choose.

You reach into the depths of your light being and emerge as the goddess Hera, Queen of Olympus and all the gods of Greece, the symbol of regal power and beauty. You're in command of all the world, filled with confidence and authority. Your subjects rely upon your certainty and strength. You are the ultimate expression of self assurance. Feel what it is like to have the consciousness of this powerful goddess. Feel the sensations of moving in her body. Feel what it is like to have her gestures, to have her speech, her facial expressions. Look at the world through her eyes. Hear the world through her ears.

Now bid farewell to this goddess and return to your virtual light form. Once again you're in the realm of pure potential, pulsating with possibilities. Reach into the depths of your light being and emerge as the wise old king, skilled in the ways of navigating the storms of life. You are the bearded sage, the great rishi who sees the forms and phenomena of the world as a cosmic dance. You are in this world but not of it, and each of your thoughts, words , and actions expresses absolute impeccability. Feel what it is like to have the consciousness of a sage. Your mind is the mind of a seer. Feel what it is like to have his thoughts, his speech, and his gestures. See the world through his eyes.

Now release the seer again and merge back into your essence as a virtual light being reach into your depths and emerge as the redeemer. You are the light of compassion, radiant with forgiveness and hope. Your very presence dispels the darkness, no matter how foreboding it may seem. You are the essence of avatars, the essence of Christ, of Buddha. Your very nature transforms experience into faith. Witness the thoughts that arise in the mind of the redeemer. Feel the emotions in the heart of the redeemer. Experience the world through the eyes of the redeemer, overflowing with compassion and love for all sentient beings.

Now release the redeemer and return to your primordial essence. You are a virtual light being, a distilled pool of universal energy. You are the full potential of all that was, is, and will be. Reach into the depths of this light nature and emerge as the divine mother. You are the essential nurturing force alive with life-giving energy. You are Demeter, Shakti, the feminine face of God. You are the divine mother, bestowing your loving kindness on all sentient beings. You are the primordial creative force giving birth to forms and phenomena. Experience the consciousness of the divine mother. Feel the feelings of the divine mother. See creating through her eyes. Hear creation through her ears. Inhale and exhale the breath of the divine mother.

Now release the divine mother. Resume your essential nature as pure light, the primordial virtual energy, alive with possibilities to manifest anything you chose to become. Plunge into the depths of your being and emerge as Dionysus, the god of sensuality, of ecstasy and intoxication, the god of excess and abandon. You are the personification of total surrender into the moment. Your nature is to hold nothing back, to immerse yourself in the experience of being alive. You are drunk with love. Experience the world with the consciousness of Dionysus. Feel intoxication. Perceive the world through Dionysian eyes. Hear the music of the universe as a celebration of your being. Give yourself over to the ecstasy of the senses and of the spirit.

Now, release Dionysus and merge back into your primordial energy state of pure virtual light. Find the impulse of wisdom and intelligence within your infinite potential and emerge as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati or Athena. You're the protector of civilization, with your commitment to knowledge. You're a true spiritual warrior dedicated to destroying any ignorance that impedes the expression of truth. Experience the consciousness of a goddess of wisdom. Look at the world through her eyes; hear the prevailing conversation through her ears. You are refinement, you are elegance, and you are civility and wisdom at its highest value.

And now let go of the goddess of wisdom. Return to your original state of pure virtual light. Merge back into your unbounded, unmanifest being, pulsing with potential. Dive into your essential light essence and emerge as Aphrodite, as Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. You're the embodiment of sensuality, passion, and sexuality. In your presence, sentient beings lose their heads and crave the rapture of Eros. Express and experience the consciousness of the goddess of love. Experience the body of the goddess of sensuality. Savor her sensuality. See the world through the eyes of the goddess of love.

Now release the love goddess, returning into your core as light, as pure undifferentiated being, as infinite possibilities. Dive deeply into your essence and emerge as the holy child, the expression of pure divine potential. You are the incarnation of innocence embodying the expectation of unconditional love, both as giver and as receiver. You are born of divine parents, and you are ripe with destiny and cosmic potential. Observe the world through the eyes of the holy child. Feel the love flowing through your heart of innocence. Experience your playfulness as a child of light, rejoicing in your own being.

Release the holy child. Experience yourself as a virtual light being. Rest in your boundlessness. You're a throbbing heartbeat of energy, capable of creating anything you desire. Dive deeply into your light core and emerge as the cosmic alchemist. You're the ultimate magician, capable of turning nothing into something and something into nothingness. You know the world of the senses to be nonsensical. You can experience the material world as an expression of your conscious energy which you can transform into matter with your intention and attention. You can assume any form you choose, living or inanimate, because you are consciousness in all its disguises. You are Krishna; you are infinite possibilities. Experience yourself as Krishna, the cosmic alchemist, as Gandalf, capable of manifesting anything you choose. Experience yourself transmuting your thoughts into phenomena. See the universe through the eyes of the mage. Experience the cosmos as your body. You are not in the universe; the universe is in you.

Now for the next few minutes, play with your creative energy, manifesting yourself as any form you choose. There are no limits to your possible expressions. Enjoy your virtual self, exuberant with the knowledge and experience of your infinite potential. In this form you are all the many gods and goddesses, archetypes, and mythical images in one body.

When you feel that you have experienced a wide range of interesting possibilities, choose three archetypal images or symbols or words or phrases that resonate within you, that inspire and motivate you. They could be familiar gods or goddesses known to you, images, animals, symbols of the elements, forces of the cosmos, words, phrases, or any other quality that means something to you, something that feels most comfortable when you experienced it in your mind. You should feel that if these people or qualities could come into your world and express themselves through you, you would be capable of grand and wondrous things.


Shirley Twofeathers said...

Michelle - this should answer your question. At least, I hope it does.

If there are typos, I apologize. I stayed up all night getting this post done. Yowsers! I need to get to bed right now!

Anonymous said...

A loving and energetic effort indeed! I learned a lot about archetypes from Carolyn Myss and her book Sacred Contracts. Opened my eyes.....
Sweet dreams!! Thanks xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the hard work, especially the amazing visuals. Don't feel connected yet with any archetypes but feel slightly overwhelmed by all the steps, think I am to caught up in them to experience. I am going to try again in a little while.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Deb. Yes, I thought I had that Caroline Myss book, but can't seem to find it.

Daniel: I agree this meditation is somewhat overwhelming.

I think that the basic idea is to put yourself in a meditative state, and then "try on" any archetype or idea that sounds interesting or intriguing.

Any "larger than life" character that resonates with you is fair game here. Animals too. Real people from the past and present could also be utilized.

I am "trying on" archetypes over at my personal blog shirley twofeathers - and have only come up with one that I am 100% in sync with.

Also, I think that it doesn't matter if we come up with something right away. As soon as we begin the quest for our inner archetype, self discovery becomes that much more vivid. Which, it seems to me, is the actual point of the exercize.

Anonymous said...

when i read this, i heard it in the loving voice of my very best friend. thank you! i think i kind of get it now, and i am going to use my meditation time to find my archetypes.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to put down this article down, it is great and a definite key towards finding Archetypes, But the entire passage is and excerpt from "The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire", by Deepak Chopra written in 2003. Word for word. It(the excerpt) and much more are in this amazing book guided towards spiritual enlightenment. Check it out. i came across mine at a local library by coincidence. If your reading this DON'T let it pass you by. The World is calling out to YOU. Listen! This book will teach you how.

xXThe StudentXx

Shirley Twofeathers said...

Dear Anonymous - yes - this IS from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra - that's what this particular project was about. We did 30 days of following that book. ALL of the posts from that project came from his book. You can read an overview of the project here: The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire

Anonymous said...

Haha, plagiarist. Nice of you to credit Deepak Chopra after someone called you out on it. You were obviously trying to pass it off as your own work.

Shirley Twofeathers said...

That despised
of others
we soon see
of our self

~The Oculatum

Randal Oulton said...


That's a slate roof, not a thatched roof, hun.

Anonymous said...

new age rubbish

Anonymous said...

Where is the honorable warrior such as Aragorn?

Anonymous said...

Funny, I thought the same thing. Lovely house though.

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