Some Major Archetypes

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(Before reading this section please see Jung’s Collective Unconscious, Jung’s Archetypes, and Four Major Jungian Archetypes.)

Described below are few prominent archetypes we encounter in our daily lives, in ourselves and in people around us.

THE PROSTITUTE

Prostitute, the term itself raises eyebrows. It is a profession which is looked down upon by majority of the people. And yet unknowingly, this is the very archetype whose shadow version rules the psyche of many in this world. So what is the prostitute archetype?

This archetype is connected to the fears related to survival. It seeks to teach us lessons on integrity, self-esteem, faith, and courage. It applies to all people irrespective of gender and age and has nothing to do with sex as an occupation.
Not having faith in yourself leads the shadow prostitute archetype to dominate or possess you.

Examples include, not only selling your physical body, but also your mind and soul. People prostitute themselves when they stay in relationships which are highly abusive, or work in jobs they utterly dislike for reasons of survival and financial security. Even though the environment around them is toxic, they still choose to remain in the comfort zone rather than take responsibility, transform, and grow.

For instance:

    • Have you ever said yes to a relationship because you felt you might never find someone better, or because you are growing older and are afraid of being alone?

    • Have you ever stayed in a relationship solely to maintain the physical necessities and security such as, ‘that perfect lifestyle’, ‘that great house’, that rent, mortgage, etc?

    • Have you never spoken up / stood your ground in the office against the unacceptable behaviour of the co-worker or manager because you felt afraid of confrontation, or are too scared to ‘rock the boat’?

    • Have you said yes to a relationship because you feel that that person can ‘fix’ you or rescue you?

    You know the shadow prostitute archetype has taken over when you are selling your creativity, silence, wisdom, and integrity. That it is ruling your life when you are:

      • occupied in a job that you do not believe in and which is also harming your physical and mental health

      • taking / not taking initiatives and actions because you fear certain people

      • marrying someone because he / she is immensely rich or has a lot of dowry to offer

      • in a relationship because you are afraid of being alone and solely to maintain physical security and your survival needs.

    The Shadow and Light Aspects of the Prostitute Archetype

    The shadow aspect of the prostitute archetype persuades you by injecting you with fear-filled images, and thoughts, to sell your integrity, values, time, body, energy, faith, the expression of your soul, i.e., your creativity, for financial gain, and survival in this world. A person under the influence of the shadow prostitute will not only give up his integrity, and morality, he will also manipulate and exploit others to get ahead.

    The light aspect of the prostitute archetype, on the other hand, urges you to follow your dreams, to hold on to your values, to honour your creativity, to stand in your power and shine. When you listen to the light aspect of this archetype, you are honest to yourself, you cannot be easily controlled, bought or manipulated. You develop tremendous faith in yourself and also in the Divine. You are not just sure, you Know, that you are Divinely guided and protected.

    The prostitute archetype simply tries to determine whether you want to live your life from a space of fear or from a space of love and faith.

    The Prostitute Archetype Tests

    I feel inspired to share the story of Scott Dinsmore. To me, he appears to have confronted the shadow aspect of his prostitute archetype, in the professional area of his life, and chose to be guided by the light aspect of this archetype instead. Here is the link to the wonderful TED talk given by by Scott Dinsmore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpe-LKn-4gM
    The talk makes it clear that he chose to listen to the calling of his heart and be guided by it, than give in to his fears of survival.

    Unfortunately, Scott is now no more, though, the message he left behind and the way he lived the last few months of his life provides a roadmap for people confronted with their own shadow prostitute archetypes. Not only did he come out into the light and shine, through the message that he left behind, he is still influencing millions of others to stand in their own power and shine.

    Scott passed the prostitute archetype test with flying colours. He chose to do work which mattered to him instead of being held captive in a job, he did not believe in, for fear of survival. He set himself free and expressed himself creatively to the fullest before passing on.

    Though his death is saddening, yet, even his death teaches a lesson. The lesson that our lifespan is unpredictable. In the vastness of eternity, this lifespan is a small blip. We need not waste this precious gift of life by living as captives to our own fears.
    We can choose to face our fears, free ourselves, have faith and live our dreams.

    The play between the shadow and light aspects of the Prostitute Archetype is a play between fear and faith, integrity and dishonesty, control/being captive and freedom, fear and love, weakness and indomitableness, and suppression and self-expression.

    The Prostitute Archetype Tests of Jesus and Gautama Buddha

    Interestingly, a number of Self-archetypes were put to test by the prostitute archetype.

    Jesus underwent the prostitute archetype test in the desert when Satan tempted Him by showing Him the entire world and told Him “All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.”
    Jesus had gone for 40 days without food and was literally starving. He could have easily sold himself to Satan. It would have saved Him a lot of pain, including the crucifixion.

    He didn’t.

    Prince Siddhartha, brought up in the lap of luxury, went out of his palace one day, and saw the scenes of disease, suffering in old age, and death. He asked himself which is the real world? The luxurious one he lives in, or the one of poverty and hardship, outside the palace gates. He decided to move out of the lap of luxury to find out. All the wealth could not hold him back. That was his prostitute archetype test. And He emerged as the Buddha.

    An interesting way to find this archetype in you is to figure out if you sympathise or find intolerable, people whom you perceive to be weak. People who are compromising and concede to their life circumstances again and again to stay secure. If you find that intolerable, then, that is surely mirroring the prostitute archetype in you.

    The shadow prostitute archetype appears in your life to test you, to shake your faith, self-esteem, and self-confidence. To see, what are you willing to sell for your physical security. To see, if your integrity and morality can be bought, and if you are willing to put others down or at risk for your own gain.
    The answer lies in listening to the light aspect of this archetype.
    To not give in. To have faith, persevere, follow the calling of your heart, and step away from people who pull you into fear filled traps, drain you of energy, or manipulate and control you.
    When you accept and embrace the prostitute archetype, it can virtually lead you to live the life of your dreams.

    You cannot be bought if you believe in yourself.

    THE CHILD

    The child archetype is our innocent part within us, who possesses a healthy curiosity, a zest for life, and almost a magical wonder.
    It constantly urges us to be playful, go with the flow, and not to take life too seriously.
    This archetype can have many different aspects.

    Please see The Divine Child Archetype, Of Shadow Inner Children, Aspects and Traits of Shadow Inner Children.

    Some light and positive aspects of the Child archetype are:

    The Magical Child – The magical child is a child who believes anything is possible and possesses the gift of powerful imagination. People often find a person with the magical child archetype very appealing. Their tremendous faith in difficult times miraculously pulls them through.

    The shadow aspect of a magical child is a child whose dreams were broken at an early age because the child faced cynicism from the elders. The shadow magical child may make a person feel depressed and discouraged to follow his dreams, and will often influence the person to indulge in fantasies and day dreams.

    The Nature Child – People with the Nature Child archetype have a tremendous connection with nature and animals.
    They make wonderful animal communicators/activists and environmental activists. They are tremendously compassionate and can also be ardent gardeners.
    The shadow aspect of a nature child shows itself when a person is abusive towards animals and uncaring about nature and the environment.

    The Divine Child – To read about the Divine Child archetype please click here.

    The child archetype exists to teach us about responsibility. As children we are nurtured and taken care of. At times even as an adult we want to be taken care of and not be responsible for ourselves. This is a shadow aspect of the inner child archetype showing up.

    This archetype teaches us to achieve a balance between healthy dependency and responsibility.
    To see the shadow aspects of the child archetype please click here.

    THE SABOTEUR

    Contrary to popular belief, the Saboteur Archetype does not sabotage us in any way. It exists to show how we stand in our own way of success. The saboteur archetype too has the light aspect and the shadow aspect.

    This archetype is almost always connected to issues of survival, fear of change and self-esteem.

    The Light and the Shadow Aspects

    The light aspect of this archetype can change your entire reality, should you choose to listen to it. It will make you strong, bold, adventurous, and responsible. The light saboteur archetype can heighten your intuition if you listen to its urgings of encouragement. This in turn, will increase your self-trust and self-confidence.
    It provides guidance through signs and warnings.

    If we do not heed the guidance of the saboteur, it manifests as the shadow and causes us to behave in self- destructive ways.

    The shadow aspect of it will keep whispering discouragement into your ears so that you do not follow your dreams. It will put you down, criticize you, tell you are not good enough. It can cause you to sabotage opportunities coming your way.
    It fears change. Therefore, it will employ delaying tactics to keep the change from happening.
    However, you need to understand that in doing so it is trying to protect you, to keep you safe. Change means the unknown, and the familiar is safe.
    Procrastination is a classic example of the shadow saboteur. We are afraid that if we take action, we might become successful, empowered, and our world will change. And change terrifies us. It is not the familiar territory.
    Conversely, we might be afraid to take action, because, we think we might fail.
    Procrastination is the behavioural manifestation of the saboteur and serves as a pointer to those parts of us which are responsible for this block, for this sabotaging behaviour.

    Laziness too is an example of the shadow saboteur. Very often laziness becomes an excuse for not taking an action. However, what people do not realize is that laziness, like procrastination, is the resulting, surface-level behaviour, of deep-rooted fears, and insecurities, of shadows which are screaming to be heard.

    When you wake up in the morning and a part of you says “ I’ll sleep just a little more, 15 minutes more,” that is the shadow saboteur. Behind this behaviour is a shadow, which stops you from getting up, it wants you to avoid facing the day just yet.

    Again if you get this inner urge to follow up on something, it is a very strong hunch, but you keep giving excuses to yourself to not follow it by saying to yourself, “ I don’t know how to do it.” The shadow saboteur is very much at play there.

    You will find the saboteur peeping in, in all your missed opportunities in life, in frustrations, in patterns of difficult relationships, in your laziness, in the mistakes you keep repeating uncontrollably. Infact, it is the mistakes that will lead you directly to the core issues from where your fears and frustrations operate.

    In Hindu mythology the Lord of Saturn or Shani is an example of the archetype of the saboteur, as also is Goddess Kali.

    They are archetypes of the energies of destruction, which if channeled towards the right areas of life finally will lead to regeneration.

    Infact the Saboteur is one of the most powerful archetypes, and the energy of this archetype if channelized properly can be used to deconstruct areas of our life, which are not working.

    The saboteur archetype is much like the gateway to your shadows, or the parts that you disowned.

    If you choose to befriend this archetype it can guide you to your deepest fears and blocks, so that you may release them.

    THE VICTIM

    The Victim archetype is basically related to our relationship with power and control. It is about putting up healthy boundaries, which people cannot cross, to take advantage of us, or harm us.

    It is about observing ourselves when we are face to face with people with whom we have control issues. For that matter it is also putting up boundaries around our own smaller selves, which judge us or make us feel small and worthless.

    The Victim archetype thus helps us understand the value of healthy boundaries. Boundaries, that can keep not only our identities safe, but also our dreams, and hopes. The victim archetype if understood correctly can, not just help us to survive but to live and thrive.

    The shadow of the victim archetype appears when one starts identifying with the victim’s qualities, where it gets to the point that one is continuously looking for sympathy or pity, is too afraid to stand up for himself, or suppresses the rage he feels at being victimized, because the victimizer appears too powerful.

    If we make an attempt to understand the light aspect of this archetype, it alerts us to situations in which we may feel powerless and weak. It offers us a choice to stand up for ourselves, draw healthy boundaries, or give up our sense of empowerment too easily and willingly and play the victim to garner sympathy.
    In its shadow form the Victim archetype can make us feel defenceless, helpless, or also make us the perpetrator. They go hand in hand. One is never without the other.

    The victim, given a chance, will always play perpetrator, even if covertly.
    The solution is to get out of this toxic, victim and perpetrator, drama-ridden cycle by forgiving others, forgiving ourselves and letting go.

    The shadow of the victim archetype will always say“ Why me?” or “ Nobody understands me, ” “ I am helpless, I don’t have a choice.” “ I am totally unsupported.”

    Or as a perpetrator will think, “ I want you to feel what I feel”, or “ why should I be the only one?”

    This archetype exists to teach us about self-confidence, self-esteem and self-empowerment.

    These four archetypes, The Prostitute, The Child, The Saboteur, and The Victim are faced by all individuals. Nobody is exempt from the tests of these four major archetypes.

    Apart from these archetypes there are also some other archetypes such as The Hero, The Mother, The Trickster, The Hermit, The Magician, The Ruler, and many more.
    Knowing which archetypes are influencing us the most can be extremely helpful as it provides insights into our behaviours, motivations, and the innumerable choices we have.

    Please see these related topics, Jung’s Collective Unconscious, Jung’s Archetypes, and Four Major Jungian Archetypes.

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