An archetype is a very specifically defined example of a person or thing. But archetypes are not just reduced to gods and goddesses and deities as we have come to know them in the Western world. There are many common archetypes throughout our lives. Archetypes exist in astrology, in deities, in human design, in the tarot, in Jungian psychotherapy, in flower essences… and the list goes on. As women, we embody different archetypes throughout our cycles: the maiden, the mother, the empress, and the crone.
Taking a page from my background in psychotherapy, Jung states that archetypes are entities that are in fact present in our collective unconsciousness. This means that archetypes often play themselves out in the back of our mind, without ever being in the physical form. With this perspective, we can play with any archetypal energy, anytime we want since an archetype is a play of consciousness, a mirror of where we are in our lives, of the different phases of our personal journey within.
In our society, archetypes have become misunderstood because we have begun to use them as a way to define ourselves. We have used archetypes to pass blame or to excuse a certain behaviour or way of being. How many times have we heard ourselves say: “she’s always got her head in the clouds; she’s such a Pisces!; She’s such a Virgo with all her particular, bossy, organized ways!”. Somewhere along the way, we have allowed the archetype to define who we are.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. In this way, our spirit is not defined by archetypes because the spirit, the essence of you, is infinite.
We are born into a human experience and so these archetypes that we gather and associate with throughout different phases of our lives, are here to magnify a power or to teach us a lesson within what the archetype represents. Therefore, archetypes invite us to notice the way she (her essence) is being projected or stifled in our lives and we are asked to observe the way that plays out in our experiences with ourselves and others. The archetypes are lessons, shifting and changing with the changing nature of our lives and of ourselves.