Donna’s Reflection Blog
Exploring the Power of Archetypes.
Exploring Archetypes is a powerful way to connect with different facets of yourself that you may not have given yourself permission to express or even felt it was possible to embody.
Before you even begin to understand the power and medicine of archetypes, it is important to comprehend the language of each, so as to anchor these energies into a grounded presence of expression. Language shapes reality and provides meaning and context to the way in which we perceive and interact with the world.
Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung suggested in his book Man And His Symbols
“The archetype is a tendency to form such representations of a motif—representations that can vary a great deal in detail without losing their basic pattern.”
In Jungian Psychology ‘Archetype’ means:
“A primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious.”
So if these imprints are stored in the collective, then we can access them at will, when we deem necessary. We can utilise the power of this resource to serve our best intentions and wellbeing.
The Embodiment of sacred feminine archetypes changes in expression, depending on which mythology or cultural narratives they stem from. It is important to first become connected to your Self and body wisdom so as to notice any subtleties from invoking archetypal energies.
The very basic accepted form of archetypal feminine energies are; the Maiden, Mother, Queen and Crone. Over the years I have explored many different primordial archetypal facets of the Self and have come to the understanding as an Educator, that completely defining theses energies for someone else can not only taint the divine threads of expression, but also becomes a dis-service to individuals who choose to become familiar with expressing these energies creatively and unashamedly.
Many archetypes weave together in symbiosis- fluid and ever changing. Such is the Nature of the feminine.
Perhaps this is why I felt to be a little vague during the interview with Shona with respect to specific Archetypes. Words are spells and with our labels we create programs. It is not up to me to tell you what is, as the language rests in your heart and hands. You have the ability to tap in to the wellspring of consciousness, beyond the veils of what we perceive in this world. Your ability to navigate these realms can be shaped and influenced by story.
Through playful curiosity we can explore how certain energies are expressed through our own unique ways of being. We begin to map these expressions and look for underlying patterns that allow for the familiar to emerge and become acknowledged. For instance, my embodiment of a particular archetypal energy may be completely different to yours, based on my ideologies and social discourse. Certain experiences will also hinder access to particular archetypal expressions, especially where there is fear or shame. This is prevalent with women wishing to explore sexuality, who have come from a strong patriarchal religious upbringing.
As a self-proclaimed, ‘Shadow Worker’ and facilitator of Women’s Mysteries, I have seen how repressed emotions and trauma can create distortions in the way a woman is seen and expresses herself in the world. Journeying through the realms of the Shadow Self allows us to uncover certain aspects of ourselves that make us feel uncomfortable with deep shame. Working intimately with women over the years, this is mainly focused around Female Sexuality, Power, Righteous Rage and Anger.
The power of working with archetypes is particularly potent for women who have experienced sexual abuse and trauma, as the archetypal energies allows women the access point and permission to express emotion in a constructive way. The archetype becomes a mask to some degree, and a platform to explore the world in a different light. In a therapeutic context, this can have profound results in healing old wounds, whether from this lifetime or ancestral imprints.
Archetypes can give survivors of abuse a sense of security and strength to express themselves in a way they may have never felt possible. They can provide a security blanket, a safety net and drawing upon their strengths, can offer a path to liberation.
Invoking certain energies can dramatically shift the way your body moves and carries itself. We can use this majick in our daily lives to “show up” as the best version of ourselves. For instance, if you were in a situation of conflict, taking a moment to tune in and connect with an archetype that exudes a powerful energy and commands authority can be beneficial to your wellbeing and safety.
Having said all of this, it is important to learn how to integrate these expressions as the full embodiment of yourself, so as to not use archetypes as a psycho-spiritual crutch. All these expressions exist inside of you. Just like drugs help to release certain chemicals which create electrical signals, stimulating neurotransmitter receptors and allow us access to what is essentially already within our brains… Archetypes are keys that open the doorways of perception!
When we begin to understand the Mythologies surrounding Ancient Goddesses, Devi’s and Deities, we can form our own relationship to imbue each with significant meaning in relation to how we perceive them.
I was fortunate enough to develop a language for these archetypes in my own desire to explore and embody all facets of my self-expression, and still to this day I am learning and discovering something new. When I was 19 I took a lover that opened me into sacred sexual practice and through the dance of our lovemaking he witnessed and alchemical transformation “It’s like you became every woman in a single moment” He was in awe at my apparent capacity to shapeshift into 200 or more different expressions of woman. In the moment, I didn’t know. I just felt safe enough to let myself delve into my depths. In the safety of our union, I opened to an infinite potential of sensual expression and pleasure.
And this is true for all women, we have the ability to open and access many expressions, some that compliment and others that in a single moment, can stir chaos within.
Exploring and cultivating archetypal language in a playful and curious way, gives us the opportunity to adapt to our environment and to draw upon these energies, invoking them when necessary. Having said that, some archetypal energies are best explored within the confinement of sacred safe space- whether with a facilitator or partner as they can bring to the surface deep seated emotion, triggering our sacred wounds.
When I first started facilitating my Evoking the WombSong Ceremonies, I had no idea that the dynamic of women connecting through the womb and accessing these realms would be so intense… and so profoundly liberating. Through movement and sound, we could access primal ways and primal wisdom. As I hold space for women, I begin to see their base archetypal energies. With twinkling eyes I see them… and from mapping these energetic expressions with my own language, I recognise where each woman is at, and can meet her there, bridge her through or help her to navigate a little deeper.
Below, I have listed a few energies at random should you choose to seek in knowing a little more by learning the stories behind these Mythological and archetypal energies.
Virgin, Goddess, Bast, Freyja, Sophia, Shakti, Mary Magdalene,
Courtesan, Temptress, Slut/Whore, Maiden, Aphrodite, Ixcacao, Priestess, Lover, Guanyin/Quan Yin, Tara, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Sati, Oracle, Sorceress, Wise Woman, Witch, Queen, Crone, Artemis, Hathor, Innana, Hag, Isis, Danu, Brigid, Morrigan Mystic, Sage, Athena, Maia, Demeter, Persephone, Cleopatra, Lilith, Kali, Hecate, Sekhmet, Wild Woman, Nammu, Baba Yuga and the primordial Dark Mother.
Developing your own maps and references will allow you to pinpoint specific characteristics of archetypal energies to the point where you will see them play out in your daily life. Whether conscious or sub-consciously embodied, the characteristics of these energies have the ability to dramatically shift the way we express ourselves.
Working with archetypes is powerful, and with power comes responsibility.
As with all majick, explore with pure and clear intentions.
Sacred Feminine Educator and founder of Wise Wombman