Instead of making New Years' Resolutions this year, what if you chose to simply embody a different part of yourself? How would your life change?
Adapted from the studies of psychologists Robert Moore and Carl Jung, there are 4 main archetypes that have been found across mythology, spiritual practices, and human history: The Sovereign, the Warrior, the Magician, and the Lover. We all have each of these personas within us, and by embodying them, we can call certain powerful and spiritual aspects of ourselves out to help us achieve our highest potential.
There is no doubt that 2020 was a year that caused us to question the way we live our life, our mortality, and what is most important to us - it was a year of magnificent shifts. Now 2021 calls us to use what we learned and to step up as a leader. Let's go on a journey to introduce these 4 ancient parts of yourself, and how you can call upon them to bring out your best in 2021!
The Sovereign is wise, seasoned and complex, and in a sense selfless. A good Sovereign is also a good Warrior, Magician and Lover. It is the central archetype and represents order, renewal and creation. The Sovereign archetype is the earthly conduit from the divine world to this mortal realm. What is outside of its influence is non-creation and chaos. Here are some traits of the Sovereign:
The Shadow Side: When the Sovereign is immature, this persona can mimic a tyrant or a weakling: the person either exerts too much power to "prove" their significance or is ignorant to the extent of their power.
Invocation: To call on the wisdom of your Sovereign, visualize that regal persona within you, the one whose compassionate wisdom heals all and creates all. Where does this persona reside in your body? Touch the place of your Sovereign. Make the sound your sovereign would make. Now, as your Sovereign, complete these sentences: "All I need to know is.... This first thing I need to do is...."
The Warrior is the aggressive energy that protects and sacrifices itself for a cause, that never gives up and never surrenders. Think movies like Full Metal Jacket, Kill Bill, Apocalypse Now. In modern times, many are uncomfortable with this energy, but like all archetypes, it lives on in spite of our conscious attitudes towards it. If not understood, like all repressed archetypes, it goes underground, eventually to resurface in its shadow form. Here are some characteristics of the Warrior:
The Shadow Side: The sadist and the masochist. Unhealthy Warrior energy can be too cruel, too destructive. Additionally, the masochist is the passive pole of the Warrior's shadow, where the person becomes a bit of a pushover or a coward.
Invocation: To call upon your Warrior, imagine a time when you were powerfully executing a task. Where does this persona reside in your body? Identify and touch the place of your Warrior within. Make the sound your Warrior would make to solidify this persona. Now, as your Warrior, complete these sentences: "All I need to know is.... This first thing I need to do is.... This whole thing can be cleared up by..."
The Magician is the archetype of awareness, insight and knowledge of anything that is not immediately apparent or commonsensical. It is the Shaman, the "observing ego." It keeps us insulated from the overwhelming power of the other archetypes. It doesn't take life too seriously. It knows how to channel the forces of life and its resources to maximum benefit. Here's how to tell when you are in your Magician:
The Shadow Side: Chaos is always the result of inadequate accessing of the Magician in some vital area of life. The immature Magician is a master manipulator only for his own goals, by denying people information, by being detached or cruel. On the flip side, the shadow Magician can also show up as someone always claiming to be the "innocent victim" or someone who plays naively.
Invocation: When you need to embody your Magician, imagine a time when you were having fun and things just came to you easily. Imagine a time when you were a conductor moving all pieces of your life in harmony to a beautiful song. Imagine when you effortlessly used all resources to push through blocks in your life. Now identify where this Magician resides in your body and place your attention there. Feel the Magician and make the sound that Magician makes when they are in charge. Now ask yourself, as Magician, "All I need to know is..." "The first thing I need to do is..."
As the Magician is the "observing ego", you can also access your Magician by dissociating from yourself and watching an emotion play out, watching the feeling and color and sound of that emotion, and manipulating it to change it to another color, sound or feeling.
The Lover is the archetype of play and of display, of healthy embodiment in the world of the senses without shame. The Lover is also highly spiritual, as it sees the enjoyment and connection of all things. You can see in the picture above that the Lover is all about the senses: the heat of the setting sun, the colors of the sky, the connectedness and meaning of love placed in this entire moment by the art of their bodies creating a heart between them.
Here are the traits of the Lover:
The Shadow Side: An unhealthy Lover persona can sometimes lead to addictions, or choosing rewards over duty. Imagine the person who follows their senses to spend their last dollar on painting supplies for their art rather than food their family needs. An opposite shadow side of the Lover is someone who is not able to enjoy anything in life.
Invocation: To access the Lover part of yourself, think of a time where you felt connected to all things, when you led a project that had special meaning, or when you enjoyed the sensual natures of life. Where does this energy reside in your body? Touch the part of you that your Lover calls home. Make the sound that your Lover persona makes. Now, as your Lover, complete this sentence: "All I need to know is.... The first thing I need to do is...."
Which archetype do you need to embrace more of to bring out your best in 2021? When you think about your life as it is now, which of these archetypes have been most dominant in your life? Which do you feel most comfortable with? How has it impacted you?
When you think about the life you want in the new year, which of these archetypes do you need to call upon to bring up that side of you?
Which of these archetypes are you encountering at your workplace? Which of these archetypes thrive the most and why? Is there any imbalance? Which of these do you need to employ more of to execute more efficiently or achieve more balance?
When you think about your home life and partnerships, which of these archetypes will bring you more of what you want in yourself and your relationships?
Share what archetypes you plan to embody more of in the New Year in the comments below!
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