The Nine Archetypal Energies
The Woman Within Weekend initiates each woman into the transformational healing power of archetypal energies: universal energies present in all humans.
Archetypes are like magnets beneath a sheet of paper – we can see the shapes and patterns but we can’t see the energy – it is mysterious. Understanding archetypal energy provides an opportunity for personal transformation by connecting with our soul and our divine potential.
Woman Within training helps us use nine of the most important female archetypal energies, rather than be used by them. Each course empowers a woman to better understand herself and others, to make better life choices, and to discover and celebrate her unique treasure and heal the wounds of the past.
Jung said that we spend the first 20 years of our life filling the Shadow archetype and the rest of our life unpacking what we have buried.
The Shadow is the prison of our shames and secret desires. It is the place we vanquish the forbidden, the taboo and the unacceptable, which can be aspects of our worst selves or our deepest denied wishes.
We dare not allow ourselves to know our shadow and we disown its contents, expending an enormous amount of energy to keep it out of consciousness. But as much as our conscious mind wants to muzzle what is in the Shadow, the Shadow longs to be known and it finds ways to surface. Depression may disguise anger or pull the plug on efforts towards bold action.
Shame silences our knowing and hides what others may fear or envy in us. Slips of the tongue reveal what we really think or feel, while judgements deftly deny our own Mr(s) Hydes.
Shrouded in what feels like darkness, the shadow holds vital ‘gold’: the treasure of who we are. Qualities that we ourselves have been forbidden to embrace but which we admire in others like beauty, intelligence and courage. All qualities we hide, buried and out of reach, through fear of owning all of who we are.
When we can be open to knowing our Shadow and own our buried ‘gold’ we gain clarity, empowerment and the liberating vitality of authenticity and greater wholeness.
Infant archetypal energy is about trust and new beginnings. Trust allows us to be receptive. It provides resilience and the ability to step into the unknown. In healthy balance, this energy is the foundation of our birthright – to give and receive love and care.
Each new experience in life calls on our infant archetype to be present – to trust.
Play is child’s work. Creativity is play. Child energy is spontaneous, uninhibited and expressive of every emotion, fun, and is full of wonder. The child believes in magic and fairy stories – anything is possible.
Our child energy helps us continue to learn and to explore and create.
We all have this archetypal energy but most of us know we have a ‘wounded child’ inside. She may be the one that is afraid to try something for fear of being criticised or hurt. We need to learn to keep our ‘wounded’ child safe and to allow our ‘magical’ child to transform difficult moments in life, into something new and different by using her imagination, playfulness and creativity.
The major task of this biological transition is redefining the self and beginning to formulate one’s mission and purpose in life. The adolescent rebels and seeks freedom to explore new boundaries and to establish her own identity separate from the authority of others.
In many situations as adult women, we may feel the adolescent archetypal energy surface as we struggle to discover what are truly our ideas, our beliefs and our opinions – which may be very different from others. This energy is always present for us to discover who we really are apart from others – be they authority figures, peers, parents or other influential people in our lives.
Adolescent energy is powerfully beneficial in managing any transition or change. It is the energy we need to call upon to ‘Just do it’ and break new boundaries.
This energy is much more than mothering children – it is about bringing ideas and thoughts to birth and nurturing that creation into flourishing growth and development.
The Greek goddess Demeter is the archetypal mother: creator and destroyer; ruling the earth, fertility and agriculture. She gives birth to new ideas, businesses, children and crafts. She nurtures her creation tenderly and breathes life into it. She is a teacher, guiding and directing her creation. She provides healing, and sustains and protects her creation from being destroyed by others.
The most important person that needs mothering is our inner child.
Warrior energy is primal and the key masculine archetypal energy. The Woman Warrior’s energy is different than the masculine warrior energy. She is strategic and can use her words as her sword to cut others down. Awareness of the balance of this energy is important in all relationships, for when we are threatened she shows up to protect our inner child and our mission. She serves us by setting healthy boundaries, helping us to stay focused to manifest our mission and she has the courage to speak our truth with compassion.
We use this energy to mark our boundaries – having a clear ‘yes’ and a clear ‘no’.
Red is the colour of the lover: heart, passion, fire – the colour of the base chakra. Core lover energy is about heart connection to self and others. It is passionate, compassionate, magnetic, charismatic, open to pleasure, and is sexual and sensual.
The key block to this energy is shame. Shame can start in the embryo for the unwanted baby. It can be caused by abandonment, abuse, inappropriate bonding and may lead to sex and body issues. To heal our shame, it is important to speak about our shame to those we trust.
We can’t change the past, however, we can change how we react and hide the past under a cloak of shame. By shedding this cloak, we are free to be more sensual and intimate with others.
Crone energy embodies the deepest and most profound mystery of the universe – it holds the paradox of life and death. The Crone archetypal energy offers us the opportunity to bury losses, so that something new can be reborn.
Crone energy is not present just in older women – all women have Crone energy. It is energy that is intuitive, spiritual, wise, brazen and bold.
This energy listens to our still quiet voice that is speaking all the time, guiding us in our daily walk.
The Queen oversees the luscious abundance and prosperous growth of her domain. Holding our own Vision & Mission, she enlists the talents and gifts of other archetypes who she guides to serve, protect and carry forth. Chopping off what is detrimental and nourishing what is vital (the Queen’s integrity and focus) she leads with compassion and grace.
People blossom in relationships with the woman who knows herself: her light and shadow; her inner and outer worlds; her power and responsibilities.
Further reading on archetypal energies:
- Discover Your Woman Within, Char Tosi, founder of Woman Within
- King Warrior Magician Lover, Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette
- Practically Shameless, Alyce Barry, Cindy Kalman, Cliff Barry
- Little Book of Shadows, Robert Bly
- Owning your own shadow, Robert A Johnson
- Embracing Ourselves The Voice Dialogue, Hal and Sidra Stone