Friday, 27 September 2013

Working with Archetypes:Q&A


"Leaving home” means stepping out of your comfort zone and following a long held dream such as starting your own business or community enterprise. Alternatively, like me, you may simply wish to spend time in the desert, talking to scorpions with Lench Archuleta, wise sage of the Yaqi Nation. Would you be surprised to know that four key archetypes play a significant role in our ability and willingness to make that journey?
                               ARCHETYPES AND SELF KNOWLEDGE
This one-day seminar is the next step in discovering more about your true self. It will take your understanding of how you operate in the world, to a deeper level. You will:

Uncover more about how your specific patterns of behaviour influence, inspire and yes, even dictate your life.
Gain greater insight into your responses to yourself, others and in the world

What exactly is an archetype?
This is a typical or habitual pattern of behaviour that is replicated and can be identified across gender, race, class, culture and nationality; therefore ‘archetypal’ behaviour is universal. An archetype is NOT the same as a stereotype, which is a specific word/phrase (usually negative) used to describe a particular group, or an entire culture, race or nationality – e.g. all women are emotional. I am sure you can come up with your own examples of ‘group scapegoating’.

Can you give an example of archetypal behaviour?
There is no need to describe the characteristics of the addict, victim, thief, and angel for example, we would all (I think) immediately understand quite a lot about that person and/or behaviour. We use archetypal language all the time. In describing someone and their behaviour, we might say that XYZ is a minx, little madam, bit of a princess or drama-queen etc. You may be less familiar with the description of ‘eternal child’ – but if I said bit of a ‘Peter Pan’, you would understand more – an adult who remains childlike and does not want to grow up. Michael Jackson for example displayed the eternal child archetype, Peter Pan-like, he even lived in ‘Never Land’.

Are Archetype cards like the Tarot?
No, the cards presented in the Caroline Myss box set are nothing to do with the Tarot; they are simply her representation and short description of the characteristics of a cross-section of archetypical behaviour, but are by no means the full number of archetypes that exist. However, when you have identified your full set (wholeness) of archetypal patterns (at least 12) you can then actually ‘consult your Self’, and your ‘Self’ will respond!

Where does the idea of archetypes and human behaviour come from?
Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung (1875-1961) first brought this concept to the study of human behaviour - for example see The 12 Common Archetypes. However, the existence of ‘originals’ or ‘blue prints’ for human personality types was accepted by the early Greeks, and in African (Orishas) culture long before Jung. The work of Caroline Myss (see Sacred Contracts and Archetypes: Who are You?) has broadened our knowledge.

When, according to Buddhist monk Darmachari Vessantara, we remain ignorant of or oblivious to these primordial patterns deep in the human psyche, “It is as if we live on the surface of life whilst in caves deep underground the kings and queens of our energies, the magicians, dancers, heroes and sages remain quietly aloof unable to raise any interest in our desire to captain the pub’s darts team. But if we aspire to reach the heights, then all of a sudden in those caverns far below, ageless heroes will awaken to the sound of distant trumpets and goddesses will weave afresh the old spells which protect the daring”.

Workshops October-November 2013 at Jasmine Street Lab, The Granary, 80 Abbey Road, Barking IG11 7BT
For information on workshop dates, fees, bookings, registration contact AMARI BLAIZE: email

For information on current and forthcoming events at Jasmine Street contact Carole Pluckrose at;
Tel: 0208 123 8560/07412 602141

Monday, 23 September 2013

The Symbolic Language of Dreams

Following my ‘caring for Margaret Thatcher’ dream, and a friend recounting her ‘one~eyed cat’ dream, I find myself returning to the world of dreams, ‘the highway to the soul’ according to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Dreams speak healing or guiding truths through universal (or archetypal) images.

A dream is that extraordinary place where two worlds meet – conscious and unconscious; where all that is in us but unknown to us is revealed. Desirous of intimate relationship, the soul comes calling overflowing with love and healing and our dreams, perfect in their integrity, invite us to engage with its mysteries.

Like Rorschach (inkblots) tests, our dreams invite us to associate the images presented – animal, vegetable, mineral – to what we are currently thinking about, feeling and doing; and in relationship to those with whom we are currently interacting –physically, mentally and emotionally.

One of the two hemispheres of the brain is always dominant. The right brain is responsible for the psyche’s world of images and dreams and is not subject to the left hemisphere’s sense of time and objectivity.  It is here we engage with ecstatic poetry, storytelling, speaking in ‘tongues’, and the disorganized speech of the schizophrenic; all of which give us a good idea of the language of the right brain – and the symbolic language of dreams. When we are listening to music, engaging in creative imagination, meditating or dreaming, it is the right hemisphere that is dominant.
Dreams ALWAYS, ALWAYS speak primarily about YOU, not anyone else. Essentially they describe the relationship you have with yourself and how that impacts your experiences and the decisions you make.  Dreams portray an aspect of the dreamer, as revealed by the perceived characteristics of the person or symbol presented in the dream and yours feelings about it all. In dreams the soul is both REVEALING what’s going on in your life and GUIDING you in the direction of RIGHT ACTION.

Some people say they never dream or cannot remember their dreams; others are prolific dreamers and have very vivid or what I call epic dreams, often remembered years after the experience. These ‘epic’ dreams are like the movies showing a journey in progress, from it’s beginning (past) to the current time and into the future. These types of dreams are prophetic and can signal a major crossroad in our lives, either at the time of the dream or sometime in the future. 

Dreams often tell us how to respond to the changes and challenges which are currently engulfing us.  But the soul seem to love mischief, chaos and absurdity, it loves to ‘play’, and so we never get it straight.  We must learn to ‘play’ with words and double entrendre, where a particular phrase has two meanings: the obvious and the subtle.  

In one of my dream interpretation workshops in 2010, one participant who was “living in interesting times” dreamt that her recently purchased house (a real life event) turned out to be in the same area as her previous home. In the dream she felt swindled, didn't like the people in the house, which was leaking and cold.  Her neighbours were horrible and rowdy, particularly at the Sun Pub next door.

It is only now, three years later that she is recognising that the dream was illustrating where she had been living, in her inner world, and predicting that ‘moving home’ would not bring change, only inner transformation would; that the horrible and rowdy people in the ‘Sun Pub’ needed to be sorted out but what exactly was the meaning of ‘Sun Pub’ and to what aspects of self was the dream referring?  

For the best interpretation of our dreams we require the Artist’s ability to see life symbolically, and the Detective’s power of observation and forensic search for clues. Dream symbols must not be taken literally, and need interrogation in order to reveal their secrets.

Think of a symbol as a micro~chip in a computer, or as an atom in creation.  It’s tiny on the outside but enormous on the inside. Therefore, the meaning contained in the symbol becomes increasingly apparent the more we learn about the various universal (and therefore archetypal) truths contained in symbolic form. 

Related posts: 13th & 15th February 2013

Monday, 16 September 2013

Masculine and Feminine Power

After venturing on to the battlement of eagles and bears, bulldogs and roosters (see post Eagle and the Bear 14 Sept) and weapons of mass destruction – illustrative of aggressive ‘masculine power’, it’s time to return to a place where I feel more at home, the engagement with 'feminine or soul power’.

Just in case I want to dwell in that world too long, a world where we are bent on “controlling” outcomes, a dream alerts me to the fact that I have gone off track. I dreamt I had become a carer for Mrs Thatcher who had apparently awakened from the dead; I am sorely irritated by this! Apart from anything else, it tells me that it’s time to move away from a situation where I am engaging with and hanging out in a place that is about controlling outcomes. I have left that world far behind and to resurrect that part of me is not in my best interest.

‘Masculine’ and ‘Feminine’ power in the sense that I am using it here is less descriptive of gender~based behaviour and more concerned with a particular attitude, a way of thinking that is utilized by both men and women.

Masculine (spirit) qualities and attitudes are described as active, hard, outgoing, penetrating, logical, aggressive and dominant; while the feminine (soul) nature is defined as receptive, soft, inward, encompassing, intuitive, empathetic and relational.

These masculine~feminine or spirit~soul qualities are equally represented in men and women but will be more or less developed, in distortion or in balance, depending on culture, early life experience, and other environmental and psychological factors. Jung described this feminine and masculine polarity as anima and animus, respectively.
Both men and women can tap into these innate anima (soul) and animus (spirit) responses at will, and can choose whether they wish to be aggressive and dominating or receptive and relational. The ‘animus woman’ (Mrs T was one) is said to have an abundance of active masculine qualities; while the anima influenced ‘new man’ is regarded as having more receptive and relational qualities. When they work together harmoniously, we are neither passive nor aggressive, but express a balanced assertiveness.

The dream calls to mind a long held wish to go hang out with my friend Lench, who lives in the Arizona desert. He is a wise Sage, Guide, Teacher and traditional healer from the North American Yaqui Nation. We have been in conversation recently, and he reminds me that “we are moving from the 'place of words' (over~thinking) to the 'place of no words' ... where things can only be experienced…”

The 'place of words' is the place of knowledge and wisdom, of rationality, logic and reasoning. It is governed by the masculine principle and the mind.  It relates to midnight and midwinter.  All conflict tends to originate in the ‘place of words' – harsh, aggressive, abusive, threatening, cutting, belittling, having the last word. Our various war zones and the abuses of rampant consumerism tells us that humanity is currently fixating on this place.

Would be good to go walk with Lench in the desert where one can, according to him, "talk, but very respectfully, to scorpions"; that requires the utilization of feminine power.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Eagle and the Bear

Can you imagine that those two old Cold War adversaries Eagle (or is it hawk) and Bear (recently morphed into a dove) are sitting down together right now to talk about peace in our time. What the hell is going on?

Thank goodness for Wallace, representing the Bulldogs; had it not been for his intervention, much of Damascus would have been reduced to rubble by now. Who is Wallace did you say? If you don’t know, then you’ll just have to use your powers of deduction and observation to work it out. Here’s a clue.

If Wallace's bruv, the boy David, had been in the hot seat and bolstered by his mate Tone, you can be sure we would be watching the fallout from this stage in the march towards achieving Tone’s stated intent to ‘remake the Middle East’. Thank god he was seen off the premises.

And what a ripple effect Wallace's stance has had. It will go down in history as his finest hour, even if the outcome was an unintended consequence. Even the leader of the Greens commented on the impact of his intervention in her speech to Party conference this week. The caped duo had to put up and shut up; The Eagles' Commander in Chief postponed war in order to inform, consult and seek the support of Congress; the Gallic Rooster (or le Coq Gaulois) had a vote~less debate (is their leader a closet hawk?); the Bear leader took a missive direct to the Eagle clans and the diplomatic shuttle started rolling.

Propping myself up on the stool in Mem’s corner shop[1] last week, I asked him what he thought was going on. He agreed that Assad had probably committed an egregious act and should be held accountable and punished for war crimes, but was clear that killing thousands of innocent people in order to take out Assad's stash of chemical weapons was equally egregious.

Gallic Rooster
Another customer, a grizzly looking indigenous Brit, who had obviously stopped by to participate in the ‘neighbourhood forum for discussing world affairs’ said that Syria was a useful pretext on which to hone in on the real target in the effort to remake the Middle East. This is just another step towards the goal of taking out the real perceived threat in the region, he said. Mem nodded in agreement. Oh? Who is that then I asked? The two men looked grimly at me. Mem smirked a little; he knew that I knew.

In his blog yesterday, Channel4 broadcaster Jon Snow wrote:

There has long been an agenda by some to involve ‘pressure’ upon Iran in the course of supposedly resolving the Syrian crisis….

Who in 1914 ever thought that the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, in far away Sarajevo, could prove the spark to igniting the worst war in world history – world war one? Does far away Damascus, in 2013, harbour an eerily similar potential?

With Bear backing one side of the sectarian divide and Eagle the other, the chances of miscalculation and catastrophe seem pretty high. And the potential for a replay of the Eagle~Bear face/off in Afghanistan between 1979/89 which birthed al~Qaeda is plain for all to see.

But this morning we hear that Eagle and Bear seem to have reached agreement on 'disarming' Syria. What happens in the region during and after the destruction, which will take years, of Assad's chemical weapons sold to him presumably by Bear and probably Eagle as well? Outside of the diplomatic drama, the atrocities on both sides of the sectarian divide continue unabated:

Syria's rebels and soldiers agree: military strikes will change nothing ...

Most commenters agree that Eagle has a poor record in the Middle East and it has the potential to get worse. For now, the media in Bear's territory is describing the new rapprochement between the old protagonists as 'chemistry'. Good heavens! Perhaps this is a time of merging…

                                                                                                                   A time of eagle-bear evolution

 [1]  See post in blog archive -The Politics of Fear, 3lst January 2013: 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Archetypes and Self~Knowledge

The Icehouse Quarter, Barking
In a couple of weeks I am embarking on a series of 2~hour ‘taster’ workshops hosted by Jasmine Street Creative Lab at The Granary, Ice House Quarter, Abbey Road, Barking.[1] As I put my mind to the content of the workshops I find myself alert for and responding to the rhythms of these ingrained patterns of behaviour as they communicate via people’s vocal chords.

A voice on the telephone speaks of the saboteur inherent in each of us. This person is on the verge of venturing out from a comfort zone into the big wide world to confront the unknown. She speaks of it in terms of ‘facing her fear’ ~ the saboteur. Most of us know this feeling, it creeps up in the context of daily activity – going for a job interview, the first date with someone new, your first public speaking experience. Anxiety and a level of fear grip the pit of your stomach.

I once asked someone how he felt at the point of standing up in the House of Lords for the first time to make his ‘maiden’ speech. A polished public speaker within his own sphere of influence, this man  said ‘I felt as if I was about to @*#* myself, it was such a horrendous first few minutes, until I got into my stride, then I began to enjoy myself.  

Our four archetypes of ‘survival’ as Myss calls them – Child, Victim, Prostitute and Saboteur – invade every aspect and decision~making process of our lives. When they operate from a disempowered place, the CHILD says “I’m afraid to leave home”, the PROSTITUTE jumps in and says “You can’t afford to leave home because you are not prepared to pay the price for becoming independent; you’ll never make it on your own, so forget about it”.

The VICTIM says, “Every time an opportunity comes up for you to leave, I’ll think of a reason why it won’t work, because deep down you do not have the self esteem to take up that challenge; inside you’re just a little scaredy cat”. Then the SABOTEUR says, “I’ll use your fear to keep sabotaging all your opportunities to leave, until you get a backbone that will enable you to get past me”.

The four of them coerce, inveigle, influence and convince us to stay within our comfort zone, or ‘home’, whatever that may mean, so you never discover and explore new horizons, until you develop that backbone. "Leaving home" can mean going away from all that is known and familiar; anything outside of culture, tribe, religion, habitual behaviour, as well as home town or country.

Yesterday I came across one particular archetype expressing itself through the vocal chords of a stranger I met at a social event. Something about this person impinged on my awareness as we passed each other, going in opposite directions in a room full of people. Next thing I knew there she was sitting on my table and soon we were deep in conversation. It turned out that Janice (not her real name) hailed from Chicago – one of my favourite cities in the United States, and where I spent considerable time from the beginning of 2005 to the end of 2006. She also lived a short distance away from where I did my training with Caroline Myss. She is interested in the development of young people, regeneration and community, as I am.

I gave Janice a leaflet for the workshop and responded to her curiosity about it all. The daily engagement with aspects of personality has become as familiar to me as breathing. My daughter who is a Kinesiologist (muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body) often tells me that people's bones and muscles talk to her as she passes them on the street because they are in such distress. A closer look reveals a cricked neck or back, or hips out of alignment. The body has been pushed into compensation mode and we do not even notice when it is under stress until it turns into something much more serious that needs medication or surgical intervention. 

So it is with archetypes, they speak all the time and are waymarkers if only we could hear and understand. Not only had Janice’s Heroine archetype propelled her that very day to get on a bicycle and ride all the way from South London to Essex to attend a community event, it had also taken her from ‘home’ to unfamiliar shores to seek a different experience.
Journey of personal empowerment

The Heroine’s ‘passion for a journey of personal empowerment’ will take up the Saboteur’s challenge and bolster the prostitute's ability to survive without selling out; assures the child that it is okay to be adventurous and encourages the victim to develop the self~esteem to stand fearlessly in the world.

I wondered whether Janice knows of her Heroine's existence. Acquiring self~knowledge changes lives.