What are Archetypes? And How Do They Relate To Shadow Coaching?
Archetypes are fundamental parts of the personality we all share, a kind of blueprint for human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. The idea of archetypal energy has been popularized by several things.
First, Robert Moore and Doug Gillette took Carl Jung’s archetypal model and distilled it into 4 universal human archetypes: King (or Queen), Warrior, Magician, Lover. And then they wrote the seminal 1990’s book King Warrior Magician Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine from their new interpretation and understanding of the archetypes. That book helped many of us understand who we are, and make sense of the way in which we think, feel and behave.
Here, Rod Boothroyd, author of Warrior, Magician, Lover, King: Guide to the Male Archetypes Updated for the 21st Century (see it here), offers an introduction to this archetypal model originally popularised by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette.
Video – Douglas Gillette
The Sovereign (King or Queen) or Heart Centered Leader
The Sovereign archetype within you is a King or Queen. This is the part of you responsible for leadership in your life, creating a vision for your life, and knowing your purpose.
Your Sovereign has responsibility for finding your vision, giving you a sense of purpose and direction in the world, and running your life in the best possible way.
This is the part of you that makes (or at least should make) the important decisions about how to live your life, what career to follow, where to live, and how to manage your world, your particular realm.
Your realm might be your family, your business, your circle of friends, your own life, and more. Your Sovereign is the rightful leader in all of them.
When her energy is expressed fully, your Sovereign makes you a mature, decisive, powerful and potent leader. This means you can – and do – run your life effectively. From that standpoint you can love and bless others, accept them just as they are, and offer compassionate wisdom and guidance to help them achieve their own maturity and fullness of expression.
Every Sovereign throughout history has been responsible for protecting his or her realm against threats and supporting his people through troubled times. Hopefully they have done this in a way that focuses on the betterment of their people rather than their own self-interest.
This is why we often think of this archetype as the “Heart Centered Leader”. In the same way, your own internal Sovereign is responsible for holding your emotional wounds and finding ways for you to grow into your full potential.
Video: Sovereign or Heart Centred Leader – Marianne Hill
The Sovereign is the archetype which produces powerful and respected leaders. Yet where are the powerful and respected leaders in the world today? I see very few true leaders worthy of our respect, while we seem to have plenty of immature leaders who haven’t grown into the full expression of their Sovereign archetype.
In fact I believe the most deficient archetype in our world today, and certainly the least expressed, is the Sovereign.
Quite why there is such a deficiency of sovereign energy isn’t completely clear, but it’s certainly a problem for humanity. It’s also beginning to look like a problem for the planet on which we live. For all of us who reach a level of awareness about our own greatness, our shining magnificence, and our huge potential, acting and leading from our Sovereign archetype is, I believe, a responsibility rather than a choice.
The Warrior or Action Taker
The Warrior is an archetype which is all about taking action in the world, getting things done, and setting boundaries. The Warrior also protects and defends what we value, and gives us our sense of power, or agency, in the world, and our own separate identity.
Some people object to the word Warrior because it has such negative connotations in modern society. And any examination of history shows very clearly that Warriors of one kind or another have indeed been active in war and creating chaos all around the world for as long as the human race has been in existence.
Yet the Warrior has often been depicted as a noble archetype. Queen Boadicea, Amazonian women, the Japanese Samurai and the Knights Templar, for example, are often regarded embodying nobility and principle. The myths and legends of the Chivalrous Knights in medieval Europe is another example of what I call “warrior worship”.
But when you examine the historical records, what appears to be more accurate is the view that these warrior castes were usually acting as paid servants or mercenaries, and the legends of nobility linked to them were being used to disguise their true motivation: power, territorial conquest, military glory, religious zealotry, or the acquisition of money or status.
The best we can do, really, in looking for nobility in this area is to look for Warriors who fought for a cause that seems morally right. One thing’s for sure: the world we now live in, and the people who live in it, could well do without the warlike quality of the Warrior.
This is why I prefer simply to think of the Warrior in terms of our human energy, an energy which is all about taking action in the world, about getting things done. Some people call this archetype the “Action Taker” or “Worker”. Whatever you call it, warrior energy is all about setting boundaries, accomplishing tasks, and achieving objectives.
Video – Action Taker or Warrior – Marianne Hill
However, to operate at the highest level any Warrior needs a strong Sovereign to control them, send them out on missions which serve the Sovereign’s moral purpose. This might be a mission to protect people in the realm, to defend the boundaries of the Sovereign’s world, or simply to get things done.
Text adapted from Warrior Magician Lover King: A guide to the male archetypes updated for the 21st century, by kind permission of the author.
Archetypes and Shadow Coaching
One of the most exciting possibilities of knowing about archetypal energies is that they offer a powerful and effective route into coaching people. By identifying where a client’s archetypal energies are deficient, or in excess, we can guide clients into a more fruitful, more satisfying, and less troubled emotional life. And we can do this easily and quickly by listening to what the client tells us about their life today! (It is possible to identify which archetypal energy is out of balance by looking at the emotional difficulties people bring to shadow coaching work.)
Once we have identified where the root of the problem lies, it is much more powerful and effective to do “remedial” or full “repair” work on that archetypal energy. This will, in turn, remove or relieve the emotional burden of the client and help them think, feel and behave more as they wish.
There’s no doubt in my mind that shadow coaching can be far faster in bringing about change, and it can also be more powerful and effective than conventional counselling or therapy.
This sounds simple, but shadow work is an extremely important element in the therapy or coaching offered to a client. It allows quick identification of where the root of a current day problem lies; it allows quick remedial action to alleviate all the consequences of the emotional wound.