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Jung on Archetypes

Caroline Myss on Archetypes

Caroline Myss has developed a "process for deciphering your own Sacred Contract—or higher purpose—using a new theory of archetypes that builds on the works of Jung, Plato, and other contemporary thinkers."

She explains how you can identify your spiritual energies, or archetypes—the gatekeepers of your higher purpose ... ."

"Both visionary and practical, Sacred Contracts is a bold, powerful work of spiritual wisdom. Without a doubt, your most intriguing challenge in life is to recognize your spiritual commitments and live them to the fullest."

Readings on Archetypes 

Carl Jung wrote the classic material on archetypes and their role in the sub-conscious. Jung conceived of a three-layered psyche consisting of the conscious, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious.

The archetypes originate in the collective unconscious. Jung identified, amongst others, the Shadow (the inferior aspects of the self which we hide from others), the Anima/Animus (our object(s) of desire), the Wise Old Man (teacher, medicine man, shaman), the Mother archetype and a Child archetype. While Jung's work is seminal, it is not always an easy read.

A writer we find accessible and particularly helpful for understanding archetypes is Jean Shinoda Bolen. Three of her wonderful books are shown below.

In Gods in Everyman she focusses on "the powerful inner patterns -- or archetypes -- that shape men's personalities, careers, and personal relationships. Viewing these archtypes as the inner counterparts of the outer world of cultural stereotypes, she demonstrates how men an women can gain an nvaluable sense of wholeness and integration when what they do is consistent with who they are. Dr. Bolen introduces these patterns in the guise of eight archetypal gods, or personality types, with whom the reader will identify. From the authoritarian power-seeking gods (Zeus, Poseidon) to the gods of creativity (Apollo, Hephaestus) to the sensual Dionysus, Dr. Bolen shows men how to identify their ruling gods, how to decide which to cultivate and which to overcome, and how to tap thepwer of these enduring archetypes in order to enrich and strengthen their lives."

Goddesses in Everywoman is a "classic work of female psychology that uses seven archetypcal goddesses as a way of describing behavior patterns and personality traits". She introduces these patterns in the guise of seven archetypal goddesses, or personality types, with whom all women could identify, from the autonomous Artemis and the cool Athena to the nurturing Demeter and the creative Aphrodite, and explains how to decide which to cultivate and which to overcome, and how to tap the power of these enduring archetypes to become a better "heroine" in one's own life story.

"At some point after fifty, every woman crosses a threshold into the third phase of her life. As she enters this uncharted territory -- one that is generally uncelebrated in popular culture -- she can choose to mourn what has gone before, or she can embrace the juicy-crone years.
In Goddesses in Older Woman, Jean Shinoda Bolen "names the powerful new energies and potentials -- or archetypes -- that come into the psyche at this momentous time, suggesting that women getting older have profound and exciting reasons for welcoming the other side of fifty."

Jean Shinoda Bolen on Archetypes

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, author and activist. She draws from spiritual, feminist, Jungian, medical and personal wellsprings of experience.