Myths and archetypes

As humans, we have been around for a while. While a lot of things have changed in the millions of years we have been alive, certain themes have not. They are universal and timeless, and we will always recognize them. Think of birth, loss, death, friendship, love relationships, making choices, providing for oneself and religion. But also being a man, woman, father, mother or child. Carl Jung recognized that over the years we as humans have developed blueprints around these themes, based on the experiences we have gained. He called these archetypes. These archetypes live in our collective unconsciousness.

Archetypes can be activated in us humans and can then help us navigate through our lives, simply because many people have gone before us. We can draw on the wealth of experiences of these people. Consider the archetype of the hero, who deals with adversity by overcoming something and thereby offers redemption for himself and the people around him. Movies, books, and advertising use these archetypes, which is why we often find characters in these stories so attractive or off-putting. They give us options and perspectives to deal with the challenges of being human.

Culture has a major influence on what archetypes are activated in us. They can thus provide direction to the solutions we choose. Our Western culture is quite goal-oriented and therefore the goal-oriented archetype of the hero has been very active for decades. This hero faces obstacles, goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, overcomes the obstacles and ultimately receives a reward. Many stories are constructed this way, and we get to see this dynamic in the majority of films we see as children and adults. The side effect of this is that a very one-dimensional archetype of the hero is active in us. We often lack other examples to deal with adversity. For example, seeking healing by turning inward, reclaiming what has been lost and bringing that back for the benefit of the self and the collective. A journey in which our feminine qualities play a more central role.

In the myths we know, which are sometimes thousands of years old, we find this richness of archetypes. By connecting with these myths, other possibilities will slowly come to life within you to deal with situations in your life. This is not only beneficial for yourself, but also for the collective, that benefits from this balance.

When I guide you, we will invite the myths to do their work and I will let you connect with the archetypes from one or more myths through various art forms (clay, watercolour, charcoal, etc.). Don’t be afraid, you don’t have to be an artist for this. Experience shows that the less experience you have, the easier it is to surrender to this way of working.