At present I am obsessed with archetypes; you know when a concept keeps popping up in your mind like a stop sign asking you to pause and ponder it more deeply. The concept of archetypes is it for me at the moment; and I know better that to ignore my “stop signs”. Im not an expert in the area of Jungian psychology however the practice of Chakradance draws heavily from Jung’s theories and so my knowledge and experience of working with archetypes is strongly influenced by Jungian thinking.
Carl Jung understood archetypes as universal patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious. They are inherited potentials which are actualised when they enter our consciousness as images or manifest in behaviour in our interaction with the outside world.
Exploring archetypes on the dance floor, and in life, builds our ability to be aware of the stories, myths, symbols and unconscious beliefs inherent in our society. Greater awareness of archetypes allows us to catch ourselves mid dance, or mid sentence, and realise when we are playing out a “character” or a “story”. The simple process of brining greater awareness to the archetypes playing out in our lives can assist us in two major ways. It can allow us to harness the power of the archetype for strength, inspiration and guidance. It can also support us to stop the car get our of the passenger seat and take the wheel back from a “story” that may be unconsciously steering our life in a unhelpful direction.
Lets explore the example archetypes provided for each chakra a little further, there are a multitude of archetypes that can be worked with in each chakra, the examples below are just a starting point.
BASE CHAKRA: Security and self-preservation.
The archetype of mother has the ability to nourish and take care of life. This archetype is able to be sensitivity and live in harmony and balance with vigilance.
The archetype of Victim is reliant on the external world. This archetype perceives a constant state of helpless, fear and disempowered in the world.
SACRAL CHAKRA: Creativity, sexuality and pleasure.
The Empress archetype has worldly power through enjoying earthly pleasure and delighting in the abundance of life. This archetype has a strong emotional sense of life that brings greater pleasure, creativity and fun to the everyday.
The archetype of Martyr is full of suffering and is unable to make changes to relieve their suffering. The perception of this archetype is that it is vital to stay enmeshed in their suffering and therefore relinquishes their happiness to survive.
SOLAR PLEXUS: Power, discipline and will.
The Warrior can be the hero or heroine for themselves and others when required. This archetype knows when to take control and how to harness the quality of willpower to empowered themselves and others.
The Servant archetype undervalues themselves and is unable to honour their basic worth and self dignity. They often allow themselves to be neglected and therefore receive little acknowledgement or appreciation from others.
HEARTH CHAKRA: Compassion and unconditional love.
THE LOVER OF LIFE
This archetype shows us how to love ourselves. The Lover of Life has a free and generous spirit that touches others deeply. This archetype knows deep seeded happiness and contentment in their heart that comes from being in touch with their feelings. Their feelings flow freely and this gives them a sense of movement and excitement about life.
The Pretender hides their darker feelings and has undercurrents of wanting to gain power and dominance over others in their interactions. This archetype is incapable of experiencing real intimacy.
THROAT CHAKRA: Communication and creative expression.
The Communicator is able to speak with honest and sincere communication in all situations. This archetype teaches us how to speaking up and be heard. This archetypes shows us how to expressing our feelings and thoughts with purpose.
THE SILENT CHILD
The archetype of The Silent Child suppresses and holds on to their feelings. This archetype does not communicate openly with others when they are hurt, in pain or feel anger. They are unable to talk about their pain and shame openly and hide it within.
THIRD EYE CHAKRA: Intuition and clarity.
The archetype of The Intuitive can harness the power of their intuition to interpret symbols and derive deeper meaning in life. This archetype is able to use the power of their imagination to manifest their dreams and can use their intuitive skills to guide others when required.
THE OVER INTELLECTUAL
The archetype of The Over Intellectual is opinionated about all aspects of life while residing in a state of doubt and confusion. This archetype tries in vain to attempt to master the chaos of life through suppression of feelings and over rationalisation.
CROWN CHAKRA: Unity and bliss.
THE SPIRITUAL SELF
The archetype of The Spiritual Self shows us how to acknowledge and appreciate all the many faces and manifestations of the Divine Source. This archetype demonstrates the ability to act with grace in every moment through the mastery of self. This archetype has a deep and personal connection to The Divine Source.
The Egoist archetype demonstrates narcissistic tendencies of deeply held self-interest and vain admiration of self. This archetype is boastful of their possessions and status and ungrateful for their blessings. The arrogant of this archetype makes it difficult to connect to The Divine Source.
As archetypes are often operating in our lives from the place of our unconscious; they can be difficult to recognise in ourselves. Dance is a powerful way to tap into our unconscious world and embody the movements, emotions and sensations of different archetypes. This allows us to build our awareness of the qualities of the archetype we are engaged with on a more conscious level so that we can gain greater insight around opportunities for changing our ways of being.
Equally when we identify an archetype that we need to embody more at a particular point in our lives consciously dancing the energy of that archetype can help us connect on a deeper level in order to transform our beliefs, release emotions and transform our ways of being in every day life.
Dance and art are two of our most powerful ways of engaging the archetypes of our collective unconscious in order to more deeply understand ourselves and those around us. Chakradance practice melds the two forms of exploration in a safe and contained environment that allows us to engage in the dance of life through exploring archetypes in a profound and personal way.