What are Archetypes?

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Psychologically, whether we realize it or not, we make a connection between a picture/symbol and what we perceive. We may not always be aware of this, however.

Even if we believe an archetype holds no meaning for us, something as simple as a square, will be identified within the unconscious mind as an archetype. Therefore, the square may be unconsciously connected to a house, a foundation, a room, an office, a box, a cage, etc. Whatever we are looking at actually sends a signal to our brain and speaks to us in a way that we may not even completely understand as human beings.

Why do people stand in an art gallery and gaze at something completely abstract for long periods of time?

They may say, “to me, this says that this person felt a deep sadness because no matter how many people he had around, he still felt alone.”

Obviously, the art piece doesn’t actually say that or portray that in any way. It’s abstract. To the viewer, however, that is exactly what it says. Why would that be?

Well, because symbols and pictures are kind of like a language without words. You feel them rather than speak them. You understand them in a way you can’t explain. You resonate with whatever your brain and heart, perhaps even your soul, connects inside of you so that it has meaning that doesn’t even need human language to be translated or understood.

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Bad Mama Jama

How does a baby know it’s mother is it’s mother?

Is this nature or nurture or both?

Understanding who a mother is comes naturally because it is deeply rooted in our genetic profiles and has been for as long we know humans have been alive. A baby may feed off of any breast it was given, but for that breast to feed a baby at all, the owner of the breast would have to be a mother to even produce milk. Of course, this happens to be the result of genetic coding and organic chemistry.

For example, did you know that when a mother breast feed’s her baby, not only does the breast feed the baby, but the baby’s saliva also enters the breast and sends a signal to the mother’s brain to let her body know what nutrients the baby needs for optimum health. We don’t have to tell our bodies to do it. It simply just does. It’s nature.

But how do we know who OUR mother is?

No one needs to tell us to run to our mother’s when we’re children and we fall and scrape our knee. We instinctively know that if we go to our mother, she will comfort us and make us feel better. In many ways, this is learned behavior.

Our minds say, “okay… this lady brought me into this world and I feel love radiating off of her for me. She feeds me, bathes me, shelters me, etc. Even though everyone in the world has a mother, she is my mother and she protects me. I’m not going to run to another mother. I will run to mine because that is what our mothers do. They comfort and love us when we need it.”

Naturally, we are able to clearly see what a mother is, what a mother does, how it acts and reacts, how we care for it, how it cares for us, etc. The fact that there are literally millions of mothers in the world and have been billions of mothers throughout history, probably means genetically, we understand the role of the mother as an archetype as soon as we see one.

What does this have to do with archetypes?

Well, if someone holds up a picture of a woman holding a bundle, even if you can’t see what is inside of the blanket, you would probably assume that it’s a baby. If you were asked what that picture was of, you’ll most likely say, “a mom.”

If you say, “a woman holding a baby,” I may then ask you to give me a noun–only one single word. Therefore, the end results would likely be something resulting in the maternal and feminine aspect of life.

If your answer were, “a woman;” well, guess what? Not all of them, but most woman do become mothers. Even if they’re not mother’s to children they gave birth to, they may adopt children or take on a maternal role for their pets, nieces, nephews, or siblings.

The point is that we instinctively know that an adult woman is designed to produce eggs. If they’re fertilized, she’s also designed to carry the baby inside of her. Then, she has the ability to give birth to that baby. Lastly, she raises the baby with love, comfort, and care.

If mother/woman doesn’t raise it with love, comfort, and care, guess what?

We believe she is defective.

Why?

Because it goes against our deeply ingrained archetype of what we believe a mother is supposed to be.


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Wild Thang

The tarot deck is made up of archetypes. Let’s look at the tarot card the moon for a second. In the tarot, the moon is generally reflected onto water and water is a symbol of one’s emotions, feelings, and intuition. Sometimes it will depict howling dogs, crashing waves, a feminine face in the moon, aquatic animals, a woman gazing at her reflection on a beach, etc. It will usually feature the symbol of the astrological sign Cancer.

In astrology, the moon is ruler of the sign Cancer, who’s animal is a crab. Cancer is a water element and is generally moody and quite emotional, sensitive, motherly, and protective. Cancer is also a sleepy sign who likes to be comfortable and secure. When insecure or under potential threat, like a crab, it either pinches or retreats inside of it’s shell to safety, where nothing can expose it’s gooey, lovable insides.

Symbolically, the moon is the alpha feminine counterpart to the masculine sun. The cycle of the moon lasts about one month and so does the cycle that women experience when entering adolescence. This is why the moon is the mother and sun is the father. With emotions and menstruation, we can clearly see how these pieces fit this puzzle.

We also associate the moon with darkness, nighttime, time to sleep, time to dream, quiet time, certain animals, like owls, coyotes, or raccoons, criminal activity, parties, fun, bonfires, and so many other things.

In Latin, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian, the word luna means moon. It’s lua in Portuguese and lune in French. Although it is moon in English, an interesting fact is that the word lunacy comes from the Latin root– luna, which, again, is moon. Lunacy or a lunatic is a person who is mad, insane, strange, foolish, or acting in an odd, disruptive way. This word is also associated with people with mental disorders and disabilities or other mental illnesses that would make someone take extreme actions or act out erratically.

We can see this reflected in things like vampires, who drink blood under the moonlight and are unable to be touched by sunlight; werewolves, who change into uncontrollable beasts during a full moon and scavenge for human flesh to eat; murderers who abduct beautiful, naive women; ghosts, who seem to only operate within the night hours; villains, who are always wearing the color black or are generally shrouded in an aura of darkness (think Darth Vader)

The reason I have just told you this, is because this word is associated with the changing phases of the moon— and yes! Someone would be more likely to act like a lunatic under a full moon.

If the earth is made up of about 70% water and controls the ocean’s tides and we’re also made up of about 70% water, wouldn’t the moon’s gravitational pull reach us too?

Coincidence? I think not.

To Learn More About Archetypes, click the word below:


From Within the Labyrinth,

-Lakin

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