Using Your “Power Archetypes” for Career Direction and Life Focus
Recently, I visited with a friend who is (as many of us are) in the midst of a life-change/career-change. (How often these two are combined!) She consulted with a “career counselor” (good step), who advised her to take a questionnaire that would help her figure out her “personal archetypes.” (Again, a good step.)
The problem was – the selection of the available archetypes was skewed. They contained some that were “spot on” for being “power archetypes.” They contained some “disempowered archetypes.” And they contained some “transitional” ones as well. And – what makes questionnaires such as this difficult to use as a life-course-charting tool – there was no real “underlying model” that generated the archetypal set. (Although they were drawn, somewhat hit-or-miss, from the archetypes presented in Carolyn Myss’s Sacred Contracts and related works.)
This mix-up of “which archetypes are what” is understandable. That doesn’t mean that it’s good. And it certainly does not mean that all archetypes are created equal!
I found a similar problem in historical works. When the Tarot became popular (starting around the late 1400’s), several different Tarot decks were produced. Now the Major Arcana in the Tarot system are – if anything – the most central archetypes of our culture. All of our “big ideas” about the meaning of life – important events, life-stages, huge transition points in an adult’s search for meaning and wisdom – these are all contained within the Major Arcana.
And, as I found during research for Unveiling: The Inner Journey, the first six Major Arcana are all “personal role archetypes.”
The “six power archetypes” that I describe in Unveiling (see Chapter 7: “A Real Woman’s Path (Really Does Exist!)”) are six of the eight “core archetypes” that define or describe our human psyche. Unveiling, following the logical model of the Major Arcana, focuses on six of the eight. (The remaining two are like “archetypal battery packs” – they help us recharge and regenerate our “inner juice.” They help us get grounded when we have become too disconnected, or too stressed. But they are not our power archetypes. And Unveiling, as with the Major Arcana, focuses on the “power modes.”)
There’s a reason why there are eight total “core archetypes”; not ten, not twelve, not twenty. There’s a reason that they are exactly the ones that they are, and not some hob-scobbling together from a grab-bag of god and goddess personas, or modes that emerge from our damaged or weaker or “transitional” states.
And there’s a reason that six of these eight are “power modes.” These are the means by which we attain higher consciousness.
Maybe, at first.
But I didn’t invent these “power archetypes.” The earlier Renaissance developers of the Tarot decks didn’t invent them, either. (That is, the ones who produced the “accurate” decks. There were a lot of different, individualistic interpretations and made-up decks, just as there are today. But those were one-time offshoots, not the “real thing.”)
The “inventors” – if we want to call them that – were the persons who “invented” the Jewish Kabbalah, and understood the “Tree of Life.” That meant that they were scholars and mystics, seers and sages. They had rigorous minds, and subjected themselves to challenging “inner journeys” that led them to standing in the presence of God, and knowing their oneness with the Divine.
They understood how to get to this state. They expressed it as the “pathways” in going from one center (Sephiroth) to another within this cosmic “Tree of Life.” And they taught their students how to do the same. This is what resulted in the Kabbalah (later the Qabalah).
They expressed this “journey” as a series of 22 steps. One step was the starting point – a person identified himself or herself as an “aspirant.” It was like asking for initiation into a Masonic guild. (This tradition, of course, is where the various esoteric schools and “orders” have supposedly received their knowledge.)
Once a person identifies that he or she is starting on an “inner journey,” there are three major stages of growth, and seven steps to each stage. (That gives us 21 steps, which combined with the first one, gives a total of 22. Twenty-two cards in the Major Arcana, twenty-two Sephiroth, and twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. And yes, of course they’re all related.) These 21 steps (after identifying that we’re on a journey) comprise our adult life stages.
Most of us know about “growth stages” in children, such as the “terrible twos.” If we’re more familiar with childhood growth stages, we understand that each one is a distinct stage of cognitive and personal development. Much of this was elicited by Piaget, and has helped us with current childhood development theory.
We also understand that there are “adult life stages.” The “mid-life crisis” that men and women alike experience is a good example. (Although it’s fairly simplistic, and when we start working with the “real” life stages shown to us by our archetypes, we get a much better handle on things.)
As taught by the ancient Kabbalistic masters, each “life stage” had a distinct purpose in an adult’s growth as a human being. The first of these three “life stages” was that a person had to come to know – and gain mastery of – each of their six “power archetypes.” (They figured that they didn’t have to teach the remaining two; they assumed that people innately understood and could use their own “battery pack” archetypes as needed.)
Six power archetypes. That’s what we’re after now. that’s what the “aspirants” were after then. After gaining understanding of each of their six power archetypes, they moved on to the seventh step; integration.
The goal then was the same as it is today. Master each of six different “power modes.” Use them at will. Use them all, together, as needed.
So – what are these “power archetypes”? I’ll write about them soon – and also the “disempowered” ones, and the “transitional” ones as well. And I’ll explain how each has an important role in our life; they’re like magnetic “points of attraction.” Part of our inner journey is to release the less powerful (and less fulfilling) ones, and access the ones that help us be more powerful, functional, happy, and fulfilled.
And then, of course, a big part of our inner journey is that we learn to use each archetypal mode as appropriate and necessary, and to combine them at will.
Knowing, and accessing, each of the six power modes, and having your two “reserve modes” to back you up – that gives you a total of eight modes.
It’s like being your very own V8 engine.
The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo. Missing a core archetype is like driving a powerful V8 car when one of its cylinders is misfiring.
Suppose that you were a V8-engine racing car, and you were going to take on a tough Swiss Alps road course race, involving dangerous turns through mountain passes.
You wouldn’t set off on your journey if one of the cylinders in your engine didnt’ work, would you?
Our life is our road course race. We need each of our “power modes.”
Want to learn how?