Monthly Archives: January 2012

"Wise Woman Wisdom" – from Susun Weed – Great Resource!

Wise Woman Wisdom – Compendium of Unique Values – by Susun Weed and the “Wise Woman” Team

Came across this lovely website recently: Wise Woman Tradition – they have lovely references, information, resources, and links – and I am absolutely thrilled that they’ve chosen to feature Unveiling: The Inner Journey as their current Featured Website for one of the “sister weblogs” – Empowering Women.

This set of websites is very information-rich, including many small steps that we can do to shift ourselves towards greater vibrancy, health, and overall well-being. I’m going to be reading through their content over time, and incorporating many of their recommended “healing practices” into my life.

Check this blog over the coming month of February, 2012, to find out when I’ll be doing an online radio interview with Susun Weed of “Wise Woman.” Will post time and date for when this becomes available!

Where to Look for the Latest

Archetypes, Pathworking, and the Fountain of Youth

There are three core themes in Unveiling: The Inner Journey:

  • Archetypes: Our “high-level roadmap” for personal power. This is the 10,000-foot-high view of our life-journey.
  • Pathworking: What we do on a day-to-day basis; this includes using a body art (such as Oriental dance, or the martial arts) for body awareness and integration. This also includes tension release and processing our emotional “stuff” – the emotional tensions and reactions that we store in our bodies.
  • Fountain of Youth: Intrinsic vital energy (ch’i) cultivation and circulation, and what we can do with our ch’i once we’ve cultivated enough to have something that lets us be effective.

In this Unveiling blog, I am currently focusing on the archetypes. This is largely new material that builds on the subjects of Chapters 7 and 11 of Unveiling.

In the Alay’nya blog, I focus on the Pathworking and creating our very own Fountain of Youth. The Pathworking develops material presented in Part II (Chapter 8), and Parts III – VI of Unveiling. The original Fountain of Youth material is in Chapter 29, “Pragmatic Esoterics” of Unveiling. What I’m developing in the Alay’nya blog has more to do with practical steps; the Unveiling material itself was more high-level and conceptual.

Hestia – Our "Rest and Recharge" Archetype

Our Hestia Archetype – The “Power Behind the Throne”

It might seem a little confusing.

In Unveiling: The Inner Journey, I write about six core power archetypes. But lately, I’ve been referring to eight. What’s going on? Where did these two “extras” come from?

And more to the point, how important are they?

Well, what my research showed – fully disclosed in Unveiling – is that we have six core power archetypes. These are the ones that we have to master – in order to be on top of our “life gamee.”

But what was not so clear when I was writing Unveiling – and what has become more clear since then – is that we have two more power archetypes. These are ones that we typically don’t have to learn. They come to us naturally and innately. What is more significant is that they provide us with two essential “rest and recharge” modes. They’re the means by which humans (men and women both) naturally “regroup and refresh.” I call these two modes Hestia and the Green Man. Today’s post discusses our Hestia mode.

Do you remember watching the movie Hannibal? A bit of a grisly tale, to be sure. But there is one telling scene in this movie. Clarice, the young FBI agent, runs afoul of the FBI “system.”

Clarice is suspended from active duty, pending an official “investigation” into her performance. She returns home, suddenly divested of the two most potent symbols by which she defines herself – her official FBI badge, and her (phallic-identifying) weapon.

This is a horribly challenging moment for Clarice. For about ten years, this young woman has defined herself through her Amazon role. The badge and weapon were not only “tools of the trade.” They gave her identity. Now, her core identity has been taken from her, and her future is in jeopardy.

The next scene in the movie is telling. We see Clarice cleaning out her kitchen cupboards, glass of scotch close at hand.

Under stress, Clarice does what many of us do to get a “clear head.” She enters into her Hestia mode.

Who – or what – is Hestia?

In goddess mythology, Hestia is goddess of hearth and home. But more than that, she is often our portal to one of our most necessary modes; our inner High Priestess.

Clotilde Dusoulier, author of the lovely cookbook Chocolate and Zucchini, is quoted describing her mental process while trimming green beans for a salad:

My fingers busy themselves instinctively – much like those of people wh knit without looking – while I let my mind wander, thinking about therest of the menu, plans for the weekend and whether I should cut my hair.” [Food and Wine, January, 2007, p. 58]

The Hestia mode is not exclusive to women. Men use this mode – they need it – just as much as women do.

Think of the character Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the hit TV series NCIS. What does he do to unwind from stress? He builds a boat in his basement. Without power tools. That’s a man in his Hestia mode.

And to quote another of our favorite characters, Hierophant classic Mr. Miyagi, instructing his young protege in the Karate Kid, “Wax on, wax off.”

More on Hestia in a future blogposting.

Press Release on "Unveiling" published at the Grand Forks Herald, Jan 6, 2012

Unveiling: The Inner Journey in the News – Grand Forks Herald

Unveiling: The Inner Journey was noted by Grand Forks Herald writer Paulette Tobin, on January 6, 2012.

With “Unveiling: The Inner Journey,” successful, mature, professional women can chart their way to personal fulfillment and happiness. It helps women access all of who they are instead of being limited to one or two roles.

Alay’nya is the pen name for Grand Forks native Alianna J. Maren, who lives in northern Virginia. She built on years of study of the martial arts and Oriental dance before writing “Unveiling.” Her father, Edward J. O’Reilly, was part of the UND chemistry department faculty. Maren, after attending UND, earned her Ph.D. in chemistry at Arizona State University.

For the full article, see Ms. Tobin’s full set of book reviews in the Grand Forks Herald.

The "Hierophant" as Guru/Guide

The Hierophant Archetype – A Way of Life, Not a Jungian Psychological Type

Last night, I was talking with my dear friend Artie. Somehow, the conversation swung around to Jungian Psychological Types, as expressed by the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI). “I used to be an ENFJ,” he said, “but now I’m much more an ENFP.” He’s right, but his comment brought a great insight to me on the relationship between our archetypal modes (Magician, Emperor, Hierophant, etc.) and our “Types” – usually denoted by the MBTI Type-coding such as “ENFJ.”

This is important. Artie really has made a shift, over the years. When he was in his corporate career, he really was an ENFJ. His life and his world encompassed the three major masculine archetypes; Magician (NTJ), Emperor (STJ), and Hierophant (NFJ). (Artie was and still is an Extrovert, making him ENTJ, ESTJ, and ENFJ as he expressed each of those modes.) During his professional career, he really did have excitement, energy, and enthusiasm for each of these modes. He led teams that devised new technical approaches, several different times (Magician). He was effective as a team leader and as a project manager, getting projects funded and successfully accomplished, and leading performance demos and reviews for his clients. (All Emperor-related tasks.) And don’t get me wrong, he loved each of these roles.

But what was the underlying base for his being? The “river” that flowed consistently through his personailty? It was always his Hierophant mode. He was, and still is, a born teacher.

During the earlier stages of his career, he expressed this as a lot of “career coaching.” He also brought together interesting people, and created environments in which they flourished.

In all of these situations, Artie was still dominantly “Judging,” or “J.” That is, in all of his career roles, he was driven to “come to closure.” He may have been coaching a junior member of the team, but the focus (for example) would have been on “how to put together a Powerpoint presentation that will wow the client.”

Now, retired from corporate life, Artie is still a Hierophant. He is still a coach/guide/guru. But he is a lot more open-ended about this.

In part, this is because his life is structured differently. In retirement-mode, without the stringent performance demands of today’s corporate world, he is able to shift into being more “Perceiving” (open-ended) than “Judging” (coming-to-closure). In a broader sense, he is also more separate from our overall cultural zeitgeist that is very performance-driven, and which tends to demand “Judging” behaviors from us, from childhood on.

In part also, Artie’s shift is due to the kinds of people with whom he interacts. He does a great deal of what I’ll loosely call “service work.” He spends a lot of time just talking with people; being the “wise old man” with whom they can consult as they work out life issues. The people who seek him out the most are themselves a bit more “open-ended” in how they approach life – or at least they are in this mode when they seek out Artie.

So Artie is probably right. He has indeed shifted from being dominantly ENFJ to being ENFP. But according to our archetypal mode system, the NFP “mode” is what we call Hathor – playful and pleasure-seeking.

So is Artie dominantly in Hathor mode now? Becuase he has shifted from “closure” to “open-ended,” does that shift his fundamental orientation – that of being a teacher – to being more of a pleasure-seeker?

Heavens, no!

Again, don’t get me wrong on this. Artie would be the last one on earth to decline a good dose of pleasure and fun. He may even be more able to enjoy the “pleasurable” aspects of life more now than when he was younger. But at the same time, his fundamental orientation towards life – that which gives him meaning and purpose – that which helps him “define himself for himself” – that which gets him up and going in the morning – is not about “pleasure.” Or at least, not about “pleasure” per se. It is about teaching. It is about connecting. It is about making a difference in the lives of the people who come to him.

His shift from “J” to “P” reflects a shift in the way in which he goes about being a Hierophant, but not the fact that – in his absolute core – he is a Hierophant.

But more on how this “shift” is expressed in a later blogpost.

Your "Inner Magician" – Part I

Your “Inner Magician” – Creative Fire

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium!
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, Dein Heiligtum.

Lyrics by Schiller, later used by Beethovan in “Ode to Joy,” Symphony #9.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We approach, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, your holy shrine.

Translated by A.J. Maren.

Creative fire! Genius! Divine inspiration!

It is moments like these in which we feel uplifted; exalted even.

Moments of inspiration, in which we are seemingly infused with the “fire of the gods,” set us apart from the “dailiness” of living. They seem to redefine us and reframe our lives with new meaning. In such moments of creative passion, we really do feel ecstatic.

When we are consumed with the “inner fire” and totally absorbed with our creation, we are accessing our inner Magician.

Being in this mode – which can even take us to exaltation – is a transcendent experience. It can even become addictive! We desire to fulfill our creative potential to our utmost.

For this reason, many “creative types” have been willing to forego many of life’s amenities. The mythology of the artist, starving in a garret in order to devote himself (or herself) to creative passion – there actually is some truth to these stories!

Thomas Edison

Not only does our “creative fire” give us some immunity to our body’s (and even our psyche’s) demands for comfort, this “fire” also embues us with seemingly supernatural powers of endurance. Thomas Edison, for example, was known to work around the clock for days at a time. He took short naps in which he recharged, and required relatively short sleep at night (only four to five hours).

In Jungian terms, our Magician mode is iNtuitive, Thinking, and Judging (NTJ). That is, we use our “intuition” to gain insight into what we desire; what we are creating. We leap beyond the “what-is-so-right-now” to “inwardly know” the final product, and then work backwards, filling in the details. A composer, for example, “hears” the music in his or her head at first, then writes down the melody, and then the full orchestration.

The Magician – The first of eight Core Power Archetypes
– Jungian Type NTJ

Our inner Magician is very much a “Thinking” mode as as opposed to “Feeling.” “Feeling” modes are dominated by the neurohormone oxytocin, which induces bonding. The bonding can be with a spouse or lover, with a parent or child, with a group of friends, or even with a pet. Physical touch (cuddling, petting, grooming someone else) and even conversation all contribute to a warm, gooey, oxytocin-induced good feeling.

Our Magician mode operates on a more abstract and logical plane. When we are in this mode, we do not require connection with others. In fact, attempts by others for connection may seem like intrusions to our concentration; they become distractions that break our focus.

Ludwig van Beethovan, drawn by Klober

Finally, our Magician mode is definately a “Judging” state. This does not mean that we “judge” others, forming opinions of whether they are good or bad, or even opinions on someone’s daily habits. (“Oh, Mary is always late,” or “John always talks too loud.”) Rather, it is a desire to come-to-closure. When in this state, we desire to see our creation emerge in final form. We want the invention to work, we want the symphony to be completed and performed, we want our newest marketing campaign strategy to be launched in all its glory.

Our inner Magician is the first “core power archetype” that we seek to access and master. As we gain competence in this realm, we define ourselves – and our creative gifts – uniquely. We become who we truly are. This is one of the most exciting and sublimely fulfilling of our core archetypes, of our personal “V8 power car engine.”