Monthly Archives: October 2013

Easy Self-Assessment Quiz – Match Books to Archetypes

Easy Self-Assessment Quiz – Match Books to Archetypes 

How Well Do You Know Your Archetypes?
How Well Do You Know Yourself?

“A (wo)man is known by the books (s)he reads …”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why Bother?

First, it’s fun. You’ve been reading for a while – now you get to figure out how much you’ve really learned.

Second, this gives you insight into yourself. If you find a certain match-up easy, it means that you already know that archetype well – and that means that you’ve likely done some mastery work and own that archetype yourself. (It’s always fun to get positive feedback, right?)

The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo. Missing a core archetype is like driving a powerful V8 car when one of its cylinders is misfiring.

The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo. Missing a core archetype is like driving a powerful V8 car when one of its cylinders is misfiring.

Finally, this gives you some sense of the way forward. We all have strengths and weaknesses. I’m absolutely not saying that you give each archetype equal attention in your life. But if one area is completely missing, or is not being supported, then that’s like driving the eight-horse stagecoach with only six or seven horses.

Missing a core archetype is like running a V-8 power car with a couple of cylinders misfiring.

Missing a core archetype is missing an important aspect of life.

So where are you?

If you match all of these easily, give yourself a high-five! You’re well into personal mastery and archetype integration.

Missing one or two, or more?

When you get my email (see the Sign-Up form at the bottom of this blog), you’ll also start getting some ideas on how to take steps to make yourself more powerful – more integrated – more able to easily ride the waves of life’s challenges.

And that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?

Have fun with this! – Alay’nya

How to Take the Quiz

There are nine books in the colorful table below. (That’s the one filled with book pictures; you can check them out on Amazon just by clicking the link.) These books are labeled A – I.

There are eight core archetypes (see the list below the table). In addition, there’s the whole notion of archetype integration – a real sign of personal mastery.

This gives us a total of nine different “answers.”

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to match the books to the archetypes.

Simply copy down the archetypes (listed below the table), and match up the book letter to the archetype number.

How to Get the Answers

I’ll email you the answers right away – simply fill in the form below the table. (This is the orange-red and grey form; the one that says “Sign Up” in the orange box below the name and email fields.)

It’s that easy. Sign up, check your email for a confirmation email from AWeber (that’s so we know you’re a real person, not a spam-machine), and the very first email that I’ll send to you will have the answers.

And a special bonus or two as well.


Got your interest tweaked?

Have you been “paying attention in class” and want to find out?

Try this now.

It’s more than fun – it will tell you a LOT about yourself!

I’ll connect with you soon – via email – as soon as you Sign Up with me!




How to Think Like a CEO



The Artist’s Way … Higher Creativity



Living a Beautiful Life



Eating Local: The Cookbook



Unveiling: The Inner Journey



Bombshell Manual of Style



A New Day: 365 Meditations



Organizing … Inside Out



Game Plan for Life: Power of Mentoring



How well do you know yourself?

If you understand your archetypes, you’ll easily figure out the match-ups for the quiz above.

Write down your choices for each of the following (select from A – I).

Eight Core Archetypes

  1. Magician
  2. High Priestess
  3. Emperor
  4. Isis/Empress
  5. Hierophant
  6. Hathor (Love Goddess)
  7. Green Man
  8. Hestia (Hearth & Home)
  9. Winged Goddess (Integration)

Get the answers – emailed to you immediately!

Sign up using the form to the right.

(And have fun!)

Have You Mastered Your Archetypes?

Get your answers now!

Sign up to get your Quiz Answers emailed to you right away – along with a Special Bonus

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Six Top Blog Posts for The Unveiling Journey

Six-Year Anniversary for The Unveiling Journey Blog Series: Six Top Blog Posts Over Past Six Years

Over these six years, I’ve written about 100 blog posts.

The archetype overview blogs are by far the most popular in the nearly 100 blogposts, written over six years, for The Unveiling Journey – a companion blog to the book, Unveiling: The Inner Journey, published in July, 2011.

The most popular concept that people are tracking is that of our core power archetypes.

Crucial Themes for Previous The Unveiling Journey Blog Posts

Many of the Unveiling Journey blogs over the past two years (since Unveiling was published) have focused on refining and giving more context for the six core power archetypes, together with identifying and building out the two “support role” archetypes – the two rest-and-recharge ones.

Not surprisingly, the most popular blogs have been those that overviewed the eight core archetypes – either as all eight, or focusing on the six core power ones. The masculine/feminine archetypal distinctions have also been popular.

For all of these crucial blog posts, the essential diagram is the Core Archetype Octant Chart given below. It shows each of the core archetypes (six core power ones, and two rest-and-recharge ones), mapped to the Jungian Psychological Type matrix. (This subsumes the Introversion/Extroversion distinction, and focuses on the three other modalities: Sensing/INtuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving.)

Core archetypes octant chart - each archetype (each octant) corresponds to one of Jung's Psychological Types (discounting the introversion/extroversion distinction).

Core archetypes octant chart – each archetype (each octant) corresponds to one of Jung’s Psychological Types (discounting the introversion/extroversion distinction). Copyright Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D., 2013. All rights reserved.

The Six Most Popular Blogs – During Six Years of The Unveiling Journey

Here, in increasing order of popularity, are the six most popular blog posts since this blog site was established:

  • #6: Becoming a Master of the Universe: Three Essential Life-Stages – three stages, and seven steps each, describe our adult life journey – real mastery work; and the first of these (the Worldly Sequence) encompasses our six core power archetypes, followed by integration,
  • #5: Moore and Gillette, “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover” – 2 1/3 Out of Four Ain’t Bad! – Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette advance the notion of four core archetypes describing the male psyche. (Similar approach to how Antonia Wolff advanced the notion of four core feminine archetypes in her highly-regarded Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche.) Find out why Moore and Gillette rank 2 and 1/3 as a “correct score” out of four possible points (whereas Antonia Wolff’s insights get 3 1/3 out of 4),
  • #4: Masculine vs. Feminine – Core Archetypes – particularly useful if you’re trying to understand a “masculine” archetype within a simplified “feminine” archetypal group (what does your Amazon really mean?), and vice versa, ,
  • #3: The “Unveiling Archetypes” and the Jungian Dimensions – details the relationship between the eight core archetypes and the Jungian Psychological Types,
  • #2: Mapping the Eight Core Power Archetypes to the Jungian System – introduces the notion that there can be a relationship between the eight core archetypes and the Jungian Psychological Types (this is an intro blog; you can skip it and go directly to #3, which is meatier),
  • #1 (The All-Time Winner for Blog Popularity): Your Six “Power Archetypes” – What Happens When One Doesn’t Function? – introduces the notion that we need to cultivate all of our core power archetypes – not just sit in our primary one. The idea that we would be “typecast” was an indirect result of the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, which was invented to match incoming servicemen (and women) to military specialties during WWII. Carl Jung, in his theories for the Psychological Types, advocated that we develop all of our Type-roles over time. This realization is coming back more into mainstream recognition.

If You Had to Pick Just One

The most useful blog out of these six is not the one that’s been the most popular. Instead, it’s the most recent one: Masculine vs. Feminine – Core Archetypes. Three reasons that I suggest this as your starting place:

  1. Most useful and relevant content – in the eighteen months between posting the first blogs on core archetypes and their integration (these would be the three most popular blogs), I’ve had plenty of time to refine, distill, and make more concrete the essential ideas,
  2. Clearest overview of the eight core archetypes – including their match-ups to the Jungian Psychological Type dimensions, and
  3. Best encapsulation of the “feminine archetype” and “masculine archetype” bundles – gives a concise summary of how women use their Amazon archetype as a short-hand notation (or “bundling”) for their four masculine archetypes, and how men use their Lover archetype as a “bundling” for their feminine ones – the pros and cons of this “bundling” for each gender.

Over the past two years, I’ve been “filling in the blanks” for each of the core archetypes. (A detailed Guide will appear in a forthcoming blog.)

In the next few weeks, I’ll divulge the Editorial Calendar for the coming year – important topics, major themes, and essential insights (useful for helping you navigate your own Journeys). In addition, starting in 2014, we’ll introduce several Guest Bloggers – people who have important messages to share about their own JourneysHeroic, Integration, or Great.

Alay'nya - author of "Unveiling: The Inner Journey"

Alay’nya – author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey

Very best wishes as discover and empower each of your core archetypes during your own inner journey!

(Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D.)

Author of Unveiling: The Inner Journey
You are the Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus. Become the Jewel!

The Unveiling Journey blog details the theory – archetypes, life journeys, integration.

To experience your own Journey in a structured, safe, and gentle (yet effective) setting, visit Alay’nya’s website, and consider either a workshop with Alay’nya or one-on-one coaching.


Connect with Alay’nya and the Unveiling Community

Unveiling, by Alay'nya, currently has an overall five-star Amazon rating.

Unveiling, by Alay’nya, currently has twenty five-star Amazon reviews.

This blog series develops themes originally published in Unveiling: The Inner Journey, published by Mourning Dove Press.

Unveiling currently has twenty 5-star Amazon reviews, and has been recommended by luminaries:

  • Dr. Christiane Northrup – “This book is delightful”
  • Midwest Book Review, in Bethany’s Books – reviews by Susan Bethany – “highly recommended”
  • Nizana al Rassan, writing for (the now out of circulation) – “a fascinating read with so much wisdom and solid advice.”



Julie Marie Rahm, aka America’s Mindset Mechanic on Unveiling: The Inner Journey

What does Julie Rahm, America’s Mindset Mechanic and author of Handle Everything: Eight Tools You Need to Live Well and Prosper have to say about Unveiling: The Inner Journey?

Julie writes:

Unveiling is the definitive guidebook for women who want to experience lives of joy and fulfillment, and who just want to exhale into each day. Alay’nya reveals powerful, personal stories of her own life journey to fascinating womanhood, sensuality, and self-acceptance in ways that struck me like a velvet hammer. Her fresh approach to living illuminated my own bind spots. It is impossible to read Unveiling without awakening to new and possibly shocking self-awareness. For women ready to make real and lasting changes toward enlightenment and bliss, Unveiling is a must-read..”

Read this and more reviews of Unveiling: The Inner Journey.





Julie Marie Rahm, America’s Mindset Mechanic

Check out Julie Marie Rahm!

Julie Marie Rahm, America’s Mindset Mechanic and author of Handle Everything: Eight Tools You Need to Live Well and Prosper and also Military Kids Speak (great for parents, teachers, and coaches of military kids) uses a great technique that can help you clear energy blockages, ranging from those from this life through the influence of your ancestral karma. Connect with Julie at info (at) americasmindsetmechanic (dot) com to learn more about how she can help you.

Books by Julie Marie Rahm, America’s Mindset Mechanic



Copyright (c) 2013, Alay’nya (Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D.). All rights reserved.

Related Posts: Archetypal Roles and Everyday Life

When You’ve Betrayed Yourself – And How to Recover

All Betrayal Is Really What We Do to Ourselves – and Yes, We CAN Recover!

Do you give yourself what you're really worth?

Do you give yourself what you’re really worth?

Right now, there’s a nationwide (and worldwide) concern about money.

The past three weeks have been thought-provoking for anyone in the United States. We’ve teetered dangerously close to the border of default. The Federal Government was shut down for nearly three weeks.

This means that even though the government (civil service) employees will get paid for their furloughed time, a great deal of churn has been thrown into the realm of government contractors, as well as the suppliers and service people who keep both the government and the contractors going.

In this particular area (North Virginia), it makes a big difference.

Throughout the whole country, though, there have been many people who’ve been asking themselves: How could I have put myself so much at risk?

This goes beyond government contractors and their support system. It includes the many people who are on Social Security, and who wonder about their economic future. It includes the many who lost the huge bulk of their retirement savings during the financial collapse of 2008, and who still have not recovered. It includes many of us who have leveraged ourselves into a tight position – those of us who have a steady job, with nice benefits – but little flexibility, and who feel trapped in the system.

Betrayal Is What We Do to Ourselves – and Then We Take Charge of Our Lives

I had a mentor once who famously said, We always know. We may not want to admit it to ourselves, but we always know.

When we set ourselves up for a tough spot, we also discern the tools and gifts that we need to move on.

When we set ourselves up for a tough spot, we also discern the tools and gifts that we need to move on.

It’s possibly no accident that of my last three face-to-face meetings, each has been with someone who has or is in the midst of stepping out of a corporate job – even a very nice and secure corporate job – and is striking out as an entrepreneur.

They’ve identified that the “betrayal” here was not so much entrusting the system (their job and the entire corporate culture) to take care of them financially, as it was in believing that they could “make it work” (for much longer than necessary) within that environment.

Intimate Relations and Job/Corporate Relations Riff on the Same Internal Dynamic

Our intimate relations often have the same dynamics as our job and social relations.

Our intimate relations often have the same dynamics as our job and social relations.

Over the last week, I’ve had in-depth conversations with four different women. Two of them – ones who are also just rebuilding their business lives – spent time recounting unhappy relationships or marriages. They’re carefully keeping themselves out of relationships right now, while they rebuild their lives.

The two others? Absolutely fabulous, totally enviable marriages. (One is newly married. She’s older than me, but is vibrant, glowing, and truly a blushing bride.) Of these, one has moved out from a secure position in which she’s been highly respected and wielded much influence. The other is getting ready to move on; retiring from a job that’s become stifling, and doing what makes her heart sing.

I see this a lot. There is often a common theme in our lives – one that we express again and again, in our selection of (and staying with) jobs, closest friends, and intimate partners. In other words, those people and institutions with whom we let down our walls – we open to some level of trust and vulnerability.

Sometimes we make great choices.

Sometimes, we make awful ones.

What Happens When We Dethrone Our Own Internal Emperor

Our Emperor archetype is our inner Protector and Provider. Of all the masculine roles, he is the one most charged with keeping us safe and secure.

Many of us, when we find that opening ourselves up has led us into disastrous situations (either financially or emotionally, or even both), do a sort of shock-reaction: we flip an internal switch and go into Emperor mode.

Sometimes, we go into Emperor mode early in life. This happens when we feel that our feminine aspects are too dangerous a place. This can be due to family or societal dynamics, or even one truly awful early-life experience. (Sometimes, a succession of them.) We flee our feminine selves, and put on a Warrior’s armor and an Emperor’s mindset.

I write about this extensively in:

What really happens when we do this, though, is that we engage a sort of pseudo-Emperor. We don’t have a real, fully-fledged Emperor running our show – we have an archetype who has the power to direct our attention, and make our judgment calls – but is not really there for us as either a Protector or as a Provider.

The result?

We work.

We work really, really hard.

We work really, really hard for years and years.

But – when we finally pull our heads up (or a corporate or national crisis forces us to step back and assess) – we realize: we haven’t protected or provided for ourselves at all. We’ve poured ourselves into a certain kind of task – but left ourselves with a kind of vulnerability.

In short, we’ve created our own Achilles’ heel. We have a vulnerability because we haven’t really dialed in to our Emperor archetype; we’ve never really let him take charge in an intelligent and useful way.

We’ve gone into Emperor-type activities, but we’ve not really let him Protect and Provide.

The crunch comes, and we’re devastated.

How to deal?

Will Our Real Emperor Please Stand Forth?

Our real Emperor persona is highly mature, and takes his responsibilities very seriously.

Let’s look at where he comes in during our archetypal evolution.

First, we invoke and cultivate our Magician; our creative visionary. We have great ideas for what we want in life, and we move forward with them.

Then, we realize that we need to pull back a bit; we need contemplation to balance our creative surges. We cultivate our inner High Priestess.

By the time that we’ve gotten our Magician and High Priestess going strong, we realize that we’ve been so focused on our creative vision that we’ve neglected our emotional selves. We begin to pay more attention to our inner Empress. (I call this our Isis archetype, after the Egyptian goddess of nurturance and love.)

It is only at this point – in the “archetypal evolution” scheme of things – that we invoke our Emperor. We do so because – by now – every one of our active archetypes needs him. Our Magician needs help creating a business plan and a structure that will support the creative vision. The High Priestess needs someone who is “out there” – taking care of the worldly things – so that she is safe when she calls a retreat. And the Empress?

Oh my, the Empress. She’s the one who takes on the emotional responsibilities for caretaking and nurturing, and the practical day-to-day ones as well. This can be with children. It can be with animals, particularly if someone devotes himself or herself to animal rescue or environmental care. This can be in community service or in any other way of emotional investing.

In terms of archetypal patterns, both our High Priestess and our Empress get very diffuse. They tend – by their very natures – to be ever-expanding in their awareness and attention.

For the High Priestess, this is a sort of intellectual or simply perceptive awareness. In our High Priestess modes, one thought leads to another, and to another. (When coupled with Magician moments, this leads to fabulous brainstorming.)

For the Empress, this kind of expansiveness is emotional. She winds up committing to caring for more than she can practically handle.

Between Isis and High Priestess, things can get too diffuse; too over-extended. The Magician, with his intense focus on creativity, may have let the rest of life pile up in huge, chaotic disarray.

The Emperor’s role? First, to bring in some structure and order.

He’s the one who will say: Let’s get all these names of people we’ve met (while doing all of our great networking and connecting) into a database. He’ll say: Let’s stop producing new stuff for a while, and organize our files, and back-up all our computer data. He’ll say: Let’s put together a spreadsheet of expenses, and figure out what we’ve got.

When we invoke our Emperor in a benevolent mode, he comes in as a rescuer. He brings not only structure and order, but strength and stability. He may bring some routine in to our lives – whether as regularly scheduled times for certain tasks, or as business processes that ultimately let us delegate tasks to others.

When we do a higher level of life-integration, we call on our Emperor in a more powerful and comprehensive way. We may have previously given away our power. We may have pretended to ourselves that our corporate job was secure, or that the financial system would stay stable, and our futures would be safe if we simply trusted these institutions to work in our favor.

We may have married someone, or taken in a boyfriend, or even given over a great deal of power to a more masculine business partner – and then realized that they were not there for us. They were not protecting and providing; if anything, we were providing for them!

We Recover by Invoking a Strong, Healthy, and Benevolent Emperor Inside Ourselves

As we recover, we realize that we don’t need to give away our power (and our trust, and our financial resources, and our work) to someone or something else.

We realize that we really can take care of ourselves, and we can do so in a very loving, calm, compassionate – yet very structured and disciplined manner.

This is a fairly big step in personal growth.

This goes beyond our first work in archetype integration, in which we make opposing sides work together.

In this more advanced work, we are subduing the “inner beast” (our raging fears, insecurities, and desires to simply run away – let someone else be in charge). Instead, as we gentle these fears to the ground, we invoke each of our inner archetypes as needed, and give them the full power and authority to get the job done.

If one of our tasks is to provide for our own financial well-being, then we assess what we need, calmly and deliberately. We undertake the next steps, in a way that brings our goals to fruition most solidly and steadily. We don’t look for shortcuts, and we don’t try to cut corners. We simply do what we need to do.

Dealing with Betrayal at the Deepest Level

What to Do When the Very Worst Happens

I have a young colleague whom I’ve been quasi-mentoring over the past several years. She’s brilliant, obsessively hard-working, and (of course) doing way too much, all the time. However, she’s mastered each and every challenge up until now.

Woman crying. Photo by Elmo Malik.

Woman crying. Photo by Elmo Malik.

She’ll master this one as well, but boy – is it a whopper!

This one counts as a betrayal, at the deepest level possible.

A Betrayal that Cuts to the Very Core

There’s betrayal at a superficial level – the sort that, in retrospect, becomes almost laughable. At least, you can make a good story about it.

The Ones Where You Can Deal

  • A casual business associate screws you over on a deal. We’re talking about an associate here – someone with whom you may have set up a deal, but not a whole-life partnership. Yeah, it’s rough. But the person has shown their true colors, you know to avoid that one in the future, and you can recover and move on. More or less easily.
  • A trusted friend or family member divulges a confidence. Again, awkward, embarrassing, a lot of mess to be cleaned up. You may be well and truly pissed; there might be some real discomfort for a while – but once again, you’ll recover and move on. Again, more or less easily.
  • A professional colleague, with whom you’ve too candidly shared your latest breakthroughs, publishes your work ahead of you. You succumbed to this person’s way-too-flattering interest, divulged over drinks much more than was wise, and now you’ve been good and truly scooped – on something that took you years of work.

All of these are instances where your ego-self gets into an uproar, and dealing with the fallout will take days, maybe even weeks or months. But all in all, you’re still you; the other person has simply shown themselves for what they are, and – other than being more careful in the future – your life is not too horribly impacted.

So. This is not the kind of betrayal that we’re discussing in this blog. These are way too easy.

The Ones that Shake Your Core

Rather, we’re after the really hard, horrific stuff:

  • The doctor or lawyer gives you the bad news. Then, you discover that your best friend and your husband/wife/significant other have been carrying on an affair — for quite some time. Now, you’re dealing with a mega-crisis, and your closest emotional support (yes, both of them) are off a trip to Tahiti. This is bad. Really, really bad.
  • A business partner defrauds your customers, cleans out the bank account, and flees the country. You’re left to deal with furious clients (who themselves feel betrayed), a swath of legal actions, and no money. Again, this one is really, really bad.
  • Your trusted mentor/advisor/business coach – or conversely, your most dedicated, long-term student (your disciple) – steals your work. Or they make sexual advances. Or they find some way to totally denigrate what you have done – and then reposition it as their own (brilliant) work. You’re left in a degree program or a work relationship from which it would be difficult (almost impossible) to move – you might be caught half-ways through your degree, or needing your advisor’s referral to get the next job – and who will people believe? A student/junior associate, or the esteemed teacher/business leader?

Get the drift? These are the betrayals that cut to the very core.

You gave trust. You let go of your own barriers. You welcomed input, feedback, honest criticism. And instead, you got used – in the most horrible way that you could imagine.

What’s worse – you’re caught in a situation from which there is no easy escape.

This is the kind of event that we’re discussing today.

My young associate emailed me about one of these hugely life-shaking experiences. She’s in the midst, as I write.

I’ve also dealt with at least one of these … maybe two? All three? (OK. Deep breath. Let’s just move on.)

First Steps

Cats bound for slaughter - rescued just in time.

Cats bound for slaughter – rescued just in time. You think you got it bad. I know you do. Breathe. Just breathe. We’ll get through this. And read the accompanying story. It’ll give you some perspective.

The very first thing that you need to do is to breathe. Just breathe.

You’re in shock.

Your first instinct is to deny this. It isn’t real. It can’t be happening. Not to me. This is all a bad dream … it will just go away …

And no. It doesn’t.

Breathe, dear one. Just breathe.

We’re going to get through this, okay?

Take a long walk. Breathe some more. Get back into being in your body; being who you are, being yourself again.

You’ll survive this thing. Okay? I promise you.

Once again, breathe.

Next Step: Strategy

I told you (in the header above) that we were going to do some strategy.

But wait. You’re not ready yet. Your ego-mind is still recoiling from attack.

You’re not ready to think strategically just yet. You’re still taking this way too personally.

Your first step – once you’ve dealt with the initial shock-wave – is to recognize that this is not really about you.

Your first lesson here is: Don’t take this personally.

I know, I know. It seems as though it’s completely about you. And at one level it is.

But you’re going to deal. You’re going to deal at several levels all at once. And to do this, you need to disassociate yourself from the sticky-goo that has you all bound up in the others; in their actions and your reactions.

So the first thing is: They are projections of your own mind. They are shadow-play. They are the demons that have lurked underneath your subconscious all this time. But they are not really about you, and you have to step aside from your own, immediate emotional response to all of this.

Go read Don Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. I’m sure you have a copy around the house someplace. If not, order it from Amazon, and read it tomorrow. Or get the Kindle download, and read it now.

Or check out this précis about Don Ruiz’s Four Agreements.

The point is – get ahold of Don Ruiz’s second lesson: Don’t take it personally. It’s really not about you.

Once you’ve done that – or even made some baby steps in that direction – you will have cleared your mind enough to be able to think straight. Until then, you’re caught up in sticky-goo, and you’re all about your own reactions. Which will have overtones, overlayers, and a whole lot of stuff that will keep you from being effective.

Because if you don’t separate yourself from your reactions, then you think you’re dealing with the situation, but you’re really dealing with the worst, least-processed, most-awful demons in your own mind – and then you’re projecting that stuff onto the situation, and you’ll make everything a whole lot worse.

So get your perspective right, first thing.

This is not about you.

Don’t take it personally, okay?

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz



Strategy: Taking Charge of Your Life

If you’re serious about strategy, study the world’s greatest strategists.

I’ve had to learn to think and act strategically, and to do so, I’m studying Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War.

To learn more – go to Mourning Dove Press – which is all about strategy.

Start with the first blog, and work your way forward.

Getting a Grip on Things

I’m not going to tell you that things could be a whole lot worse. We’re dealing with a situation that – as far as you’re considered – already is the worst.

What I really want you to do is to not diminish this, or try to buck yourself up, or pretend that things are not as awful as they really are.

Because they are.

Got it?

We’re trying to do two things here – just to get started. One is to get back into yourself; to be present. The other is to be present without denying the awfulness of the situation.

Once again, breathe. Get your mind to accepting that this has happened; is happening; it’s what is going on.

You’re going to deal. You’re going to survive.

You’re going to get on top of this thing.

But first, we’re going to get some perspective.

Why Things Might Be Even More Difficult than You’re Thinking that They Are

There are several life-stages where you get a really huge, horrific challenge.

Most of us are familiar with the classic Hero’s Journey or Heroine’s Journey. The Joseph Campbell stuff. The monomyth. (For a fun YouTube vid on the monomyth’s main characters, check out this little Glove and Boots video on The Hero’s Journey.)

This is the one that gets resolved by fighting a duel-unto-death (if you’re a Hero), or by saying – and knowing – that You have no power over me (if you’re a Heroine).

Either way, you’re fighting a huge battle. The real challenge is that the villain is some aspect of yourself. (In Luke Skywalker’s case, Darth Vader turns out to be his father.)

So what’s worse than a duel-to-the-death with Darth Vader, you might ask?

Dealing with Darth Vader’s initial betrayal. (This is when he was your finest student and protégé.) Being killed by Darth Vader is, definitively, a whole lot worse than killing Darth Vader.

Because there is a monomyth beyond the monomyth.

This is when it’s not about the Hero anymore; it’s about the Hero’s mentor; his Hierophant.

Who – or What – Is a Hierophant?

If you’ve been following along, then already familiar with the notion of a Hierophant. If you haven’t, then – as a quick summary – a Hierophant is a guru/guide/mentor of the highest order.

A Hierophant is Obi-wan Kenobi, or Yoda. He’s Mr. Miyagi. He’s Professor Dumbledore.

(To learn more about how a Hierophant works in your life, go to the end of this blog, and follow the links.)

Your Mentor/Teacher/Guru/Guide Is on His Own Inner Journey

Because most of us identify with our own Heroic Journey – and because we’re all collectively a bit young on our journeys – we tend to get caught up in our Luke Skywalker roles.

We miss – entirely – the point that our Hierophants are on journeys of their own.

As young Heroes or Heroines, we emerge victorious from our journeys. We conquer our enemy. (Or at least, we proclaim that they have no power – and shift the nature of things altogether.)

The Hero’s (or Heroine’s) Journey Is About Victory; the Hierophant’s Journey Is About Sacrificial Death

Take a deep breath before we get into this one.

Just because as an archetype, the Hierophant (Gandalf the Grey, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Professor Dumbledore) dies to save his charges and complete his mission, does not mean that you are going to die.

These stories are allegorical.

That said, there is an ego-death involved.

We’ll go into the full sequence in a later blogpost. For now, it suffices to say that:

We’ve put so much attention on our emerging young Hero/Heroine that we – as a culture – have not yet traced the commonalities of our Hierophants (the Hero’s mentor and guide).

When we do so, we notice that – in many plotlines – they die in order to go to the next level.

You Are Being Transformed into Something Greater than Yourself

If you are going through this kind of mega-crisis, then something very huge is going on in your life.

You are more than a Hero/Heroine, and you are even more than a Hierophant. You are becoming something greater than that. You are becoming Gandalf the White instead of being Gandalf the Grey.

If you are going through a betrayal of the deepest level, you are going through one of the deepest life-challenges that you will ever encounter.

You are doing the highest level of soul-work.

You will survive the situation, because your life is real-in-this-plane; not allegorical.

However, you are undergoing an ego-death.

Understanding that you are going from Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White is one of the very few things that will help you grasp and make sense of this situation.

Otherwise, it would seem to be a comedy of the absurd. There might not be any reason to go on.

But there is a reason. The reason is that you are being transformed. You are being purified. All of the “grey” in you is being purified in the Balrog’s fire.

You emerge – not as a strong ego-self (Hero or Heroine) – but as something even more. You are more, even, than a Hierophant. You have become something that is not often named in our culture; we really don’t have a handle on this yet.

Obi-Wan Kenobi did it.

Professor Dumbledore did it. Gandalf did it.

So did Jesus the Christ.

Meditate on this, dear one.

It may bring insight and understanding in your darkest hour.

Remember, also, that prayer is effective, and that you can draw on resources greater than yourself. Do so, and do so now.

And may the love and power of God be with you.


Related Posts: Who – and What – is a Hierophant?

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Alay’nya (Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D.)