Category Archives: integration

Beyond Integration – The Next Big Life Journey

What Lies Beyond Your Major Integration Step? (Hint: A Whole New World of Life-Mastery)

Marianne Mader, intrepid explorer and researcher, makes a career of looking for the next adventure. Photo courtesy Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration.

Marianne Mader, intrepid explorer and researcher, makes a career of looking for the next adventure. Photo courtesy Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration.

I called up my friend Emma the other day. We hadn’t spoken in ages – I’m still scraping names and contact info off my old (and now retired) computer and pasting them into the new – so it had been a while.

I’m so exhausted, Emma said within the first thirty seconds of our conversation.

Now, Emma is a woman who has done a huge amount of inner work. She’s not shy about taking life by the horns. So it came as a surprise to hear her “blurt.”

Because “blurt” is what we do when we lower our guard and let what is going on – what is really going on – slip out.

Have You Ever Felt This Way?

Have you ever felt as though you’ve gotten it together – you know that you’ve done a whole lot of inner work, and you have had results – and yet you feel that something is missing?

Or maybe you’ve felt that after all your work – and possibly even your teaching of others – that there was some real, fundamental life-lesson that you just weren’t getting?

Do you feel that you’re looking for the next right step in your life?

No big surprise, really.

And this does NOT mean that you’ve done anything wrong.

On the contrary.

What this more likely means is that you have indeed accomplished the first stage of what you set out to do – but now you’re on the verge of a new life-challenge. And this feels just as uncomfortable, just as awkward, just as something-is-missing-and-I-don’t-know-what-it-is as things may have felt years ago, when you first embarked on inner work.

You, my dear friend, are on the threshold of your second major adult life journey.

But before we dive into this one, let’s review what you’ve accomplished already.

Archetype Mastery and Integration – Your First Life-Journey

http://www.hellenicaworld.The Greek goddess Niki personifies Winged Victory.

The Greek goddess Niki personifies Winged Victory.

Many of us have already accomplished the biggest challenge of our first adult life-journey. This journey is all about discovering, mastering, and integrating each of our six core power archetypes.

(Catch-Up Note: There are eight core archetypes overall, they correspond well with the Jungian Psychological Types, based on distinctions between Thinking/Feeling, Sensing/Intuitive, and Judging/Perceiving, but not including Introversion/Extroversion. Of the eight core types, six are core power archetypes; the remaining two are rest-and-recharge archetypes. For more details, see the links at the end of this blog post.)

How Do We Gauge Our Inner Mastery Progress?

One way in which we know that we’ve achieved some mastery and integration here is that we seamlessly call upon our Emperor (Protector and Provider) and our Empress (caring and nurturing) archetypes. Anyone who has been both a parent and a career person learns to manage this integration. In Unveiling, I cite Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, as someone who has expertly accomplished this integration.

There are other integrations that we achieve, usually by the time that we’re in our late forties or early fifties. Just as with the Emperor (Psychological Type STJ) and Empress (NFP), these each involve polar-opposite archetype pairs:

  • Magician and Hathor (pleasure goddess),
  • High Priestess and Green Man, and
  • Hierophant and Hestia.

A quick overview of each (with more to come in the future, new bloglinks will be inserted as they come):

The Magician and Hathor – Polar Opposite Archetype Integration

Have you noticed how often a highly creative person will have a muse? Acclaimed fashion designer Giovanni Versace had a very strong Magician archetype. Giovanni’s sister, Donatella Versace, was Giovanni’s muse. She was his Hathor, or pleasure-goddess embodiment. Back then, she was a free-wheeling party-lover. On his death, she had to become the Magician herself. She designed and produced a new fashion collection within three months after Giovanni’s death.

Our Magician archetype is very focused; very intense. By pairing with our inner Hathor, we lighten up a bit.

Your High Priestess Pairs with Your Inner Green Man

Have you ever noticed that, when you need to clear your head and think through something, you go for a walk? That’s your High Priestess calling on your inner Green Man.

Our High Priestess archetype has something in common with our Magician; both of these are abstract thinkers. Our Magician is more likely to create ideas and bring things into reality; our High Priestess is more likely to follow the connections. Our High Priestess takes us into our mull-things-over mode.

Our High Priestess, like our Magician, needs something to pull her outside of herself. In her case, it’s the Green Man. He gets her walking, he gets her out into nature – the physical actions of moving about help free her mind to follow where thought-connections lead her.

Your Hierophant Needs Your Inner Hestia

Have you noticed that people-intensive activities, such as counseling, coaching, and teaching sometimes bring you to a place where you need to recharge your psychic batteries?

If your day-to-day work involves being a Hierophant, and you are helping people work through their lives, then your private life needs to be low-key and quietly supportive.

Benjamin Disraeli, a brilliant man, served twice as England’s Prime Minister during the late 1880’s. Disraeli focused much of his attention on forming a “knight and fair lady” relationship with Queen Victoria. When asked how he did so well with her, he told his Cabinet, ‘first of all remember she is a woman.’

Disraeli put his intellectual and emotional energies into his political pursuits and into cultivating his relationship with the Queen. Being by nature both intellectual and somewhat melancholy, he needed simplicity and fun in his home life. He also needed someone who was completely devoted to him, and who would replenish, rather than drain, his emotional reserves. Disraeli was a combination Magician (political visionary) and Hierophant (guru/teacher).

Disraeli’s wife, Mary Anne (later made the Viscountess Beaconsfield of Beaconsfield) was light-hearted and completely devoted to him. Disraeli used to enjoy coming home to her, because she made his home life happy. On one occasion, she accompanied him to the House of Commons. According to a report, Disraeli accidently closed the carriage door on her finger. She made no sound, not wishing to disturb his concentration before he entered to make a speech. Mary Anne Wyndham Lewis Disraeli served Disraeli as Empress, High Priestess, Hathor, and Hestia!

We can see from these examples that we either often integrate archetypes within ourselves, or find a close partner whose archetypal roles complement our own.

So how does this take us to the next stage?

Second-Stage Integration: Going Beyond Polar Opposites

The Chariot, Major Arcana Card VII, tells us that we've completed our first major adult life-journey with our first archetypal integration.

The Chariot, Major Arcana Card VII, tells us that we’ve completed our first major adult life-journey with our first archetypal integration.

The notion of first-stage integration is that we use our force of will to bring our polar opposite archetypes into working together. Sometimes we find an external person who fulfills certain archetypal roles for us. Most of the time, though, we do this for ourselves.

The question is, though: What happens when this is not enough?

A Story from One of My Heroines – Mama Gena

One of my favorite people is author and life-teacher Regena Thomaschauer, aka Mama Gena. Can I say that I absolutely love her blog? And her books? She has (metaphorically, through her books and blogging) held my hand through many a corporate crisis and low moment.

So I was a bit surprised to hear her voice something similar to Emma’s blurt a few weeks ago.

Direct from Mama Gena’s Blog of October 22, 2013, we have this:

So… my inner masculine was fired up and stoked in order to protect and ensure the growth of all this feminine I was responsible for…

But… as all of you know, when a woman lives inside all that strong, virile, productive masculine energy, it can drain the life force out of her. Especially when there are no strong masculine arms to lean into or stand for her.

I know so many women who have given up the soul of their feminine in order to do exactly what I did–raise a child or children on their own… So many women have to sacrifice the softest, sweetest, most delectable, delicious, sensual aspects of who they are in order to climb the corporate ladder, or get noticed for a raise or promotion, or receive the recognition they deserve.

… I had to teach myself through serious trial and big-time error exactly how to create balance within, while managing so much without.

When my masculine was on overdrive, there was no soft spot for her to land… The feminine needs to be fed, like a fire. Or she will extinguish.

Right on, Mama Gena! Absolutely right!

We do need to feed our inner feminine, as our cultures – and the practicalities of our lives – demand that we be so much in our inner masculine.

Of all the people in the world to bring this up, though, the last person that I expected was Mama Gena. She who is the Princess of Pleasure, the Diva of Desire – the one whom I turn to when I need a reminder (or a swift kick in the a**) to reconnect with my own inner feminine – particularly with my Hathor; my goddess of sensual pleasure.

Mama does a really excellent job of this. (Go read Mama Gena’s full blog; she has some great ideas.)

But still – she was struggling.


Because she’s already done the first stage of integration; she has her Emperor (Protector and Provider) mode working for her daughter Maggie, hand-in-hand with her inner Empress (loving and nurturing).

She works diligently to bring her Hathor (pleasure goddess) into every day of her life. (Applause! I just LOVE the example that she sets for us.)

So what is really going on?

After Integration, What Next?

In the Major Arcana, Card VII – the Chariot (a masculinized version of the Winged Goddess) – represents the big integration step. The Chariot illustrates how we use our force of will to bring together our polar opposite archetypes. Each one wants to go in a different direction. Through sheer determination and will, our inner Charioteer causes them to work together; to pull us all in a single and cohesive direction.

Notice, though.

The Charioteer has to do a whole lot of work.

Strength, Major Arcana Card VIII, signifies our entry into our second adult life-journey with a new and deeper form of integration.

Strength, Major Arcana Card VIII, signifies our entry into our second adult life-journey with a new and deeper form of integration. (Image from the Rider-Waite deck.)

My friend Emma, Mama Gena, and I – and very possibly you as well – are all dealing with second-stage integration.

We’ve learned how to balance being an Emperor (career) with our Empress (care-giving). Really, we have.

It seems as though it still is a lot, and yes, it still is – just because of life’s practicalities.

But really, we’re all at a whole new level.

This managing through force-of-will thing has gotten just a bit old.

We’re ready for a kinder, gentler way of living. Especially, we’re ready to be kinder and gentler to ourselves.

That’s why, when we look at the next image – Major Arcana Card VIII, or Strength – we take courage.

The beautiful, glowing, and softly-flowing Strength Maiden is getting her way with the great, big lion. But she’s not straining. She’s not efforting. She’s not feeling exhausted at the end of the day (or worse yet, exhausted when she wakes up in the morning).

Clearly, she’s getting what she wants in life.

Just as clearly, she’s not having to work nearly as hard as the Charioteer.

Strength introduces us to our second level of life-journey. It seems, at the outset, that we’ll be in a really good place if all that we do is to go from being the strong-willed Charioteer to the gentle (yet effective) Strength Maiden.

Yet, there is more to our next journey than even this.

At the end of this particular journey, we come to a place called Temperance, Major Arcana Card XIV. (This does not mean that we have to give up our favorite cocktails or margaritas. We still get to have our glass of wine with our meals, or a little hot toddy before we go to bed.) Temperance has to do with getting and circulating life-energy. It means that we’re mastering the kind of vital energy that is the fuel for certain martial arts movies.

Temperance is when Yoda says, Use the Force, Luke!

So if this second life-journey has us starting off with a really good place (the Strength Maiden’s gentle yet powerful effectiveness), and ending up in an even better place (using “the Force”), it has to be pretty good, right?

More on this in the next blogpost.

Until then – May the Force be with you! (Oh, I so couldn’t resist that!)

yours in love and laughter – Alay’nya

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.

Using Archetypes and Gaining Personal Freedom

Using Archetypes and the Power of Forgiveness to “Break Free” Forever!

Well, darlings, it’s time to come clean.

I haven’t written to you for over two months – not counting the little “warm-up” exercise that I did in two weeks ago.

There’s been a reason for this.

My daddy died recently, and I’ve been hugely grieving his loss. And as I shared with some colleagues and friends earlier this week, I was grieving not only the loss of what we did have as a relationship, and also – what we didn’t have.

I’ve been doing a huge amount of processing lately. And just recently have been able to do more “cognitive” tasks – such as handling emails, balancing the checkbook and paying bills, and – of course – writing.

Now, don’t get me wrong on the family-thing. Daddy was a magnificent “protector and provider.” He was a deeply honorable man.

But emotionally – there were things that I craved, and simply didn’t get. No matter how hard I tried, or what I did.

The turn-around has come only recently, as I’ve started really working with forgiveness – as described in both A Course in Miracles and in the Lord’s Prayer. (“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those …”)

So here’s the important thing to share. This is coming not as some abstract “word on high,” but because it’s been what I’ve been doing and working with in my own life, over the past several weeks – and it’s been making a huge difference.

Forgiveness shifts things.

According to A Course in Miracles, when we forgive, we actually alter the impact of time in our lives, and in our “reality.” Forgiveness extends back in time, and forward, and (as I’m sensing right now) into the lives of people who are connected with us and are around us.

Not that this makes it any easier, but I’ve found that forgiveness has been the one thing to release a huge logjam of “stuck stuff.”

Forgiveness is one of three core “principles” with which I’ve been working over the past few weeks, rebuilding my life from the inside-out. (And what better way to start the new year? The new B’ak’tun even?)

The most valuable books that I’m reading right now reinforce these three principles:

  • Own Your Power & A Course in Miracles – the importance of forgiving,
  • The Power (by Rhonda Byrne) – the importance of gratitude and “giving love,” and
  • Money and the Law of Attraction (Abraham-Hicks), and all other A-H materials, the importance of always “reaching for a better-feeling thought” – of how important it is to carefully culture and nurture good-feeling thoughts, and deliberately choosing our thoughts, as they set up vibrational points-of-attraction.


A Course in Miracles and Own Your Power

A Course in Miracles is a true heavyweight. It’s the basic “graduate-school level text” for spiritual growth. And it’s not real easy. I’ve been working through this book for over a year. (It’s designed as a one-year study program, with substantial “exercises” for each day). If I were to grade myself on this, I’d be somewhere between a C- (at my very best) and a D-. (That’s for those days where I’m cussing under my breath, being really sarcastic, and generally blowing the whole thing off.)








The only reason that I stay with the Course?

Well really, there’s two.

The first is that there are only three people in my life right now to whom I will turn when things go really down. Only three people whom I know, and to whom I can call, who have the right “tone” when they address an issue. That is to say, they have real spiritual depth. Each of these persons has done A Course in Miracles. A couple have done it several times. One teaches it, another is getting ready to teach it. It’s not that another really substantive spiritual path wouldn’t do as well, but in my personal circle right now, those who’ve worked the Course are those who have worked their lives.

The other factor?

Well, A Course in Miracles itself states: “Everyone will answer in the end…” In fact, the Course makes it clear that once we start on this particular journey, we will finish it. We may stall about, but ultimately, we can’t drop out of this particular “Course.” It’s like being enrolled in a school curriculum required class. If we screw up, we just get to take the same class over again. And again. There’s no real “quitting.” Which is the only reason, some days, that I don’t quit.

That doesn’t make it any easier. And since this isn’t easy, I don’t go about recommending this book to all my family and friends, because it’s just a little bit of a big challenge.

What I do recommend, however, is a book that is not yet on the market – although it soon will be.

My dear intuitive friend Alice (S. Alice, or “Alicja,” Jones) is getting her second book, Own Your Power, published soon. Own Your Power is kind of A Course in Miracles-light. A “see Spot run” approach to spiritual teachings. More accessible. Be certain, I’ll let you know as soon as it’s released. I’ve been looking at a pre-release copy, and it has had a HUGE impact in my life already!

And so – while I’ve been reading bits and pieces of the pre-release Own Your Power, I’ve noticed some big shifts in how I’ve dealt with situations and people that were beyond irritating. Truly, this book has helped me get through some very awkward and difficult times in these past two weeks; times when I’d really have blown it unless I used Own Your Power to get re-centered. I’ll keep you in the loop for when it’s coming out.

Now I’ve told you that three principles – and three sets of books – were having a major impact and being very useful for me right now. The first was (see above) the power of forgiveness, and the relevant books were A Course in Miracles and the forthcoming (and much easier) Own Your Power, by S. Alice (“Alicja”) Jones, out soon.

The other two principles were gratitude (see The Power, which is the sequel to The Secret, by Rhonda Byrnes), and the importance of carefully aligning and shaping our thoughts – focusing our thoughts – so as to carefully establish our “vibrational point of attraction.” (See any of the Abraham-Hicks material, although I’m currently working with Money and the Law of Attraction.)

This blog contains enough to read (and enough for me to write) in one sitting, so I’ll defer the next two principles to a subsequent blog.

And then, I’ll take the “big step” and link up these principles (all three of them) to how we can work with our archetypes. Because I’ve found that our archetypes – the primary ways or modalities in which we shape our psychological core – are not something simply handed down to us at birth.

We’re not just “born with” an archetypal predisposition, as we might have thought if we’d been following a simple Myers-Briggs approach. (Please recall, as mentioned in Unveiling: the Myers-Briggs approach was adopted during World War II as a means to effectively match service people to the jobs for which they’d be most suited. The deeper, Jungian-based material on which the MBTI questionnaire was based does suggest that we access all archetypal modalities, and mature in our use of them over time.)

Now here, in brief, is what we’ll cover soon in terms of archetypes and their relation to spiritual principles, such as forgiveness.

Sometimes, we have a natural predisposition towards one archetypal mode, but have the ability to use another mode.

This is particularly true for women; I expect that we women are more psychologically flexible then men.

Sometimes, we have life events – of a variety of sorts, ranging from family influences to huge cultural surrounds – that cause us to reject an archetypal mode that would be our natural and normal “home state.” And in self-defense, we pick up another mode that we think gives us better “survival value.” (I know. Complex. More on this soon.)

When that happens, we get stuck. It’s hard for us then to make full use of all the archetypal modes available to us. It’s like having to drive a car in one gear only. Really, really tough at times.

Forgivenesss (see the reference to the spiritual stuff?) helps us break down the defenses and fears that we build up about accessing our other, rightful and enjoyable and effective and sometimes downright necessary archetypal modes. It breaks the logjam. It tears down the (often imaginary but still impactful) internal “barbed wire fence” that keeps us locked into a very small “range of motion.”

Now, as a quick overview of where this will lead us.

When we release something at the spiritual level, we release it energetically as well. When we reframe our emotional setpoints (using gratitude) and train our minds to select better-feeling thoughts (changing our “vibrational point-of-attraction”), we make it possible to have huge shifts in our physical bodies. We can release tension. We can breathe better. We can move out old, tight little nodules of pain.

But when we’ve had energetic/emotional “stuck stuff” lodged in our bodies for a long time, this physical release doesn’t come about automatically.

That’s why we need a pathway.

Specifically, we need a body/mind/psyche/energy pathway that helps move the release work that we do at the spiritual, energetic, and emotional levels into our body, and vice versa.

There are two art forms that I’ve found, in my more than thirty years of studying body-mind arts, that help us with this purpose. These are T’ai Ch’i Chuan and Oriental dance.

Yoga is good. Yoga is downright necessary, as it helps us stretch out and release tension throughout. And let’s keep in mind that yoga was designed to be a pathway. The physical yoga movements are the complement to the other spiritual disciplines of meditation, etc. So yoga can work very well.

However, for women who desire to include emotional expressiveness as part of their total life-integration and healing, Oriental dance works much more, because once we get a certain amount of technique down, the dance is all about emotional expression. Not fancy choreography. Not virtuoso technique. But rather, Oriental dance gives us the opportunity to tap into how we feel as we listen to music, and listen to our souls listening to the music.

I’ve had all my “big breakthroughs” in my body associated with dance. However, yoga, and healing therapies – Reiki, massage, Rolfing, a number of things – they have all been very powerful in helping to do “logjam releases” at the physical level.

For men, and for women who simply don’t have an affinity with Oriental dance, I continue to recommend T’ai Ch’i. It allows the same physical release and integration work to take place. And I’ve taken a number of Principles from T’ai Ch’i and applied them to Oriental dance, so that at the core, these two arts come from the same place. (At least in how I express them, and teach them to my students.)

In the next few posts, I’ll round out the spiritual principles of gratitude and deliberately shaping our “vibrational point-of-attraction.” I’ll start the new year with a survey of the major archetypes; how we can use them, and how we can move from one to another. Also, we’ll look at how we can draw archetypal complements into our lives; this allows us to primarily invoke one state, and yet get the benefit of others.

In the related blogposts for the Alay’nya Studio, I’ll develop specifics of how we can use Oriental dance as our body/mind/psyche/energy integration pathway. I’ll include specific techniques and general exercises. I’ll provide links to music, DVDs, and other resources, and I’ll share how we are structuring our quarterly curriculum.

By combining spiritual release work with the energy-cultivation and physical practice, any of us can create a much more powerful – and happy and fulfilling – way of living. Here’s to a joyous 2013 and beyond!

Dec. 21st, 2012 – And the Next 60 Years

Beyond December 21, 2012: The Next 60 Years

For the past half-year, this blog has had a strategic direction. We are leading up to – and pointing the way beyond – the much anticipated “2012 Transition.”

And as we move towards that time, anticipation and curiosity mounts. Will we wake up on the morning of December 22nd to find that the world has irrevocably changed? Will we wake up at all? Or will we get into our cars or take our “usual” route to work, stop by our “usual” favorite place for morning coffee, and have a big laugh? The “2012 Transition?” we might say to each other. “It was all a big joke, wasn’t it? Like the Y2K ‘crisis’ – remember that? All ‘much ado about nothing.’ Life goes forward.”

Or will we say something in a similar vein, but have our words mask a fear-bordering anxiety. A sense of unease, as when horses send a blizzard coming down off the plains. We’ll feel an instinctual, primal urge to find a “safe place” in which to hide – but have nowhere to turn. We’ll continue reading the news, listening to our favorite pundits on TV, picking up the Twitter feeds and the Facebook links. And all of the news will converge into our heads to give us just one clear message: A crisis is coming.

In fact, that crisis is already here.

The question is: What sort of crisis? How big? How difficult?

Will we survive? If so, in what form? And what do we need to do now to prepare?

Now’s my time to “come clean” with you. I am proposing answers. But I’m not proposing “easy answers.” It’s not that I’m “middle-of-the-road” in terms of what I believe will happen, but I’m being very careful about what it is that we need to do about not only what is going to happen, but also what is happening right now.

These “not-so-easy answers” are based not on one specific area or another. So I’m not going to propose a “financial survival plan,” nor a “head-to-the-hills” approach. Nor am I going to be totally “New Age.” Yes, we’re having a “singularity.” (See work by early proponent Ray Kurzweil.) Yes, we are at a culminating point in human experience. And yes, there are a whole lot of “strange things” going on – in our lives, in the world around us – that are not part of our “normal” expectations and experiences.

But I’m not going to go all “woo-woo” on you either.

Where we are at – where we are precisely at – in human experience – is a Tower moment.

Take a look at these images. First, our recent past.

 Photograph by Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Perhaps no images in the last dozen years more succinctly capture the opening of this millenium than the destruction of the “twin towers” of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Now, a visual image describing a point in human evolution – both individual and species-wide.

The Tower card – Major Arcana XVI – from the Rider-Waite depiction.

The Tower image is deeply embedded in our cultural mythology. Specifically, we have a culture-wide deep-felt resonance with the “destruction of a tower” as signifying the fall of everything from a civilization to a person.

In Unveiling: The Inner Journey, I depicted the Tower role in our lives as when we suffer loss of everything that defines our ego. Most importantly, according to Tower imagery, this loss is not of just one thing. It is when we lose everything all at once. We lose our job, and the same week, the doctor diagnoses us with breast cancer. Or our husband files for divorce so that he can move in with his mistress, and our company is bought out by a mega-conglomerate – with impending re-organizations and layoffs. Or we realize that we need to move our mother into a nursing home – and take over storing and processing her “worldly goods,” while at the same time our son is diagnosed with ADD and needs extra tutoring and attention.

A Tower moment is when it all comes apart, all at once.

We have them in our lives. I’ve had multiple ones (described in Unveiling).

Now, here’s the important point: One that I didn’t make in Unveiling.

Humans have Tower moments, and so do societies. And humanity itself is now in the midst of a Tower moment.

If a Tower moment is defined as the conflux of multiple devastating challenges, all at once, we now have a Tower squarely and firmly on our hands.

Because it’s not just one thing.

It’s the conflux – the simultaneous flowing together and cresting – of our oil/energy crisis together with the population boom. We’re running out of the oil that we use for fertilizers and cheap food transport at the same time that we’re in the midst of an unprecedented population surge, anticipated to go to 9B people in the next several decades.

Oil and Population graph by Paul Chefurka, Population, The Elephant in the Room.

We have a built-up world-wide financial crisis just as we’re having increased financial challenges to deal with climate and ecological disasters. And we are certain that the horrific BP Gulf oil spill is just one of many such challenges that we’ll be facing; as we go after more and more “difficult-to-recover” oil, and rely more and more on other sources – including nuclear – we’ll have more energy-based accidents. Chernobyl and Fukushima were just the beginning. There will be more.

And the biggest point that I’m making here? It’s not just the ecological devastation. It’s that cleaning up after these massive ecological devastations will be necessary. And very, very expensive. And that will be occurring just as we need to rebuild port infrastructures and port cities, as the climate shifts and the oceans rise.

And we’re going to attempt to do this as the greatest money-generating generation of this country moves from generating money to taking money. The Baby Boomers are starting to retire. They’ll want Social Security and Medicare. Their retirement savings were largely wiped out by the 2008 financial debacle, and they’ll be needing help – instead of providing an income base to support large-scale clean-up and climate adaptation efforts.

And I haven’t even mentioned the social retooling that we’ll need as transportation costs rise, and it is more and more costly to commute to work, to take vacations, even to go to the grocery store. (Where everything is going to cost more, anyway.)

And also, I haven’t yet mentioned the near-certainty of massive plagues, unleashed with new, antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and new viral combinations.

This is a Tower time for humanity.

Most of us keep trying to move forward with “life-as-normal,” hoping that someday soon, we’ll get back to “normal.”

My point is that there is no longer any “normal” that we can go back to.

The era of Norman-Rockwell-images – of comfortable family homes with the white picket fences and stability for everyone – is in the past. It won’t come back in our lifetime, or in the lifetime of our children. In fact, it won’t be available for our children’s children either.

We’re in the midst of a profound shift, and there’s no “normal” that we can go back to anymore.

But there is a “word of hope”; for us as a society – and as a race of human beings. And for each of us, individually, as well.

The “word of hope” is that there is something that lies beyond the Tower.

In this blog, I write about human experience – both individually and society-wide – using analogies and stories. I write using archetypes and metaphors. And fortunately (for all of us), I haven’t had to invent the storyline. (In my “sister” blog, I write from the non-linear complex systems perspective.)

The “storyline” was given to us several thousand years ago, in the form of the Kabbalah. This depicts the realms of consciousness; essentially a path towards God-realization. That’s why the Kabbalah has been studied by mystics for many centuries. (Jesus Himself very likely knew and understood the Kabbalah, together with his role in Kabbalistic terms. Another blogpost, another time.)

The Kabbalah lays it out for us. It presents the “created world” using the analogy of the Tree of Life. (See the picture to the left.)

The “centers” of this Tree are states of consciousness. The “pathways” connecting the Tree correspond to the Tarot’s Major Arcana. And also (not so coincidently) to the pre-Phoenician alphabet, which later became the Phoenician, which laid the groundwork for the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

The Kaballah shows the course of evolution – both of the individual person, and of humanity overall. So people individually go through Tower moments, and survive. (I have, and you have probably done so, also.) Civilizations go through Tower moments. And now, humanity itself is in the midst of a Tower; very likely the greatest Tower time in the history of humanity.

What brings us hope is that there actually is a “step beyond.” It’s called the Star.

The Star card – Major Arcana XVII – from the Rider-Waite depiction.

Calm, lucid, clear. We get wisdom. Our life – what once was – is in shambles around our feet. But we’re still here. And without the need to preserve something that no longer serves its purpose, we are free to receive insight and wisdom. It’s as though we are naked in the world once again. However, we are naked in the midst of the flowing waters of life. We have all that we need, and more.

And beyond the Star, we have the Moon (bringing to awareness all the gifts of our intuition and subconscious awareness), and the Sun (energy, blessings, abundance). From this holy and wonderful moment, we rise in response to the Judgment call. But rather than being harshly judged, this is truly the moment when we joyfully respond to a literal “higher calling.” We “rise up” beyond ourselves. We become that which we were meant to be.

And finally, one step beyond, we are united with God, in a flowing, ecstatic dance.
This, my friends, this dance-with-God, this joyous realization of the divine spark within ourselves, is what our human experience is meant to be.

And if we have to go through a Tower moment to get there, then so be it.

We’ll do this, and we – as humanity – will survive. Not necessarily each one of us individually, but as a species, yes. We’ll survive. But we’ll survive transformed. We’ll survive as those beings that we were created to be.

Now, to specifics.

We can greatly increase our chances of survival if we do certain things.

This is NOT a prepare-for-a-financial-meltdown missive. Nor is it a prepare-for-the-rapture directive. Nor are we going to find our next evolutionary stage by forming some mental symbiosis with a world-wide network of computers, as was suggested by Ray Kurzweil. (But for a very interesting read, linking to the latest data, visit Going Beyond Moore’s Law.)

Rather, what we must do, if we’re going to get through this Tower, is to evolve ourselves. We’re going to have to let go of that which doesn’t work. (That’s a given; that’s the nature of a Tower time.) But also, we have to get ourselves completely together.

Refer, please, to my previous blogpost on the holographic nature of our archetypal experience. The lesson there (which I’ll develop more over time) is that we’re individually – and collectively – going through all of our archetypal stages all at once. Yes, sometimes one thing is much more pronounced than others. (And right now, for humanity, it’s the Tower.)

But because our lives are holographic right now – and very definitely not linear – we can go back and “fill in” what we’ve missed.

So our first big “life challenge” was archetypal integration. That was realizing and gaining mastery of the six core power archetypes about which I’ve been writing for the past half-year. (I introduced these in Unveiling: The Inner Journey. See Chapters 7 and 11; “A Real Woman’s Path (Really Does Exist!)” and “Shifting State,” respectively.) And while we’re at it, we also need to identify and access our two “reserve” or “battery-pack” archetypes – the ones that we use when we need to rest and recharge. This gives us a total of eight “power archetypes”, which we can map onto the Jungian system.

This is a starting point. And if we have to go back and do some remedial work, we can do this. In fact, as focused and mature adults, if we recognize the need to “fill in a gap,” we can probably do so very expeditiously.

We then have an “integration stage.” Actually, we have two integration stages. And the second integration step, which I’ve just gone through, is like a preamble to the Tower, only in a somewhat lower-key way. (And at that, it’s still a real toughie.) This “second integration step” precedes a sort of mini-Tower; one in which we voluntarily leave comfort, safety, and familiarity in search of wisdom.

The end result? If we go through archetypal access and integration (the First Journey), and then the re-integration and the following steps (the Second Journey), we get to a point at which we start accessing some real internal power and capability. This is the Fountain-of-Youth, or ch’i creation, which I describe in Unveiling. (See Chapter 29: “Pragmatic Esoterics,” as well as chapters leading up to that.)

Once we complete our two Journeys, we have not only “all of ourselves, altogether” (the result of integration and re-integration), but also some real vital raw energy – ch’i – with which to work.

Now unfortunately, there’s one really more scary and horrific step – even before we get to the Tower. This is where we encounter the real nasty, dark, ugly stuff inside. (Think of Debbie Ford’s Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Think of World War I, World War II, and genocidal purges around the world. Yup, been there all along – but a lot of real nasty, truly ugly has come out in the past 100 years.) This is the Devil stage, where we encounter the worst-possible. And the really worst part is that what we truly encounter is that which is inside ourselves.

It is this, of course, that unleashes the Tower. Encountering our own ego – in its worst form – is what brings about the destruction of comfort and removes the illusion of safety.

Pretty awful stuff, indeed. And the Tower time is no fun. Not for us individually, and not for humanity.

But if we can put this in context, we’ll see that it is a necessary step, and a transition to the freedom and joy that we truly desire. We move beyond the Tower, and become that which we were meant to be. And at that moment, each of us will be able to say (taking words from A Course in Miracles), “I am as God created me.”

So with that thought of love and encouragement, let’s move onward. And through.

And for those of you who live in the Northern Virginia/Metro DC area, there will be an absolutely fabulous concert on Saturday, June 2nd, at the Langley High School. Performed by The McLean Symphony under the direction of Maestro Dingwall Fleary with Special Invited Guests, it will feature Beethoven’s Ninth Chorale Finale (the “Ode to Joy”) as its closing piece.

Let’s use this to lift up our hearts and spirits, and gain encouragement for the times ahead.

We can certainly make it through the next sixty years. But a “joyful” heart will help us greatly.

"Holographic Archetypes" – Experiencing ALL of Your Archetypal Journey At the Same Time

The “Holographic Archetype” – Why You Seem to Be Experiencing Everything All at Once

“Life,” we sometimes think to ourselves, “is supposed to be simple.” And all too often, it isn’t. Especially for those of us who are trying to do some “personal growth work” while still carrying on some semblance of normalcy; jobs, family, school, community involvement and friends. In the midst of all of this (sometimes), we’re carrying on with the rather difficult business of discovering and accessing/integrating our various “core power archetypes.”

Our inner work is powerful. And as we dive into it, we can go through some very unsettling times. By analogy, let’s imagine what would happen if we had a company that had a succesion of CEO’s, each having a different dominant archetype.

As we know from any shakeup at the executive level in a company, when we start moving key figures around, things are (temporarily) unstable. If our company has formerly been headed by an entrepreneur/inventor (Magician archetype), and the Board of Directors decides that the time has come to put someone in whose background is in running a “tight ship,” or who is formerly a CFO, we know that everything changes. (Switching from a Magician in charge to an Emperor in charge.) And there would be even bigger shake-ups if the Board put in charge someone who is focused on mentoring and developing “leaders from within.” (Hierophants love to mentor!)

Imagine, further, the absolute chaos that would erupt if any of the other “core archetypes” were to be calling the shots for a while. If it were an Empress persona, the company would be all about “relating.” We’d be hugging our clients a lot; but the eye would not quite be on profits and deliverables. (However, our clients might start placing bigger orders and referring their friends to us. Who knows?)

And if a Hathor-type were running the show, it would be all about parties and having a good time! (The High Priestess, wisely, would recluse herself from all considerations of corporate leadership. If she had to take this role, though, the first thing she’d do would be to declare a nine-day corporate retreat in the Catskills. Lots of walking the footpaths in silent meditation. Then she’d happily foist this job off on the first qualified Emperor.)

Now that’s the simple version.


In real life, for most of us doing this kind of archetypal integration, our inner landscape is about as comfortable as frequent shifts in corporate leadership. That is to say, highly uncomfortable – especially when the various archetypes that we’ve finally accessed begin to assert themselves. Each one wants to “run the ship” – at least for a while!

And as I said, that’s the simple version. This version presumes that we’re doing our archetypal access and integration in a calm, linear, and “safe” manner. This was, in fact, the “curriculum” a few thousand years ago, when the Kabbalah was first discovered or understood. Back then, a certain sense of orderliness was assumed.

Now, however, all bets are off. Our world is highly chaotic and nonlinear. Our lives often are, as well. Instead of picking up our archetypes one at at time, and then doing our archetypal integration under the careful watch of a renowned integration master, we are often attempting this on our own. What advice and mentoring we get often comes from books, weekend workshops, and “life coaches.” (These latter may or may not have done their own integration work. They may or may not even know what you’d be talking about – that is, in a real, substantive, and useful sense.)

So here we are, many of us, attempting to do the very rough-and-tumble work of archetype access and integration, all too often on our own. And to make it much more challenging, in the REAL “real world,” we’re often dealing with several emerging archetypes all at once.

Imagine a boardroom war in which various key players are vying for control. In the morning, the Emperor takes control, sets up the goals, objectives, deliverables, and timelines. All seems straightforward and doable. The goals may be stringent, but you know how to pour on the overtime. You can work evenings and weekends; you’ve done it before. (Many times, no doubt.) So you gear up, and mentally factor in the vacation that you’ll take when bonuses are announced.

Then, around noon, Hathor seizes control. She wants that vacation now! You count up accrued vacation days, visit your favorite travel site, and figure out which weekend you can afford to extend to a three-dayer. No sooner have you made your plans and submitted a vacation request when whammo! The High Priestess emerges. And what she really wants is quiet time, because, lo and behold! She’s paving the way for the Magician to emerge with his next great invention!

This is what the archetypal integration journey is all about. It’s not all that poetic. In fact, it’s downright messy.

And now – adding in more “real world” factors – there are at least two major integration processes. The first is when you’ve accessed all your core power archetypes. Everyone is “present and/or accounted for, Sir!” You (the cognitive, dominant “you-in-charge”) can access each one as appropriate and at will. You know when to charm, and when to command. You know when to take some time off to connect with nature and your “quiet mind,” and you know when to party. And you also know when to get the “deliverables” delivered. On budget, and on time.

You’ve mastered your game.

Or so you think.

It’s the second integration process that comes up as a surprise, and is much more disorienting. It’s more than the various key executives in a company taking on leadership roles. It’s a lot more like when the Board decides that the company is going to go in a whole different direction. Instead of being a “service company,” focusing on government (or commercial) contracts, you’re going to be “product company.” And the word comes down – new divisions are created, people are laid off while the company retools and regroups, new people come into newly created power positions. This is hugely destabilizing.

And necessary.

Just as companies must reform – sometimes very radically – we also need to rework ourselves from the inside out. Sometimes very radically.

You’ve heard about this. Someone who has made a living in the banking world leaves their job – their whole career – to become a baker. A successful business leader leaves his or her company to teach in an inner city school. Huge life-changes like this do happen; they happen all the time. But they don’t just come up out of the blue; there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes before such an overt change happens.

Not all of us will switch careers, of course. But as we go through this second integration, we learn to pay much more attention to the needs, wants, and desires of core archetypes whom we may have repressed for many years. It’s similar, in a sense, to the case in which a wife finally does leave a husband who’s never really had time for her. After all the years that she’s accomodated, she’s finally decided that she can’t deny her own self anymore. What a shock that is for everyone!

Then, of course, the husband has to woo and win her back. And finally, for perhaps the first time, he starts listening, paying attention, and allocating some real time to her; to her wants, needs, and desires. And for a good long while, he won’t be putting in any overtime. In fact, what he might do is put in for a leave-of-absence or a sabbatical, in order to discover just who his wife really is. It’s that, or the divorce court.

If we’ve similarly been Emperor-dominant all of our lives, there comes a time when we need to give some “quality time” to the other core power archetyps. Otherwise, they’ll simply desert us. (Usually, this comes at a huge cost. Pay now, or pay later.)

Now, there’s a reason that all these archetypal integration processes are coming up at once for many of us. It’s not just that we’re going through “changing times.” We are, of course, but that’s not the whole story.

It’s not just that we’re in a massively accelerated world. Yes, that’s also true. And again, it’s not the whole story.

It’s much more that we – as a species – as a whole planetary species (and perhaps even as a planet) – are undergoing this kind of archetypal journey at a mega-level. We’re not just doing archetypal integration individually; we’re doing this as a society.

Moreover, steps like these are broad-ranging; they pull in all other aspects of our archetypal journeys. It’s like living inside a kaliedoscope. Or, more appropriately, experiencing our lives as a hologram.

More on this in the next blog posting.