Are You an Archetype Slave?

ADMIT IT: YOU’RE A SLAVE. Perpetually sucked into safely scripted behavior, roles and “signs” downloaded from the collective unconscious, you strive not to be shot through with the dissolving light of pure awareness, but to be impressively opaque and authentically self-expressed (a.k.a. true to your miserably secure stories about yourself). Even in the throes of existential angst and tormented searching, your purpose is crystal clear: dodge the natural movement of personality by staying identified with it.

Enter astrology: that colorful wardrobe of me-stories which, when lucidly donned, allow Beingness to illuminate and transfigure our “somebody suit.” Whoever we are, she’s something of a fashionista, no?

Problem is, the universe travels from zero to somebody and back again every nanosecond. Our seamless me-story is a stressfully-maintained delusion. Life likes to tear us down and rebuild us fresh for every moment. Who can keep up with this nervous shape-shifter? Who can play sky to these whirling identity clouds? Only nobody, me thinks. The more practiced and poised we are in not knowing, the less resistant we are to love’s furious pace of costume changes.

Of course, our inner control freak (ego) wants to be cool, so it ducks into our inner thrift store, nervously grabs something, then deposits us out onto the street zipped into some embarrassing retro outfit. Jungian therapists call this “archetypal possession.” Too afraid to let silence grow a tongue, ego latches onto some market-tested story line (archetype) and delivers an unconvincing, self-conscious performance. Yes, it gets us through, but it leaves a creepy residue.

Since we can’t say much about Beingness, perhaps it would be helpful to know what the archetypes look and feel like when ego co-opts them. Notice that, in each case, the burden of the separate self is just as present in the so-called “positive” expressions as they are in the negative. Tibetan Buddhism calls this “the pain of having.”

As you feel into the twelve contrived attempts at somebody-ness listed below, let your heart break at the amount of fear and fixation that fuels each archetypal see-saw. Consider how anxious and unlovable the separate self must feel in order to constantly reject and step over its spacious naturalness–reaching instead, like an addict, for another mind-numbing slug of personality. Is not the world littered with unfathomable, otherworldly flowers second guessing their inherent fragrance? Ouch.

One by one, ask yourself: “How, and with whom, do I get caught in this fixation? Who are the people in my life struggling in this spider web?” Feel into their desperation. Let your heart break for them. There now. Notice how vulnerably deconstructed, yet vividly present, you feel. Could enlightenment be this simple?

Remember, there is nothing wrong or unfortunate about these see-sawing archetypes. They are simply the dreams we get to wake up inside of–the divinely ordained crucibles that forge our timeless presence. In this light, are they not dripping with grace and opportunity?

The Twelve Archetypal Possessions

Aries: I am sovereignty and the fear of dependence.

Taurus: I am material stability and the threat of ruin.

Gemini: I am spontaneous interplay and the fear of boredom.

Cancer: I am familial devotion and the fear of feeling

Leo: I am charismatic creativity and the fear of embarrassment.

Virgo: I am ethical exactness and the fear of incompetence.

Libra: I am diplomacy and the fear of conflict.

Scorpio: I am penetrating power and the fear of losing control.

Sagittarius: I am panoramic perspective and the fear of provinciality.

Capricorn: I am professional ambition and the fear of failure.

Aquarius: I am awakening activism and the fear of narrow love.

Pisces: I am empathy and the fear of being overwhelmed.

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