The Child Archetypes: Variations of Your Inner Child

The Child Archetypes: Variations of Your Inner Child

The Child archetype is the marrying of the two fundamental principals in the universe – The Masculine and the Feminine. In its original state it represents our whole, unfragmented self before the world gets ahold of us. It is rare to meet someone who doesn’t have inner child work to do, but doing so helps us to understand where our blindspots might be, our biases and the lens from which we see the world. In this article, we will explore the variations of the Child archetype, how they are expressed in both the light and the shadow aspects and questions you can ask yourself to hone in on which variation is dominant within your psyche.

The Four Primary Archetypes

Archetypes represent universal fundamental patterns of human behavior and consciousness that influence our thoughts, emotions, and actions. According to Caroline Myss, there are four primary archetypes in every person’s psyche. They are the Victim, Prostitute, Saboteur and the Child. Myss suggests that understanding and integrating these archetypes can lead to greater self-awareness and helps us to better navigate our emotional landscapes and achieve a more integrated and authentic self.

The Victim Archetype represents the perception that we are powerless and at the mercy of external forces. This perception of ourselves and our circumstances often leads to feelings of self-pity and a view of an unfair and unjust world. 

The Prostitute Archetype symbolizes the compromising of our integrity, values, or talents for personal gain or security. Often creating an untenable friction between our values and our actions and ceding the former in favor of monetary or other perceived gain. 

The Saboteur Archetype embodies self-destructive tendencies that hinder personal growth and fulfillment. This archetype often shows up as we face our fear of success or change leading to  undermining behaviors that derail our progress. 

The Child Archetype reflects our primal need for growth and is embodied in our innocence, vulnerability, and the capacity for wonder. Unlike the other 3 primary archetypes, there are different expressions of the Child. Understanding each of them can help us to meet the needs and heal our inner child. 

What is Shadow Work?

The Shadow & The Light

An archetype isn’t inherently good or bad. They have dual aspects: the shadow and the light. These aspects represent the spectrum of potential within each archetype, reflecting both positive and negative expressions of their traits and qualities.

The shadow aspect of an archetype encompasses its more unconscious or destructive tendencies. It represents the aspects of the archetype that are hidden from our conscious awareness. Conversely, the light aspect of an archetype encompasses its positive, constructive, and conscious expressions. It represents the archetype’s virtues, strengths, and potential for growth and transformation. 

For instance, while some might think the prostitute is always operating from the shadow, negotiating her integrity for monetary gain, it also has the light side. It teaches us to recognize when we are being taken advantage of and teaches us about redefining our self worth. Understanding both the shadow and light aspects of archetypes is crucial for achieving balance and integration. It helps us to uncover hidden potentials and develop a more authentic expression of Self. 

Types of Child Archetypes

There are several variations of the Child archetype, many of which are present in varying degrees in all of us. Though one expression is usually dominant based on the qualities of our primary relationships. Understanding which variation that is can help us understand and guide our decisions, and alert us to what needs to be healed within. 

  1. The Divine Child: This variation symbolizes potential, purity, and innocence. It is closely related to the Magical Child but is unique in its sense of mission. The Divine Child wants to help humanity redeem itself. It represents the beginning of life, untouched by societal conditioning or personal history. The Divine Child archetype feels an extraordinary connection to the Divine and has a wisdom beyond their years. The shadow aspect can manifest as one’s inability to ward off negative influences due to things like naivety or being overly trusting. 

Questions: As a child did you feel like you were meant for something, like you have a mission in this lifetime? Do/Did people comment that you are wise beyond your years? Do you trust in the Divine Process? 

Go Deeper: How To Do Inner Child Work

  1. The Eternal Child: This aspect symbolizes renewal, a beginner’s mind and creative energy.  It embodies the qualities of youthfulness, playfulness, and a sense of wonder. The Eternal Child is not bound by conventional rules and seeks to remain young in mind, body and spirit. The shadow of this variation suffers from Peter Pan syndrome, never wanting to grow up, be accountable and relies on others for their security. 

Questions: As a child, did you follow your own rules, walk to the beat of your own drum? What do you think of aging? What makes you feel old? Do you have a hard time as an adult being accountable for your actions?

  1. The Orphan Child: This variation, often depicted in fairytales, symbolizes a sense of being disconnected and abandoned by one’s family or tribe. The light side of the Orphan Child archetype learns independence and has the ability to take care of their own needs. The shadow side can manifest as never shaking the feeling that you are alone in the world. Feelings of abandonment and/or neglect and never learning to trust someone or being too trusting just so as not to feel alone. 

Questions: Do you have a sense of belonging to a family or group that you can count on? When do you feel most alone, what makes you feel that way? Do you trust yourself to be able to handle most situations? (Why or why not)

  1. The Wounded Child: This variation represents the unresolved emotional wounds, trauma, pain that we carry from childhood into adulthood. The Wounded Child archetype seeks healing and integration of the fragmented self to achieve wholeness and emotional maturity. The light aspect of this archetype has deepened their compassion and capacity for forgiveness through their own healing journey. And is able to see from other’s perspectives. The shadow side of this archetype is seen when people are overly committed to their wounds and resist moving on. Choosing instead to stay stuck in their trauma and repeat their story of trauma over and over. 

Questions: Do you see the world through your wounding? How much of your experience is expressed through the language of trauma? Are you able to witness other people’s wounding with compassion and not make it personal? Are you hyper sensitive to criticism? 

  1. The Magical Child: This archetype can see the sacredness all around them. Optimistic to their core, they believe in the power of the Infinite. The light aspect represents the presence of wonder, imagination, and a belief in the extraordinary. The shadow side of the Magical Child can show up as pessimism, depression and disbelief in miracles and transformation. 

Questions: Can you usually see the silver lining? Have you lost sight of the infinite? Having explored the infinite (non duality) did it leave you with a sense that nothing really matters? Does the state of the world leave you depressed and despondent – When will they wake up?

  1. The Nature Child: This variation symbolizes an inherent connection to the natural word and a sense of harmony with nature. This archetype has a special bond with animals, plants, and the elements. The shadow aspect of this archetype can manifest as dominion over nature and the desire to dominate/control the environment. 

Questions: Do you have a strong connection with animals? Do you feel a strong sense of stewardship for the environment? Are you overly materialistic and wasteful? 

We all possess a version of the Child Archetype. Understanding which one is the dominant expression in our psyche can help us to heal our wounds and navigate difficult decisions. I heard an expression the other day, to love is to wound. None of us grow up unscathed. So understanding the varying expressions of the Child archetype assists us in knowing how we go about healing the wounds that we incurred and assists us in living a more integrated and meaningful existence as adults.

The Artistry of Being: The Relationship Between Spirituality and Creativity

The Artistry of Being: The Relationship Between Spirituality and Creativity

Image credit: apryl goodwin at OpenArt.ai

We are creative beings that create with every breath of our existence. Too often people tell me they aren’t creative, conflating the words creative and artistic. But spirituality and creativity are inextricably linked. Every thought, emotion, and action is imbued with creative life force. When consciously and intentionally woven together we have a profound tool (and way of being) to expand our consciousness, heal our wounds, and express the deepest part of ourselves. Because of this creativity is an integral part of our spiritual growth and development. 

The Relationship between Creativity & Spirituality

The connection between spirituality and creativity is symbiotic—a dynamic interplay between the inner and outer realms of human experience. If we define spirituality as an exploration of what is meaningful and that meaning is derived from something larger than ourselves. Then creativity is a way to explore that meaning. But not to just explore it, embody it. Play with it, express and experience it. 

 At its core, creativity is a manifestation of consciousness’ innate desire to express and know itself. Artists, writers, musicians, and creators of all types often speak of being inspired by a muse—compelling them to channel their thoughts, emotions, and inspirations into tangible forms. But this creative impulse doesn’t just beckon ‘artists’ in the traditional sense. It calls to all of us, in every moment. And in fact, we use it’s creative power in every decision and action we take.

What would happen if we harnessed it more intentionally? Or looked at creativity more as a way of being rather than just an artistic pursuit?

Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.

~ Julia Cameron

 

Transcendence, Transformation & Transmutation

The prefix ‘trans’ means to move beyond, across or go through. Creativity is the bridge that can take us from one place to another. It allows us to break free from the constraints of ordinary perception, shift our energy and awareness allowing us to explore and envision new possibilities and move through difficult emotions and challenges. 

Creativity can be seen as a way to tap into our collective consciousness, channeling ideas, and inspiration from a source beyond the individual self. In this sacred dance of creation, we discover the depths of our own beings and the boundless expanse of the universe itself. This entanglement with unity allows us to transcend the limitations of the ego and tap into a deeper, more profound understanding of reality.

Creativity as Soul Language

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a window into our soul? Or to understand what lies below the surface of our conscious mind? Too often spirituality is only an intellectual pursuit. We read and learn from ancient wisdom teachings and our current thought leaders. But a big part of our spiritual development should be experiential. 

Often we are unable to unlock and decipher what’s going on beneath our conscious awareness. Creativity gives us tools to explore and experience some deeper parts of ourselves. Speaking the language of our soul through colors, symbols and archetypes. Helping us to translate and express the abstraction, emotions, and intuitions that are often hard to verbalize.

Watch: Soul Langauge:How the Essence Speaks on The Golden Flower

 

Creativity and Healing

Healing is a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional process. Having worked with cancer survivors for over a decade, I learned that part of the process is finding meaning in your experience and finding ways to deal with difficult thoughts and emotions that arise. Creativity once again offers us the opportunity for both of these things. And not just as art therapy in the traditional sense. 

One of the most important lessons I learned from this time was to find beauty and gratitude wherever you can. The color of the flower, the sleeping cat in the stream of light on the floor, or a good hug from a close friend. To find the meaning and appreciation for these small moments is also a creative act. How we choose to engage in a moment, the way we choose to experience something or where we choose to put our attention is fundamentally creative. 

“Without the spiritual component, the artist works with a crucial disadvantage. The spiritual world provides a sense of wonder and a degree of open-mindedness not always found within the confines of science. The world of reason can be narrow and filled with dead ends, while a spiritual viewpoint is limitless and invites fantastic possibilities. The unseen world is boundless.”
Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being

 

Creativity as a State of Being

We have the opportunity for creative expression in what we wear, how we eat, and the words we choose. How we move, what we love, and the lens from which we see the world. Many ancient teachings talk about ‘the dream’ or ‘the story’ that we tell ourselves collectively or individually. All of these things are our creations. With every breath, there is a choice, and every choice is a creative act. Can you bring more color, sound, feel, imagination, and vision into the moment? Can you explore the world with new eyes, from new levels, without preconceived notions? Can you write a new story or dream a new dream?

The connection between creativity and spirituality offers opportunities for healing, growth, exploration, meaning, and overcoming obstacles. It allows us to cultivate a deeper sense of connection to ourselves and the world around us. In a perfect world, everyone would have one or many creative outlets in the more traditional sense. And they would also harness the power of choice as a creative act. In a world that begs us to create a new collective dream, developing our creative muscles is not only important for our own evolution but humanity’s as well. 

 

 

READY TO BRING MORE CREATIVITY INTO YOUR LIFE?

Join the hosts of The Golden Flower Podcast, Gemma & Angela for this free workshop as we connect to our intuitive insights through a mini-creative journey. No artistic experience is necessary.

Sign Up for Free  (more information)

 April 14th 10am MT (~75 mins)
Online over Zoom

Register

Embracing the In-Between: Understanding Liminal Spaces

Embracing the In-Between: Understanding Liminal Spaces

In the intricate tapestry of human experience, there exists a realm often overlooked yet profoundly influential – the liminal space. This ethereal terrain asks us to reflect on the very essence of who we are and what we know about the world. In this time of great revealing, many people question what they thought was Truth. And are learning how to navigate uncertainty in many areas of their lives. In this article, we will explore what a liminal space is, why it is so important, and ways to be okay with not knowing.

What is Liminal Space?

 If you are unfamiliar with the idea, it is a transitional space that arises on our passage through something. Usually brought on by a crisis or major life change, it is a time that forces us to be introspective and reevaluate our values, goals, beliefs, and life trajectories. Because of its destabilizing nature, it is a time often characterized by ambiguity, uncertainty and disorientation. 

A Rite of Passage

Most rites of passage are all but forgotten in these modern times. While we have retained some of them like, baptism, confirmation, or marriage. we have forgotten the value that these ceremonies and traditions once held. Helping individuals to embrace change, growth, and the pursuit of a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. That passage between the acceptance of the call to change and the awakened transformation is the liminal space. 

Shedding Identities

Liminal spaces are the in-between spaces where an older version of ourselves becomes increasingly ill-fitted and yet the new version has yet to emerge. Because of the malleability of this time, it can be challenging to navigate. Part of this is because what we thought we knew no longer seems to fit and feels increasingly inauthentic. And partly because shedding old identities and stepping into new ones is, by its very nature, a destabilizing process. The ground is shifting beneath our feet and without a North Star to point towards, it can be a difficult time.

Want to Go Deeper? Read Time As Space

Metamorphosis

Think of this time as the pupal stage in the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. A caterpillar is born with imaginal cells that remain dormant until the onset of the transformation process. Once the caterpillar starts to undergo metamorphosis, the imaginal cells begin to awaken. But if you interrupt the process mid-way, it is neither a butterfly nor a caterpillar, just a big pile of goo.

Space For The Extraordinary

Traversing this space can take a few weeks to a year or more depending on the precipitating factors and how a person deals with the unknowing. In this liminal space, we need to allow ourselves to awaken what lies dormant within us and not rush the process. What’s inside of us might not yet be fully formed, and to push ourselves to figure it out, we risk settling for the ordinary. Pushing ourselves back into the status quo or not giving ourselves enough time for discovery. Shouldn’t we give ourselves the space to make way for the extraordinary?

Read Are You Experiencing an Identity Meltdown by Vidya Frazier

 

Tips For Navigating Liminal Spaces

  1. Acknowledge the liminal space: Recognize and accept that you are in a period of transition and uncertainty. Surrender to it and understand that is normal to feel disoriented, anxious, or confused.
  2. Stay Curious: Instead of resisting – Embrace ambiguity. Stay open and learn to play with ideas, thoughts, and visions without needing them to be the answer. Try them on, like you would a jacket, and see how they feel on you. Do they feel expansive or contractive? How much energy do they hold? Try to resist the urge to make them concrete but rather let them float in and out without attachment. There will be a time to take action, but that isn’t this moment. 
  3. Use this time to explore new perspectives, interests, or pathways. Take a class, read a new author, and learn something new. Engage in novel activities. If you’ve never considered yourself an artist, take an art class or try your hand at writing. 
  4. Seek support and connections. Invite your friends and family with you on some of these excursions. Explore new terrain with people you love. If you feel stuck seek out the support of a therapist or support group. 
  5. Cultivate self-care. Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health by engaging in activities that bring you joy, relaxation, or a sense of meaning.
  6. Set small goals: Think about what you want to do for the day and set out to attain that. Having small, attainable goals can bring a sense of direction and accomplishment during a time when life may seem unpredictable or uncertain. 
  7. Don’t compare yourself to an older version. You are moving toward something new. This means new habits, new mental constructs, and new ways of being. That means that things will change. Comparing yourself to how you used to do things will hamper this process and increase suffering. 
  8. Be kind to yourself. You are in the process of awakening something very special.

In the intricate dance of life, the liminal space fosters the metamorphosis of the self. It is a realm where identities are shed, and we make way for the emergence of the extraordinary. As we navigate this terrain of uncertainty and transition, let us embrace the inherent ambiguity, stay curious and be open to possibilities. And in the midst of this profound transformation, be okay with not knowing. It’s not going to last and the experience itself is part of our journey. 

Embracing Authenticity: A Guide to Speaking Your Truth

Embracing Authenticity: A Guide to Speaking Your Truth

The core of speaking your truth lies in the fifth chakra. Observing this center frequently unbalanced in my clients, I began to wonder why. Is there something unique about this time in humanity that causes our throat chakra to be out of balance? Part of it is the significant changes in our means of communication over the past two decades. What once warranted a phone call is now often summed up in a brief text or email. Does this brevity serve us well? Are we truly getting the opportunity to express our truth and have it heard with its full meaning? It is time to reclaim our voice and  learn how to speak our truth.

What Truth Isn’t

Your truth is not your opinion. An opinion is a thought or idea about something external in your environment. For example, “my boss is a jerk.” This is an opinion. Despite having evidence to support it, it isn’t your truth. Your truth involves communicating your feelings and thoughts in a vulnerable and authentic way. It is about being accountable for your experience and expressing yourself intimately and transparently. An example might be, “I feel disrespected when you single me out in meetings unnecessarily. This makes me uncomfortable, and I would like you to consider a new approach.”

Your truth is also not a reaction, and it’s not about being right either. A reaction is a knee-jerk response based on previous programming. Often, it is from this place that we attack others for sharing their opinions. When we react, it is not a present-moment expression from the core of your being. Instead, you are letting your emotions, false beliefs, and wounds lead the communication.

Beliefs and wounds can affect your ability to speak your truth. Believing “I am not good enough” might lead someone to keep their ideas, thoughts, and feelings to themselves. Thinking others won’t value what they have to say. This might feed their people-pleasing tendency. Growing up in a household where children were to be seen and not heard is another factor that can cloud our willingness to speak up for ourselves.

Ready to Explore the Inner Child?

Using Discernment

Some people and some situations are not worth your time or energy. It is essential to weigh your time and energy against the weight of not speaking your truth. There will be times when it is better to let things go. To determine if your truth is worth speaking, ask yourself if you will regret and rehash the moment if you walk away without saying something. Will you leave the situation feeling like a doormat? Has this situation occurred repeatedly with this person?

So it is the conversation with your boss or your sister that are worth your time and energy. Not  the cashier at the grocery store who was grumpy or the man on the street who rudely bumped into you. If those short encounters bother you, there are likely long-standing circumstances in your life where you are not speaking up and being heard. The man on the street is a symptom of a much larger challenge. Manage your energy wisely and choose your moments.

This is a great TED talk on having hard conversations. 

How to Speak Your Truth

  1. Choose the Right Medium: If it is something important that you want to say, especially something you have been harboring for a while, don’t express it via text. Your truth involves conveying both emotion and thought. Electronic communication does not effectively convey these important emotions. It can leave much up to interpretation. Your truth should be direct and honest. Consider having these conversations in person or, at the very least, over the phone.
  2. Choose the Right Time: In the middle of a heated argument is not the right time to speak your truth. Speaking your truth is not only about sharing it but feeling like it is being heard. In the middle of a stressful situation or a fight, your message is less likely to be heard by the other person. Choose a time when things are calm, everyone is well-fed, and there are no time constraints.
  3. Be Unattached to How the Truth Is Received: While the other person might hear you, that doesn’t mean it will be received well. That is their story, not yours. You have no control over how another person will respond or react to your truth. As long as your goal isn’t just to be right or impose your opinion on someone but is a vulnerable, heartfelt expression of your core, it doesn’t matter how your truth is taken. Your truth is subjective, meaning it belongs to you alone. When you are being real, know that you might get real in return.
  4. Don’t Manage the Other Person’s Emotions: Much of the truth gets stifled when you try to manage the other person’s emotions. You may sugarcoat the message or downplay your emotions in an attempt not to hurt the other person’s feelings. Speaking your truth isn’t always kind, but it should be respectful. Avoid attacking the other person for their behavior; instead, share how you feel when… If you spend too much time worrying about the other person’s feelings, you are not being true to your own.

The most important thing is to be present. Speaking your truth is a present-moment experience. Take a moment; gather your thoughts and feelings. Take a few conscious breaths and clarify what you want to communicate. Speaking your truth is an important part of your spiritual evolution. Being able to communicate and feel like you are being heard is a sign of your awakening. Remember to get clear on the emotions that underlie your thoughts. Take a breath and speak from the heart. There is freedom in this.

 

From Chaos to Calm: Understanding Spiritual Health in Uncertain Times

From Chaos to Calm: Understanding Spiritual Health in Uncertain Times

Spiritual health is a vital aspect of our overall health and well-being. And it has become increasingly important in these chaotic times. Some describe this moment as the post-truth era. Where everything we see, read, or search on the internet is up for debate. Is that image fake? Have you been embroiled in an internet fight with a bot unwittingly? It is getting difficult to know what is truth and what is illusion. In such a destabilizing time, spiritual health assists us in honing our discernment skills, gives us tools for inner peace, and helps us to focus on what is meaningful.

What is Spiritual Health?

Similarly to physical and mental health, spiritual health is key to our overall sense of fulfillment, happiness, and well-being. And just like someone would focus on diet and exercise to improve physical health. There are characteristics and aspects that one should focus on to improve their spiritual health. Although the expression is highly individualized and subjective, there are commonalities within this dimension of wellness.

Characteristics of Spiritual Health

Seeking Meaning and Purpose: Individuals with positive spiritual health are seekers of meaning and purpose. They want to contemplate the deeper questions about existence and their role in the world. And they value living a purposeful life.

Clarifying Values and Beliefs: Whether they are rooted in religion, philosophy, or a sense of interconnectedness with the universe. A person with a strong sense of spiritual health will have spent time exploring what it is that they care about. And they will understand their beliefs and how they were formed. Being willing to re-evaluate and release any that no longer serve them.

Valuing Relationships: Understanding the interconnectedness of all things is a fundamental aspect of spiritual health. Whether it is your connection to the natural world, the people in your life, or your relationship with your inner self. They value nurturing these connections and practice love, forgiveness, gratitude, and seeing from each other’s perspectives.

Learning About Spiritual Concepts: It doesn’t matter if your spirituality is seated in religion, New Age philosophy, or Paganism. What’s important is to dive deep into teachings and learn the foundational concepts. This provides a more meaningful connection and gives the person spiritual tools and techniques in alignment with their belief system.

Want to learn more about spiritual concepts? Check out our articles on spiritual development. 

Self-awareness: Spiritual health often involves frequent and deep introspection. It requires the seeker to understand who they are and how they show up in the world. Paying attention to their thoughts, emotions, and actions and how they are all interconnected.

A Perspective of Interconnectedness: Understanding the interconnectedness of all things and being able to toggle between the perspectives of the individual and of the All. This means that a person can have a healthy ego AND understand that we are all one. And knows when to operate from those different perspectives.

Transcendence and Awe: Spiritual health may involve experiences that go beyond the ordinary, such as a sense of awe, wonder, or moments of transcendence that move people out of separation into a larger field of meaning and connectedness.

Seeing the Beauty: Recognizing and appreciating the beauty in the world, whether in nature, art, or human experiences, contributes to a sense of the divine. Appreciating beauty is one of the easiest routes to exploring the world energetically.

Being in Integrity: Having a healthy spiritual life asks the seeker to be authentic in their actions and words. It also means being accountable for your actions and honoring your commitments to yourself and others.

Acts of Service: Contributing positively to the well-being of others and the broader community is an important part of being a spiritually healthy person. And promotes a sense of compassion, generosity, and interconnectedness.

Engaging in Spiritual Practices: Techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, prayer, yoga, ritual, and ceremony are just a few examples of practices that connect people to Spirit and often enhance their sense of peace and self-awareness.

Check out this wide variety of Guided meditation to deepen your spiritual practice. 

Cultivating Gratitude: Gratitude is a powerful tool for enhancing spiritual health. Take time each day to reflect on the things you are thankful for, whether big or small. Gratitude not only shifts your focus from what you lack to what you have but also fosters a sense of contentment and connection to the greater good.

Taking care of your spiritual health involves connecting with your inner self, finding purpose, and fostering a sense of peace. Feeling connected to something larger than ourselves assists us in leading more meaningful lives. And allows us to explore the world from multiple perspectives. Developing these aspects of ourselves will play an important role in the future of humanity. And help us to mitigate so much of the stress and uncertainty in these tumultuous times.

 

 

Which Primary Archetype Needs Healing?

Which Primary Archetype Needs Healing?