Archetypes

Labyrinth / Copyrighted photo by D. Bridge

Reflections from Bone:Dying into Life by Marion Woodman

“… archetypes as energy templates, seeds that are coded with potential energies, sacred geometry.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 34)

“different disciplines converging through archetypal fields.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 227)

“Dear Sophia, as I move back into the world, … Help me to open or shield sensibly.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 229-230)

“I felt Sophia there before me; we were all standing in love.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 230)

“A brilliant clown holds comedy at the core of the tragedy.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 231)

“You refused to eat in order to fly.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 231)

“… We’re moving into another level of the spiral.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 232)

“Your edema now is mirroring the rise of your consciousness…” (Woodman, 2000, p. 232)

My Reflections:

Well, this seems to be a rather disparate group of quotes.  I was struck by the first one as I am currently on a quest to better know and understand what is at the source of archetypes.  It took me a long time to sort out that word as so many people talk about them so differently I had, or even still have, a hard time knowing how to differentiate between so many ideas all trying to explain the ineffable.  I finally came to the idea that just as we only know the wind by the impact it has, so must it be for archetypes.  I have read people try to say that Jung said there are 4 archetypes —  apparently because they read something that described 4 archetypes so they think that is all that there are.  It seems to me we need to have a way to differentiate between archetypes and Archetype.  It seems to me that there is a source, which I generally refer to as the archetypal field, from which archetypes, such as the Mother archetype, flow.  Each specific archetype that we name is but one aspect of a whole.  I think that archetypes are cultural aspirations to define and communicate about shared lived phenomena.  Different cultures may give different interpretations to universal lived experiences, such as “mother”.  I have come to think of it as clothing.  Consider all of the varieties of cultural dress that exist, and yet each has a universal experience of clothing a body.  But in my reading, I have found little that really discusses the difference between archetypes “as such” and the source of the universal lived experience to which they point.  

I resonate with Marion’s plea to Sophia in regards to moving back into the world.  Although she is writing from her experience with cancer, mine was  (maybe still is to some point) with depression.  Sometimes, I feel as if when I stick my head back into the world it is going to come rolling back to me on the floor!  I find this a hard world to navigate back into and I hear Marion as she calls on the divine feminine to know when it is ok to go forth openly, and when one needs to engage some defensiveness.  It is hard to navigate this re-entry.

I will let the other quotes I picked from these pages to simply stand on their own.  I could probably write a paper on each!

Woodman, M. (2000). Bone: Dying into Life. Penguin Books.

*This reflection was first published in a Facebook Group entitled BodySoul Rhythms – Continuing the Legacy of Marion Woodman

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