Introduction to Archetypes
In this section of the web site, I am offering the opportunity for you to learn about the influence of archetypes in our daily lives. This is the Archetypal Studies Introduction page and there are pages for each of the archetypes (so far we have the King and the Queen online). The study page contains a story focusing on the archetype in its Shadow role, discussion questions for consideration and my own discussion on the archetype.
Periodically, new stories will be added as well as a discussion area so you may communicate with others who are interested in exploring and examining the materials presented.
Every psyche is influenced by unconscious patterns or processes called archetypes. Two of the most dominant archetypes within us are the King and the Queen. These have to do with our social behavior and social issues of order, authority, leadership and morality. As with every archetype, the qualities of the King and Queen can be used for positive or negative affect. Negativity in the archetypes occurs through imbalance and extremism, i.e. when an archetype is either too active or too passive. When the King or Queen has a negative impact on us or others we speak of the influence of a Shadow King or Queen.
The King is the part of us that attempts to establish lawful order and moral virtue by developing and asserting our individuality and authority. Our King makes clear distinctions between “right” and “wrong” and addresses social problems and issues with clear, discriminating thinking about moral ideals such as justice and freedom. It is King energy that devises, enacts, and enforces rules via a hierarchy of authority, whether in business, law, education, government, or the family, with the King, of course, being at the top of the heap. The two primary characteristics of the King are (1) mental discrimination and (2) hierarchical authority.
The Queen is the part of us that attempts to establish lawful order and moral virtue by focusing on relationships and by nurturing, encouraging, and protecting the individuality and authority of others. Our Queen addresses social problems and issues with warm, loving, merciful, and forgiving feelings toward otherness. The Queen is behind all practices or systems of shared authority including family and business partnerships, co-ops, communes, kibbutzim, rotating chairs in education, quality circles in business, and so on. The primary characteristics of the Queen are (1) benevolent feeling, or caring, and (2) shared authority.
Partnership Between The Warrior And Mother
In The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology, Joseph Campbell notes that one of humanity’s four primary goals or “ends” is to attain power and success. We measure this through the things we do with and to our bodies and material objects like money, food, books, houses, weapons, geographical boundaries, natural elements, offices, cars, courtrooms, places of worship. It makes no difference whether we seek power and success primarily in the universe without or the universe within; as long as we inhabit physical bodies achieving our goals is directly tied to our interaction with the physical material world. This is the province of our instinct for activity.
Partnership Between The Scholar and The Wisewoman
The instinct for reflection is about the basic human “end” to be released from delusion.
There is something in all of us that wants to know and understand. Children want to see, feel, touch, taste, and smell everything. As we grow older, if our curiosity is not stifled by too many rules and inhibitions, we want to understand why and how things work. Later still this curiosity about the world extends to the inner universe. We just naturally feel good about ourselves when we acquire helpful new insights into our behavior. Self-knowledge is
its own fine reward.