I am looking for an ordinary explanation for the term archetype in psychology
and how it pertains to astrology? The more I read about Jung and archetypes,
the more confused I get. Do you have a solution? e.g. is cleopatra/helen
an archetype. Thanks!
Archetype? Ordinary description? (Good luck there...) Yep...
it surely is a strange word... and
to make matters even worse – the term, "archetype," is commonly used,
abused, and misused in a lot of differing ways.
assuming here (BTW) that you've already read what I had to say about
archetypes in my Unus Mundus section called "Archetypes
Explained." If you haven't, then please go back and read it
In the human psyche - for lack of a better way to describe it –
archetypes seem to act as universal inborn "invisible energies" in the
human psyche. In his writings, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato called
these invisible energies the Eternal "Ideas" (or Forms). And
the only way we humans can "see" these invisible energies of the psyche
is via an intermediary image and/or symbol.
not sure which book you've read (or web site you've visited) to ask
the question is Cleopatra/Helen an archetype? (And I'm assuming here
that they were referring to Helen of Troy) But
certain "larger-than-life" historical and/or mythical figures seem to
act as "hooks" (containers) for these invisible archetypal energies.
"larger-than-life" figures, over time, become "archetypal images" that
represent and help explain (paint a picture, put a face on) the ineffable,
indescribable core essence of a particular archetype.
you remember my example of the magnet and the metal shavings – and how
the invisible energy pattern of the magnet is indirectly revealed by
the metal shavings?
archetype would be roughly analogous to the magnet and the "archetypal
image" of Cleopatra and/or Helen of Troy would correspond with the metal
these figures aren't necessarily pages out of ancient history or mythology…
In more modern times – many of our movie stars, matinee idols, and
political leaders seem to act as "hooks" (or containers) for archetypal
the United States, a few examples of this phenomenon might be: Marilyn
Monroe, Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy.
– I know that all my "going on and on," regarding the difference between
an "archetype" and an "archetypal image," sounds very nit picky – and
the truth is that it won't mean a hill of beans to the average person
on the street. But
if you end up getting really interested in all this stuff – then all
this nit picky differentiating becomes muy importante. And it's always
better to learn it right the first time.
As for applying all this to the study of astrology – the planets are
"archetypal images." And the best way to understand the energy behind
these archetypal images (planets) is by going back and reading the mythology
surrounding the Roman/Greek gods that they were named after.
particular theory I adhere to is that the "external planets" in our
universe (for some unknown, mysterious reason) correspond to and reflect
(act as containers to) the archetypal energies of the "internal planets"
that reside within our psyches.
that thou art a second little world and
that the sun and moon are within thee, and
also the stars...." Origen, 2nd/3rd Century
Christian Mystic/Theologian, Homilies
external planets of our solar system don't have invisible rays that
beam down on us from above, physically compelling us to obey them.
planets are "synchronistic," "acausal" reflections of corresponding
internal planets contained within each of our psyches.
The external planets function as "cosmic storytellers..." They don't
cause behaviors and/or events in our lives. These "cosmic storytellers"
are merely the messengers... messengers endowed with the ability
to regale us with all their many fantastical stories and myths explaining
who we are in this lifetime.
reminds me of the old saying, "Don't shoot the messenger..." So, anyway,
if one can begin gaining a good grasp of the planets (and their corresponding
symbolic meanings) – then one is well on their way to having astrology
An experience with the Archetype requires the experience of the unconscious
mind, the unconscious mind can only be accessed by developed individuals?
So who is the archetype- the dream, vision etc.
Not so... actually, the most "undeveloped" among us experience the effect
of archetypes (inborn "invisible energies") in our daily lives...
In our day to
day lives, we often "unconsciously" and compulsively get "caught
up" in acting out various archetypal patterns of behavior (myths, scenarios).
problem is that we're generally "clueless" about the effect these unconscious
archetypal patterns of behavior have on our day to day lives.
Check out my
"Get a Clue" section on the Unus Mundus Menu - and that the Jungian
solution to the problem is when we finally start to "wake up" and "get
a clue" about what's going on (and controlling) us in our everyday lives...
And "getting a clue" is how we can start breaking free of our more compulsive
(and potentially destructive) archetypal patterns of behavior.
a clue" enables us to more consciously participate in our everyday decisions.
"Getting a clue"
about the "unconscious" makes our lives and our actions in
this life feel much less "fated," by the realization that we no longer
have to get caught up in making all the same old compulsive, "fated"
behaviors and mistakes. "Getting
a clue" opens up real choice in our lives.
But then you had to go and ask a question like, "who is the archetype?"...
[in our visions and dreams]... For years and years, Jung purposely skirted
this controversial issue... and
when folks asked Jung this sort of question - being a scientist, psychiatrist,
and therapist (and not a theologian) - he generally attempted steering
clear of making metaphysical and/or religious declarations regarding
the exact nature of archetypes and the "unconscious."
throughout the centuries, the various religions and their sacred writings
have identified archetypes (and visionary, numinous archetypal experiences)
using a wide array of terminology for them... Some
of the more common examples are:
angels, gods, God, demons, daimons, principalities, powers, spiritual