(picture by Susan Seddon Boulet from her ‘animal spirit cards’ http://www.turningpointgallery.com/bio.htm )
where the other pages on archetypes give a guide to what the archetypes represent in this tradition, here are some suggested ways to work with them.
connecting with the archetypes.
in the weeks following the receiving of the seeds of the archetypes, we are asked to do a fire ceremony for each archetype.
this is essentially a fire where we honour each archetype as we hold the fire (in sacred space). as we hold each specific fire, we allow ourselves to connect with the archetype we are working with, allowing ourselves to be informed by them. we can also allow ourselves to see and feel from the archetypes perspective, bringing us close to the archetype, and to knowing the archetype well. as well as honouring and showing appreciation of these archetypes and their qualities.
these fires for the archetypes are normally done at the time of each new moon, and full moon consecutively, and after these fires for the archetypes, with the tradition we often continue hold fires for the full moon, where we can release our stories of the past month, clearing and making ourselves available to the potential of the future.
another way to work with the archetypes is to connect with them in daily breathing/meditation exercises. after doing these exercises, spending a little time connecting with each archetype in turn, feeling the energies that they come with, and listening to what comes to you when connecting with them.
my notes from the training say “hummingbird can give you another perspective each day”, and this is potentially true of all the archetypes.
connecting with the archetypes with the body
it can be beneficial to spend a little time seeing the world through the eyes of the archetype, to from their perspective. for example, the serpent, sees at the level of the physical, ‘everything is exactly as it appears to be’, and that gives a particular perspective and outlook to the jaguar, for example, where stories from the mind and emotions come into play, where ‘everything is and is not as it seems’.
it can also be useful, when beginning the connection even embodying them, moving as they do – a lot can be learned from just doing this, for example ‘walking soft belly on the earth as you do’ from opening sacred space words makes even more sense if you’ve tried ‘walking’ as a snake does, on it’s belly.
‘automatic writing’ is another way of connecting with the archetypes. this is where we take a piece of paper, and write a question, with the intention that it is to the archetypical energy. then, just writing automatically, allowing whatever comes, to be written in answer to this question, and this can provide insights too.
more information on automatic writing can be found elsewhere, some people find it easier to draw a line down a page, with questions/your respond on one side, and automatic writing on the other, others just write it altogether.
perceptual states exercise
(as learned on the training, and as in book ‘the four insights’ by alberto villoldo). this is essentially a tool for viewing the world from the different perceptual states of each archetype. this is a valuable tool for ‘tracking’ for information as a guide for what to work with, and how to work in sessions, workshops and everyday life. it is also useful for shifting blockages, where we can ‘shift perceptions, and perceptions shift’ . this can also to help us step out of a drama triangle if we find ourselves in it, and to generally see situations from other perspectives, and this can assist with making decisions etc.
and….well maybe you can think of some other ways to connect with these….