Make an inventory of all the kind and caring acts we’ve carried out throughout the course of our life – and/or – make an inventory of all the future kind and caring acts we intend to carry out.
Now listen to the audio presentation below:
“A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience. ” Elbert Hubbard
Enslavement to Enlightenment
This chapter contains the Alchemist’s journey from enslavement to enlightenment. Each stage is represented by an archetype or a power animal, which, when evoked, will have a profound effect on your unconscious mind. Before we begin, let me clarify what is meant by the terms ‘medicine’ and ‘archetype’.
Native American Medicine
To understand the concept of Native American medicine, we must redefine the term medicine. In this tradition, medicine can be defined as anything that improves our connection to the underlying principle of life – The Great Spirit – as the Native Americans call it. This includes anything which strengthens our connection to spirit, heals our body, purifies our mind, and brings personal power, strength, and understanding.
According to the Native American tradition, all of nature is connected at an unseen level (note the similarities to the findings of modern-day science). The animals, plants, and rocks all have lessons to impart. Throughout the ages, these messages have helped humanity to survive, providing us with direction, protection, and healing principles.
The animal kingdom is the primary source of these messages. By studying the animals in their natural habitat, we elicit their teachings. The essential nature of each animal embodies a lesson. For example, the message of the eagle is freedom, vision, focus, power and spirit.
Assimilating the attributes of the animals and applying them to our lives, is a powerful and exciting way to evolve. Animals constantly teach us novel ways to reach our true potential. Each lesson they impart is based on one major idea or concept. When we call upon the power of an animal, we are asking to be endowed with the strength of that creature’s essence – or in Native American terms, its medicine.
According to eminent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the psyche consists of various layers, including the personal and collective unconscious. His theory of the personal unconscious is similar to that of Freud’s in that it is assumed to be a region of the mind which contains a person’s repressed experiences – normally feelings and perceptions appertaining to significant people or events in the person’s past. Jung, however, claimed there was a deeper layer of the unconscious, which he named the collective unconscious. Unlike the personal unconscious, which is unique to the individual, the collective unconscious is a layer of the mind common to us all.
The collective unconscious houses archetypes, which Jung believed to be innate, unconscious, universal patterns of psychic energy. To state it in simple terms, an archetype is a pattern of energy which embodies a particular theme e.g. the hero or the clown; it is an original model or prototype after which other similar things are patterned. For example, Superman and Batman are the archetypes that have influenced many other hero-type characters which followed – Spiderman, Daredevil, and Iron-man, etc.
Archetypes are said to provide the deep structure for human motivation and meaning. You may view them as imprints hardwired into our psyches which evoke deep feeling and propel us in a certain direction. When we contemplate an archetype and allow its essence to pervade our mind, we assume its attributes and characteristics. For instance, have you ever been to the cinema and become so engrossed in the movie that you have felt yourself become the hero or the lover? This is due to that particular archetype being activated within your unconscious and emerging to dominate your being.
Other examples of archetypes can be seen in the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck (e.g. the Fool, the High Priestess, and the Devil). The Fool archetype embodies the themes of innocence, simplicity, beginnings and faith; it portrays the youthful exuberance we possess when starting out on a new adventure. The fool makes no plans, nor gives thought to possible complications along the way; he takes joy in doing something different and will willingly go where others fear to tread.
The Tarot deck portrays the Fool’s Journey through life. Each Major Arcana card represents a stage in the journey and imparts wisdom and guidance that we can assimilate in order to reach our true potential. In the same way, what follows is the Alchemists Archetypal journey through life. Archetypes offer a powerful way of changing our emotional state instantaneously, because they directly impact our unconscious in a profound way.
Read and study the following stages – one stage every day. Initially, go through the journey in chronological order. Thereafter, allow your intuition to guide you to any particular stage that seems significant. After absorbing the reading, seat yourself comfortably and mentally focus on the archetype. Allow its essence to permeate your unconscious mind and contemplate the lessons it relays. For example:
- Is this lesson revealing insights into yourself?
- Is it providing direction?
- Is it highlighting your strengths?
- Is it offering healing?
Allow the answers to emerge from the depths of your unconscious without force. Remain relaxed and open minded and watch as your comprehension of the forces of creation accentuate to produce amazing results in your life.
Listen to the audio presentation below for an introduction to the subject and then listen to each Archetype or Power animal and assimilate the attributes. Have fun with this, and pick them at random… See what you learn about yourself!