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Working on Archetypes in 2019

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Archetypes are powerful.  I was reading an article on them and thought consciously working on one and it's corresponding shadows.   Maybe each month taking time daily to meditate on the archetype and how it affect my persona and actions.  Perhaps specific exercises to flesh it out.


Anyway here's a piece of the article:

by   Harry J. Stead



Moore named the archetypes of the masculine the Warrior, the Magician, the Lover and the King. These archetypes surface in mythology, folklore and, in modern times, film productions. Most people nowadays will be able to recognize these characters in their favourite novels and movies. It is the instinct of the film industry to appeal to modern audiences by resonating with their primordial nature. These archetypes exist within each man, but some of them will resonate more than others according to the expression of the soul.


Now, the purpose of the Warrior is to create and support stability. The Warrior uses his energy to face threats of violence from outside and threats of chaos from within. He must calm his own internal kingdom before he can face the predators that prowl outside. And with a calm mind, he is able to act without hesitation or fear and maintain composure even as he stands under a barrage of missiles. It is his aggressiveness, his will to action, his mental alertness and strong stature that allows him to become the protector of his community.


The Magician within drives us to understand hidden knowledge and truth. The Magician is grounded and present; he draws energy from his body rather than the commotion of his mind, allowing his senses to enjoy the natural flow of the world. He is deeply in tune with his intuition and is sensitive to his surroundings. He notices the vibrations of people’s thoughts and feels the change in their emotions. The Magician was known in ancient times as the mystic, sage or alchemist — people who could channel special knowledge or talent for the good of the people.


The Lover is the archetype of emotion, feeling, idealism, and sensuality. His heart is open to the spirit of the world and he seeks to experience as many dimensions of life as possible, as often as possible. The Lover attunes himself to the mysterious forces underlying our everyday existence.


This is the archetype that fuels a man’s spirituality, and the one in which the energy of love resides. Those flashes of inspiration or sparks of creativity we feel within ourselves, this is the Lover’s energy displaying itself in our lives. It is the Lover that encourages men to relax into their emotions, to feel the spontaneous eruptions that are happening in their body.


A man in tune with his Lover will allow himself to feel happiness and pain, to fall in love and pursue boundless freedom without limitations or fear. This is, according to Moore, the most repressed archetype in the West.


A man who accesses the King archetype in its fullness will also have access to the Warrior, Magician, and Lover archetypes. The King is a balance of the other archetypes; he directs and orders these images so that he can become a divine channel of goodness to those around him. He is grounded and decisive, he lives with integrity, he provides order, he protects his realm, he inspires creativity in others, as the feminine does also, and he blesses the lives of all who have known him.


The seat of the King is the heart. He is a servant to his people, but he does not serve the people’s selfish and foolish needs or their will, rather he serves a higher purpose. It is God who places the King onto the throne. And so, the King serves as the divine messenger and the earthly commander of God’s true spoken words. The purpose of Kingship, then, is to elevate the other archetypes to maturity and fullness. It is this divine purpose that allows him to master and intertwine the four corners of masculinity. But without the energy of the King, the other three columns become weak and brittle:

“In the absence of The King, the Warrior becomes a mercenary, the Magician becomes a sophist (able to argue any position and believing in none), and the Lover becomes an addict.”

― Robert Moore, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine


Notice also that there is a significant element of femininity within the King energy. Look at any depiction of Kingship, most notably Jesus Christ and Buddha, and see how they seem ambiguous in relation to their gender. Why do these men look like women? The most consistent ideal within the mythologies is the balance of the masculine and the feminine, of the mind and the body, of consciousness and emotion — the wholeness of the universe itself. And this ideal demonstrates itself in the image of the ancient King. For the King is he who maintains an aggressive tenderness, a humble intelligence, and a calm passion — he is the middle way between the excesses.


This image of the King is remarkably similar across most cultures, both past and present. The kings of the Anglo-Saxons, the Persians, and the Indians were all presented as battle-hardened soldiers and creative masters with the destructive might of nature, but they were also viewed as high priests with divine ancestry and nurturers of their people. These are the characteristics of a king in his fullness, one who has danced with the four poles of masculine essence.



Unfortunately, men today are indulging in the shadows of these archetypes. And so, the word ‘toxic’ has been attributed to masculinity. But if the world is poisoned, it is no surprise that men have become poisoned also. It is not masculinity that is toxic. Rather, it is the shadow expression of masculinity that is toxic.


Brutalized children, born from cruel or absent parents, who are not taught how to deal with the conflict between their unconscious and their emerging conscious will become, in one way or another, brutal adults. These ill-treated children will grow to be, as Moore writes, fundamentally insecure. They will not be able to maturely express their masculinity and will never outgrow the self-centered and egoistic impulses of the child, remaining a prey for the shadows of the soul— for they are merely boys pretending to be men.


One who identifies himself excessively with the Lover will become an addicted Lover. He will be a clingy, co-dependent partner who constantly seeks validation or attention — his body may even roll forward slightly, almost as if he is reaching out for his mother. This man has not integrated the fullness of the Warrior, the strength to pursue his purpose, into his character.


Alternatively, a man who is out of touch with the Lover will be an impotent Lover, one who is never able to enjoy the dance with the feminine. He is without the ability to feel emotions of any kind. This man is too restricted and tense, his face may show signs of strain — the constant heavy pursuit of his occupation has worn him down.


The shadow excess of the Magician is the detached manipulator. They will use their intuition and intellect for evil, rather than for the general good of inspiration and education. This shadow type is particularly destructive when involved in romantic relationships since the man or woman, usually a man, will try to control the other using all kinds of schemes and tricks. But it also shows up in high-pressure jobs such as bankers or politicians where competition is tough.


On the other hand, people who deny the Magician within them are either those who think they know everything or those who pretend not to understand anything at all. The first is suppressing the Magician because of insecurity. Whereas the second betrays the Magician so that he can fit in with the culture around him.


A man too involved with his Warrior closes himself from the warmth of beauty and love. He thinks only with logic and theory, starving himself of the experience of nature. Here, the Lover has been repressed. Alternatively, without the Warrior, man is powerless. He becomes too attached to his vulnerability and refuses to assert himself into the world. This man has lost himself in the expectations and wishes of others. He does not know how to stand firm for what he truly wants.


And lastly, one who indulges in the King becomes a tyrant. For a tyrant is he who seeks to impose his will against everything that confronts him. The world may appear to him as an eternal threat and so, he will constantly be on guard against oncoming chaos, even if there is no cause or reason.


If a man stifles the King within him, he will refuse to take control of his life, he will never ground himself to the present moment, nor will he embrace his true gifts and knowledge. Other people will be able to see his insincerity; they see his immense potential, they see his power, but they also see how he cowers behind others and never accepts responsibility for his purpose.4i_EH5jKWIQbTPZ_myNL2sDcw2kLPORTRVa2U0j-3ihcX46DsAFGgsenTRdl6fWbJEB_TSVFOSUeoc1sZr2xbDZiCPtc4EkHDft9lVFoCIVeGXseV0WvUdcAM4279oRaX0w0uv1L


Moore believed that both shadows, excess and denial, coordinate with each other. It is rare that a man is ruled by one and not the other. One who identifies too strongly with the archetype is always overcompensating for a weakness in himself that he has repressed. However, those who deny the energy usually have immense quantities of it within them that they refuse to admit. Underneath every blustering tyrant is a scared Weakling. And underneath every trembling weakling is a tyrant waiting to erupt in violence.

Edited by thelerner
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the Lover : Water

the Warrior : Wood

the Magician : Fire

the King : Metal


An attempt at a correspondence.


I have been working intensively on the shadow the last week and making very big progress, particularly in uniting first with the negative emotion then with the positive, rather than the positive only.   This has been a tremendous insight.   Retrieving shadow parts does massively increase your internal sense of yourself and your power.   But I have found it to be a gentle patient sensitive and painful process.


After having read the WMLK book, I could not work out how to do any practice with it.  Nice ideas, but ... so my current practice is with the 5 Elements, although it might be interesting to insert the imagery of WMLK.


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A physical practice with the elements that I like is the Hermetically inspired Archaeous by Rawn Clark at

It stacks the elements onto the body. So Earth is feet to hips, Water is waist area, Air is upper chest..etc.,  I like using the first few along with Zhan Zhang standing practice. 

Edited by thelerner

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