Using archetypal shame to find your way home

posted by Eivind on March 27, 2014, at 3:12 am


I sit here preparing for a daylong workshop on the Sovereign, Warrior, Magician, Lover archetypes at the Integral Center here in Boulder, Colorado tomorrow. I will be offering a condensed version of the weekend immersion I offered in Norway in 2012 and 2013, based around the “reclaim your inner throne” workshop process (referred to previous participants as the most powerful workshop process they ever experienced).

In the process of preparing, I have updated the 11-page introduction document to the archetypes (linked for your convenience).

One of the concepts I introduced in this document is that each archetypal quadrant has its own unique flavor of shame. I haven’t seen anyone else write about this. As far as I know, this teaching is unique (and still in its infancy – I need more data to hone it and confirm it completely). And in this updated version of the document, I have rephrased these flavors of shame to be more aligned with my new understanding.

As I now prepare to list these, I ask you to take a deep breath, put away anything that’s on your mind, and fall to rest. Open to receive the impact of these pithy sentences. Doing so may, if my hypothesis holds true, give you enormous insight as to which archetypal quadrant holds the most shadow for you.

Here they are, the four types of archetypal shame and their accompanying core beliefs:

  • Sovereign: “I’m broken”
  • Warrior: “I’m weak”
  • Magician: “I’m stupid/incompetent”
  • Lover: “I’m unlovable”

Really feel these different forms of shame circulate in your system. Which one of them do you feel the most? Which one really “gets” you?

My working hypothesis, based on studies, life experience and working with men, is that when you find which one of these impacts you the most, you know which archetypal shadow has the most power over you. In other words, if the one that really gets you is “I’m unlovable”, it means that it’s the Shadow Lover that you should focus on in life. In this particular case, you are likely to find, if you check in with yourself, that you suffer from strong addictive patterns on the one hand and a loss of vitality and potency on the other (spending hours on the couch in front of the TV is an example of a Shadow Lover dynamic).

By the wonders of the path of the alchemist you may find, once you start working with this shadow dynamic, that your true life purpose is related to this shame. It’s a universal spiritual teaching that your deepest wounds give rise to your greatest gifts (that’s precisely why you were wounded in such a way – to prepare you for your great work).

My experience working with men tells us we are afraid of our feelings and vulnerability. So we tend to keep our wounds at an arm’s length. That is the reason why so few of us end up discovering our true purpose in this lifetime. There is no true life purpose to be found without examining our wounds. I believe this with every fibre of my being.

I want to share this short experimental teaching with you, so you can take part in the body of knowledge and wisdom we will step into here in Boulder, tomorrow.

Open that KWML PDF-file, examine the shadow dynamic of the archetype which corresponds with your deepest shame, and you may have the recipe to the most important growth work you can do in your life right now.

Whether this hits home with you in a strong way or it doesn’t really seem true to you, let me know in the comments below. This teaching is in its infancy and I need your help to hone it.

Best regards,

PS! I think developing this theory fully could further the whole body of work around KWML. It would give us a super quick way to identify our big inner work and the gift we have to offer. There is a risk that the theory is too general and borderline wishful thinking, but I have faith in it. It’s therefore very important to me to hear how this does or does not apply to you.

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