Archives for March 2017

Relationship Archetypes – Part One

This month we will continue our exploration of behaviour and its archetypes – the language of the Unconscious mind – with a look at the Relationship Family. It is very helpful to be able to recognise these patterns within ourselves and also others. We will be looking at the Lover, Casanova/Femme Fatale, the Companion, the Networker/Communicator, the Rescuer, the Hedonist and the Dilettante.

The Lover is romantic and exhibits great passion and devotion. S/he can be a lover of such things as painting, music, cookery, beauty, clothes, a person and nature. His/her enthusiastic appreciation can also show up in attention to physical appearance. The shadow aspect of the Lover is obsession that has a destructive effect on physical or mental health and self-esteem. Examples of films and literature abound using the Lover archetype, for instance Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Chaucer’s Troilus and Cressida.

The Casanova/Femme Fatale archetype uses sexual and/or financial energy to provide power. The light aspect of this is that the archetype can open a heart that is capable of deep love. In its shadow aspect, however, this archetype can become manipulative, unreliable and unstable. Examples of this archetype in films are Marilyn Munroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and Kathleen Turner in Body Heat.

The Companion archetype, on the other hand, is loyal, tenacious, unselfish and serves another person who carries more authority. For example, personal assistants take care of the day-to-day details of life and provide emotional support. The shadow aspect is self-betrayal where the person themselves neglects their own needs. Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis portray the Companion archetype in Thelma and Louise, as does Dr Watson in Sherlock Holmes and Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello.

The Networker or Communicator expands their sphere of influence by forging alliances and making connections among differing groups of people. The light aspect is the bringing together of people and the empowering and inspiring of groups. In the shadow aspect, they Networkers/Communicators can use others for personal gain. Films portraying this archetype are Network with Peter Finch, A Message to Garcia with John Boles and Between the Lines with Jeff Goldblum.

Finally, let’s look at the Rescuer who also belongs to this family. Rescuers are wonderful in a crisis and help others when needed but they withdraw once the rescue mission is accomplished. In the shadow aspect they can fail to withdraw thereby keeping the rescuee powerless. Examples of the Rescuer in films are Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan and Jason Gedrick in Iron Eagle.

Next month we will continue looking at the Relationship Family but if you want a deeper understanding that these newsletters can give you, or you can’t wait for the next instalments, then I run workshops on archetypes as well as private sessions in person or on Skype and would be delighted to work with you personally. Meanwhile, keep observing the behaviour of yourself and those around you.

Until then, happy observing and Happy Easter!

Love Laurelle