The Relationship Family of Archetypes – Part Two

This month we will continue our exploration of archetypes – the language of the Unconscious mind – by continuing our exploration of the Relationship Family with the Bully/Coward, the Rebel, the Clown/Fool and the Trickster.

The Bully/Coward is not an easy archetype to own but, as with many of the more negative sounding archetypes, it is very powerful indeed. In its light aspect, it teaches that the spirit is always stronger than the body – “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.” The Bully/Coward archetype is about confronting the power in oneself and standing up to being bullied by inner fears. The shadow aspect is obvious from its name. Examples of the Bully/Coward archetype are Matt Dillon in My Bodyguard, Mel Gibson in Braveheart and Bert Lahr (the cowardly Lion) in The Wizard of Oz.

The Rebel archetype helps someone to break out of old tribal patterns, systems and conventions which no longer serve the common good. The shadow aspect can be rebelling for the sake of it, out of peer pressure or for the sake of fashion and trend. It can also reject legitimate authority because it is difficult. Examples of the Rebel archetype are James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, Meryl Streep in Silkwood and Kirk Douglas in Spartacus.

The Clown/Fool archetype is fascinating. Not only do Clowns make people laugh, but they also release deep feelings through an acceptable face of tragedy. This is why a clown’s face is painted with both a smile and tears. This archetype enables someone to do or say what other people are thinking and, in addition, allows someone entry into the most powerful of circles. This was perfectly exemplified by Will Somers who was the King Henry V111’s Fool and who was able to speak the truth where no-one else could, saying things which would have been declared High treason in anyone else. The shadow aspect is the wearing of a mask to hide true feelings, cruel mockery or betrayal and the breaking of confidences gained through knowledge from the inner circle. Modern examples of Clowns/Fools are Danny Kaye in The Court Jester, Jim Carrey in The Claw and Charlie Chaplin in The Circus.

The Trickster is a key figure in the human drama who plays dubious jokes or tricks, makes fun or is made fun of, presenting alternatives to the straight and narrow path and conformity. The shadow aspect is duplicity. Donald Trump plays this admirably. Other examples are Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Eve, Peter Cooke in Bedazzled and Michael Caine, Steve Martin and Glenne Headley in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

There are many more archetypes within the Relationship Family. However, 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. Next month we will be looking at the Justice Family of archetypes.

Until then, enjoy observing and enjoy May!

Love Laurelle