How to Embrace your Inner Alchemist

As Syria continues its horrifying war, Donald Trump settles into his presidency of the United States and Teresa May negotiates Brexit, it would be all too easy to feel that we are living in a cauldron of chaos. But what if we chose to see these circumstances as opportunities for change rather than hot beds of fear, anger and prejudice?

Alchemy is the art of changing base lead into magnificent gold and is every bit as relevant for the human condition as it is for metallurgists. Embracing our Inner Alchemist means that we can transform chaos into productive peace but it requires a change of focus. Instead of slipping into worry, we have to learn to keep our cool and this is done through awareness, not naivety, cynicism or a refusal to accept what is happening.

Fortunately, we each possess a system which unfailingly tells us what is going on, even if it ends up shouting at us through pain. Our bodies are the barometer of our experience and learning to read the language of the body is essential if we are to move forward in a positive way.

It helps to think of illness as an opportunity for change rather than an inconvenience to be ignored or suppressed. Each part of the body has a message to give us. For example, our backs represent our support. Back pain and problems are our body’s way of telling us that we need to find a way of finding more support as well as strengthening ourselves not only bodily, but also in mind, emotions and spirit.

Our legs carry us ahead in life and when something goes wrong with them we are being urged to explore the path we are treading and remove any blocks that are preventing us from moving forward.

Our digestive systems digest food so when something goes wrong here we are being shown that we may not be accepting our lives and/or new ideas and allowing them to nourish us. Alternatively, we may be hanging onto people or situations that we need to let go of.

And so on through every part of our body.

Biography becomes biology which means that whatever we do, think or feel will be stored somewhere in our cells until we face and deal with those energies. Refusing to listen will eventually cause them to solidify into illness and pain.

So, every time anything “goes wrong” whether externally or internally, ask yourself: Why am I experiencing this in the bigger picture? What is it teaching me? What is the behaviour or habit that I need to change?

Increasing both internal and external awareness in this way will create the power and confidence to do what we have come here to do and enable our Inner Alchemist to transform us from lead into gold. So watch yourself and observe what your body is telling you and be aware of your feelings, working with them rather than trying to block them out or ignore them. Focus on what is good and nourishing rather than what is bad and disempowering and visualise enhanced peace and happiness rather than worrying about what might or might not go wrong with the world. Be grateful for everything – yes, everything, even when it is painful. Pain is a road to be travelled and, if we have the courage, it can take us on the path of transformation.  Finally, be gentle with yourself and others and realise that everyone is undergoing tremendous internal changes.

So watch, learn, observe and detach. Then enjoy embracing your Inner Alchemist. It will help you to become your extraordinary self and, in so doing, will allow the world to become the extraordinary world it was created to be.

Happy February.
Love Laurelle

2017 – The Year of the Wake Up Call

On 28th January 2017, we will move from the Year of the Trickster Monkey to the Year of the Fire Rooster which will last until 15th February 2018. Just as the Year of The Trickster Monkey has been predictable in its leg-pulling unpredictability, the time of the Rooster will be a wake-up call in which triumph and success will only be achieved through hard work, efficiency and patience.

The Rooster is flamboyant and likes to strut his stuff with his chest puffed out. He also holds his head up high and likes to be noticed. It is important to realise, however, that his rather grandiose love of centre stage can mask an inner lack of self-confidence which means that he can be susceptible to flattery and loves to be adored. He can also hide his weaknesses behind a veneer of arrogance. The Rooster can be exceptionally blunt and direct and diplomacy is completely out of his remit. Moreover, his sharp mind can lead to argumentativeness and he can be particularly harsh with anyone with woolly thinking. (Whoops, not good news for me as a Sheep, then…!)

Roosters tend to make larger scale plans than they have the capacity to achieve but because other people’s opinions are seen as criticism rather than counsel, they are unwilling to take advice. As a result, their feathers are easily ruffled causing them to fly into rages. However, this is generally short lived and they are soon off to strut their stuff once again. Fortunately, Roosters tend to be rather well organised and efficient although they do like other people to live by their rules, irrespective of the situation.

Animal signs in Chinese Astrology also include an element and 2017 will be a fire year with the colour red, meaning that it should be an auspicious year for marriage, relationships and pregnancy. Fire Roosters are exceedingly dramatic in nature and like to cut a dash in bright and expensive clothes, so this will be a great year for all concerned with fashion. They are natural high flyers and tend to achieve great things in a short time. Utterly single minded, they are rarely distracted from their goals and easily gravitate to the top of their professions in which they demonstrate great talent for organisation and leadership.

However, beware! It will be essential to balance all this fiery, dramatic energy with time spent in solitude and harmony with friends and family. Alternative healing therapies and meditation will also be particularly advisable and help to keep stress at bay.

The keys, therefore, for 2017, will be hard work, efficiency, and single mindedness and as long as they are balanced with patience, self-discipline, sufficient rest and harmony, the year could be filled with potential.

Interestingly, just as a certain Donald looked as though he was the archetypal Trickster Monkey, it would appear that he is the archetypal Fire Rooster as well. Methinks 2017 is going to be quite a show. At any rate, it will be something of a wake-up call. The question is, a wake-up to what…?

Wishing us all a happy and peaceful 2017

Love Laurelle

What is the real meaning of the Winter Solstice?

At this time in the world when many of us are feeling unsettled with the political arena and wondering what on earth is going on, let’s take a two month break from discussing archetypes to look first at the ancient meaning behind this upcoming winter festival and, next month, to what leaving behind the Year of the Trickster Monkey will mean for us. The Midwinter Solstice festival is celebrated all round the world by many traditions. Some of its names are Christmas; the Jewish HannukkahPancha Ganapati, a five-day festival in honour of Lord Ganesha, celebrated by Hindus in USA; and Shabe Chelle, an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil.

The word solstice comes from the Latin sol stretit which means “sun stands still”. For approximately six days at midwinter and again at midsummer, the sun does not seem to move and appears to stand still in the sky. These solstices divide the year into two halves and serve as important anchor points in the farming year.  To move the year on, dances were choreographed to mimic the seasons and coax them forward and these masked dancers are still reflected in the masked “guisers” who tour outlying villages of Britain and Ireland today. In more ancient times, shamans, who were the first priests, would climb up the World Tree to reach the Otherworld and climb back down again with the gifts of prophecy and wisdom to give to us all and this is still enacted by Father Christmas coming down the chimney to give us presents.

All over the world, humans have celebrated midwinter as the demise of the old year and the birth of the new. In the North, various symbols have come to represent the fears and hopes of the turning of the year over thousands of years: fire as a symbol warmth and light as a symbol of the returning sun, boughs of greenery bound into rings to represent the circle of creation and images of deities that have the strength to bring spring back again.

There are many pagan and religious symbols in our modern day celebrations. A long time before Christianity, the Christmas Tree began life as the Solstice Evergreen, promising that life would return after the death that winter represented. The Yule Log originated in pagan Scandinavia and represented the turning of the magical year. The ancient carol “The Holly and the Ivy” derives from pre-Christian times when the Lord and Lady of the Greenwood were honoured by the hanging of green garlands from the ridge poles of houses. Indeed, the true origins of the Spirit of Christmas – Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Old St Nick, Syre Christemas and Sinter Class – are as old as history. In Arthurian times, The Green Knight – who represented winter – arrived at King Arthur’s Court just as the Christmas festivities were starting. He offered to play a strange game. Anyone brave enough should strike him with an axe on the understanding that he would return the blow in a year’s time. Only Gawain had the courage to accept the challenge but eventually his head was severed by the Green Knight. Of course the killing of Gawain was merely a prelude to his battle for the hand of The Spring Maiden.

Then, of course, two thousand years ago a baby was born in Bethlehem bringing love and forgiveness to the world. Afterwards, in Medieval Britain, a bishop called Nicholas was so saddened by the poverty in his Parish that he would slip into houses at night and leave presents in the shoes of his parishioners, especially children, as a gift of compassion.

Though it’s all too easy at the moment to feel discombobulated by what’s happening in the world, let’s choose to mark the solstice as a time of hope rather than despair. The choice to live in faith rather than fear allows us to demonstrate our hope for the future knowing that, however bleak things may seem, spring will come again. By touching history at its very heart, we can connect not only to the lives of the millions of people who have gone before us but also to the rest of humanity, joining hands across the globe in trust and love, whatever religious faith we do or do not observe. After all, the light is still there just waiting to shine on us again. All we have to do is to be brave enough to lift our heads and look up.

Wishing you a happy, peaceful and joyous Solstice.

Love Laurelle

How do you work through the Power Family Group of Archetypes? – Part One

In our exploration of the archetypes of the Unconscious mind, let us now look at the Power Family which includes the Queen, the King, the Hero/Heroine,

the Princess, the Damsel, the Warrior and the Knight. Perhaps surprisingly, it also includes patterns such as the Beggar, the Servant and the Martyr. This month, we will explore the Queen, the King, the Princess and the Damsel.

Queen Elizabeth I gave us a clear picture of what it meant to be a Queen. The Queen archetype represents power and authority but it is not easy to work through. The Queen often leads a lonely life and has to be aggressive to protect her position. However, she protects those in her court, and sees her own empowerment enhanced by her relationships and experience. Variants of this archetype include Snow Queen, Drama Queen, Drag Queen and Queen Bee. The shadow aspect means that she (or he) can be prone to hysteria and being manipulative. S/he can also be arrogant and defensive over the protection of her personal and emotional power.

The light aspect of the King archetype is benevolent, has natural authority and rules his kingdom by exerting just control over it. However, we only have to look at history to see the shadow. Henry VIII may have begun his Kingship in a benevolent way but the abuse of power became all too evident in his later life with his demonstrations of cruelty, entitlement, a resistance to criticism, questioning, controlling behaviour and even murder.

The Princess archetype was wonderfully embodied by Diana, Princess of Wales.

Always beautiful, pure and young, she was polite, courteous, considerate and caring. Her nobility demanded that she marry a prince. The Princess, however, is always given a test to break her sense of powerlessness. If she fails to overcome the test, her shadow aspect will appear. She won’t use her intelligence, she will have little control over what happens to her and she will be generally passive.

The Damsel archetype is similar to the Princess but with important differences. She also is always beautiful, vulnerable, and in need of rescue. However, her rescuer will be a Knight rather than a Prince and, once rescued, she will be looked after and stay locked up in her castle rather than venturing out to become a Queen. Like the Princess, the Damsel must become empowered and learn to take care of herself in the world. However, she will never be rich like a Princess. The shadow aspect of the Damsel is the suggestion that women are weak, helpless and in need of protection and it teaches women to expect someone else to fight her battles for her. Though we no longer live in medieval times, how many modern women are still longing to be rescued by a Knight in shining armour?

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 help you discover what you were born to do and who you were born to be.

Happy observing of yourself and others, and enjoy November!

Love Laurelle

How do you relate to the Family group of Archetypes?

We have already explored the four shared survival archetypes – Child, Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute – in the hidden world of the Unconscious Mind, so now let us look at some possibilities for the rest so that we can more easily understand our and others’ behaviour and learn how to deal with it appropriately.

Let us begin with the group known as the Family. The Family consists in the main of Child, Brother, Sister, Mother, Father, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Grandmother and Grandfather. Each of these archetypes are related but subtly different. It is important to remember that each archetype has a light and shadow aspect, both of which help us to raise our consciousness. The shadow is not bad, but merely the part that we have not yet integrated.

The Mother can be worked through by women who are not physical mothers, as well as men. Light aspects of the Mother Archetype include such abilities as life-giving, nurturing, unconditional love, patience, devotion, caring, unselfish acts, compassion and forgiveness. Other variants are Working Mother, Foster Mother, Mother-in-Law and Step Mother. The shadow aspects include the Devouring Mother who consumes her children psychologically and emotionally, makes them feel guilty at leaving her or becoming independent. The Abusive Mother and the Abandoning Mother speak for themselves.

Likewise, the Father can be worked through by anyone irrespective of gender or physical fatherhood. The Light side of the Father archetype instils such qualities as courage, protectiveness, guiding and advice, and self-sacrifice. Again, there are variants: Godfather, Step Father, Patriarch and Father God. The shadow aspects show up when caring guidance and protection turns into dictatorial control, tyranny, dominance or abuse of authority.

Archetypes are laden with historical and cultural meanings as is exemplified by the Grandmother. In these days of worshipping youth, the Grandmother can be a frightening archetype to own since it suggests getting old. Even the language is fraught with difficulty. The word Crone, another word for grandmother, actually comes from the word Crown, alluding to the halo of wisdom around the head. Another variant is the Hag, which comes from the word hagio, meaning holy. Despite the beauty of these original meanings, both Crone and Hag have negative connotations for us today. Indeed, female wisdom has been so feared over many centuries that the shadow of the Grandmother archetype has become frighteningly famous with the millions of women who were burned at the stake for being witches. Because we still hold the ancestral knowledge of this horror deep inside our memories, most of us are scared of owning this powerful archetype. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful archetype and imbues qualities such as wisdom, the keeper of stories, the seer, healer and midwife.

Most of us come to know that the family can be a complex and challenging group to belong to and it is no less so with its archetypes. Over the next month, try exploring some of these archetypes within yourself and observe if they come to play in your behaviour.

Next month we will continue the journey by looking at the Power Family. 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 help you discover what you were born to do and who you were born to be.

Enjoy observing yourself and others, and have a happy October!

Love Laurelle

How do we begin to recognise our other archetypes?

Over the past few months we have looked at some of the ways in which archetypes are the default language of the Unconscious, 95% of the mind. Now we have explored the four survival archetypes that everyone shares – Child, Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute, it is time to explore some of the other possibilities.

Carolyn Myss proposes that, along with the four shared archetypes, we all primarily work through another eight, making twelve in all. Unlike the four survival archetypes, however, these eight are different for each of us. This fascinating journey takes us into a deeper understanding of our behaviour, freeing us to choose how we behave, so that we can respond rather than react. If something pushes our buttons and makes us really angry, for instance, we don’t have to lash out and then regret it afterwards. We can choose to walk away if that is a more appropriate response.

Once we understand our own archetypes, we can also begin to recognise the archetypes that those around us are working through and this can really benefit the relationships we have with others. Some archetypes are easy to spot like the Environmentalist, the Artist or the Priest but bear in mind that some adults never move beyond Child, Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute, staying stuck in them all of their lives. It is also important to be aware that elderly people may revert back to the primary four in, as Shakespeare put it, the second childhood of life. As for children, growing up is partly about moving away from the four survival archetypes into the next eight. But whatever the age of our loved ones, friends and colleagues, the rule is the same. When someone, including ourselves, is in archetypal behaviour, never take that behaviour personally or accept a decision that is made in it because archetypal behaviour comes from the Unconscious, not the Conscious mind.

So how do we go about searching this vast soup of unconscious patterns to determine the specific archetypes that we work through? Over the next few months, we are going to look at some possibilities by grouping them into families: the Family, the Power Family, the Relationship Family, the Justice Family, the Creative Family, the Wisdom Family and the Spirituality Family. This will give us a clearer idea of our possible further eight archetypes and enable us to navigate our own behaviour with more choice and relate more authentically with others. Such knowledge will also help us to choose a profession that suits us. For example, a Lawyer needs to be working through the Judge archetype if they are to be successful, just as a novelist needs to work through the Storyteller and a lecturer the Teacher.

To prepare yourself for this exciting journey, continue observing your behaviour over the next month. By now you may have an idea of when you go into Child, Victim, Saboteur or Prostitute, even if you don’t catch yourself until afterwards, but now also watch for other patterns. For example: What can you not help doing? How do you spend your leisure time? What kind of people do you choose to be with? What kind of behaviour do you keep on repeating? How do you operate in the world?

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 help you discover what you were born to do and who you were born to be. Phone me on 07964 161527 or email me at laurelle@laurellerond.com

In the meantime, enjoy observing yourself and others, and have a happy September!

Love Laurelle

 

 

What is the story of our four survival archetypes?

Over the past four months we have looked at the four survival archetypes of the Unconscious mind – the Child, the Victim, the Saboteur and the Prostitute – in order to understand our behaviour and that of others. We each go on a Hero’s Journey to discover our true selves and nowhere is this more evident that in the story of The Wizard of Oz.

The first character we meet is Dorothy who represents the Child. At the beginning of the story she is continually looking for attention, struggling to be heard and recognised by adults. Her plea to find a place “somewhere over the rainbow” is her longing to find a home of her own where she can be herself. Without warning she is whisked out of Kansas by a tornado – chaos – into the Land of Oz. After being recognized as a Hero by the Munchkins for unwittingly killing the Wicked Witch of the East, she asks how she can return home only to be told that she must find the Wizard in the Emerald City and ask him for help. So, with the gift of ruby slippers on her feet, she starts out on her Hero’s Journey to independence and self responsibility, along the path of the yellow brick road.

The second person we meet is the Scarecrow who represents the Saboteur. He points in one direction and then another, unable to make up his mind. Stuck on a pole, he announces that he is a failure because he hasn’t got a brain. As he sings about all the things he would do ‘if only’ he had a brain, we see the Saboteur in the shadow aspect, representing confusion, lack and ‘if only’ attitudes. His Hero’s Journey is all about his gaining sufficient self-esteem to use his intelligence. Only once he has done so will he be able to make choices and decisions for himself.

Next we meet the Tin Man who represents the Prostitute, standing alone, frozen and unable to speak in the forest. With the aid of Dorothy and the Scarecrow his joints are oiled. In other words, he is given attention and love. Once he can move again, he complains that he hasn’t got a heart, singing about how loving he would be if he had one. His Hero’s Journey is finding his heart and being able to love freely without becoming frozen in fear.

Finally, we meet the Lion who claims that he has no courage, quickly showing himself to be the Victim. He asks for pity by complaining about how unbearable life has been. His Hero’s Journey is to find his courage so that he can at last be victorious and claim himself for himself.

Each of them is looking for something outside themselves – the Wizard of Oz – to make them whole. It is only when they realise that the Wizard is a fraud that they begin to see through the illusion. It seems that they already had what they were missing.  Dorothy has the ruby slippers which she needs to get her home, the Scarecrow has the intelligence which shows them what to do, the Tin Man has the heart to be kind and loving, and the Lion has the courage to fight for what he wants.

It is well worth watching the film of The Wizard of Oz see how the characters react both individually and together. Understanding how the four survival archetypes work within us frees us to see that, like Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, our perceived lack is only an illusion. The truth is that each of us already has exactly what we need if only we will dare to see it. We just have to look inside and discover the treasure that was there all along.

Happy August!

Love Laurelle

 

In which ways do you prostitute yourself?

The fourth and final survival archetype that we all share is The Prostitute. This is a difficult word for most of us and yet this is one of the most beautiful of all archetypes to work through. We prostitute ourselves when we sell our bodies or minds for money or when we compromise our morals and ethics for financial gain.

The Prostitute begins by showing us our price, how we can be bought and what we will sell ourselves for – e.g. talents, ideas, and any other expression of the self – in order to be safe and financially secure.

The end game of the Prostitute archetype, however, is the learning and building up of integrity and qualities. It teaches us self-esteem and self-respect so that we are strong enough to stand up and be counted.

In order to find out what is really important to you, try asking yourself some of these questions: Have you ever stayed in a marriage or job simply for financial gain? Have you ever sold out to people or organisations you do not truly believe in? Have you ever put another person in a compromising position in order to gain power over them? Have you ever bought another person’s loyalty, support, or even silence, in order to have your way? What do you care enough about to stand up for?

Working through the Prostitute Archetype develops moral stamina. It is rarely comfortable: and we may end up going against some of our friends, our family or even our culture, but the qualities we will develop – e.g. honesty, integrity, compassion and acceptance – will be worth it.  A wonderful example of the archetype is the film “Indecent Proposal” with Robert Redford and Demi Moore. A rich man offers a million dollars to spend a night with the wife of a happily married young couple. The husband needs money so he agrees. The rest is history…

So embrace your own Prostitute Archetype and try not to judge others when they are working through theirs. Allow it to teach you to look at your life and decide what’s important to you. Then claim your personal power and be everything you are capable of being.

Have a wonderful summer.

Love Laurelle

In which ways do you sabotage yourself?

The third of our four shared survival archetypes is the Saboteur. The Saboteur archetype is all about the fear of change. Because most of us lack self-esteem and self-belief, we will do almost anything to stop change or at least try to slow it down, whether the change is for the good or the bad. Take a creative idea for a new business, for example. If we’re frightened of failure, or of what other people might think of us if we put that new idea into action, most of us will sabotage it and do nothing. Or take a new relationship: if it threatens the life we have so carefully created, or we fear we may be hurt, then we will end it precipitously. Or what about clean eating? We all know that it will make us feel healthier and fitter, but if we don’t feel good enough, or if we secretly fear that being slim will open up all sorts of opportunities that will take us out of our comfort zone, then we’ll be turning to junk food by lunchtime.

It’s important to remember that archetypes are here to help us. Because 95% of our minds is unconscious, we need to work through unconscious patterns so that we can grow into greater consciousness. The Saboteur exists to develop our self-esteem, self-belief and courage. We can either ignore it, take the easy route and stay ordinary, or work with it, go out of our comfort zone, dare to make mistakes and become extraordinary. But be aware that ignoring the Saboteur comes at a price. Not only to we betray ourselves and cause ourselves deep pain, but its shadow will manifest in the form of self-destructive behaviour and/or the desire to undermine others.

Working with the Saboteur offers us a gateway into our potential. Because it works through intuition and gut instinct rather than rational thought, it teaches us to listen to our inner promptings and learn to trust them. As a result, we develop courage and self-belief. This in turn enables us to turn that phenomenal idea into a viable business, that relationship into something that lasts, and that eating regime into a healthy and fit body.

The first step to working through the Saboteur, is to realise when you have gone into its subconscious pattern. When you hear yourself or someone else saying: “I don’t know what to do,” “I’ll do it tomorrow,” “I’ll wait until I’ve lost a stone before I…”, “I know what I should do but…”, or “If only…”, then you know the Saboteur is rearing its head. Once you have recognised the pattern, stop, step out of it and refrain from making any decisions. Allow yourself the necessary silence and space to hear your hunches and intuition, then discern whether you are being faced with something positive or negative for you. Little by little, your self-esteem will build up alongside courage and, before you know it, you will be strong enough to embrace positive change and brave enough to say no when the change is not in your best interest.

Ultimately, the Saboteur is a good friend who will tell you what you need to know as long as you are prepared to listen. The question is, will you choose to stay small or will you dare to be big? Will you settle for an easy route and a life of bitter disappointment and regret, or will you move out of your comfort zone, dare to make mistakes, and discover who you really can be? Will you settle for being ordinary, or will you take the challenge that the Saboteur offers and lead an extraordinary life?

Happy June.

Love Laurelle

Who is your Inner Child?

Last month, we learned that 95% of us in unconscious and that the language that this Unconsciousness speaks is archetypes, patterns of behaviour that we work through during our lives in order to find ourselves. According to the American Medical Intuitive, Caroline Myss, each of us works mainly through twelve major archetypes, four of which we all have in common.

The first of these shared archetypes The Child. The Child represents safety, loyalty and family and teaches us how to go from dependency to self responsibility. We first meet The Child in fairy tales and one of its most common aspects is The Orphan. For example, Cinderella’s mother dies and her father goes away, leaving her to be bullied by her wicked stepmother and her daughters. She has to endure bullying and injustice but her good nature wins out and she gets her Prince in the end. The Orphan reflects the fear of abandonment and forced solitude and loneliness is its cry but, if we work with the archetype, it will teach us how to grow up independently, reinvent ourselves and become self responsible. As with all archetypes, The Orphan has a shadow aspect. This manifests when the wounds of abandonment and rejection stop us from growing up and discovering how to live alone gracefully.

The Wounded Child is another version of The Child archetype, this time seen through the lens of the abuse, neglect and trauma suffered during childhood. Its shadow aspect may manifest as an abiding sense of self-pity and a tendency to blame parents for everything, but the person who works through the Wounded Child archetype can ultimately learn compassion, forgiveness and how to be of service to others.

The Magical Child represents the part of us that is both enchanted and enchanting, seeing the potential for beauty in everything and embodying qualities of wisdom and courage in the face of difficult circumstances. Anne Frank was a Magical Child who believed in the potential of love in everyone even though, as a Jew, she faced death from the Nazis. Its shadow is pessimism, depression and a retreat into fantasy, which can be as a result of the ridiculing of a Magical Child’s dreams by cynical adults.

The Nature Child has a particular affinity with animals and combines tender, emotional qualities with inner toughness and an innate ability to survive. However, the shadow side can manifest as cruelty to animals and a disregard of nature.

The Eternal Child manifests as a determination to remain eternally young. Peter Pan resists growing up, determined to live a life outside the boundaries of conventional adulthood. The shadow aspect manifests as an unwillingness to grow up and embrace the responsible life of an adult and can be seen in unreliability and the overuse of cosmetic surgery.

There are many more versions of The Child archetype and searching inside the Self is the only way to determine which we are working through. Common to them all is the journey from neediness and dependence to self-responsibility that this archetype helps us to go on. Sometimes it is most easily identifiable from its wounds of abandonment, loss and rejection and can be heard in language such as: “I can’t”, “It’s not fair”, “It’s your fault”, and “You don’t love me”.  So listen to what you  say, most particularly when your buttons are pushed and you default into unconscious behaviour. The trick is to recognise what is happening and then using The Child to grow up, toughen up, accept consequences, forgive, be compassionate and embrace self-responsibility. It can be a tough challenge, but, if we don’t take it, we will experience failure, defeat and be unable to engage in the game of life.

Most of all, keep in mind that it is The Child in us that enables us to play. Embracing our Inner Child will not only reveal our wounds so that we can begin to heal them, but it will also show us how to have fun!

Happy April!

Love Laurelle