I am full of gratitude that my home is no longer a hospital ward and everyone is recovering well or recovered! I’m also grateful that David and I have received our vaccination booster. Still, we are saddened that our country and the world are not out of the pandemic yet, and that so many of the persistent unvaccinated are overwhelming hospitals in their states, and so many of them are dying. However, I realize that people have gone through pandemics throughout world history, and those of us wishing it would just go away are challenged to surrender to meeting the needs of our times, asking ourselves, as the Quakers do, “What is mine to do?”
It also is important to notice the green grass breaking through the crumbling cement of old forms. I’m heartened that not everyone is just rushing back into their old jobs, but rather are rethinking their values and how they want to live. And I’m encouraged that being in lockdown or working flat out as essential workers has helped so many of us remember what a treasure it is to be with others, especially those we care about. I appreciate President Biden, as I believe that he is trying to do much that needs to happen for the short- and long-range health of my country and the larger world, even when not even some in his own party have his back. No other president in U.S. history has had to govern while a former president continues to proclaim, without evidence, that the election was stolen.
I worry that so many people seem to become possessed by the Warrior archetype, which leads to fighting on all sides. Yet, this may simply be caused by how much fear people are feeling, about Covid evolving in ever more dangerous ways, the potential threats to our economy, the impact of climate change, and general concern about an uncertain future. On top of that, conspiracy theories of all sorts keep stoking fears about things that are not real.
Because of this, I believe it helps if we stop, breathe, calm ourselves, and find as many ways as we can to have compassion for ourselves, those we care about, and even more for the people who scare us the most.
In the Blogosphere
My most recent blog, Modern Magic: Discover and Live Your Authentic Stories, explores the magic of stories that encourage the Magician archetype in readers. Writing it was fun, as I was able to draw on personal magic practices along with examples from a book for 9-14-year-olds and a column by New York Times columnist David Brooks. In truth, stories are magic. And, of course, because the stories we read often influence the plotlines we live, they can foster positive outcomes or be a form of evil sorcery leading to negative results. That is why it is important for magicians to be conscious and caring people.
Katherine Culpepper’s guest blog, which was appropriate for the opening of the school year, makes my heart sing. She describes her project working with high school students, many of them from difficult circumstances, by helping them to discover the archetypes that show them what kinds of heroes they are. I would so love to get the 12-archetype system to young people through schools and colleges. Katherine is doing a great job, and I’m hoping that more teachers and counselors will learn from her experience.
I’m beginning also to hear from others who are thinking about ways to get this material to young people in forms that they gravitate to. Please let me know if you have a piece of the answer to how to do this, or know of others who are using the 12-archetype system with children or teen-agers.
I have been reflecting for quite some time on what is happening in my country – not only the political divisions afflicting us but also the deeper cultural changes it is undergoing. Beginning next month, I will publish a five-part series of blogs that explores these challenges through an archetypal framework. The introductory blog argues that the USA is experiencing a midlife crisis; it then examines the archetypal energies that are fueling breakdown and those that promote renewal. The blogs in this series include:
Free Stuff: Interviews
Corey Boutwell, an Australian fitness and entrepreneurial coach who does work with archetypes that have been stressed in the men’s movement, treated me to a very engaged interview in August. He had read The Hero Within and was interested in applying my more androgynous work to his portfolio. I think you might enjoy listening to this podcast as much as I enjoyed the conversation. It is available for free here.
Aurora Farber, Spiritual Mentor, Alchemical Priestess, and Love Catalyst, interviewed me for her conference, “Rise Like a Phoenix: Ignite Your Power, Purpose, and Prosperity With Archetypes.” Of course, the cover of my new book, What Stories Are You Living? Discover Your Archetypes – Transform Your Life, featured an image of the phoenix. It then seemed as if we were each, independently, stressing our time as phoenixlike, with the old burning up and the new rising from the ashes. The interview was about the 12 archetypes I work with related to the conference theme and to women. I greatly enjoyed talking with her.
In our discussions around it, I mentioned Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within and how the date of her conference, September 22nd, was the fall equinox—around the time that the major Eleusinian Mystery rites occurred. Aurora shared with me that what I told her inspired her to begin and end the conference with women’s wisdom embodied in the story of Demeter and Persephone. In her words,
“I must say that meeting you gave me so much inspiration. Because you told me about the Eleusinian Mysteries, I ended up opening the retreat with a ceremony to go on a journey to meet Persephone. I shared about your powerful retelling and reclaiming of her story and how she created a sacred third. Many women were inspired by this retelling. Then at the closing ceremony, I led them on a journey to meet Demeter and rise out of the underworld.”
She also shared that she was “beyond amazed at the hope that has been inspired by this retreat. Women have said it was life-changing and in divine timing.” A copy of her interview with me is on my website now.
I welcome and encourage your comments on any of the blogs posted on my blogsite, several of which have inspired a rich exchange of ideas. Also, if you have an idea for a blog that you might like to submit, please send me an email with a brief summary and I will let you know whether it is suitable for my blogsite and, if so, what guidelines you should follow in preparing it.
In addition to my blogsite, you can find many of my blogs on those of Psychology Today and the Depth Psychology Alliance, and you are invited to make comments on the former and on the latter if you are a member. The easiest way to learn when a new blog goes up on my blogsite or any of the others on which I post is to follow me on Facebook at Carol S. Pearson, PhD and Twitter @carolspearson. Posts and tweets will inform you of the topic and how to access it. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram at carolspearsonphd. Just click on one of the buttons at the top of this newsletter to connect, and let me know what is going on with you.
As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to others who might be interested.
Carol S. Pearson
The presence of magic is integral to things Disney. It’s everywhere in the Disney brand
The next 12 blogs reflect my newest thoughts about how we might consider each of these archetypes in play (pun intended) at the park.
For Americans, happiness is assumed to include freedom, and when we feel trapped or too settled, we naturally become blue.