I just recently presented about Hero and Heroine Archetypes at a conference, Everyday Heroism in Tauranga, New Zealand, Oct 4-6, 2023, sponsored by Dr. Peter Bray, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute and Dr. Scott Allison, emeritus faculty, University of Richmond. Going to New Zealand and doing a bicycle trip has been on my quasi-bucket list, although I don’t really have one, since I do what I want to do, for example, bike tours in France, Scotland, and Quebec. Readers might know the book, What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles, where he talks about the three boxes of life of education, work, retirement and that maybe the new form is to do the three boxes simultaneously which I have actually done done. Scott Allison contacted me about writing a piece on Archetypal Heroes in the volume he edited on Encyclopedia Heroism Science. Probably because of my book, Archetypal Imagery. I wrote the pieces he requested, and then he said come to this conference in New Zealand. A bike trip in New Zealand was on my quasi-bucket list, so I was all over it. For my presentation at the Everyday Heroism conference, I first talked about Heroes/Heroines outside of us whom we look up to and are inspired by, like Gandhi and Mother Teresa, but I also talked about what if each of us became a hero and heroine, how we could embody the characteristics we admire. Two archetypes popped into my mind for the presentation. First my mother and then Sophia
- During his plenary for the conference, Dr. Allison had said most people pick their mother as a hero/heroine. Oh no, I thought, was I just one of the plebeians of the world picking out my mother. But I thought my mother was truly a heroine because of the hardships she faced. She had no financial support at the age of 18, with a deceased father and a mother living as a LPN. She had to hike in rural Iowa to find a teaching job. The characteristics that stood out for me were bravery and strength. I also picked out Sophia as my heroine. Sophia’s name is the derivation of the Greek work for wisdom. Her name had popped up in my mind when I was a creating a story about a multi-racial woman and a vegetarian dragon. Sophia is a middle eastern goddess, said to be Jehovah’s mother, and she is the creator in the Dead Sea Scrolls. As the creator of the world, she engendered life into matter. Sophia as the creator, prompts humans to find spirit by moving into their humanity, by finding their connection with nature.
In Jungian psychology, an archetype is an energy pattern in the collective unconscious that conveys a given characteristic. On an unconscious level archetypes help organize and motivate our personality. A 3-year-old aligns with one unconsciously. But as adults we can consciously identify with an archetype. Jung said, our unconscious runs us or we run our unconscious. So choosing an archetype to live in front of, allows us to amplify the archetype’s characteristic in our own consciousness, instead of having archetypes motivate us unconsciously. Archetypal identification is a powerful way to open up to the whole of our inner being to tap our full potential. If my mom is my archetype, then I amplify what I sense is her main characteristic, strength. Sophia is a little more complex as an archetype. Sophia is feminine, and she is a bit iconoclastic speaking from the deep terrain of spirit in matter, she is wisdom. She might be non-dualistic; in that she is both matter and spirit. Her main characteristic is generativity. She generates life from matter. How do I amplify generativity within myself? I’ll go deep visualizing Sophia, finding that energy within me, maybe, just maybe I can generate some thing. Archetypal heroines, mom and Sophia, strength and generativity, a path…. See my slides…https://annabellenelson.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/The-Hero-and-Heroine-Archetype-2.pdf