SHAMANIC YOGA TRANSFORMATION Week 7: THE FEMININE ARCHETYPES
Welcome to your weekly practice for our last week together! This practice will introduce you to the feminine archetypes. These are in a way symbols for different female energies and they are held in the collective consciousness, so they are really part of all of us and understanding them can help us to channel our energies in a more powerful and loving way. Our goal here is to find the one archetype that yearns to be activated inside of you so that you can take your life to the next level and find more fulfillment being the woman you are.
There are different versions of how many and which feminine archetypes there are, I find that the following 5 represent the spectrum of the mature feminine very adequately: The Mother, the Lover, the Priestess, the Queen and the Huntress.
For every one I will list her powers and also her shadow, which is the trap what she must watch out for when activating this archetype. And I will also give you examples of practices that you can use to activate and strengthen this archetye's energy within you.
The first step of this practice is to read through the discriptions and to take in the image that represents them. Observe your emotional reactions to each one.
Power: The mother embodies the power to nurture herself and others. She stands for love, compassion and strength. She finds pleasure in taking care of others on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When this archetype is activated and balanced, the woman will also extend the same care and love to herself and feel balanced and happy.
Shadow: Burn out. Don't make the mistake of prioritizing others over yourself, not even your own kids or your lover. An empty well cannot give water! Set boundaries! Another danger zone to watch out for is being controlling. Taking responsibility for those in your charge is important, but don't suffocate them. Even children are much more capable of knowing what's really good for them then we want to give them credit for. Don't take responsibility for your parents or lover or friends. You can help, but the responsibility remains with them. Take responsibility for your own needs instead.
Practices: To activate and strenghten this archetype in yourself, offer your care and compassion to yourself and others. If you are a mother yourself, you have your work cut out for you! If you are not, you can volunteer for a good cause, offer to babysit for friends, nurture a plant, cook and bake for yourself and others, engage in nurturing self-care rituals like baths.
Power: The lover/dancer archetype is like a flower flowing over with juiciness. She is sensual, sexual, creative and a magnet, everybody feels drawn to her. Women are inspired by her confidence and beauty and men feel attracted to her. She expresses herself in deeply satisfying ways in the world and creates pleasure for herself wherever she goes. She is in tune with her body and rejoices in all of its expressions.
Shadow: The challenges for the lover/dancer archetype can be vanity, a lack of commitment to a partner, a lack of focus in her work and life in general and engaging in sexual activities without involving the heart, which always leads to trauma, seen or unseen.
Practices: Dancing, taking baths, self-massage, exploring your body through conscious touch, standing in the rain, creative projects, singing, self-love practices, body care rituals, conscious sexual activity.
THE PRIESTESS/THE MYSTIC/THE SORCERESS/THE WISE WOMAN
Power: The priestess archetype is a spiritual channel. She communicates between ordinary reality and the unseen realms and by bridging the worlds she brings healing to both. She connects to ancient wisdom and can be a powerful mentor to others if she can teach them to find a true connection to their higher self. She is psychic, feels the energy of everybody and everything and has a very good intuitive grasp of situations. If she acts from this place, her actions will be true to her insight.
Shadow: The priestess is at risk to live inside the unseen realms too much and to forget that she is a creature of the earth and needs to be grounded here. Grounding practices, walking barefoot outside, eating vegetables that grow in the earth and embodied activities like asana practice are all good ways to ground yourself. The priestess is naturally highly sensitive and is at risk of constant overwhelm, especially in crowds or energetically loaded situations. In this case, knowing how to protect your personal space is super important.
Practices: To activate and strenghten this archetype, opening your third eye or 6t chakra is essential. Wear the colour blue, wear a bindi, engage in meditation, shamanic journeying and any other practice that hightens your intuition. Seek out peace and quiet and connect to your breath.
Power: The queen archetype represents feminine sovereignty. She stands in her power and is a natural leader and strategist. She leads others with grace and her intention is everyone's highest good. She is the one who is in charge wherever she goes, people look to her to show the way. She always has an open ear for others, who approach her with their troubles. She is confident, stately and is dressed neatly or richly with a lot of attention to detail. She enjoys luxury and expects to be treated with respect.
Shadow: The queen archetype can become power hungry and controling if she is not aligned with her own heart and mission. She is also prone to feel overwhelm because of the great responsibility she takes on for others.
Practices: To activate and strengthen this archetype, you can put extra attention to how you dress, wear jewelry you love, practice speaking your truth in public, think about the good of everybody involved before taking a decision, treat yourself to something that feels royal, like a massage or a lavish skin care product that you put on every day, take baths instead of showers for a week, eat out instead of cooking.
THE HUNTRESS/THE WORRIORESS
Power: The huntress personifies freedom. She has a wild spirit and a strong connection to herself and nature. She goes within to seek guidance and connects to the spirits of the Earth and the Sky. She is independent and feels best when she's off alone somewhere exploring. Excellent at looking after herself, she takes great care of her needs. She knows what she wants and goes for it. She is totally committed to her goals and very good at achieving them. Powerful and competent, she is used to getting her way. The huntress doesn't care what men think of her and often protect other women who are less strong. She is often athletically inclined.
Shadow: When her need for independence becomes too strong, the huntress is at risk of isolating herself and becoming emotionally unavailable to others. She can be stubborn and negate others needs when they get in the way of her own.
Practices: Find an outdoor activity to activate and strenghten the huntress in you. You could go for daily walks in nature, garden, lie in the sun, swim in the sea or a lake, just sit outside and breathe deeply for a few minutes. What makes you feel free? Try not wearing panties for a day! Sunbathe in your garden or on your balcony naked. What feels adventurous to you? Explore new places, meet new people, put yourself in situations that feel exciting and challenging and enjoy the thrill! Intense physical activity appeals to the huntress, for example a yoga practice like Bikram.
Now that you have read through the discription of each archtype and seen the picture that represents it, I want you to take a quiet moment and feel into each one. Which one do you feel most drawn to? Which one made your heart beat faster?
This is probably the one you are meant to embody at this stage of your life.
All of these archetypes are part of us and the more we grow spiritually, the more we will activate all of these energies within ourselves. But there will be one or maybe two that will bring out the very best in you if you hone their qualities in yourself.
I want you to chose one for now and create a daily practice for this week that focuses on this archetype's qualities. How can you honour this particular kind of power and beauty? I have given you examples for rituals for each archetype but you might also make up your own. Choose an activity that you can integrate easily into your daily life for this week and that will last no longer than 15 minutes. And then do it, because you deserve to feel beautiful and powerful, because you truly are just that!! You are in fact amazing, time to honour that and shine! <3
Share your archetype and the activity you have chosen in the facebook group!