An odyssey that moves us past the edges of our oceans, through time and space, into a flickering cosmos of moving images where life, light and darkness swirl.
Like spiral galaxies gathering all of the energy of healing that has ever been held, experienced and activated, this is the vast and sometimes overwhelming field of energy that the Healer can access.
The Archetype of the Healer exists in many forms and is among the oldest of the archetypal energies. Although the word archetype is new, the energy held in the collective has followed humans as we have moved across the ages.
Archetypal energy of the Healer often feels like serious energy. It is ancient and powerful. The Healer holds the energy of shamans, medicine people, heretics, herbalists and keepers of ancient ways; all those who are serving the wounded or the hurting.
Distilling that vast swirling energy field down into the language of here and now, the Healer is a single point of light that offers guidance and assistance to self and or others.
The Healer guides those who are navigating the journey of pain, challenge, loss or fragmentation. Healing is the active, moving energy that slowly turns us toward a new wholeness. It is the activation of transformative change that is initiated by circumstance.
Healing is a journey that moves one through the threshold of initiatory challenge to seek, find and bridge a renewed or reconciled experience. It is a journey that offers integration. Healing seeks the pathway of relief, release and movement. Healing does not hold the same charge, or motivation, as the intention of curing. It does not serve to repair, but to mend. Instead of returning one to “how it was”, healing moves one beyond the edge of “how it has been” to a new place of understanding and possibility.
The Applied Healer is one who is willing to sit with pain, be with pain, work with, understand and touch pain without being undone by it. Pain is its own storyteller, a journey that guides us on the edge of a sword.
“Healing may not be so much about getting better as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are. Not a better you, but a ‘realer’ you. People can heal and live, and people can heal and die. Healing is different from curing. Healing is a process we’re all involved in all the time. Healing is the leading forth of wholeness…” – Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
The Healer knows pain and has an attuned understanding of its source. The Healer has a base of knowledge that may be gifted, innate or experiential, a combination of knowledge and knowing. The Healer is sometimes expressed as One Who Knows.
The archetype of the Wounded Healer is expressed in one who is aware that their journey with pain and challenge, recognizing the wound as a catalyst or a co-active agent of transformation, growth and change. This awareness and wisdom impacts their ability to work deeply with own healing journey. It can, in many cases, be a source of wisdom that allows one to build skills, connect, listen, discern, extend empathy and guide healing based on experience and training. Wounded Healer energy is a reflection of patterns that are common to healers and helpers of all kinds.
The name was inspired by the myth of Chiron, a centaur born with dual natures (horse and man) whose mother refused and rejected her baby upon his birth. The original wound of abandonment was the first that the wise and gentle Chiron endured, layers of pain were to become part of his living experience. Mistakenly shot with a poisoned arrow, Chiron suffered a deep wound that would not heal. Despite his constant pain and open wound, Chiron becomes a great teacher and healer. He is gifted with self-knowledge, innate abilities, perspective and willingness to have his pain be a journey guide for self and other. He is a point of light and learning. The Wounded Healer who has experienced the depth of the journey often shares gentle tending, empathy, compassion and insights that are valuable to others experiencing deep loss and seeking transformative change.
Sensitive-Intuitive Healers can be profoundly impacted by the experiences of others. Pain is ever active in the world, collective pain and energetic wounding is residual by nature. If fatigued or vulnerable, the Healer may be overwhelmed and flooded, plummeting into disintegration, experiencing reactive triggering of their wound. The Healer must learn to balance and apply healing, nurturing and sacred care to the self as they extend out, offering care and healing to others.
Healers may be originally self identified as seekers, but when healing a deep wound Healers will grow beyond seeking and find sources of knowing, becoming more conscious.
An archetypal growth pattern toward the expression of the Healed Healer is activated by the unconscious yearning of the wounded self to become more and more conscious, to heal into wholeness. The Sufi mystic and poet Rumi shares a potent invitation to explore the place of wounding to find the source of healing.
“If you desire healing, let yourself fall ill, let yourself fall ill.”
The Healer is one who knows and applies specific or unique abilities toward assisting self and other to move through the journey of active pain, towards a new understanding of active healing. It is a state of transformation to realize the deeper meaning of challenge in ones life, while discovering layers of integration and experiences of healing. The Healer Healer understands that vulnerability and triggering are always possible. When they become active, they can be recognized and explored, then tended. The Healed Healer is living in the realm of active integration. The integration state is always active, ebbing and flowing, allowing for recognition of ones own cycles and patterns of integration and disintegration, responding to them rather than reacting.
The healer is both active partner and witness to unfolding wholeness. Unique abilities may include the energy of expressive and applied art-making as a form of healing. The energy of the archetypal Artist Healer is activated in small moments, internally and externally. The Artist Healer pays close attention to places that are wounded and fragmented, providing support and space for healing through active expression. Just as a broken bone needs external structure and space to knit itself back to new strength, so does the interior state of grief, loss and confusion. Connecting to the wound itself, asking the pain to share its story, is healing in action. This connection moves energies that have been stuck and unexpressed. Artist Healers can tend to their pain stories to provide the structure, guidance and direction that activate their healing stories. Integrative healing through art-making and creative process is a way of growing the capacity to navigate the journey of healing toward wholeness.
Healing can at times take on varied and necessary energies, such as the Warrior Healer , who may apply a fierce and fiery healing energy that burns through pain and suffering like a knife, transforming it into something new. The Shaman Healer who serves as a conduit between spirit and community or individual, activating healing through traditional practices that include ritual, invocation, dreaming, drumming and journeying, often supported by spirit guides, ancestors and totem animals.
The Medicine Healer or Herbal Healer works with ancient plant and herbal knowledge. Connecting with the wisdom of plant spirit medicine and natural healing remedies as applied art. The Contemplative Healer or Intuitive Healer will have deep understanding of embodied energy, chakra energy, emotional, spiritual and physical fields and flows, applying restorative movement, directed intention and/or prayer to the healing practice.
All of the many expressions and archetypal energies of the Healer each know, without question, that Healing Happens. It is an unfolding experience that does not like to be rushed. Conscious healing is a ever-unfolding journey process, not a designed destination.
To journey with the Healer is to have awareness of ones truth and pain stories in equal measure, to be willing to continue to journey deep even when it is difficult. To journey with the healer is to find a way to dance with tenacity, to cultivate a relationship with trust, to learn the language of your healing path. To journey with the Healer is active, conscious awareness and tending to that which requires attention, bringing the experience forward in tangible and defined ways. The Healer inspires us to understand healing from a journey perspective. Healing is an ever present process of illumination and discovery.
With art and inquiry you might want to explore these questions:
- How are you working with the Healer?
- How is your healing expressed and experienced?
- Where are you in reaction, triggered or responding to the healing journey?