Art is a tool for exploration.
Many of us work with art, whether visual, written or hybrid, as a language of exploration. A magnifying glass that allows us to get closer to something that we are looking at or working with.
Art-making is at its core a language of the soul. Whether you decide to call this way of making art: expressive, therapeutic, transformative, healing, process or visionary, they are by nature all of these things and more. The creative process can be marked by copious time spent doing “‘nothing’, many say 90% of the creative mind (creative mind = whole body and whole brain, please) is part of seeking and exploring all that is necessary for the kinesthetic making.
There are times, when we are in creative process, that we find ourselves bumping up against the complexity of archetypal energies. Archetypes are patterns of personal and universal images, motifs, energetic movement and expressions. Recognized in our own life-patterns, they help us to connect to our experience, explore our conscious choices and sub-counsious.
Very often we feel connected to more than one archetypal pattern at a time, although some schools of thought are quite singular about this I believe that our life path is for too dynamic and complex to be single threaded in our archetypal expression. These archetypes can be well know or come unbidden at times of transitional movement. This is particularly true when working with child archetypes, they seem to emerge when we are preparing for change, or in a shift time. A thread of fear or vulnerability can be pulled to the surface and with it memories, and the residue of something we know well. It is in these times, when we are met with these small selves, that we are ready to understand and acknowledge something new.
We are complex creatures and move through a variety of life stages, developing and growing ourselves up chronologically, in most cases. This is the linear, well defined life-path trajectory, called developmental growth. But our deep psyche often knows so much more about how we are connected and tethered in many directions, through time and space. This is the non-linear spiral of experience, the more complex ‘ages and stages’ that I incorporate and explore in many of my classes and Mythos Journey process. Life pulls us in many directions, it is non linear and the patterns of the child archetypes allow us to see just how powerful this spiral path is.
- Have you ever been in a balanced place, working well in your adult life when all of the sudden in a conversation or situation you are triggered by a much younger part of self ? What does if feel like when you react without your adult control or filtering? There are many expressions within a pop up reaction, generally it is full of hot, high emotion. The body heats up or shrinks and disappears, and there may be tears, yelling, rudeness or an energetic shut down. In these moments we find ourself falling back into old patterns and experiences. In re-action rather than act-ion.
- Have your ever been in an art process, playing with ideas, reading a book, watching a movie and you see a reflection of a part of self, something that you recognize form deep inside looking back at you? How does it feel to be faced with a part of your self? How do you respond to this pop up?
I found this process to be valuable when I was exploring my earliest days, moving into the waters of my adoption as an infant and winding my way back even further. Creating art around these kinds of life-stories and personal touchstones can be very powerful.
Exploring the spiral path of life, learning how it is reflective of ages and stages, is non-linear in nature and powerful. To explore it can be life changing, literally shifting how we view the world and choose to live into life. It has the power to heal things in our lives that we have not known or wanted to face, even old trauma can be cleared when we activate this language of the soul. That said, It is always important to make appropriate and safe space for exploration, with support from a therapist, depth coach, spiritual guide or trusted ally, especially if trauma is being explored.
Using art as a language of the soul allowed me to design a multi-directional process, called Mythos Journey, that was a large enough container for me to move easily between one facet of my life and another. Understanding and exploring the child archetypes has been a wonderful doorway to explore my own depths and expand my wholeness.
Which one of these do you recognize:
Personal growth patterns are held and reflected in each Child Archetype, these are based your experience and intuitive knowing. I am not sharing all of the ‘details’ for each of these archetypes, your may indeed find others that fit your inner knowing, and that is offered in order for you to feel and explore them just through observing their names. This way of connecting with less information handy is a way of knowing that is quite powerful, it allows you to create from a place of leaning into a question:
Who is this…
Through each you can choose to explore and identify needs, core beliefs, connections, expressions, resilience, dependence, emotion, experience, vulnerability, responsibility, patterns of development and choice. Because we are now adults, this way of exploring the spiral life path, as we literally spiral back into it, is often reflecting some grief, loss and identifying needs that were not met. We may feel strong emotion and be met by strong feeling, memories and sensations. Make sure you have the support you need as you dive in to these life-stories, and hold the knowledge that they are always clarifying and healing in nature.
The child archetypes can help us to explore, strengthen and develop new connections. Through re-storying our stories we can understand challenges and pain from new perspective, heal old wounds and meet our previously unmet needs.
We hold pieces and parts of all of the child archetypes. You will notice in yourself that some are more developed or active than others. There is likely one that is predominant and will reflect experiences and beliefs that have been part of your story. Each will have qualities that are shadowed and brilliant, recognized as relevant or disowned. As we explore these parts more deeply in our art and process, we can reclaim and heal parts that have been unacknowledged, lost or disowned.
- The archetypal pattern of the immature child will react and lash out in confusion.
- The archetypal pattern of the immature child exposes areas of wounding and needs that are unmet.
- The archetypal patterns of the mature or integrated child is one of balance, self-referral and expression.
- The archetypal patterns of the mature child express with clarity, explore all facets of expression, claim, care for and nurture the essential self .
- The archetypal patterns of the integrated child allow for, notice and experience wonder and ease.
- The archetypal patterns of the integrated child beings playfulness and balance to our lives bringing out the best in self and others.
Explore these Child Archetypes and deepen your connection to them through process art and journeywork. Join me in an upcoming Mythos Journey eCourse and expand your art and process. If you are in a transition and needing support for your unfolding process contact me to explore Individual Depth Coaching or Conscious Life Design.