Archetype

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The Norse trickster god Loki[1]

Archetype means a model or pattern, usually in an ideal form. The term originates from the Greek arkhetypon or original image. To the ancient Greek philosophers archetypes were basic ideas and principles that exist on the spiritual plane prior to shaping everything that comes into material existence.

C.G. Jung reintroduced the term into modern language. He considered archetypes to be psychic patterns in the collective unconscious which are passed on through inheritance or formative experiences in childhood. They influence human experiences, perceptions and actions before the process of individuation begins. They are above all concerned with general themes such as birth, relationships, illness and death. Fairy tales and myths express archetypal themes and on a personal level they can find expression in dreams.

The "energies" of the planets are essentially archetypal expressions to be manifested in individuals. For example, the archetype associated with the planet Pluto is connected to birth, sexuality, transformation, death and decay. Pluto's sign, house position and aspects indicate more specifically how it will manifest in the life of the individual. Transits can activate the archetypal patterns for a particular period of time.

Archetypes may also be patterned after familiar literary and mythical figures, such as the king (sun), the mother (moon), or the beloved (Venus). Sagittarius may be the archetypical philosopher or the traveller; or Leo might express qualities of the hero of drama and legend. People often model themselves on pre-existing archetypes. In a counseling situation the astrologer might encounter a client who construes himself as the loner, the "late bloomer", the victim, or the analyst; yet these standard sorts of identities long pre-dated the birth of the client.

See also

Weblinks

Bibliography

  • Kathleen Burt: Archetypes of the Zodiac, 576 pages. Llewellyn Publications, 1988 ISBN-10: 0875420885 ISBN-13: 978-0875420882
  • Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, 1992, The Luminaries: The Psychology of the Sun and the Moon in the Horoscope, Samuel Weiser, Inc.
  • Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson, 1996, Mythic Astrology - Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope, Llewellyn Publications

Notes and References

  1. A Norse mythology image from the 18th century Icelandic manuscript "SÁM 66". In astrology, the figure of the trickster is symbolized by Mercury