WEEK 8: My Distinct Disturber
The RENEGADE Archetype
Why These Ten Archetypes?
Your Inner Non-Conformist
Where are you eccentric? This week we immerse ourselves in the archetype of the Renegade. We ask ourselves where we are different, where we dance out of line, and how we relate to our own idiosyncrasies. Words such as 'crazy' and 'weird' are compliments to this part of you. Who wants to be like everyone else? Not this part of you. We explore your inner eccentric. Has he been tamed ages ago? Or, is this revolutionary hell-raiser all you ever were? We explore what it means for you to let your hair down. The Renegade also connects to the heavens. He downloads galactic information that hits his brain as intuitive insight-flashes. This character lives in his own world. He flies planes and can program computers or decipher hieroglyphics. Or why not both? This is also the humanitarian in you, the non-judgmental egalitarian. His shadow includes being aloof, a know-it-all, and non-committed. Buckle up this week!
Intuition, Ideas, Brilliance, Instant Change, Astrologers, Lightning, Shocking, Exploration, Space Flight, Future, Different, Absurd, Independence, Artificial Intelligence, Genetic Engineering, Cell Phones, Discovery, Detached, The Internet, Technology, Wacky, Rebellious, Revolution, Tornadoes, Freaks, Electric, Shock, Flying, Aloof, Kinky.
When you read the words above, and before you dive deeper into this week, what is your immediate reaction? Use your journal for this:
- When you imagine a person with many of the qualities described in the key words, does that person seem to you to be a friend, and enemy, or a stranger?
Eccentricity and Exile
Your inner Renegade, like all the archetypes we are studying, will appear somewhere on a spectrum. When the Renegade is very weak there is little spontaneity, there are few new ideas, there is a desire to conform, and to never break the rules. On the other end, we have the complete eccentric, the person who no longer fits in anywhere. We have here the crazy lady at the end of the lane who has 19 cats, we have the fool on the hill who meditates all day, we have the mad inventor who never leaves his workshop. When there is a lot of Renegade in you, when he is a strong part of you there is often a sense of being a misfit, of being in exile from the rest of the world, of not belonging. Strong Renegade types often live with one foot on a spaceship, they are not quite here and appear part alien.
Reflect on the following:
- Where do you think your Renegade lives? Which areas of your life are you the most eccentric in? Which the most conservative and rule-abiding?
- Do you find yourself or others more boring? Why?
- What are your craziest quirks? Do you share those with others or only express them in private?
Too Little Renegade: Boring
Too Much Renegade: The Misfit
Use your journal to explore these questions:
- Have you ever felt -- or actually been -- exiled for what you said or did. Or perhaps just for who you are?
- Do you feel that you don't really belong in this world? Are you more comfortable in a different world, in your head or with piers?
- Do you feel like an alien in your family? That you were switched at birth?
- Are you often labeled "bizarre," or "crazy," or "weird," or "wacky?"
- Does your mind sometimes race so fast that you can't keep up with what seems to flow in?
- Are you anxious a lot? Do you bite your nails and have a hard time meditating? Do you have a Monkey Brain?
Also use your journal to reflect on these questions:
- Do you lack a certain spark you used to have?
- If you partake in a brainstorming session, do you find yourself never keeping up with all the great ideas others have?
- Are you bored a lot?
- Is there someone you admire who always has the best ideas? Can you learn something from them? How do they do it?
- When something new gets announced and everyone jumps on the new trend, do you wonder what the big deal is?
- Do you find modern media a complete human disaster and a hard-wired phone is as far as you will go? Do you hate technology?
- Do you vote?
Your Renegade is also your ability to download information. Imagine Ben Franklin's kite flying in the celestial thunderstorm. A lightning bolt hits the kite and travels down the string where the end is attached to your crown chakra on the top of your head, When the gods speak, your Renegade picks up the messages as though you were hit by lightning with a brilliant idea. Your Renegade is the recipient of the intuitive hit.
Answer this question in your journal:
- What is the best idea you have ever had? How did you get that idea? Under what circumstances? Can you recreate the circumstances, the readiness to receive?
Freedom & Revolution
In his fierce belief in equality and freedom, the Renegade also supports upheaval and the overturning of governments if they are oppressing people. The Renegade is not violent, per se, but he will quickly throw a Molotov cocktail at anyone trying to oppress him. He marches arm-in-arm with like-minded comrades and believes in revolution if necessary. He equally believes in democracy and is a fierce proponent of equal rights. Here the Renegade shows his solidarity with all oppressed, exploited, persecuted and invisible people in the world.
Please journal your thoughts here:
- Have you ever taken to the streets for something you believed in? Have you ever wanted to but didn't dare? Or, do you find that demonstrations are a nuisance? Frightening? Why?
- Is there a cause that gets you out of your chair waving your fist at the television? Something that makes your hair stand on end but you won't back away? This is your Renegade speaking up for what he sees as being right. How do you make the world a better place?
This is a very well-known worker's anthem that has been translated from its French original into many languages. It symbolizes equality, fairness and revolution. This is a Spanish version.
The Renegade makes the ultimate friend. He doesn't judge you and though he may disappear for months on end, when he shows up at your doorstep it feels as if no time went by at all and you can quickly pick up where you left off. Nothing you can tell him is too far out, strange or even kinky to shock him. He gets you on that brotherly love level and everyone is a brother or a sister to him. He will have abstract conversations into the wee hours and nothing excites him more than telling you about his latest crazy invention or hair-brain idea to save the world or make a gazillion dollars. Your Renegade tells you what kind of a friend you are and what kinds of friends you attract.
Here are two particularly good books to read about the Renegade Archetype and the age of Aquarius. These are non-astrological books yet they speak astrological and archetypal symbolism.
- Signs of the Times by Ray Grasse
- The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
The Renegade is about the big picture. He is a visionary, can-do, driven idealist who is ahead of his times and others are always trying to figure him out and keep up with him. Living on Mars is a done deal for him. Any questions?
In astrology the Renegade is connected to the Age of Aquarius, the Age we are now collectively entering, If you want to know more about this it is beyond this class but I have written about it here. What we need to know here is that the awareness that we are all on a small, limited planet is part of the message from the Renegade. When the first picture of the whole earth came back to humanity in the seventies for the first time, when we could actually see the whole earth from outer space, this changed our awareness about limited resources, finite space and climate. Soon after Earth Day was born.
Ask yourself a few questions, you can journal to accomplish this:
- How many people do you know who are different from you by worldview, religion, culture, skin color, origin or any other such criteria? Would you like that to be different? If yes, what can you best do about that?
- How much have you traveled? While we learned with the Explorer that traveling belongs in his domain, the Renegade is mostly interested in meeting people when he goes abroad. Reflect on your travels and how they brought you closer to the human race.
- Do you use social networks? Are you connected through your interests with people from distant places? Do your connections span the globe?
Another example of universality is Eric Whitacre's virtual choir. He recruits volunteers to sing. The singers are all over the world and during the performance they film themselves and then they all show up live on video screens in front of him.
Science and Technology
The Renegade loves all things technological, machines, electronics, science and the Digital Age. This is his Age and he is the genius who invented that VCR you don't know how to program. Unless, of course, your Renegade is very prominent. Then you can do that in your sleep and you also know intuitively how to use the newest phone or other gadgets, you have a knack for programming computers, and you were perhaps quite geeky when you were younger,
There are two assignments here, the first one if you are technologically savvy and the second if you are not. Of course, feel free to do them both!
- Teach a technological neophyte how to use a piece of equipment and pay attention how well you do that. Do you have the patience? Can you speak in non-technical terms?
- Learn how to use a piece of technology that hitherto has been beyond your reach. Ask you inner Renegade to help!
More Renegade Music
Some would not call this music but the Renegade certainly thinks this is music.
The ultimate structure that pleases the Renegade and makes him comfortable is a heterarchy. As opposed to a hierarchy that is organized top-down like a pyramid, in a heterarchy everyone is equal and on the same level. We are connected and everyone represents a node in a system of being connected. Facebook, for instance, is such a system or the cell-phone tower system.
Take on a challenge that modern managers face. Suppose you would like to set up a modern company with a heterarchical structure, how would your management look? Who would make decisions? Is this even possible? Say your company had 100 employees. Write your answers in Slack!
Individual and Group: A Paradox
The Renegade archetype contains a strange duality. On the one hand he is your fierce independence that is unique and independent. On the other, he is that part of you that likes to belong to a group of like minded people.
In astrology the Renegade is akin to Uranus. You can swap these two expressions when you read the following from my book Planets in Play.
"Uranus has a particularly interesting and seemingly paradoxical duality within him. On the one hand, he is that most outspoken individualist in us who needs unfettered freedom. On the other hand, he also represents the group and our sense of belonging to the collective, well shown in the bumper sticker that reads “Good planets are hard to find.” This statement symbolizes a new global awareness of unity. Only those living in total denial are not aware of how the world has shrunk. Global warming, global pollution, global economics, global migration, the potential for global epidemics, and global annihilation are just a few of the currently popular examples of common threats. In historical context, thinking globally is new because until now there were always new frontiers, new places to escape to. There were also always “others” doing bad things, and a protectionist ideology was possible. Today, everybody is part of the problem. The idea that we are all brothers and sisters hurtling through space on the same fragile planet, where color, creed, religion, and so forth, are (or should be) irrelevant to this united experience of being human, belongs distinctly to this New (Aquarian) Age.
The world is shrinking at a breathtaking rate. The possibility of instantly talking to someone who is crossing the ferry in Hong Kong or to a friend who is climbing the western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, while you are driving on a highway in Wisconsin, is still a remarkable phenomenon, when you stop to think about it.
Owing to the technological possibilities in a world where we are progressively part of a net to which cars, refrigerators, and our cell phones are connected, there is also a sociological change bridging the distances. Communities of common interest can now connect via discussion groups, bulletin boards, and weblogs in ways unimaginable even a decade ago. My daughters, for instance, have particular musical interests, which they share with online friends around the globe, other kids who would never have been in their sphere before.
We live in a world where we collectively share information in unprecedented numbers and at unthinkable speeds. Peer-to-peer network sharing means that any number of computers can be linked up through the World Wide Web.At any given moment, millions of us are connected and exchanging files, spying on the contents of other machines, or combining computing power into one supercomputer across continents.
Technology has also helped usher in an era of restlessness, of blinding speed, and of a need for constant stimulation. Video games, hundreds of television channels, and perpetual entertainment, including video in cars just in case the landscape is too boring, are pandemic. The pace of life has undoubtedly increased. All the available choices make our lives feel packed and our world small, not big enough to hold all this technology and input. In this, the digital age, I once heated some food in the microwave when the phone rang. I promptly entered my phone number into the microwave keypad. Information overload.
Because of technology, we can also suffer an increased detachment from people. I realized this the other day when I ordered a taxi and a machine took the order. “She” already knew where I lived and then dispatched a cab. There was no human contact once I pushed a button on the phone. The same feeling came over me when I was checking on a flight and found myself talking to a machine that actually responded intelligently. “He” didn’t even mind to be interrupted—he told me so!
All this detachment is occurring as we simultaneously become desperately attached to our cell phones “to stay in touch.” In Sweden, cell phones are cutely called what would be translated into “Yuppie teddy bears.”
Further, the world today seems to have shrunk because of the immense changes in commercial flight. The idea that you can fly across the Atlantic for a few hundred dollars has made flying a commodity. The idea that “the common man” has access to what used to be a luxury for the privileged few is another Uranian notion.
The world is also small in a different sense, not just because we can get fresh pineapples in any season and anywhere, or because customer service representatives may be sitting halfway across the globe when we dial a local number for help with our gas bill. In the immediate aftermath of the 2004 tsunami disaster that killed possibly more than 250,000 people, the horrific and numbing pictures that flooded airwaves everywhere were accompanied by words that continually spoke of the human family as one. Reporters would say, “This is not about various countries or religions,” and “the greatest global relief effort in history.”
At the turn of the millennium, there is an increased sense that as human beings, we are indeed all in the same boat, despite the obvious and vast differences among peoples, opportunities, power, and influence on world events." (pp 236-238).
The following pictures are from the the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. They beautifully demonstrate the interplay between the individual and the group.
Imagine this huge matrix of square tubes, 23x39=897 "pixels" where each tube is like a pixel on a screen and measures perhaps 2x2 feet by 8 feet high when fully extended. As they move up and down in perfectly synchronized action they can display movement, for instance waves, and images, for instance letters.
Just as I was trying to figure out how the mechanics of this worked so perfectly, they showed a closeup. Under each "pixel" there was a human moving the tube up and down. How this was choreographed one can barely fathom.
The Renegade knows that each individual is part of the group and critical to the group. Imagine if one of these performers didn't follow the cues of the director exactly.
You can let these play automatically, or you can click through them at your own pace by using the left and right arrows.
Think of the key-words for the Renegade when you look at these. Why is each of them here?
What is it about these movies that make them belong here? See if you can watch one or several of these this week!
2001, Artificial Intelligence, An Inconvenient Truth, Antz, Armageddon, Bicentennial Man, Bug's Life, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact, Good Will Hunting, Metropolis, My Dinner with Andre, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Reds, Sicko, Star Wars, The Breakfast Club, The Matrix, V for Vendetta, What the Bleep Do We (K)now!?
Not only does our inner Renegade connect us to outer space he also connects all of us with each other. He is the uttermost humanitarian who sees those who are sharing the planet with him as fellow travelers. He is blind to color, creed, religious background, and gender. All he asks is, "How are you showing up in and for the world?"
This image is not a photograph. It was artificially created by a computer as a mix of several races. This is the Age of Aquarius, this is a perfect image of the new world where the Renegade is very comfortable.
That's it for the Renegade.
See you next week!