WEEK 5: My Penetrating Passion
The Warrior Archetype
Age Manifestations of Archetypes
Archetypes in Cultural Context
Archetypal Role Models
The Warrior Archetype
What will you fight for? This week we explore your Warrior passions. What gets you so hot under the collar that you will stand up for it? Where do you feel the most passionate? Your inner Warrior will defend, split, separate, and conquer. The Warrior also plants your creative seeds as he furrows open moist and fertile soil with his sword. We will also inquire about how you express your sexual energy. And, how well you can cut off and sever what is no longer necessary in your life. Or, can you? As we ask questions and immerse ourselves in the archetype of the Warrior, we also wonder about his less desirable expressions. This is where we find anger, self-destruction, and ulcers. Your inner Warrior, ready for action, weapons in hand, and eager to conquer something, may also be other-worldly. He may prefer to dream away the day, indulging in the sensual and dreamy without ever creating anything. Let's find out! The first steps you take towards becoming an individual, towards individuation and separating yourself from the rest, these are taken by your Warrior.
Key Words for the Warrior Archetype
Read the following key words with your journal nearby. Then, note and reflect on your instant reaction to these words. Imagine they describe a person. Would this person feel like a friend, an enemy, or a stranger?
Drive, Anger, War, Power, Passion, Energy, Separation, Forcefulness, Killing, Martial Arts, Adventure, Weapons, Challenge, Leadership, Sexual Drive, Cruelty, Cuts, Penetration, Bleeding, Tattoos, Migraines, Discord, Action, Feistiness, Frisky, First, Risk, Edgy, Danger, Valor, Spear, Friction, Searing, Scalpel, Switchblade, Branding Iron, premature, impetuous.
- Just like last week, spend time early on in this week with your journal. Describe your initial understanding of your inner Warrior. Read the key words above. Do they appeal to you? Can you find their place in your life? If you would rather describe her (or him) in prose, as a poem or a Haiku, the reflections are what matter.
- Using the key words above, think of figures who well represent this archetype in our (or any other) culture and in history. List five examples of very positive figures and five cases of a very negative embodiment of the Warrior. Note how your choice of figures is biased by your own comfort level with the Warrior and note any gender biases you may have.
Here are two famous pieces of music that evoke the Warrior archetype.
I have added an audio file after the video for your convenience. If you want to download that and listen to it somewhere else, in your car, for instance, that should make it easy.
Too Much Warrior: Rage
Use your journal to reflect on these questions.
- How do you react when others get enraged with you?
- Do you get angry? How? If not, how do you avoid it?
- What is the worst thing you ever did when you were angry?
- Have you ever bullied anyone? Kicked your dog? Hit someone? What happened. Journal about this.
- Have you ever picked a fight?
- Do you take the lead even if you have no clue where you are going and even though you don't admit this ignorance?
- By your own account, does sex take up too much of your focus?
- Have you ever stalked anyone?
- How do you "let off steam?" Decompress?
Too Little Warrior: Feeling Weak
Stay with your journal as you reflect about the following:
- How do you react when others get enraged with you? This question is here on both sides on purpose.
- Have you ever been violated and exposed to violence? What happened? How did you feel afterwards? What did you do about it?
- How do you react to loud, aggressive, overpowering people?
- By your own account, is there too little sex and passion in your life? Expand on this.
- Are you uncreative? How do you know that?
- If you were asked to take a project that was complex and it was your task to find the most important thing that needed to be done and then execute it? Could you do this?
The Archetypal Spectrum - Once More!
In the first week we began to understand how archetypes express themselves along a spectrum, This issue is important enough that we will look at this one more time and in greater detail. This course is about recognizing where, on a spectrum from positive and useful to negative and destructive, archetypes in our lives express themselves. We learn to understand this so that we become aware of choices we have to alter our expression of any particular archetype along the continuum of the spectrum. Therefore, each week we begin with an honest self-assessment of how we are living a particular archetype. We are seeking to find a particular expression of each one of them, one that works for us, not one that conform with any particular norm. Each week you began by asking the question, "How does this archetype we are immersing ourselves in feel to me?" And, based on a list of key words, "How would I feel about a person described by these words? Would such a person feel comfortable to me, like a friend, or not at all? Like an enemy? Or perhaps this is foreign energy to me and this person would be a complete stranger?"
We have gotten to know what a positive expression of the King, Queen, Trickster, Lover and now also the Warrior, looks like. We have also examined what a negative expression of each of these would be. We did all of this by looking at our selves and around us.
In one of the introductory lectures I briefly mentioned that if we do not like what we see when we examine ourselves, we can move our particular expression of an archetype along the spectrum. This is one definition of bettering ourselves (or developing new skills, or maturing).
To demonstrate what I mean by "moving an archetype along the spectrum," let's use the Warrior as an example. If I am always angry, and my boss keeps yelling at me, my kids hate me, my dog keeps biting me, I am developing ulcers, I constantly fight with my partner, and whenever I am in the kitchen I cut myself, ALL of that is negative Warrior energy. It is within me (anger, ulcers, careless with sharp objects) and outside of me (the rest of the examples). Through the law of attraction I am existing fully in this negative Warrior.
On the other end of the spectrum we find ourselves focused on a target, sharp, able to separate what is important and what is superfluous, fit, full of energy, practicing Tai Chi, fighting for a good cause and having great sex. All this belongs to the positive Warrior.
Most of us are not at either end of this spectrum. However, if you find yourself too close to the negative side, know that you have choices in how to move your inner Warrior along the continuum towards the other side. And you can do this with any archetype.
This is how you heal.
You Do the Gods - Or The Gods Do You - Once More!
You will not get rid of any unwanted archetypes within you. They will act up if you don't give them their dues. And, if you do, you will be amply rewarded. The archetypes are neutral about which side of the spectrum they are on. It makes no difference to them. What does matter to them is that they be within you. And, if ignored, repressed, or denied they will act up to get your attention. This usually happens in the worst possible way. A car crashing into you is a clearer message that your Warrior is not doing so well than if you suddenly find yourself on target.
Here is a visual aide of the spectrum:
- Take a piece of paper and draw five lines across it to represent a spectrum for each of the five archetypes you have now studied. On the left sides of each line write the worst possible expression of each that you can think of using only one word. Use the key words to help you for each. Then write the best possible expression on the right side, again using only one word. For instance, for your inner Lover the spectrum may go from jealousy to unconditional love (okay I used two words there...). Now make a mark on each line noting where you currently are on that spectrum.
- Using what you just completed, begin to ask yourself how you might move each mark. What could you do? How would you know that you had changed? This is a challenging exercise and may take some time. If you get stuck, go to SLACK and ask others for help!
The Negative Is A Spectrum Too
The negative side of the above spectrum can itself range from too much to too little and both are negative. In previous weeks you were asked to think about the King, Queen, Trickster and Lover and this week the Warrior. You have studied what this too-much-too-little spectrum looks like for each. For a brief moment recall what too much and then too little looked like. If you need to, go back to previous weeks and check.
Here is a visual aid to describe the Warrior:
You need a blank sheet of paper and the above exercise results for this exercise.
- Make sketches using the above model, but for the King, Queen, Trickster and Lover archetypes. You can cut pictures out of magazines, draw them or just write words instead of images.
- How would you move the needle from Too Much to Positive? Can you name activities for all five archetypes you have studied?
- How would you move the needle from Too Little to Positive? Again, list exercises or activities for each of the five.
- What do you notice? Write about this in Slack!
Now that we know that the archetypes are all within us and need a time and place to be embodied, how are you living your Warrior? Using the following image, spend some time meditating on these images and see what emerges. Both the hands below are using a Warrior tool but each has a very different use. What imagery emerges? What memories, associations? Take notes in your journal.
Channeling Fear and Anger
To get a deeper sense of our anger and the negative Warrior we must realize that anger is a way to not show fear. Expressed as fear, anger has its biological value. It is good to be afraid of a saber-toothed tiger. They are extinct, though, yet we still behave in many ways as if that was not the case. In the US we sue people quickly, some shoot each other for cutting them off in traffic, and gun violence in general is extraordinary compared to other countries. The Warrior is also present in our language, think of executing an order, bullet points, impact statements, guerrilla marketing and statements such as "I'd kill for a beer right now." Also, think about how violent football, the US' favorite sport is.
Cultures have channeled collective Warrior rage into sports for eons. Unless a war was to be waged and those in power needed this collective energy let loose on another population and to conquer lands, it behooved those in power to vent populist anger in games.
You can see this in ancient times (here a scene from the movie Ben Hur)...
...and you can see this in modern times (a NASCAR scene).
- Name ten Warrior words from everyday language that I did not mention above. Note how they are used. Aggressively? Stealthily?
- Now turn to sports, find ten Warrior words. How are they used?
- Post your findings for both of these word searches in Slack!
- Attend an arena with tens of thousands of people. Catch the fever of the crowd. How does your Warrior react in such a situation?
Think about the violence in movies, video games, and the news. There are very few positive Warrior images around. Most of them are destructive, deadly, explosive, and aggressive. The ultimate negative Warrior, is the murderer.
Here is an excerpt from my book Planets in Play on violence.
Here is a poem on violence called Reflecting on Police Brutality, by Andrea Dietrich.
Fitness and Exercise
One great way to harness the Warrior is through any sport that makes your heart race. Running, mountain biking, skiing, and racing anything, this is where the Warrior thrives.
We also find a disciplined Warrior in Martial Arts. It takes years of focused and repetitive practice to master the inner stillness required even in lightning fast action.
- The exercise here is to, well, exercise! Do something for your fitness. Engage with your Warrior. If you can get your heart rate up, so much the better. Of course, never exercise without first consulting your doctor.
- Think of exercising as a Warrior ritual. This is not to kid yourself into doing something you don't like (of course, there is the possibility that you love to exercise). the purpose of ritualizing anything is to make it a repeated behavior with meaning.
Warrior Foods and Rituals
Eating the suggested foods and performing the following rituals does not guarantee a Warrior experience, but you will be surprised at what these can do for your Warrior.
Foods include: Red meat, all red foods, all hot foods, all spicy foods, swordfish, Chile peppers. Any food you find sexy or that turns you on, anything you would want to eat before/during/after lovemaking. Anything you grew yourself.
Rituals include: Exercise, learning martial arts, running daily, learning how to debate, learning how to fight well and fairly (and above the belt), taking up fencing, bike racing, aerobics, bungee-jumping and skydiving. You can also hang a sword on the wall as a homage to the Warrior. Giving attention to the archetype regularly is the point. Eating with gusto and passion is also Warrior-like.
Your inner Warrior is how you fight. Do you run away when challenged or do you run towards it? And do you know how to fight fairly?
Ask yourself: When you fight, how do you fight?
Are you a boxer...
...or a fencer?
Or perhaps something completely different? Or do you run away and hide from a fight? Have you ever had a courageous conversation where you initiated a talk about something very uncomfortable?
- List 5 different ways that people fight.
- Journal about your natural way to fight, argue, debate, or try to convince someone. What is your stile?
- Imagine that you are a sports reporter with a microphone in hand broadcasting a fight where you are one of the opponents. Give a play-by-play of what you are seeing. Do this out loud and have an audience. Then have someone who has had a fight with you do the same for you. Compare the two descriptions.
- Read abut conflict resolution and restorative justice. What other ways are people settling disagreements than with fists? Journal at least three new ideas.
- If there is something on your mind that needs saying, have a courageous conversation with that person.
The Creative Seed
"Schwerter zu Pflugschären" (Swords to Plowshares)
Bronze by Jewgeni Wutschetitsch
Gift from the Soviet Union to the United Nations in 1959
The Warrior, after intense and continued harnessing of his wild and often destructive energy, is gifted with tilling the soil and planting seeds. The seed itself, spilled from the Warrior, is our creative drive, our passion to impregnate and grow something. To do this, we must first till the soil. All that weaponry comes in handy when it is re-purposed.
- What is the most creative thing you do? How often do you do it? The answer, "I am not creative," does not count... even when you put a meal together or select your clothes for the day, these are creative acts.
- If you find that you are not creative enough, what stops you? When was the last time you felt creative? In childhood? What would it take to get back to that level of creativity?
- Initiate something positive. This can be organizing a field trip to visit the elderly in a hospital, or organizing a dinner party. Anything, really. Starting, it, planting the seed and taking charge, that is the point.
Here is a list of some Warrior movies: Bend It Like Beckham, 300, Crouching Tiger - Hidden Dragon, The Terminator, Enter the Dragon, Glory, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Braveheart, Pulp Fiction, Raging Bull, Kill Bill 1& 2, Remember the Titans, Pumping Iron, Rambo, Saving Private Ryan, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Mask of Zorro, The Seven Samurai, Con Air, Troy, Mona Lisa, Fatal Attraction.
Can you name some more? Can you watch one this week? In each movie, what makes it belong here?
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 Warrior when you look at these. Why is each of them here?
Sex and Passion
Last week we learned about Sex and Seduction. The Warrior, when refined, is about passionate sex. You could say that the Lover brings us together, seduces, invites and lures us to the bed of passion. The passionate Warrior then does the deed. As I said last week, sex-drive and raw passion belong to the Warrior. What kind of a lover you are, whether active or passive, aggressive or submissive, pro-active or reactive, all this is shown by your inner Warrior. Not surprisingly, these same words can be used in other Warrior arenas, pun intended. After all, archetypes can express themselves in a myriad of ways.
- What kind of a Warrior are you in the heights of passion? Journal about this. Does this change with different partners? If yes, why do you think this happens?
- Use SLACK to discuss why you think we are different Lovers and Warriors with different people, if you think that is true. If not, let others know why you think not.
- Last week you wrote a few paragraphs in your journal about your sex life. Do this again but from the Warrior perspective. Is it the way you want it to be? If not, what is missing? Why?
End of Warrior Week
See you next week!