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Art by Mary Hart
Journeying into the psyche through Chakradance, you begin to explore the relationship between the chakras and archetypal energies. Archetypes are a wonderful way to play out aspects of your psyche through dance, movement and guided imagery.
Now you may believe that you have little knowledge of archetypes and even less use for them. However, you may also be surprised to learn that archetypes are being used all around you, every day.
A classic example is advertising. Watch any advertisement for nappies or breakfast cereal and right there is a woman we all instantly recognise as a “mother”.
Or the prosaic car ad, with a devastatingly sexy man or woman, “the lover”, and even a car so sleek it actually morphs into an animal archetype of speed and grace such as a jaguar.
The reason you know without being told who these characters are, is because they represent common archetypes which appear in our culture's storytelling.
Carl Jung would also argue that the reason these characters appear in the storytelling, or myths, of many cultures around the world is because they are universal patterns in human consciousness.
Ever done a Myers Briggs personality test? Or one of those Facebook quizzes on which Game of Thrones character are you? Yep, all archetypes.
The Chakradance practice is influenced by the psychology of Carl Jung. Archetypes are a major component of Jungian psychology, and although I could spend a whole post on the subject, I will just explain enough to make sense of how archetypes work in regards to the Chakradance practice.
So movie characters and TV commercials are obvious manifestations of archetypal representations, but what of the archetypes Jung wrote about, what exactly ARE they?
Carl Jung suggested that every society ever created shared its knowledge through storytelling.
In fact, the art of storytelling is implicitly archetypal. Have you ever seen a Disney movie without a witch, warlock, magician or some variation of that theme?
Originally all societies were oral and pictorial storytellers, then many moved to written, and now electronic technologies, to tell their stories.
In these stories are characters, and throughout all cultures, though the details may vary, the essence of the characters in these stories is the same.
Whether it is a Hollywood movie or story passed down the generations in an indigenous tribe, the same characters show up.
According to Jung, this is how our minds store information about the human psyche and its relationship to the world.
These archetypes allow our mind to access and process emotions, people, relationships, and stories into personal meaning, guidance, and wisdom.
Jung described archetypes as universal, mythic patterns that reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over.
He believed that archetypes represent fundamental themes of our human experience and our evolution into self-conscious beings.
Carl Jung said that archetypes are, at the same time, both images and emotions.
By being charged with emotion, the image gains a dynamic psychic energy.
These archetypes are deeply held, operating unconsciously, and intricately entwined with our emotions. Which makes them very powerful in terms of human behaviour.