I’ve been doing a ton of prep for my SHEJourney 300-hour training that starts in 2024. An advanced 300-hour program like this is where we deep dive into archetypal wisdom of the Pancha Maha Bhutas (5 great elements), the Dasha Maha Vidyas (10 great wisdom goddesses), the subtle body, and more.
The truth is, archetypes are universal signs and symbols. They are the reason brands choose certain colors for their logos. Yellow makes us think of will power and strength (Helloooo McDonalds!). Or red — red is universally associated with earth, with survival, with “life blood” so to speak. (Coca-Cola anyone?)
Or for a spiritual example, you can look at any religious or spiritual tradition, and they all have someone, or something that represents Mother. Mother is a universal symbol of nourishment, of giving life, and of support.
The key is: Each one of us has a different relationship with yellow, red, Mother, earth — all the archetypes — because of our lived experience. If you’re close with your physical mother, that’s one association. Someone else may NOT be close with their Mother and as such has a differing experience when the symbol is used.
Therefore, when we bring symbols into our daily practice of meditation, journaling, reading or otherwise, we give our mind a chance to relate in its own way to a given sign or symbol. If we listen closely (especially if we train our mind to do so!), we can hear the voice of our inner, higher self.
Perhaps a symbol triggers an inner knowing to “go for it.” Or we have a gut feeling that it’s “time to let go.” Or we dream about a lost loved one and that dreamy interaction gives us peace.
Ultimately, when we feel at peace through an interaction with our higher self, THAT is archetypal wisdom. If we feel confused, or afraid, or shameful in any way, that’s not wisdom, but rather it’s our ego blocking the way to our true self.
Having a regular practice (and sometimes getting guidance from a counselor, teacher or coach) can help you open this channel for yourself so it’s clear and unclouded. No one can “do this for you,” which is why it’s so powerful when students decide to open up to the magic within themselves.
I tap into archetypal wisdom through being in nature, and noticing plants, animals and weather. I absolutely do this when I’m studying someone’s birth chart in Vedic Astrology. I use card decks like this well-loved one from my shelf by @kim_krans. I love reading writings from infamous psychologist Carl Jung, or through favorite authors like @ashafrost who give me glimpses into ancient indigenous traditions.
To me, it’s not about the outward “worship” of deities and archetypes, so much as inward contemplation, and a practice of noticing. If an owl makes me think of a loved one, then of course it’s a message because I feel it in my heart. Your ego will say to you: “You’re crazy. That’s not my loved one.” But your ego isn’t interested in magic — your heart is.
In short, life is just SWEETER with archetypes, signs and symbols. For me, they provide a framework to access the sweet nectar of life, which is available to every single one of us.
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.