Carolyn Wallace is a practicing psychotherapist, Reiki Master and a certified archetypal consultant that helps women through her work with archetypes, to “heal shadow patterns so they can stand in their own authority with unapologetic, radiant confidence”.
Her website, Radiant Life, explains her work and in this interview for MysticMag we were very interested to know more about archetypes and the first step to live a radiant life.
Can you explain to us your work with archetypes? How can they help your clients?
I work with people (mostly women) to help them identify their 12 personal archetypes and teach them how to cast their Chart of Origin, which I then interpret for them. Work with archetypes is like unlocking your personal roadmap of power and transformation.
The process is the same for everyone, but everyone’s individual journey, which starts from a disempowered state, or shadow, to a cosmically empowered state, or light, is quite different. My program Archetypes in Action: 90 Days from Living in Shadow to Claiming Your Unapologetic Confidence, will lead clients though this process.
Can you give us an example of an archetype?
The Victim is one of the four Survivor archetypes as outlined in Caroline Myss’ book Sacred Contracts. A Survivor archetype is one that helped you survive your childhood, and everyone shares the same four survivors (the others are the Child, the Saboteur and the Prostitute). Becoming a Victim (i.e., not standing up for yourself or having the power to stop abuse) for most of us was a safe way of navigating childhood, as children are not big or powerful enough to stand up for themselves.
The beautiful journey of the Victim, through the Warrior, to the Guardian of Self-Esteem is a grand journey of finding our voices and power by developing boundaries and the courage to say no to whatever abuse or injustice we are faced with. Once our boundaries are intact, we become someone entirely confident that we can hold our own in this world without getting knocked over. The Guardian of Self-Esteem trusts that she can protect herself, even while she extends compassion for others. You can read more about the Victim’s path to the Guardian of Self-Esteem on my website.
The warrior archetype seems to be one of the most important ones. Does anybody have a warrior inside, that can set clear boundaries or be determined, or some people just don’t have it?
There are hundreds of archetypes, and one is not more intrinsically important than another. However, everyone has to protentional to develop warrior-like qualities because we all have the Victim archetype, and part of the Victim’s journey is to develop the courage to have boundaries. Just because everyone has the potential for this does not mean everyone will do it.
It is also possible that once people find a sense of power through the Warrior, they will use it for shadow purposes, lashing out and attacking others because they believe it’s the only way they can maintain their power. This is a Warrior stuck in their shadow. There is more work for them to do to become a compassionate warrior who can bring their gifts of boundaries and protection to the world.
Is it possible that someone has different archetypes and that creates an internal struggle?
This is quite possible! Do you remember the character Elsa from the movie Frozen? She has both the Hermit and the Queen archetype. Remember when she thought she had to stay away from everyone in her lonely ice castle? It was through her integration of these two archetypes that she was finally able to return to Arendelle and become the compassionate, yet powerful Queen she was mean to be, bringing her Hermit with her.
What is the first step to living a radiant life?
The first step to living a radiant life is to become conscious of your shadow patterns so that you can stop running in circles, and begin to make informed choices about how you’d like to live.
Without conscious awareness of how the Victim archetype behaves in the shadow, for example, how would you ever realize there are other empowering choices you could make? Once someone who’s behaved like a Victim her whole life begins to understand that having clear boundaries (both with others and herself), it will unlock more power for her than she’s ever dreamed of.
The journey of moving from shadow to light with any archetype takes courage, faith and sense of your own worthiness. It is not easy, and it’s not for everyone. But it’s available to anyone who wants it.
In your view, what is the main aspect that removes the confidence that each one of us have?
People spend years of their lives, sometimes their whole lives, being desperately confused about why life is not working out for them. They don’t realize that we all start out in a level of consciousness called Chronos, which is a tribal way of thinking about ourselves and the world.
We react to what comes toward us as a way to get or maintain power, never realizing that with a little awareness, we could step out of old ways of thinking and begin to think for ourselves. For example, what if your parents, when you were young, told you you’d never amount to anything? Are you going to spend your whole life living in that reality? Or are you going to begin to make choices based on what you want for yourself? Knowing your personal 12 archetypes can assist you greatly with this process.
Can you share with us a special message in these challenging times?
Today’s world is in great need of qualities such as compassion, kindness, love, gratitude, wisdom and generosity. These are qualities that are generated from the work each of us does on our individual journeys of transformation. They come from the sacrifice of our becoming.
Every time we make a choice that leads us away from reactivity or unconscious thinking, we are cultivating the seeds of these qualities, which, of course, support the healing of the collective and the earth as a whole. With enough people engaging in this work, the world could transform into a place that holds the care and well-being for one another and the planet as its first priority.