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(I have a few posts here that have been in draft mode for a year or more that I thought I would dig out and finish.) I wanted to post about something that I’ve never heard anybody else address, but has had profound implications for me, experientially. I think since this original draft I’ve mentioned both these points but I want to do it officially in a way I can easily link to later.

The issue is: archetype work on other people’s archetypes.

And: “master/universal” archeypes, as opposed to “your individual” archetypes.

I bet at least someone is thinking, “I never even thought of those differences, or doing those things.” Uh huh. That’s cause you’re so much smarter than me.

It would be easier if many areas of meditation came with warnings. DO NOT PUT BODY OUTSIDE SUNROOF WHILE CAR IS IN MOTION. But they don’t. So learn vicariously from my screwups if at all possible.

The archetype of “Power”, for example, has three main categories in how you can approach it, as I’m modeling it here:

  1. “YOUR” archetype of power. This is an individual thing, your relationship with that energy, and it has a certain degree of inherent energy. Archmeds usually “default” to this I believe, when you ask for an archetype, probably an IG-protective issue, or a subtle assumptive paradigm we begin with, or both.
  2. “THE” archetype of power. This is a master/universal thing, not so much just your relationship-with-X as an archetype. (It is possible some of what Jung ran into fell into this category which might explain his believing it was all so dangerous.)
  3. Someone “ELSE’s” archetype of power. For example, maybe your friend Jim has a real hard time dealing with issue X, so you decide you are going to meditate on JIM’s archetype for X. Or maybe Jim, bless his altruistic heart, thinks he’d like to do that for you.

Here is how these worked out for me. Maybe they will be different for you.

1. The first item is standard archmed work. This is what I do and I consider it true magick and fabulous. So I don’t need to say much about that option. That’s what we want when we go into these experiences: “My archetype of X.”


2. The second item I got by accident. I believe my first IG allowed this to happen because my archetype-work teacher had actually once mentioned something about this and I hadn’t paid attention. Things like ‘being real specific about what you ask for, and how you ask for it’, were real important to me at that moment, and I think it was a good lesson. Certainly a memorable one.

All she said was something like, “Of course, you’re not asking for the universal archetype of X, but for your archetype of X. The archetype will example your relationship with X, so if it’s wounded, or dusty, or looks like an insect, that’s direct information on that relationship.” She did not say anything beyond that. She didn’t warn me what NOT to do, she merely pointed out what we WERE to do. But I failed to pay attention to this as I should have.

Anybody who has ever done dowsing, knows that there is a rather bizarre thing about words. You can change one single word in a question, even though the question appears to still be the same question, and change your result. Perhaps it’s that words are a form of energy on their own merits and, like a recipe, every ingredient matters to the outcome.

Nowadays I tend to outline my wishes or gripes or worries, and then let IG choose whatever combination of whatever she thinks is appropriate for the archetype. That may include things I’ve never mentioned, things I never thought of that ‘underlie’ what I’m complaining about in a different way than I expect, things SHE has an opinion about or wants dealt with, etc.

But when I began archetype work, I didn’t know or have that trust with IG, and I’d come from a self-hypnosis background so was kind of geared to the ‘specific command’ mentality. I was very clear about what I asked for and how.

For example, here are some archetypes as I might have phrased them back then. I might still use this. The only difference now is my much greater allowance and assumption of creativity and wisdom I assign to IG in the process.

  • My relationship with person X
  • The problems I’m having in situation R
  • My success at coming-event Y
  • My lack of money, in general
  • My need for object Z
  • My archetype of concept K
  • The pain/sickness/injury I have in body-part Q

If I were seriously working on a serious problem, I would come up with 2-10 different approaches to it; archetypes addressing a little bit of everything. Usually these came in obvious breakouts such as:

  • My relationship with person X
  • The problems in my relationship with person X
  • My underlying issues in turn driving my issues with person X
  • My lousy history with person X
  • My ideal relationship with person X
  • Person X’s role as my _____
  • My role as person X’s _____
  • The future of me and person X

Do this in combination like this, particularly in a very altered-state, and I have never in the many times I’ve used this approach, or seen others use this approach, had anything short of staggering and damn near instant reality-change.

These are the possible results that I’ve seen with me and others:

  • Person X changes so radically you seriously wonder who this stranger is and what has become of the person X you thought you knew. (Usually they are just so much nicer to you, so much less affected by negative energies, it’s stunning. Like you think they’re patronizing because they are never this nice so something must be up!)
  • Situation Y which is bringing you and person X together changes so radically that the whole dynamics of the relationship, as well as details, are altered. (One day they think you’re totally wrong for the job and the next day some trivia occurs, you push a button on their computer, and they think they can’t live without you.)
  • Person X falls completely out of your life. They are suddenly moving away, leaving the company, dropping the relationship, or in some other way just falling off your radar completely. (I haven’t yet seen this be “keeling over” but I don’t doubt that is one of the possibilities and I just haven’t run into it yet.)

Now, those examples were all of MY archetypes. Hey, maybe that’s why I like shamanic work — “It’s all about me!”

That is not quite the same as a universal archetype. Not “my version” of Scorpio but some universal version. THE archetype, not MY archetype.

As I said, I think that this ‘defaults to’ the “my” classification, by assumption, by design, or by IG’s help. But it does not have to, as I learned the hard way one day.

I had the idea that I wanted to work on the archetype of “performance.”

I had a major, life-wide issue with this. Performance had been the center of my life since childhood, had been part of a huge crux-of-angst in me for years, and had been (unwillingly but resignedly) given up entirely. I didn’t expect an easy meditation. But I didn’t expect the one I got, either. I imagine (I never tried it again!) that if I had asked for my archetype of performance, it would have been “a difficult meditation.”

But instead, I asked for THE archetype of performance. And as I’d just had this conversation noted with my teacher, about what we were asking for and I pointedly did it wrong, I think maybe my IG of the time was giving me “exactly what I asked for, but not what I wanted.”

I had only a few seconds with the archetype. He was a tall black figure in a black cowled robe but made-of-outer-space (a little like the picture on the cover of the inner guide meditation book). His eyes were large and glowing red. He had a tall strong staff in his hand black like him and on its top was a spade–like in playing cards, that symbol-shape.

I was overwhelmed, impacted by his energy like it was a shock weapon that “whompfed” me like an air-gun and any second would finish destroying me.

He instantly attacked, and I flailed backward trying to escape him as he yelled right in my face, leaning over me, Power! I must have power! I must have power! I …

I was body-wide reacting, on the floor screaming repeatedly, GET IT OFF ME! GET IT OFF ME! at Inner Guide when IG vanished him. Granted, only a few moments in.

I collapsed in panic-breathing shock, and then burst out bawling in reaction to the terror.

Yes I would agree that this archetype was clearly affected by my issues with that energy. However, that archetype felt nothing like any other archetype ever has, even the most powerful ones. It was like 100x the inherent energy. It’s like going from an average 70-80 decibal radio to headphones with 140 decibals blaring through. I’d had all kinds of mind-blowing, powerful and amazing experiences with archmeds by then, but I had never met an archetype which on their own, just in the instant of first-encounter with them, had THAT kind of power.

(Interesting aside: you know, this actually reminds me of the ‘power’ that I felt from the bad guy in that dreamy-experience I blogged in ‘The Immortal’. No I’m not saying the archetype was a demon or whatever, just that it was that “level” of power. I mean it felt like it was so powerful that MY whole energy body would just be flattened, wiped out, solely by its proximity, and that if I interacted with it some critical mass of me wouldn’t survive.)

My teacher told me that if you really get a ‘universal’ archetype rather than a ‘personal version’ of an archetype, and especially if that archetype is some common concept/symbol that has a zillion years/people of thoughtform, that this is the kind of experience that can result.

This is why some people doing archmeds without an Inner Guide have found them terrifying and dangerous — or have even been literally screwed up, physically or mentally, from the experience.

IG has the total power in that realm and can protect you from anything, ‘scale’ anything or stop it if it’s too much. That is one reason why I am a Steinbrecher fan, because I feel his chancing on this particular option and documenting it is so invaluable.

My teacher and I talked about my phrasing and her recent discussion on this and we theorized–just a guess–that because she had pointedly addressed that issue, and I had pointedly not done it right, that since I was constantly having IG-world experiences that were ‘lessons’ even based on daily life (the insight often covered much more than just the archetype work), that this was a lesson. I got exactly what I asked for. Next time, I should be more specific. I of all people should know.

I have never asked for the (or MY) archetype of performance again. Maybe someday when I am much braver….!

A short time later (few days I think), I was doing something over on the end table in my teacher’s living room, and they had some little ‘Larson comics strip’ cube daily calendar.

The interior of a pet store. A parrot is in a hanging cage up high. The clerk’s desk is to the right. To the left, a large snake acquarium has a huge broken hole in the middle of its glass.

A pair of broken eyeglasses are visible. And a suspiciously pet-store-clerk-sized lump is inside the giant black snake, who is curled up sleeping peacefully on the floor.

The parrot, happily oblivious, is cheerfully reciting:


I just collapsed laughing, SO hard, on the floor crying, until I couldn’t breathe, until I was in pain, until I had to rest in exhaustion, and then I went through it all over again. It was just so perfect.


3. Someone “ELSE’s” archetype of power.

I had two experiences with this. One from being ‘the person’ so addressed by someone else doing the meditations, and one from being the person doing the meditations.

Once upon a time my teacher, herself experimenting with much of this, thought it might be fascinating to see if she could work on my archetypes “for” me. After all, she was a hands-on (energy) healer; she was ‘reaching into me’ already; was this not just another form of that?

As a person she was an unusually-good-listener, a compassionate sort. She was constantly ‘healing’ as a way of life. She had a great deal of developed trust/faith in ‘the universe’ to take care of her. She was a minister, and a counselor, as well as an energy-worker, and a teacher. She “re-mothered” me, or perhaps just ‘mothered’ me is the term given mine died when I was so young.

It was hypnosis and past-life memories and spontaneous anomalous experiences that gradually put a crack in my skepticism and opened my mind. But it was she that opened my heart. She was nearly my opposite polarity, an airy Aquarius, although bizarrely enough, when we had our astrology charts done, even though the planets/signs/houses were completely different, the “geometric pattern” in the circle formed by the relationships was nearly identical for us, that was odd, we were constantly getting our charts mixed up. I think these ‘geometries’ might themselves be a good archetype, come to think of it.

She observed the issues she felt I had as major challenges. I pushed people away in several forms. I was distrustful. I didn’t know when to shut up, especially about negatives. I had issues with faith. With insecurity. She specifically requested MY archetypes of ____ to work with. She did this daily for a couple months, and usually we would sit together during this time.

By the end of that, I had changed radically for the better. She observed this with delight. Look, it worked! I appeared to have ‘evolved’ damn near overnight. The very issues she had been working on had resolved with a speed and completeness that honestly, was mind boggling.

But by the end of that, she had changed radically for the worse. I observed this with horror. I didn’t make the connection back then to what caused it. She appeared to have ‘devolved’ damn near overnight. I did make the connection that as a surreal coincidence, she specifically seemed to have developed major life-size problems in the precise areas where I had so amazingly totally let go of them. I wondered about that.

I just didn’t understand that this is another form of magick or shamanism. You sometimes hear of some yogi “taking on” something for a student and working through it for them. I was never sure I believed that was possible, personally. Now I do. She did not mean to, but look what we both learned from this: that is how it is done.

On the bright side, you free person X from that energy if you intentionally take it on for them and they allow this. On the down side, now it’s yours, and not only is it just as hairy as it was for them, but worse, THEY already have a lifetime of adaptation with that energy, a whole system where it is “in context” — and you don’t.

So I was a walking-wounded, hostile, distrustful, sarcastic, faithless skeptic with a ruthlessly sharp tongue and a big mouth. I was many things, and those just happened to fit in the profile. She was a warm, compassionate healer whose whole life was based on faith, and whose primary quality was being a healer, and an understated good listener for people’s private concerns.

The qualities she took ‘for’ me were merely ‘issues that needed working out’ within the context of my personality. But within the context of HER personality, they were waterfall-disasters. She didn’t just act out those issues as I did; because I had a life of learning to adapt to them and control them within reason and compensate for them. She didn’t have those compensations in place. Worse, pretty much all her most powerful strength points were the ones that were now her most powerful problems.

The qualities that in me made a type-A, driven, ruthless left-brain skeptic, made her a monster.

She did not work through most of it, but rather, eventually, she let it go. It returned to me. And while this is likely not the only reason around that era, it’s fair to say I went from being unusually well developed, spiritually healthy, openly psi and loving, filled with faith, constantly meditating, to suddenly being exactly the trauma-queen jerk with trust and skepticism issues I’d been years before–but that I thought I had “evolved out of”. Actually I didn’t, and I didn’t deserve the credit for it. She had “helped”. And when she or her own spiritual helpers finally dealt with it, and “quit helping”, I got it back. It has been a very long climb back uphill.

So it was very bad for her. And while temporarily good for me, in the end it was bad for me too. This is not a practice to recommend.

I think if a person knew what they were doing and took a tiny, single point, and really tried to ‘work through’ this energy–I do not know how it’s done, if you can fully, or what–maybe, just maybe, it’s possible, and I only say this because of the stories about gurus in the east. But at least for us in the West, the bottom line seemed to be that although one can ‘take on and allow to be taken on’ certain energies, that in the end, everybody has to go ‘through’; there are some roads you walk alone but for who is inside you; nobody else can do it “for” you.

The penalty for trying to live someone else’s life at that level is that you get exactly what you ask for but definitely not what you want.

Which brings me to the next example. I had a friend who had serious heart problems. I loved him so much, and I wanted him to be healthy. One night while doing some prayer and distance healing on him (it goes without saying that one can only truly heal what the other allows of course–all embodied identities are sovereign), I had the idea that I would work on “the archetype of HIS heart problems.”

The archetype scared me half to death. It was human… mostly. But something about it, and about its eyes, wild and feral, so frightened my body, more than my mind, that in gut-wrenching fear I backed away from it and left the meditation.

Which left that energy doorway open, as does not finishing any meditation. Oh, my.

I was ‘haunted’ by this human-ish ‘monster’ in my dreams. It varied from male to female. It was a werewolf; it was a horrible murderer. It ripped people to pieces in front of me, more blood and guts than I can imagine the goriest movie having, a visceral-level gut-response that is PTSD level hard-wired trauma. It made me watch while it tore them physically apart and when I cried and screamed and hid my face, it “stopped” the dream like a film, dragged my head back, forced my eyes open, zoomed in to a closer focus, and then played it again. Red red red red.

And through it all was this horrifying guilt and getting-caught fear, as all of this up-close weapon-claws blood was always in some context where I was going to look like the one who’d done it and ‘they’ were going to find out.

Now, stupidity might be genetic so I’m told, but I have no excuse for this one. The man in question just barely survived two full tours in Vietnam as a combat soldier. He was in every battle there you’ve ever heard of and zillions you haven’t. He had decades of military experience and some of it was very…. very hairy. He’s getting older now, but in the psychic dictionary next to “bad ass you don’t want to f— with” is this guy’s picture. So how could I not have guessed that if he had heart issues it just might, mind you have something to do with the fact that he’d spent years of his life in horrible gory traumatic close-up violent combat?

I went back to IG after a week, crying, and begged IG to ‘close the meditation and free me from the archetypal energies’ of it. I was afraid to go to sleep at that point, it was HORRIBLE. IG did, and I was ok after that. I have not made that mistake again.

And even if I had been able to work with that energy, god only knows the effects it might have had in my personality, considering the effect that working with my archs had on my teacher.

So archetype work, at base, is exploring the universe “through” yourself. It is always YOUR archetype of-something. Not some universal archetype, some entity so powerful it nearly blows you out of the meditation. Not someone else’s archetype, some energy you’d just be taking on and living (probably badly) with the consequences. But YOURS.

IG will do this by default, far as I know.