Archetypes : Victim and Villain

I have been struggling with depression,  loss of identity as a healer and loss of soul spiritually. I have felt so defeated, my life purpose for naught.  I have been so tired and sad.  I seemed to have lost my motivation and inner compass.  At 60 years old… I have been in periods of grief and change but have never felt so hopeless.  Despite that… I have been committed to  practice self care, spiritual disciplines and patience… I have been waiting with faith and curiosity for answers and healing.

I finally am seeing a crack in the insanity of this world take over by the president and Republican party.  I have been unable to see the other side.  Recognizing that those who support this must not necessarily be evil… but I have been unable to reconcile my despair, anger and fear for the country I grew up believing was supporting our well being and at least our personal freedoms.

As a student of Jungian psychology I was happy to sign up for a class on archetypes…. It  got cancelled! Archetypes are : a collectively-inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., that is universally present, in individual psyches,  According to Carl Jung…. Archetypes like our shadow are aspects of the psyche that are common to all but sometimes when not acknowledged, appreciated and avoided …. take us over.  They remain hidden but are felt by our aversions and negative judgement.  if we have a strong “reaction “, feel justified, blame, act out of our value system without choice…. likely the shadow is activated.  I call it getting possessed!  Didn’t want to say that but couldn’t help it…. Addiction to people or situations or substances…. locked into blame… shame and fear.

So I asked myself…. What archetype has me possessed.  I googled Victim Archetype . One sentence opened my eyes…. and began an unraveling of the possession.  The root of the Victim archetype is a fear that you cannot survive or will not survive. Not just physical survival but the survival of your identity, your hopes and dreams or sense of self.  (read the whole article recommended)

Had I ever felt like a victim?  Perhaps with my father’s criticism.  I remember in my 20’s beginning to do therapy realized my defects of character revolved around shame, worthiness, fear.  In my learning to have compassion around my perfectionism, criticism and impatience… I understood my Dad better … so healing evolved and progressed to include him.  My shadow side was witnessed, not denied, became an anchor to delve deeper.  The involvement of the shadow gave me more freedom… less fear…. more acceptance… more inclusion … more moderation… authenticity.

But today possessed by the victim archetype…. a feeling of hopelessness, loss of soul and power were draining my life force.  I had to ask myself …. what’s the lesson in the victim take over?  Fueled to do something…. stay informed, write daily, pray daily, meditate, more time off work for exercise and sleep.  I stated a political support/ education group.  Read books and articles as much as my attention could focus on.  Nothing changed the feeling of loss, outrage, despair, grief, uncertainty, questions.  What’s the value to me of being the victim?

I did  understand from the past …. each shadow element has something to offer.  I was taking better care of myself, attending to my spirit, much more aware of what I valued and appreciative of all my blessings as the political choices that were being made by the government were threatening them:  environment, women’s rights, democracy, health care , education and all the rest.  In the darkest of moments I was also holding the love for everything dear to me.

So what Archetype was being projected at me to fall into this Victim Archetype.  Projection  is the unconscious communication of one person’s unconscious shadow on to another.  We all feel this when we are falling in love, for example.  The other projects their image of who they want you to be in usually a way that draws out in us the feeling of worthiness and esteem.  The problem is when the projection falls away there is reaction to the reality and and tendency to blame the other for their shortcomings.  They were there all the time but when possessed by the lover archetype we only see from that possessed state of mind.  It will always dismantle and this becomes the catalyst for the growth we undertake in learning how to really love…. warts and all.

The archetype being projected on to me from this administration from what I can tell is the Villain.  We love to hate our villains. They intrigue us because evil intrigues us. Our villains are social misfits. They are damaged goods, outcasts. Villains are rich. And today’s supervillains are superrich. In fact, many are billionaires who have nothing else to do with their resources than create destructive toys and weapons. Villains have no conscience and no limit to what they will wreak. They are capable of igniting a nuclear war; of destroying millions of people; of destroying a planet, even one which they inhabit. –Villains know that evil is a far more seductive power than good, because evil relies upon the tactile elements of the physical world, whereas good is often not tactile, sensual, or immediate in its consequences. In this, evil has a type of five-sensory advantage. A person can get addicted to evil; rarely does a human being get “addicted to good.”–Finally, we need our villains to fall on their swords in some way. We need to witness their plans failing. We need to see that all their money, minions, and preparation fail again and again to defeat the power of one hero, one good guy, one true, righteous, demigod who shows up just in time from out of nowhere. And, just as mysteriously, evaporates after his work is done.

This explained that I have also been seduced by this villain archetype.  Projecting the Republican Party and it’s leader as all bad but compelled to read , watch, Facebook…  I have compulsively spent endless hours viewing the evils perpetrated by (in my judgement) the villainous Republican take over.  Despite my knowing intellectually I have been adding fuel to the fire by such attention….. couldn’t help myself.  So how am I the villain?  How do I own up to the archetype?  …..   A woman friend of like mind said she always felt the White House was a special even sacred space for our country and felt is was being desecrated by who was now living there.  She had insight when she heard something say something similar to that… appalled that Black people were living in the white house the years prior. For some reason her story gave me for the first time a feeling of the victimization others have felt and role of Villain I have played in there life.  I can see their projection but how have I played into it?  White, upper middle class, educated, altruistic but not attention to the problems at home?  I’ll have to keep working with this one! Maybe my husband and daughter can tell me about that!

In conclusion…  I am not possessed at the moment by the victim.  I am the hero in my own story once more…. rising from the ashes.  I have greater insight now where my energy and purpose are most needed.  My actions now may be similar but with less contempt…. perhaps even compassion because being possessed by an archetype is not a conscious choice.  However, once it is conscious there is more choice and growing responsibility for one’s behavior.  ( even if the feelings linger) .  I do know that stepping out of the victim archetype releases me from the projection and helps to dismantle the projectors power.  That is the lesson and reason for sharing this.  Identify your archetype that is being activated if there is one, and dismantle that with awareness, consciousness, compassion and patience.  We are our own secret weapon! Owning our own shadow in no way makes us less… we carry wholeness.  Step up once more into the Hero’s journey. … “you were made for these times”!




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