A prominent theme in my life this month has been around archetypes and how to partner with them to unfold my highest potential. I was originally introduced to archetypes about 6 years ago when I began working with Deepak Chopra and David Simon at the Chopra Center. Initially, I really struggled with grasping an understanding what an archetype is and why I should care. What are they, who are mine, and what purpose does it serve for me to identify with them?

While I found Greek mythology fairly interesting in junior high school, I hadn’t ever felt a real connection to Gods, Goddesses or other types of religious figures or deities. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I understood the definition of an archetype and what they represent. An archetype is a concentration of psychic energy that refers to a constantly recurring symbol or motif that shows up in literature, art, mythology and, one’s daily life. I perceive an archetype to be someone or something whose qualities and characteristics I would like to emulate more of in my own life.

This being said, we all have a multitude of archetypal patterns that we play out; some are considered to be functional or positive, and others dysfunctional or not so positive. Then there are those that we endeavor to pattern after. We all have qualities of the mother (nurturer) and the victim, the empress / emperor and the martyr, the warrior and the servant, the lover and the actor, the communicator and the silent child, the intuitive and the intellectual, the guru and the egotist. The most commonly known modern day archetypes are our superheroes and villains (Wonder Woman, Batman, The Joker and Lex Luther) and those who have lived in our society and represented aspects of ourselves (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana).


So the question became “who is MY archetype?” I grew up with modern day superheroes so I began to identify what characters I was drawn to as a child and what roles and energy patterns am I currently living out. A few came to mind and then I started asking myself what qualities I would like to emulate and who did I know that inspired me to be the best version of myself that I could? Around this time, Deepak Chopra had just co-authored Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes with his son Gotham, who is a talented filmmaker and is big in the Los Angeles comic scene. As I read through this book, it became apparent that we are all superheroes; we all have our stories of tragedy and darkness, and we all have our stories of resurrection and redemption.

Yet, I still struggled with identifying who my archetypes were. I resonated with Wonder Woman since childhood (and shamelessly touted my underoos on a daily basis) but I still didn’t quite get the concept that she was (and still is) my archetype. For some reason, I thought that I had to create my own archetype. So, my inner child decided that I was the heroin on the cover of Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes. I became the Meditation Maven (read more here) and my super power was the ability to sprinkle meditative fairy dust on those who needed a dose of stillness, silence, peace and compassion. That was fun and all but it didn’t really get me anywhere other than into a playful mood.

TrisArchetype_square-e1388602084716Fast forward 2 years to present day. I’ve just spent the month with Jean Houston diving deep into mythical archetypes and studying how their stories continue to play out through each and every one of us. Jean took us through various stories of tragedy and triumph and brought us through the hero’s journey. As someone who has been paramount in her pragmatic approach to illustrating the archetypes present in our collective consciousness, Jean has taught countless people how to partner with their archetypes in a way that unfolds their highest purpose and enables them to fulfill their dreams.

I now have clarity on who my main archetypes are, from the sacred to the superhero to modern day icons. I don’t necessarily feel compelled to share who they are or make a production of my connection with them. Like a precious seed, I have planted them at the level of my soul and I regard them with reverence. They are a part of who I am and who I am becoming, and their energetic expressions simply show up whenever I am called to respond from a higher place.

This is how it works. Start by identifying who your archetypes are. If you’re not sure, then ask yourself who inspires you and what are the qualities that either draw you to them, or what qualities of theirs do you currently possess? Find one or two main archetypal energies that you strongly resonate with and ask them to help you become more of that which you desire. Ask for their help in manifesting what you want, ask for their guidance when you feel as if you’ve lost your way, breathe in and become them when you need their strength, their support and their courage, and notice how you begin to take on their energy. Partnering with your archetypes is a powerful way to accomplish more by doing less. We are all here to collaborate with one another and with archetypal energies to be the change we wish to see in our world.

Self-reflection + Inspired Action

  • Who are your functional archetypes and in what ways do they show up in your daily life?
  • Who are your dysfunctional archetypes and in what ways are you playing their roles that limit you?
  • Who are the archetypes that you would like to bring in and how can you partner with them to achieve greatness?