Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Legend... The Icon... The Archetype

When I woke up my patient to remove her needles,  she told me that she had felt another presence in the room while she was resting during her acupuncture treatment .   We explored if she had sensed the pigeons outside of the window, or perhaps an ancestor visiting as a healing ally.  "No", she insisted, shaking her head.  "It was none of those, but definitely a presence".

About an hour later, she sent me an email stating, "It was Prince.  He's been my idol since I was in elementary school.  Someone I never met, don't know personally but have adored most of my life."

I received the news of Prince passing while that patient was resting, and I could feel the reverberations of shock and sorrow throughout the city.   I knew that, like myself, people were reliving memories of a cultural icon's music that raised a generation.   Recalling with a nostalgic "remember when...?" , and all of the moments embraced in the music.

Suddenly it's 1980-something, and I see myself perfectly-  begging my dad to let me watch Under a Cherry Moon on our Beta-Max machine.  I am at the 8th grade dance, feeling like I've arrived in an alarming combination of hair spray, lace, and ruffles.    I'm brought back to first boyfriends and first kisses and summers with my sister-cousin in PG County. Then I'm in Carolina blue, partying with my fellow Tarheels as the Class of 1999.  The memories- from each stage of my life- are hauntingly, sweetly, refreshingly clear. 

How is it that we are so greatly affected by the loss of someone that we never knew personally, but was so intimately wrapped into our lives?  
Spike Lee Block Party Tribute Photo Credit:  NY Daily News

Then i remembered.... ARCHETYPES.  It's all about archetypes.

Carolyn Myss defines an archetype as "psychic power patterns in the unconscious mind." She writes that "although arcehyples are collective symbols that everyone in the culture shares, they can also speak to us individually, as personal archetypal patterns that are the foundation of our beliefs, drives, motivations, and actions, organizing and energizing all out relationships in life".   I work ALOT with archetypes in my practice- calling on the Elements, the Zodiac, the Chakras, Orisha, media personalities, and the archetypal wisdom of flower essences to help us understand how and why we do what we do.

The point is, when a person lives very close to an archetype, they become iconic.  Their presence becomes a symbolic and earthly representation of a cosmic force that lives within all of our psyches. We love them like we love our best selves- because they represent something that IS part of ourselves.  Something universal, yet intangible.  An icon gives us rare access to a subconscious human pattern of the psyche- manifesting in real life so that we can see it, dissect it, critique it, adore it,  and if we're lucky, integrate it into our lived experience.

Beyonce as the Venus/Het Heru/ Oshun archetype, calling us to embrace the aspect of feminine sexuality that is powerful and defiant.  Michael Jackson as the Puer Eternal archetype, challenging the aspects of ourselves that desire to live in perpetual childlike wonder, joy and fantasy.  Princess Diana as, literally, the Princess archetype who found her Prince Charming.  When an archetype either emerges or dies, the whole world feels it.

The Legend Formally Known as Prince breathed life into the archetype of Aquarius.

Aquarius.  The Eccentric One.  The Rebel.  The Original.  The Inventor.  The Cosmic One.

Astrologically speaking, the spiritual principle of Aquarius is "individuation and the freedom to be original."  Indeed, the Aquarius energy is one that allows us to be creative, inventive, and to defy the rules in honor of our orginality.   Governed by Uranus, the transgender planet of rebellion against social norms, Aquarius affords us the psychic impulse to be uniquely, eccentrically, authentically ourselves.

Didn't he do it, tho?

Prince refused to be imprisoned, not even within a box of his name or his fame.  His music became the soundtrack for the freakiest, sexiest, darkest desires that were too unconventional to express. Rigid delineations between black and white music dissolved.  We lived through him as he rocked eyeliner and heels in all his masculine glory, helping us expand our preconceived notions of gender, of coolness, of sexy.

And I can't think of single woman that didn't want to sleep with that musically genius, incredibly sexy, androgynous little man. 

The archetype of Aquarius 'aims for total freedom to pursue enlightenment and raise the consciousness of the planet. And in his fame, Prince turned is attention to humanitarian effort,s seeking to raise the vibration of the planet by attending to those who needed it most.  A close friend recalls him saying, "I don't need any more attention, but I can't be in this world and see this much pain and suffering and not do something".

Rise in Power Dearly Beloved.   May we honor you by honoring that which is cosmic, radical, innovative, and humanitarian within ourselves.  Rock on.

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