|Posted by csy11 on February 6, 2015 at 5:05 AM||comments (1)|
Note: This blog contains multiple spoiler alerts for The Hunger Games-Catching Fire and for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Normally when we think of the martyr archetype certain historical images come to mind, like Joan of Arc. The extreme end of the "light" side of this archetype means that the martyr is willingly self-sacrificing for a cause he/she deems greater than the worth of his/her own life. Normally, however, the martyr will act somewhere in the spectrum so someone else will stand to benefit and by default, the martyr stands to lose something. We see two highly emotional instances of "light" martyrdom in Catching Fire.
As pictured above, we see an elderly gentleman from District 11 who touches us beyond all measure. Subsequent to Rue's slaughter, the angelic twelve year old child from District 11 who was reaped in The Hunger Games as a tribute, this district is left deep in mourning and wounded as ever. In this scene, Katniss has just delivered a moving speech about her friend and ally, Rue. The elderly man, in recognition of Rue's senseless death, delivers the four note whistle (we now know as Rue's whistle) and offers the three fingered sign that is considered a passive way of revolting (like a sit-it would have been considered back in the 1960's.) To the horror of all, the peaceful man is ripped from the crowd, beaten, and then mercilessly shot in the head in front of all as a means of squelching any thoughts of rebellion. Besides the shock factor, the most moving piece of this scene is that the man knew exactly what he was doing. He took a stand. His statement was more important than his own life and it may have been exactly what the district needed to motivate them--push them over the edge as is necessary in any uprising.
The second instance of "light" martyrdom is during the reaping of the 75th Annual Hunger Games in Catching Fire. Mags, the lady pictured above, volunteers in place of Annie Cresta during the reaping. Even though Annie was a victor in a prior Hunger Games, she has been rendered nearly helpless from post-traumatic stress and is the secret love interest of Finnick Odair (above). Finnick is the symbolic adopted son of Mags and like any "light" mother archetype, she sacrifices herself knowing she will endure certain death. However, it gets more intense. Once the tributes are in the arena, specifically Finnick, Mags, Katniss, and Peeta, the ominous threat of poisonous fog is only yards away. It is a nerve agent that renders the victim in agonizing pain then kills them. Each of them is marred by the fog and unless they can out run it, they have no chance of survival. Once it becomes apparent to Mags that Finnick cannot possibly save himself or assist the others since Finnick must carry the elderly woman on his back, she gently kisses him as her way of saying goodbye and then runs into the fog. She is no longer a burden and has helped the cause beyond great measure as Finnick's charge is to save Katniss at any expense.
The light martyr will act even if no one is watching because there is no need for applause. In the Harry Potter series we see this with the anti-hero, Severus Snape. Snape is lacking in honorable characteristics and could be considered one of the antagonists since he appears to give our main character nothing but trouble. However, we only see from Harry's muddied point-of-view, and until the tail end of the last book in the series, we are convinced Snape is both a traitor and a coward. In fact he is deplorable until we are given more information regarding his double agent status, his motivation, and his bravery beyond all. He gives his own life in order to save Harry who is the savior archetype--only no one knows it except Dumbledore! Harry doesn't learn the truth until subsequent to the sacrifice. There is no audience--Severus Snape is in fact the light martyr beyond all measure.
We see the same anonymous heroism by Sydney Carton in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.
Now, what about the shadow side of the martyr? I suspect you knew that was coming...
The shadow martyr will always have an agenda behind the motivation. Keep in mind, agenda is EVERYTHING. Yes it is true that our examples above required an agenda, but it is not for the purpose of getting attention or for self-importance. Those martyrs sacrificed for a higher purpose--for the benefit of another person or for the benefit of an entire society. However, the shadow martyr will act only if he/she has an audience so others can see what they sacrificed, otherwise the shadow martyr has no interest since there is nothing in it for them.
Just like any character defect, it is easier to spot a flaw, or in this case, the shadow martyr in another person. However, life is full of lessons--each person's hand different. It isn't our job to call someone out on acting like a martyr. Let them--it's their choice--their life. The big question of the day is: do you have the shadow martyr as one of your archetypes? If so, it is the perfect opportunity for self-reflection. Why do you do it? Why do you require an audience? What would it feel like to sacrifice in silence?
|Posted by csy11 on November 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
picture courtesy of: www.jabberjays.net
Gale Hawthorne, resident of District 12 and childhood friend of our heroine, Katniss Everdeen, is the revolutionary archetype. Forged from suffering, Gale's father dies in the same mining accident that is Katniss' father's fate. This early loss, sometime before his fourteenth birthday, puts him in the position of providing for his large family. Unlike Katniss who is a master of the bow and arrow, Gale's talent lies in the trapping of animals. He and Katniss hunt illegally outside their district's boundaries, and if found out, may result in the strictest of penalties. It is the only way to keep their families from starving to death. Already as a young teen, he is breaking the rules. As we watch, we silently cheer them on. As the man of the house, he opts to put his name into the pool of reaping candidates multiple times in exchange for tesserae. Each tessera provides a minute amount of grain and oil for one person. Selflessly, just as Katniss does, he offers himself up, symbolically, to be reaped in order to help feed his family. At eighteen years of age, he has forty two chances to survive the arena. The losses do not stop here as he watches his best friend, Katniss, volunteer to replace her young sister of twelve as she is reaped into what is sure to be a death sentence.
Early on in the story, Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth, suggests they take their two families and make a run for it since they both know survival skills, but he changes his mind later on as he prefers to take a stand once he gets a sense a rebellion may be brewing. His hopes of rebellion are solidified when matters become dire for the district when "Peacekeepers" decide to make an example of Gale and nearly whip him to death for illegal hunting. This does not deter Gale. He sees no reason to succumb to the Capitol's tactics but silently watches and wait. It does not take long to provide the catalyst after the unthinkable occurs and provides an iron-clad reason for him to revolt when the time is right.
By the end of Catching Fire, Gale demonstrates quick thinking by evacuating as many as he can while the firebombs drop. He sets himself apart as a leader and the revolutionary is fully manifested.
Even though all residents of the districts suffer, not all of them are inclined to revolt as the consequences are too severe. It takes a specific type of blueprint to embody the qualities of a strong revolutionary, so the catalyst of suffering is not enough. Revolutionaries have strong convictions, are brave, are ideally selfless, recognize injustice, are persistent, and usually clever. They inspire confidence, are committed, and personify charisma and oratory skills.
Gale Hawthorne although young, is now a revolutionary in Mockingjay. As the plot progresses, like any archetype, he will be tempted to fall into shadow. How far will he take the cause?
Relating the revolutionary archetype to everyday life is less exciting yet significant. Caroline Myss says that revolting is often at the tribal level and can be a necessary part of spiritual growth. Accepting the tribe's mindset when it is not in the Light is the equivalent of sheep flocking just because that is the way it has always been done. Question that which does not feel right.
Lightworkers and Indigos make for terrific revolutionaries although it does not always make us popular with our tribes.
|Posted by csy11 on November 17, 2014 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
picture courtesy of: www.pinterest.com
Although Effie Trinket's position in The Hunger Games series is that of escort for the tributes for District 12, I consider her the diplomat archetype. Effie, played by Elizabeth Banks, is a resident of the pampered Capitol. Up until the rebellion, she lives a lavish life filled with delightful delicacies, original designer clothing, and an unusual role. Each year, she must accompany the reaped tributes to the Capitol, introduce them to their mentor, write their speeches, and keep them on a tight schedule so they may be paraded around prior to the games.
Our first impression of Effie is that she is simply another superficial drone. In fact, the juxtaposition is striking when we witness Effie in the first film looking polished standing in front of District 12 while glazing over their impoverished frames in a sea of gray garb, she declares, "Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favor!" At best, we feel slightly repulsed but we never get the sense she ever wishes ill will. She truly is in foreign territory.
After having lost tribute after tribute to the games, Effie finally comes out ahead as she has two victors for the first time in her career. However, the celebration is short lived as an unprecedented and unjustified event occurs in the second installment of The Hunger Games series. Making the best out of a grim situation, she suggests they all wear something gold to show they are a team. It sounds trite but the offer was full of empathy and loss for her doomed tributes. We now know her heart is in the right place.
The picture above shows a more somber Effie than we saw in the first film. She does not verbalize her thoughts but we can infer from body language and tone of voice that she now understands the inhumanities the Capitol has committed against its own country. True to her role as diplomat, she aims to keep her tributes alive but knows not to cross the Capitol. She walks a fine line and walks it well.
The shadow diplomat will have a hidden agenda but this is not the case with Effie. She makes it clear her career is finally going somewhere after the tributes have a short time to enjoy their spoils.
Now that rebellion is clear, what will happen to our diplomat if the tables turn? See the reveal in Mockingjay...
It is worth noting that Effie's character in the film (at least Mockingjay, Part I, unravels very differently than the novel.
|Posted by csy11 on November 14, 2014 at 7:10 PM||comments (0)|
Tying pop culture with archetypes as we approach the release of Mockingjay, Part I on November 21, 2014. Next: Plutarch Heavensbee as the shadow inventor archetype.
|Posted by csy11 on November 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
picture courtesy of: thehungergames.wikia.com
Plutarch Heavensbee, played by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, is introduced as the Head Gamemaker after the execution of his predecessor, Seneca Crane. The Hunger Games series take place in a futuristic United States (Panem) via a high-tech arena symbolically similar to that of ancient Rome. (See my post The Hunger Games ~ Panem v. Ancient Rome). Given the games have taken place over 74 years and the outcome requires the death of all but one in the arena, every imaginable way of dying has been considered by the gamemakers of the past. If the tributes at any time do not play dirty enough or refuse to participate, it is up to the gamemaker to create carnage.
How so? Simulated "natural" disasters such as forest fires and lightning storms occur, but the real horror comes through the idea of muttations. Muttations or mutts are animals that are altered genetically to throw a wrench into what may seem harmless. This is where our inventor archetype comes into play. The Head Gamemaker is under enormous pressure by President Snow, and Snow's goals are threefold. First, he must maintain his power and authority as any good dictator. Second, he must keep the districts fearing for their lives since the tributes are reaped from the districts as a means of keeping revolution at bay. Third, the President deems it essential to keep the Capitol happy. Just as the elite in ancient Rome watched gladiators fight to the death in the arena, so do the Capitol citizens. It is Heavensbee's task to "entertain" and since he certainly does not want to end up like his predecessor he relies heavily on his skills as an inventor.
It is a normal reaction to hate the gamemaker as we commiserate with the districts, however, Heavensbee tells our heroin, Katniss, that he has volunteered for the job. So the wheels start turning...why?...is it bloodlust? Does he hope to gain the favor of Snow? Why would anyone volunteer to kill children?
The minute Heavensbee shows Katniss his pocket watch, in Catching Fire, we see on the face of the watch what is soon to be the symbol of the revolution, the Mockingjay. He hints to Katniss, "It starts at midnight," although we are left befuddled regarding Plutarch's intent. Suddenly, Plutarch Heavensbee is a layered character. Is he friend or foe?
The third book, Mockingjay, reveals a complicated Heavensbee. We already know he is capable of masterminding the murder of children but he is also a leader of the rebellion. He, along with the other survivors, takes refuge at District 13 which we were previously led to believe was annihilated for rebelling. District 13 and the survivors are desperate to win against Snow but Heavensbee is manipulative enough to use trickery and deceit as needed to get what he wants using technology as his wand. (Caroline Myss pools the inventor archetype with the wizard, magician, and scientist archetypes.) He will position himself to benefit, he will justify the means to the end, and we will have clouded emotions.
This does not mean that those archetypes are negative. As is normal for any archetype, each has a shadow side, inventor included. How many times have we seen brilliant scientific discoveries and inventions used to win a war? Watch how quickly it is justified.
If you fit the bill for the inventor, scientist, magician or wizard archetype, you will be called to make ethical decisions in the Light. To make matters more complicated, how many others will covet your discoveries? Be cautious when treading down this path. You may be ethical but what about the ones who want power or control? It can be a mixed cauldron.
Nikola Tesla said: “There is a difference between progress and technology, progress benefits mankind. Technology does not necessarily do that.”
By the way, it is likely that Suzanne Collins, author of the series, named Plutarch after Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus from ancient Rome.
Mockingjay, Part I will release November 21, 2014, so follow as I delve into more archetypes.
As an aside, Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away after the majority of principle photography of Mockingjay. Rest in peace.
|Posted by csy11 on November 3, 2014 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
While in session with a young Crystal Child, I received a clear intuitive hit about a characteristic she not only needs to acquire in this life, but a symbolic parallel that has the propensity to help her understand her challenge. This is why I am such an advocate of tying in pop culture to archetypes. What better way to get a point across? If we speak the same language we are more likely to communicate. Seems obvious, but had I used Odysseus as an example, I believe it likely, given her age, she would have not understood.
In order to understand, let's take a look at Tolkien's fantastical little people known as hobbits. Hobbits have a deep love of the simple things in life, such as delicious food, a pint of ale, and what they refer to as pipe weed. (We actually don't know exactly what that is, but we'll assume it's legal!) Above all else Tolkien tells us that they love peace. Hobbits, however, are not at all fond of anything remotely resembling adventure. In fact, they look down upon it. What they are really saying is that adventure breeds change and no one really likes change. Hobbits as well as humans prefer the status quo. It is easier.
After much nudging from Gandalf the Gray, the wandering wizard, and our hobbit, Bilbo Baggins goes on an adventure with Gandalf and a dozen dwarves. Thorin Oakenshield, the would-be king of dwarfdom, has taken dislike to our hobbit as he initially sees him as lacking. Although Thorin is a warrior, Bilbo is out of his element when it comes to wielding a sword, however, Bilbo has many other traits that outshine Thorin and Company. For one, he is quick-witted, and in fact, comes to the dwarves rescue numerous times. Not bad for a sheltered hobbit! However, this is not easy for Bilbo as he prefers his books and his cozy hobbit-hole.
This is not the first time we have seen a hobbit on film struggle with something outside of his element. Pippin from The Lord of the Rings is also stretched far beyond that which he is familiar. Courage is defined as: the ability to do something that frightens (Google). Both hobbits will have opportunity time and time again to develop that courage.
I find that it is a common thread for many Crystals to grapple with courage. It is uncomfortable but attainable. Keep in mind, you can pray for courage but you will not be imbibed with it but instead, given the ability to earn courage.
Does anyone read our posts, Precious? If you likes us, please leave us a comment or even follows us. We Loves That, Yes We Do!
Below is a clip where Bilbo nearly tells Gandalf what he found in the cave, only he tells him something else.
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies opens on December 17, 2014. It is the final of three installments. For you Tolkien lovers, this film is actually a hybrid of both The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. I suspect the director, Peter Jackson, was under a certain amount of pressure to create something as spectacular as his interpretation of The Lord of the Rings which sweeped the Academy Awards a decade ago.
(Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien is the most read author of the 20th century next to The Bible?)
|Posted by csy11 on October 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM||comments (0)|
picture courtesy of: Warner Bros
One of my favorite topics is the Indigo Child. I have both spoken and blogged about the topic many times and the most frequent question I receive is in regards to the difference between the Indigo and the Crystal Child. This entries' purpose is to further define the Indigo using the actions that define the Indigo via pop culture.
Harry Potter is the quintessential Indigo. As is typical, the Indigo's life is a difficult one. Do not envy the Indigo! Harry is no more than a year old and both his parents are brutally murdered while he narrowly escapes death himself. (Harry has wizarding parents. This too is a prerequisite for the Indigo as the Indigo always has Lightworker parents.) He is then raised by an abusive Muggle aunt and uncle who have no issue with locking him in a closet, withholding food from him as a means of punishment, and lying to him about his parents' deaths. Upon reaching the age of eleven, Harry is granted admission to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he learns he has magical gifts. (Magic is the symbolic equivalent to psychic gifts.) Life becomes more bearable as he now thrives in his new environment, but just like in the Muggle world, the wizarding world has both good and unsavory wizards.
Repetitious themes are seen throughout his career at Hogwarts. Even though he is from Gryffindor House and bravery is the common denominator for the Gryffindor, Harry's bravery is tested time and time again. (Indigo Children are known for their bravery.) Each year, a new evil lurks around the corner, and it is up to Harry to save the day. (It is also arguable that Harry has the savior archetype too, but that is for another entry.) Most of Harry's major challenges are magical, but many are not. This is what I would like to explore further as these non-magical challenges can be just as difficult and you will be more likely to relate to them.
The most memorable main stream issue Harry deals with, beyond that of abusive guardians and some bullies at school, is the issue of Dolores Umbridge. After the beloved Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, is suspiciously ousted, Umbridge becomes Headmaster. Not only does she wield authority for political gain, but uses unorthodox methods of obtain "order." Harry, always drawn towards integrity (just like an Indigo) challenges Umbridge. How so? He speaks the truth. This does not sit well with her so she sees fit to punish that which stands in her way. Umbridge uses humiliation, corporal punishment (even torture), intimidation, and fires several professors to get her point across. The truth is so important to an Indigo that they will put themselves in harm's way in order to sanctify the truth. This is where the bravery comes into play as there will always be consequences! There must be a fear factor in order for there to be bravery. Harry's resolve for the truth remains well after he is punished. In fact, Harry becomes the leader of Dumbledore's Army which over the course of time becomes crucial to the crusade against the evil Lord Voldemort. Umbridge, of course, suspects the insurgence is meant to harm her authority when in fact it is not. Harry's purpose is to arm the willing students with necessary magical spells to help save lives. Their purpose is never to question authority for the sake of questioning but for the purpose of the highest good.
Many may want to call themselves an Indigo because in the movies the Indigo is often the hero. (Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games.) However, in real life situations, are you willing to step up? The Indigo, sometimes without thinking of the repercussions, will step up purely for the sake of integrity. They ARE brave.
Additionally, the Indigo is rebellious when warranted. Harry forms Dumbledore's Army, in secret, going against Umbridge's stern proclamations. Punishment is not a mere detention, either. Writing lines on a piece of parchment with a magical quill is not what it seems. In order to make sure her message sinks in, Harry must write "I will not tell lies" but the lines do not appear on paper but instead, carved in the dermis of the top of his hands, scarring him for life. Biting his upper lip, he remains determined, and copes with the pain. His detentions repeat numerous times. He is not deterred and like any Indigo, he carries on with his mission. Therefore coping skills is a trait that the Indigo develops over the course of his life.
It is important to keep in mind that an Indigo does not cause rebellion for the sake of making trouble or to be difficult. There must be a principle at risk - one worth fighting for. Harry's main concern with Umbridge's rule is twofold. First, she insists that Harry is lying about the return of Lord Voldemort. Voldemort is not only the murderer of Harry's parents but is the single largest threat to the wizarding world. He sees fit to warn his peers about the foreboding threat but she quells him at each opportunity. Second, Harry knows it is essential to prepare his fellow students with magical charms, blocking spells, and defensive arts, but Umbridge insists no threat is lurking. The Indigo's reasons for rebellion are always pure.
By default, Indigos are leaders and must be in order to inspire rebellion. Keep in mind, one does not need to spark a war; it can be as simple as questioning "authority." It is all about the principle at stake.
Just as Harry never intends his leadership to expand beyond that of teaching the other students how to defend themselves, Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games also never intends to start a rebellion. Others' see qualities in the Indigo that not only do they perceive as admirable but that they themselves lack. It takes guts to speak up for what is right.
Overall, the Indigo has a mission that is very different from the Crystal Child. The Indigo is here to upset the apple cart where they are called. Wherever systems are failing, the Indigo is called to question integrity. What kinds of systems? Anything...medical, insurance, schools, courts, government agencies, pharmaceuticals, military, oil companies...it is unlimited where we need an overhaul.
They are the next generation of leaders. It is comforting to know humanity will be in good hands.
|Posted by csy11 on May 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
picture courtesy of thehungergames.wikia.com
In every single archetypal hero's journey, as coined by Joseph Campbell, we have the mentor archetype. The mentor's job is to provide wisdom and guidance to the unsuspecting hero, keeping in mind, the hero archetype rarely aspires to become a hero!
The mentor has certain characteristics that we often see across the board. Through no mistake, the mentor obtains vast amounts of wisdom through experience, and often but not always, the mentor is an older male. Mentors have really lived. Their backgrounds have wounded them to such a high degree that they have learned and grown from their harsh realities, whatever that may be. By design, Divinity assigns them to the task of mentor in order to help the less experienced hero who often has a long, long way to journey. Mentors have developed calluses and thick skin yet they are typically empathetic. Their job is to guide, at times bestowing "gifts", and passing on the wisdom they have earned. The mentor is also flawed. He/she lacks perfection and we see it fairly clearly with the Haymitch Abernathy character. You may notice there is often a sadness that accompanies the mentor. What is the icing on the cake? The mentor must die whether it is a physical or symbolic death. Why? The hero must not rely on the mentor for the rest of his life or he/she will never become strong enough. This can be devastating to the hero and the hero during his development may even see this as a betrayal, but it is not! It is absolutely necessary.
Pull up in your memory banks mentors from novels, mythology, and film. Who do you think of? Obi Wan Kenobi, is Luke Skywalker's mentor in Star Wars. Gandalf the Gray is Frodo's mentor in The Lord of the Rings. We have Albus Dumbledore as mentor to Harry in the Harry Potter Series, just to name a few. Phil, the satyr, is Hercules' mentor. As pictured above, Haymitch Abernathy is the mentor for both Katniss and Peeta in the Hunger Games Series. Sometimes the mentor figure is unwilling and forced into the role as in the case of Phil and Haymitch. However, the mentor always has life saving wisdom to offer.
|Posted by csy11 on May 10, 2014 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
picture courtesy of: www.dailymail.co.uk
I am reminded this week, during the one year anniversary of the rescue of three exceptional young women in Cleveland, that hope was all they had during their decade of dark imprisonment. Hope is a state that is beyond wishful and is best defined and understood when someone is at the brink of a chasm only a step away from a state of despair. It is hanging by a thread. It is feeling crushed like a bug. Yet, the human spirit has the capability of grasping onto a notion that has the propensity to allow the human to endure when no end is in sight. Even though hope is intangible, it somehow is not. It is palpable to those who cling to it most. It is a paradox. It is a blessing. It is sometimes all we have.
It is difficult to understand the "why" of the kidnappings and torment of these young women, yet the darkness has been overcome by Light. Michelle Knight, who has been very public about her experience this past week, has been a beacon of Light for all who have had the opportunity to hear her speak. Imagine how easy it would have been to fall into the shadow victim archetype blaming Castro, her tormentor, for all. Instead, she has taken her experience and is using it to educate and inspire. She embodies great bravery, stamina, and wisdom! Ms. Knight is a fine example for us all. Thank you, Michelle Knight, from the bottom of my heart.
|Posted by csy11 on April 29, 2014 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
picture courtesy of fanpop.com
Real or not real? Archetypally, the damsel in distress is traditionally a female, however, I think we have come across the occasional exception to the rule. Peeta Mellark, the fictional character from the Hunger Games Series is just that.
After the reaping takes place for the 74th Hunger Games, Peeta is chosen at random as the male tribute from District 12. His survival skills include lifting heavy objects and frosting cakes since he is also known as the "Baker Boy." Interestingly, the frosting skill comes handy when Peeta is forced to camouflage himself with mud near a river as he lies injured. Who should rescue him, but the female tribute from District 12, Katniss Everdeen. Katniss fights, when necessary, with a bow and arrow and saves Peeta's life four times in the first book alone. The fourth save is quick thinking, however, and this is where the story turns into something much bigger.
Peeta has many redeeming qualities, such as a flare for words, is self-sacrificing, and is likable, overall. Just like any good damsel, he uses charm out of pure survival. But let's face it - Peeta needs to be rescued - repetitively. He is less of a damsel in Catching Fire, but just wait until Mockingjay...
Keep in mind, the damsel has to be worth it to save, otherwise he/she would get left behind!
Do you know of any males that require rescuing? They are out there, but are not as prevalent as females.