Grainne O'Malley The Pirate Queen

The Archetypes

The Archetypes

Archetypes have been playing on my mind for some time now.  This usually becomes a trigger for self-discovery, when a theme plays consistently in my head.  I’ve been rolling over these ideas to see which one jumps off the page for me, or invites me to learn more.

The idea that every person is born with an energy pattern which is archetypal.  This archetypal energy is the foundational energy pattern that drives everything, absolutely everything, in life.

From big ideas, such as your values, down to your optimal communication style and even to granular questions such as which office chair is best for you to sit on – I’d like a throne please.

The Jungian model has 12 Archetypes as follows: The Ruler; Creator/Artist; Sage; Innocent; Explorer; Rebel; Hero; Wizard; Jester; Everyman; Lover and Caregiver.

Another site has seven somewhat different Archetypes for women: The Goddess; the Mother; the Maiden; the Queen; the Huntress; the Sage; the Mystic; and the Lover. For men there are four: The King; Magician; Warrior (Knight is the elite warrior); and Lover.

The above lists still seemed lacking to me, so another search brought up Life Archetypes: The Magician; High Priestess; Empress; Emperor; High Priest; The Lover; Charioteer; Justice and Hermit. 

This particular Quest was triggered by a conversation with a good friend.  Our conversation went something like this.  We were discussing the name of my New Program – The Vortex of Miracles.  My friend’s comment was “Ailish, Ireland has changed, people here have really shifted in the past couple of years, they are gone very scientific and they don’t really believe in that stuff anymore [Miracles and the Unseen].” “Cool, was my response, all the more reason and signs that we need it.”

How did we get here? 

Grainne O'Malley by James MCCarron

How Did We Get Here?

It has been a process – and I see it the world over, not just in Ireland, but I’ll speak to Ireland as it reflects the whole, for me at least. 

Growing up in Ireland, history was very much focused on the past 100-200 years.  The school and education process included Hamlet, WB Yeats, and Peig (A depressing book “as Gaelige” about a widow woman who lived on the Blastket Islands off the coast of Ireland, who had lost her husbands and sons to the sea).  Yes, we learned some about the Celts and so on. However, It was like real Irish history just began at the Potato Famine think 1850’s, and the rest was more stuff of fable and memory.

The structure of learning in schools, supported the structure of institution and that was about it.  Other than Mother Theresa, I can’t think of discussions about women who could reflect any of the Archetypical role models, Mary as the mother, Then there was Mary Madelene a person of non interest by the church, something that should have been updated with the finding of the Nag Hammadi Collection and the Gospel of Mary

Regardless, the Church and State created the system.  Schools were very important for Irish people as education was not allowed during the famine period and hedgerow schools were illegally held, Irish had to be dropped at some point, English was the popular and accepted language.  If you wanted to get a job you had to speak English. 

Fast forward to more recent times, the church has pretty much closed its doors for the past two years and scandals prior to that, drove many away. The Church seemed to own the Archetype named “Priest” so in the decline of the Church that one has gone from view.  I don’t agree with that container ie the Church having the only franchise on “The Priest” archetype but that’s a conversation for another day.

The current Government is very much filled with people, many pompous, who view themselves as Emperors and Rulers.  They are lacking the Class and Sophistication of what we would consider a true Archetype, instead of reflecting the bright side, they are displaying the darker side of control, etc.  We are experiencing the stereotype and not the genius.  The NPC – Non-Player Character side of the game. 

The Players seem to be more concerned with how they look and if they will get “good grades” versus if they are making the right decisions.  Ireland as a country has been most concerned about fitting in and if they will be accepted, versus any vision of independent thinking or focus. Most likely as a result of being more dependent on the EU than the other way around and a desire to be compliant.

About 10 years ago while working at NEOC in Northern Maine, I was talking to a couple in from Boston.  They heard my Irish accent and mentioned to me, Grainne the Pirate Queen.  I said “who?” their response, you know, Grainne the pirate queen – we just saw a play about her.  I had no idea what they were talking about.

I did look her up and was both delighted and dismayed.  Delighted to uncover such a brilliant individual and dismayed to know as to why I had never learned about such a figure growing up.   Grainne O’Malley, Grace O’Malley or Granuaile Ó Máille was ignored by contemporary chroniclers in Ireland, yet her memory survived in native folklore.

According to legend Grannie, as a young girl, wanted to join her father on the sea and travel with him to Spain. Her mother disagreed saying she was a girl and not a sailor. Grainne shaved off her hair to disguise herself as a boy. Her father gave in and so Grainne got on board and became Grainne Mhaol.  As a child she lived at her family’s castles of Belclare Castle and Clare Island. She was educated and it is said she spoke Latin.

She was born to be galley captain, sea trader, sea raider, virago, diplomat and a great leader. When her father died she inherited his large shipping and ‘trading business’ and became Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan. She ruled the seas on the West Coast.

In 1580, She made a historic journey sailing up the Thames wishing an audience with Queen Elisabeth I.  It is said, when they met at Greenwich Palace, Granuaile refused to bow before Queen Elizabeth because she was herself a Queen, and not a subject of the Queen of England. The two women spoke in Latin and came to an agreement.

Where am I going with this? Grainne was intentionally left out from our schooling. The Archetypes were scrubbed from our stories, sanctioned to be things of fables.  In recent days other than the Rebel perhaps and the Rulers, think British Monarchy, I’m struggling to see the other clear Archetype examples at play in our society. 

We are surely living in a time of False Gods, stereotypes, NPC’s and Clichés versus a time of experiencing the Archetype. As a human race, we thrive on stories and archetypes and rely on them to activate memory in our cells. Our stories and community are part of what is missing from our society.  They call us forth to be that bright side. Our stories themselves are slipping away to the drone of the news, its monotone and repetitive nature, its intros and outros sponsored by companies and distributed by the state.  Think about it.  

It has been dismantled in due process for the past 100 years, the results have been particularly noticeable this past year couple of years as we have been deprived of human contact which includes conversations, i.e. stories.

Our youth are been driven towards an ever more digital society where digital technology has replaced the capacity for imagination and the ability to live stories out in our head or experience real experiences in our lives.  

The screen and VR/game experience has replaced the imaginary process.  This process of imagination (creation) was always internal and personal and now it is a customized external experience, with no internal reflection, input or benefit. 

Where is this leaving us? 

  1. It’s for one most likely triggering the sympathetic nervous system continually (i.e. fight or flight, think stress and anxiety levels).
  2. It is leaving us starving for physical contact.  Human touch is calming for the nervous system; a hug after 8 seconds opens the heart center and a 20 second hug can switch the fight or flight off and allow the system to regenerate.
  3. We are missing the stories that can bring us the remembrance of who we can be and who we are as human beings, that spark that can ignite our internal flames.
  4. Our children need to be told about the real archetypes, not the Disney Princesses, and not the plastic woman and pixel man, but the Earthen woman and the Grounded man. 

I think all of our society is suffering because of this both men and women.  We have forgotten our stories and have purchased convenience.  Things don’t make sense to us, because they don’t make sense.  Our stories are being messed with, our main characters are puppetized and our human instincts railroaded.  We are being taught just to trust out there and to fear in here.

Let me know which archetypes speak to you.  I am not resonating 100% with any of them or even the combinations.  I would like to hear which ones you see and who you see them in.  I believe there are new archetypes yet to unfold for this day that we are in.  I am not talking about ones that will live in the digital realm.  I am looking for ones that will live on this realm.  Real life is so much more interesting than any fake and construed reality.

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