Anatomy of An Archetype

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

The Ballerina Poem is also called,"Love Ballet" and "Pirouette."

Ballerina Image Poem

Archetypes are all about energy. We experience energy in psychological, emotional and physical ways.

Symbolism: Divine Child, Unity, Integration of the Parts, Balance, Axis, Spiral Movement, Feminine Energy

Each of the Archetypes that manifested during a particular period of my process of "centering" and awareness unearthed new and powerful guidance.

Self is where Soul and Self become One Energy

Archetypal Energies in Ballerina

Divinity, Child Archetype, Unity and Integration, Transformation, Centering, Balance,

Spiral or Orbital Movement, Axis

Unity and Integration

Unity and Integration are key energies found in this archetypal image. In any study of archetypes, it is important to notice the degree of bi-polarity in such images; both unity and plurality are found in archetypal images. There are positive and negative attributes in each archetype. Archetypes overlap one another in a holographic way. Through such archetypal "maps," we see the multi-dimensional (multi-valent) figures leading to transformation.

Awakening though unconscious image-making is one way to understand Jung's Process of Individuation. The ballerina poem "demonstrates" many energies associated with transformation-- including the "experiential" aspect of awakening. The ballerina is, in a way, an unfinished poem. This image made it especially difficult to get the words "into shape." As i revised the words, I created a set of "little girls" from one poem. They are "One" in flip book fashion.

Pirouette, The Dance of One & Many

The image Pirouettes. She hops, spins, and has a heartbeat. This multiple image is now transformed, united, and whole.


We understand archetypes as analogies; they are a form of symbolic language designed to promote awareness and spiritual enlightenment. It takes both sides of the equation to achieve balance.


I created poetry shapes by first centering the words of of the poems. I was somehow in a circular dance, a dance of energy. The archetypes are mythopoetry, a language of allegory, a language beyond words. They are forms Nature takes to awaken us from destructive dreams that we interpret and attach to a reality.

Centering is a factor in the creation of the poems and images.

The energies of archetypes, and universal energies in general, are like a spiral dance, a pirouette. There is a certain set of consistent energies that that formulate into individual symbols. Think of shapes as templates that welcome certain energies. There's is "a nature" associated with individual archetypes. A Darth Vader or a Headless Horseman does not change the nature of the Negative Shadow energies, so archetypes are experienced differently, even though they are essentially the same set of energies.

The dance is subject to various motifs and a variety of themes according to individual experiences and individual dreams. For instance, a ballerina might be replaced by a Maypole with ribbons. The conversation may include many of the same symbols, such as little girls, "sugar and spice." The dialogue is relevant to women of value.

In this poem, the overly feminine is out of balance, so is whole thinking.

Horizontal and Vertical Axis

There is no doubt that the Ballerina image has axis imagery. We find that we are connected to an important part of the conversation, the Ego/Self Axis. The distinction is made between a Vertical or Heavenly plane that intersects with a Horizontal, Human plane. Very interestingly "In" is the word found on the "toe shoe" part of the poem, the part where Vertical intersects with Horizontal, symbolizing the synergy of God & Self.

Pirouette is a demonstration of the circular and axial movement of the Universe. It is orbital, spiral, and atom-like.

The process is psycho-physical or (psycho-biological) in that it involves a shift from one axis of the personality to another, specifically from the ego axis to a new center of the "Self" (Refer to "Ego and Archetype," E. Edinger).

There is a certain criss-crossing of complexes and emotions, a pattern of energies that appear in behaviors. In turn, the process captures the energies in extraordinary ways. A dream or picture series creates compelling conversation, although to paraphrase Jung, we wouldn't think to ask about these kinds of images.

The Divine Child Archetype

One Archetype of the (Jungian) process that appears or manifests through this image is "The Divine Child." The Divine Child archetype is associated with the Jungian process, and can be considered an important emissary in the process. We can think of the Divine cChild as a state of being, a collectively experienced connection to God that can't be mitigated by anything. It is there magically, a golden soul, never deleted. We observe it sometimes in the stars.

When An Archetype Appears

We look for Trickster In the "carnival" motif. Where we find Trickster is in the twist. The ballerina is perfection, but we discover the trick, there's more to the story. We are to be awakened by the contradictions brought about by archetypal images. For instance, the Ballerina image draws us into the "sweet" nature, a perfect, "divine child" image.

There are feminine and masculine energies in the archetypes. The focus for healing is awareness. Lop-sidedness is one way of calling attention to what needs to be addressed on the other side. Being aware encourages healthy feminine personalities that include attributes such as decisiveness, confidence, and power.

More About The Ballerina Archetype

Energy attached to the personality includes left brain and right brain functions.

In the process of creating visual poems, right and left brain energies are synchronized-- left brain "words" and right brain "images."

Pink: A Modern Metaphor and a Feminine Force

In itself, the color pink (colors are archetypes as well) is an archetype associated with femininity. Note that we see many manifestations of the color pink in our culture today, a powerful, largely unconscious force, that alone has a strong collective influence.  Jung believed that archetypal energies lead us to course correct or compensate for imbalances. So the color pink, as it is appearing on the universal stage is effectively changing the pattern of "weak pink" to "strong pink" taking on a new and powerful collective value. Note: "Pink" associated Victoria's Secret (unconsciously impacting feminine sexual power and prowess), the Pink Ribbon symbol associated with breast cancer awareness (a "unified" effort on the part of women), and a popular rock star named, PINK! Pick acts "outside of the box," and symbolizes a change in values.

The Process of Individuation is a universal process, and "the journey is the destination." (Wholeness is an ideal).

The Ballerina shifts into different themes.

The Divine Child According to Jung

"The urge and compulsion to self-realization is a law of nature and thus of invincible power, even though its effect, at the start, is insignificant and improbable."

"Because the symbol of the "child" fascinates and grips the conscious mind, its redemptive effect passes over into consciousness and brings about that separation from the conflict-situation which the conscious mind by itself was unable to achieve."

"An archetypal content expresses itself, first and foremost, in metaphors."

"Archetypes were, and still are, living psychic forces that demand to be taken seriously, and they have a strange way of making sure of their effect."

"The archetype--let us never forget this-- is a psychic organ present in all of us."

"The child is potential future. Hence the occurrence of the child motif in the psychology of the individual signifies as a rule an anticipation of future developments, even though at first sight it may seem like a retrospective configuration."

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"Symbols are the vehicles of meaning in the unconscious.  Once we take the time to learn how to give them life, we begin to understand their language."


Djohariah Toor, The Road By The River All Rights Reserved