A is for Archetype
Archetypes are a huge part of my world view and self-perception. The categories for this blog are all various archetypes I inhabit, depending on my mood and the company I keep. My husband loves the Valkyrie, my ex loved the Maenad, my best friend seems to prefer the Mystic, his husband (my co-priest) gets the Priestess, and so on. I view my friends and acquaintances through the gauze of their own archetypes; the Poet, the Scholar, the Warrior, the Storyteller, the Hero. For me, the archetype is not just a symbolic construct. It is the scaffolding of the soul, the manifestation of the god or goddess within us all. You do not become an archetype because you seek it out, it is already within you, waiting for actualization. If you feel the Artist within you, fantasize about creating art, that is an archetype waiting to be born. Whether you chose to activate that archetype is entirely up to you.
While I do not view the gods as being limited to archetypes, I do view them as being archetypes. Pagans and polytheists are in a fairly unique position, in that we are able to chose our gods rather than being told who our god is and forced to conform to that particular archetype. Even if you are raised within a certain tradition (which we are fortunate enough to actually see happening more and more these days), there are choices within that tradition as to which god you are personally affiliated with. If you are Hellenic, you have at least a dozen different fundamental gods covering a wide spectrum of human experience to chose from. Even in a more sparsely populated pantheon like the Germanic, you have gods that are complex an multifaceted. Odin is the Warrior, the Mystic, the Father, and many, many more. If you have the good fortune to be Hindu or Vedic you have thousands upon thousands of deities at your fingertips. Even Catholicism, with its over 10,000 saints, has found a place for the consecration of the archetype, only nstead of Brighid they venerate St. Brigit as the Poet and Mother of Lost Children. Whether this tendency on our part to combine the sacred and the archetype is something we foist on the divine or emanates from it is not something I am in the position to postulate. Clearly, I favor the latter, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing a Pagan blog now, would I?