Digital Calm #15: Enlisting Your Allies


In many indigenous traditions, a person seeking answers to questions would approach a medicine man or woman sitting by the fire and ask what they should do to resolve their dilemma. He or she classically would respond to this request by saying, “Let me tell you a story.” Moms, dads, mentors, and friends can do this, too…. In new situations, often what is needed is a new story that can help supply a map for the new journey and a toehold when that journey feels like climbing up a steep and dangerous mountain. – Carol Pearson

In this week’s episode, we explore psychological archetypes and how to use them as allies in our everyday life.

Some of the resources we mention in the show:

The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling by James Hillman

RE-Visioning Psychology by James Hillman

Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World by Carol Pearson

If you’re interested in finding out the dominant archetype most active in your life, here a free version of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator.

Here’s an exercise (borrowed from Carol Pearson) that you might like to try after listening to the episode:

Directions: To get ready to do this exercise, you will need to print out or copy these directions and the chart below. Then, looking over the chart, circle all of the capacities in the first column that you currently demonstrate through your attitudes and behaviors. You also can see in the middle column what fears might be motivating your growth. Circle all that apply. Exploring the final column, put a star by the three archetypal names that leap out as being most like you. Then scan the first two columns, observing what you marked, and consider whether another archetype or two that you had not starred might be very active in your life.

Create a hypothesis for yourself about what archetypes currently are your allies.


Capacities Fear Archetype
Trust, optimism, faith, loyalty Bad things happening Idealist/Innocent
Knowing how to fit in, resilience, realism Exploitation, abandonment Realist/Everyperson/ Regular Guy/Gal
Goal-orientation, physical courage, persistence Weakness, giving up Warrior
Compassion, generosity, concern for others Selfishness, doing harm Caregiver
Autonomy, exploration, adventurousness Emptiness, loss of identity Explorer/Seeker
Passion, commitment, love of beauty Isolation, loss of love Lover
Ease with radical change, ability to shake things up Oppression, confinement Revolutionary/Outlaw/Destroyer
Imagination, creativity, aesthetic sense Feeling stuck, ordinariness Creator
Responsibility, management ability Chaos, losing control Ruler
Transformational power, charisma Manipulation, hubris Magician
Wisdom, objectivity, curiosity Deception, ignorance Sage
Joy, freedom, humor, enjoyment Boredom, routine work Jester


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