Transformation - Death and Rebirth
We have all known the experience of the rug being pulled out from under us, either a slowly dawning realization or a sudden disruption into uncertainty and chaos. To move forward, we need to transform ourselves into someone new, to create a new order of being. This gallery is my attempt to express this process through faces.
We are going along comfortably, when we realize that something is not as it should be, awareness of a betrayal, a new lump, an unexpected virus, do we choose to explore this uncertainty or do we deny its occurrence. Regardless of which we choose, the process will continue to unravel our way of being in the world. We have to face it or be trapped in suffering. We can try to grasp onto keeping things the same, we can rage against the changes, or we can explore the breakdown that may be needed. Can we accept the ending of a way of being that can allow something new to grow, an adaptation, a reorganization, a growth of new possibilities.
Archetypes are universal personality patterns, that define ways of engaging with the world. Each one has its positive valence that allows opening up, increasing flexibility, or negative valence that closes down and increases rigidity. Neither is good or bad, simply options that are possible or necessary.
The Alchemist represents the innovator, scientist, magician and strives to transform situations, to make visions into realities. Here the risk is that he could use his power to change things manipulatively or to do harm unintentionally.
The promise of the innocent is that life need not be hard. He is spontaneous, trusting, optimistic, though he seeks safety and fears abandonment, so he is vulnerable to being dependent on others.
The Rebel can be ruthless and wants to destroy those structures that no longer serve life, their quest is change to allow new life to grow. He can be at risk of being careless and putting both himself and others in danger.
The Explorer strives to discover the unknown and is willing to brave loneliness to find new paths. He helps us discover our uniqueness and our calling, but can cause us to lose sight of what we already have inside ourselves, and can be overly independent, needing to do it themselves.
The Visionary fosters all imaginative endeavours and helps us express ourselves in beautiful ways, while discovering our true identity. He may fall prey to self-indulgence and perfectionistic obsessiveness.
The Wounded Healer
The Wounded Healer is moved by compassion, and selflessness to help others. He helps build structures that sustain life and health. He can be prone to martyrdom, and enabling behaviours in others as well as not taking sufficient care of himself.
The Orphan understands that everyone matters as they are. He is unpretentious, realistic and empathic, expecting little from life but is at risk of falling into victim mentality and fearing exploitation.
The Lover helps us experience pleasure, make commitments, and passion. He seeks relationships and reciprocity but may be challenged by being alone and overly fear the loss of love.
The Sage is looking for the truth that will set us free, free from dogma, seeking enlightenment, transcendence and clarity. The risk is that their wisdom is built on the sand of falsehood.
The Jester urges us to enjoy the process of our lives, and invites us to play. He is perhaps the wisest since he encourages us to enjoy life as it is. His fear is lack of stimulation and aliveness, and he may be at risk of pursuing this in dangerous ways.
The Hero is tough and courageous, persistent through challenges, fighting for what matters. He can be inclined to think in black and white terms, wanting simply to win at all costs.
The Ruler inspires us to take responsibility for our lives. He establishes order and structure and he is fully committed to the task. He can be at risk of rigidity and an overly controlling nature.