Archetype of the Actress

actressThis is the third in a series of blogs inspired by artwork titled The 12 Faces of Humanity by Tammo de Jongh (below). The first blog in the series can be found here.

Jongh describes this portrait (left) as an, “Egyptian girl with long pearl earrings and many pearl necklaces around her neck… she has tears in her eyes.” We aren’t told why she’s crying. Perhaps it’s because she feels trapped in a life she doesn’t desire yet cannot escape and must therefore pretend to be someone she’s not.

This interpretation fits the actress archetype: to a varying degree it’s a classic example of Actress (or actor) behavior. It’s also quite normal. At one time or another we all pretend to be more or less than we really are. We don a mask or persona in order to fit in. This archetype in Jungian terms is known as the Conformist – an actress conforms to her role just as an individual conforms to societal expectations.

“Woe to him who seeks to please rather than to appall.” ~ Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Jung often sought spiritual guidance by talking to an archetype. His favorite archetype was the Anima – his “female side.” The anima represents those feminine psychological qualities men possess. Its personal unconscious counterpart is the Animus, which represents those masculine psychological qualities women posses.

In the Collective Unconscious, these two archetypes express the ideal experience of men and women living together; at times appealing, at times appalling. In the modern world, however, men are discouraged from experiencing their female side just as women are discouraged from living their male side. In patriarchal cultures and religions, this obviously leads to a devaluation of feminine qualities, which is referred to metaphorically as the Exile of the Divine Feminine. It’s not without a pathology: society becomes forced to live insincerely behind the many masks of mindless conformity.

There are two archetypes in Chrysalis Tarot worth discussing this issue with. The first is Bella Rosa. Her card is titled the Devil in traditional tarot. A brief word about this fear mongering cartoon character. While he may be a legitimate Collective Unconscious archetype, he is not an existential reality. There is no cosmic bogeyman. You certainly can choose to empower him if you like. Credulous millions do. In Chrysalis cosmology, we simply ignore him. Chrysalis puts forward archetypes worthy of resonance (invisible energy) while bearing in mind that one of the most powerful obstacles to personal transformation is fear.

devil10As an aside, among Collective Unconscious entities the devil is regarded as a Sociopathic Archetype and represents the darkest, most narcissistic aspects of unawakened humanity.

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Bella Rosa is worth talking to because she or he (the archetype is gender-neutral) can help you get in touch with your anima or animus and coax it into yin-yang balance. Bella can also help kick addictions and defeat self-loathing tendencies by unmasking the shadow side of the psyche, thereby elevating it to conscious awareness.

The other Chrysalis archetype worth chatting up as a spiritual exercise is Psyche. This archetype represents the fullest expression of the Divine Feminine who dwells within every man and woman.

observr3The subject of the next installment in this series is The Observer, “A scientist type person with round spectacles pushed up above his brow, mostly bald head with white hair at the sides; his left hand is held up to his chin, he looks thoughtful.” ~ Tammo de Jongh

In Chrysalis Tarot, the role of the Observer or Sage archetype is performed splendidly by the Celtic Owl. By the way, if you’re enjoying this series, please consider sharing it with your Facebook friends.

© Toney Brooks

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