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Archetypes & Myth

The Aging Woman

What images and words come to mind when you hear the phrase ‘older woman’? Each of us carries an image based upon personal experiences and yet, this image is largely influenced by the media and society. In Canada, women make up fifty-six percent of the over sixty-five population. However, older men appear in ads ten […]

Wrestling with Our Inner Demons & Angels

The biblical story of Jacob wrestling an angel brings to mind the question – Why would someone be wrestling an angel in the first place? We gain an understanding when we realize that Jacob has been a trickster most of his life. In fact, Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for “heel” and “deceiver.” He […]

The Importance of Ritual during the Festive Season

Whether we begin to take out the Christmas decorations, start the gift-giving list or plan meals and getaways, the month of December is full of traditions and rituals. Traditions, from the Latin traditione, means “delivery, surrender, a handing down or to hand over.” Ritual, from the Latin ritus, refers to a “religious observance or ceremony, […]

Puer & Puella: Time to grow up

Peter Pan, in J. M. Barrie’s classic 1904 play, shouted, “I’ll never grow up, I’ll never grow up!” He ventured to Never Neverland for adventures with mermaids and Captain Hook. Interesting to note, the play’s full title was “Peter Pan, or, The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.” Archetypically, this image of a boy reluctant […]

Summer Romance

The connection between romance and summer was suggested by the Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye. He associated the seasons with literary genres or plot forms which included comedy with spring, romance with summer, tragedy with autumn, and satire with winter. He also recognized the archetypal pattern and symbols that occur within each genre. Romance and […]

The Archetypal Wedding – Why are Weddings So Magical?

June is the most popular month for weddings. Perhaps this is due to June being named after Juno, the ancient Roman goddess of marriage. Romans chose to honor this goddess by having their weddings in June and believed they would be showered with luck and good wishes if they did so. Although referring to the […]

The Archetypal Father

Archetypes are unconscious universal forms and ideas that take on meaning within a certain culture. The Father is one of the main psychological archetypes. Images of piercing and penetration such as a phallus, knife, spear, arrow and ray all relate to Father. The sun and rain symbolically represent the masculine principle of the fertilizing forces […]

Persephone & Easter – The Cycle of Life

The Easter story speaks to the archetypal pattern of the Eternal Return or the sacrifice-death-rebirth cycle. We see this cycle in the seasons, in the tides and in the phases of the moon. We sacrifice and consume food to further our lives, eventually returning to the earth our selves. The forty days of Lent leading […]

Meeting Your Inner Trickster

April Fool’s Day invites the receiving of pranks, jokes and being the ‘butt’ of others’ playful ways. However, many times we experience such unsuspecting foolery from our own hands. In these situations, where we are at the mercy of our own misdoings and feel that we have ‘bitten ourselves in the butt,’ the archetypal force […]

The Role of Myth

Myths exist in every culture. Although myths may have different characters and plotlines, common themes (e.g., creation, marriage and betrayal) and common motifs (e.g., special weapons, helpful guides and barren lands) are seen. This commonality is explained by the concept of archetypes. Archetypes are characters, items and situations in myth, art, literature, fairy tales, legends […]

Diane Hancox, MA, CCC provides counselling services to Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Vancouver Island.