Women And The Warrior Archetype
Even though the warrior archetype has been traditionally rooted in the male culture, the inner warrior is equally important and alive in women in today’s world. Unfortunately, traditional society has only condoned direct assertiveness by men. Women are often tagged as unfeminine or worse when they resort to healthy assertion, but times are changing and from these changes we all benefit. Many women get connected to the inner warrior by initially fighting for their children or other people and only later learn to fight for themselves. If we don’t have an internal warrior we’re not able to defend ourselves from abuse, neglect or from being undervalued. All of us need to be able to support ourselves economically in our highly competitive society. Our present day ‘hunt’ is to find a satisfying job. Economically, we live in a warrior culture. So we better get our chops together.
The Shadow Side Of The Warrior
The dark side of the warrior archetype is abuse of power, arrogance, exploitation, bottomless greed and ambition. These pseudo-warriors have an obsessive, ruthless and unprincipled need to win and defeat. Anything goes in order to gain power, money and status. Feeling superior is always a compensation for feeling inferior and empty inside. The soulful warrior protects and enables others. He/she never uses the sword, pen or ‘the spoken word’ to harm others unless absolutely necessary.
There are plenty of deviant pseudo-warriors in our corporations, on Wall Street and in the general business culture. Their anthem is based on fear and paranoia… ‘Do unto others before they do unto you’ or ‘What can you do for me?’
The suits are always talking about ‘wiping out the competition’ or ‘making a killing’. At the bottom of this corrupt culture is a deep fear of survival, a sadistic streak and malicious narcissism. I met quite a few of those deviants when I worked in L.A. many moons ago. They come to therapy not to become more soulful, but to become better sharks than the sharks all around them. To Hell with them, it’s time for a revolution!
Our small community is much more deeply affected by quiet, even invisible acts of service, kindness, sacrifice and generosity than by those seeking applause, fortune or fame. I’m fortunate to have known quite a few of those invisible warriors over the last two decades. What is best for all concerned lies at the root of the warrior’s energies. Courage is employed for the greater good. The goal of the warrior archetype is to find peace with oneself, with others and the world. The better the warrior, the less the violence. Freedom starts when we become aware of the outdated roles we’ve been stuck in and fully realize we can choose a brand new path. Joseph Campbell used to warn people that they can climb the ladder to success only to find it leaning against the wrong wall. Thanks to Carol Pearson, PH.D. for her many contributions to this article.
Dr. Peter Milhado © 2013