Feminist Archetypal Psychology
FAP heals by incorporating the silent influences of remembering and reflecting the lives of women, through women’s visual art, poetry, stories, music, raising of children or their purpose in life.
Categorized in these topics: Apprenticeship Feminine Matrix and Female Culture Kolo Trauma Format
Posted Sunday, November 18, 2007, 04:05 AM
Feminist archetypal psychology (FAP) includes all women, never excludes men and remembers the children. FAP heals by incorporating the silent influences of remembering and reflecting the lives of women, through women’s visual art, poetry, stories, music, raising of children or their purpose in life. FAP does not remain in one field of discipline. The approach is holistic in scholarship in that it accesses many fields of discipline, and not just psychology.
Archetypes (symbols) help to evoke the whole--a story that tells of life and peace not death and strife without resurrection. Archetypes and symbols impart immediate knowing and understanding without a single word being uttered or written. These powerful archetypes and symbols have a conscious and unconscious life. The curious aspect of archetypes is that they can activate meaning that is normal and abnormal. For instance, it is pathological for women to feel that menstrual blood is bad and offensive. Yet, every ad you see about menstrual pads is how you can wear white and never seep blood. There is an unstated archetypal message in these ads. And women have understood this unstated message. The evidence of ever-rising cancers of the uterus and of the breasts attest to the pathological quality of this archetype. Women have assumed the pathological distortion of the menstruation archetype through acculturation.
Once we recognize or become aware of an archetypal pattern, we heal. Archetypes and symbols heal by amplifying, expanding the meaning of the archetype so that it does not remain in black or white terms or definitions. In other words, the menstruation archetype can also imply the creation of civilization, as we know it, through the marking of periods in lunar months (which also led to the birth of mathematics). We expanded the meaning of menstruation to include our own immediate understanding of the archetype.
By deepening our understanding of archetypes and symbols, we usually can find our purpose in life. We can discover our authentic mythic lives and find our sense of purpose and intent. Being mythic means the process is everything and reaching the goals in life is not the point. This means we live in the moment not in the past or the future. Sometimes, the archetypal pattern we find in ourselves is one of profound depression and pain. We have to make sure the suffering we feel is genuine and has a purpose. Thus, depression can serve to channel energies in creativity that can express the pain, the hurt or sadness behind the depression. Georgia O’Keefe, the artist painted huge flowers so that men could really see them. O’Keefe expanded her depression archetype from the suffering of her own relationships with men. The artist creatively channeled the dark unpleasant aspects of the depression archetype into a work of art.
In a way, O’Keefe and other individuals that painted life as a masterpiece understood that archetypes heal. Like the venom for poisonous snakebites, archetypes perform the same antidote treatment. Like heals like and the neurosis side of archetypes as noted in the venom for antidotes of snake bites is really about experiencing the depression, the pain, and the hurt. It builds up an antidote by enhancing valuable life skills in coping with such despair. Therefore, the archetype gives body or substance to contain the despair and difficulties in living life.