Core Four Survival Archetypes

Your Universal Guardians

It’s important to begin by getting to know the Core Four Survival Archetypes because they keep us on track . They keep our spirits strong in the physical world. They play an ongoing role in the decision making process of empowerment. They call forth the awareness of how fear, shame, insecurity and unworthiness might pull us off course. You can find many articles on the Four Survival Archetypes, but here’s a brief summary.

Everyone possesses the four survival archetypes. Putting them in your wheel of 12 is non-negotiable. You may not like their names, but you will learn that they act as your greatest ally. Learning to recognize these four in yourself (& others) creates a huge shift in understanding, compassion, and the ability to remove obstacles or negative programming.

Caroline Myss has identified the Four Survival Archetypes as The Child, The Victim, The Prostitute and The Saboteur. In working with thousands of clients over decades, these four consistently emerged. She calls them the foundation, symbolically, the trunk of our tree – off of which all other archetypes form branches.

To understand them and balance them is to meet the greatest challenges of our soul for successful fulfillment of our Sacred Contract. They frame how much we value earthly power, how we interact with authority and whether the choices we make on a daily basis enrich our spirit or compromise it for material gain. They can be bound by the fears and endless cravings of the ego or operate in the light of spirit to nourish the soul.

The Child Archetype

The Child starts out with innocence, purity and trust in authority. Then depending on circumstances, the Child either grows up, becomes responsible and independent or stays dependent, expecting others to take care of their needs. In the light the Child is playful, expansive, creative and joyful but in shadow may be depressed, resentful, or self abusive.​The variations of the Child Archetype include the Wounded Child, Adult Child, Magical Child, Divine Child, Nature Child, Abandoned/Orphan Child, Step Child and Eternal Child. The Child learns to be a responsible adult in the physical world while putting their complete trust in divine guidance.

The Victim Archetype

The Victim is the guardian of self esteem and personal boundaries in interactions with others or situations that activate a fear response. The Victim sees the world through the lens of scarcity and danger. A Victim mentality is paranoid, defensive and vulnerable, with low self esteem. As part of the contract, the bullies and predators show up in the Victim’s life to test strength and willingness to stand up for themselves.

The Shadow side of the Victim feels they really don’t deserve a better life and likes the attention of others feeling sorry for them, nurturing their wounds. Setting clear boundaries, not taking everything “personally” and showing courage builds the Victim’s self esteem and sense of empowerment.

The Saboteur Archetype

The Saboteur makes us aware of our subconscious feelings of shame and unworthiness. This archetype makes excuses for missed opportunities, gets bogged down and overwhelmed by overcommited schedules, cannot accept praise graciously, is indecisive, procrastinates and negatively judges ourselves and others.

The shadow side of the Saboteur is an underlying sense of unworthiness that pushes away success, making us feel like an impostor and resists change that would require us to give up illusions of safety and security. The shadow Saboteur limits opportunity, afraid to really step out in a larger arena where others might compare, judge and criticize.

The empowered Saboteur is not afraid to act on intuition and follow through on positive goals. The Saboteur makes us aware of self limiting patterns and helps us break free by taking steps that make us feel better about ourselves and overcome our fears of empowerment. The Saboteur is the guardian of choice that supports the greater good of ourselves and others. Choices that embrace change and possibility connect us to a force much larger.

The Prostitute Archetype

The Prostitute makes choices that reflect and strengthen spiritual values and commitment. When faith in the Divine is unshakable, you are certain that your needs will always be provided and the less likely you are to negotiate away your soul.

The Prostitute in shadow operates from a lack of faith, an insecurity that the universe might not provide what’s needed to survive, so therefore “do what you gotta do,” which translates to compromised values, ethics or integrity. What’s for sale? The Prostitute will negotiate away ideas, wisdom, loyalty, confidential information and well being to maintain or improve the status quo when threatened.

For example, they will look the other way if they see something illegal or unethical at work if speaking up might threaten their job, they might let someone control how they think, dress and behave to stay in a relationship that financially supports them and they might compromise their personal value system when emotional, physical or financial hardship strikes.

The choices of the Prostitute determine whether your soul serves the earth more than heaven. As Caroline Myss says, “everybody has a price…what you would do for 10 cents or $10 dollars is different than what you would do for $10,000 or $10 million.” When people compromise their values for material gain or sell their soul for safety there is spiritual shame that interrupts their divine guidance.

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