I’m commencing co-facilitating a Men’s Circle here in Toronto which will focus primarily on working with the archetypes of the King, Warrior, Magician & Lover, informed by the profound works by Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette on the subject, which have significantly evolved my life. Archetypes are incredibly important to work with and the reclaiming of them is an essential aspect I believe of humanity’s evolution currently on the planet. Archetypes represent the way consciousness as a universal force organizes itself in the human being. The science of working with the archetypes was understood by ancient cultures to stunning degrees in the institution of rituals, rites of passage, rigorous self-development, etc. to activate and actualize these forces as foundations of ensuring our lives enfolded nobly.
For me, personally engaging the principles of these four archetypes has allowed me to better organize my personality, curing it of the chaos and ignorance of how to truly use my consciousness effectively. It has given me access to power and love that I had always felt existed and even lived but now can embody enduringly. It has aimed me toward increasingly higher purpose. It has truly saved my life from destructive doldrums and inspired me to be heroic.
In our Men’s Circle, we are dedicating each season to working with a particular archetype. We have chosen to commence with the Warrior because it truly is the igniting archetype that can instigate a revolution in our consciousness, which is what is dearly needed in our modern context. It is my humble intention to share the notions of the Warrior with men (and women as well as the archetypes can be shifted for both), to empower a whole new paradigm of empowered humanity to meet the immense adversities of the present day and ensure that Earth and the civilizations in which we live upon it are of virtuous expression. This is also a call to battle, toward a revolution against all the destructive elements that wage conflict within and without us—the battle for interdependence! I will be writing a series of articles each season on the subject to further the discussion and illuminations.
“It is the Warrior’s willingness to charge into the unknown that moves the mind and soul of our species forward, claiming new territories both mental and physical…”
The archetype of the Warrior empowers our spiritual work and development with profound focus. Not the mere wonderstruck, widening eyes of the ecstatic Mystic but the piercing glint of eyes sharply focused upon a vision, goal or target. While the Mystic wavers by choice into fantastic union dances of reverie (which is wholly positive in certain instances), the Warrior radiates unwaveringness—when a point of focus is latched upon (be it a truth, moral code or virtuous pursuit), there is no moving them from fulfillment.
“Without the Warrior none of us would plow through the mountains of paperwork on our desks. We would be unwilling to make present sacrifices for future goals. We would not rouse ourselves to community action for a noble cause. We would not make every effort to overcome diseases like cancer and AIDS. Were it not for the Warrior, though we would still dream our dreams, we would not have the will to make them come true!”
This is not the Warrior as mercenary, fighting corrupt battles for despots and greed-infested political interests, but the noble, chivalric, spiritual Warrior that fights for a higher aim. The Warrior provides purpose that is dearly missing in most of our lives, and is willing to unsheathe a psychic sword of relentless will and steadfast determination to cut through the muddled foliage of our modern world to assert it. Ultimately, the healing power of the Warrior can be raised in the single, powerful question all warriors must answer: what do we serve? ALL warriors are in service of something and how we answer that question defines our life, profoundly.
One of the great tragedies of modern culture is that it provides vague purpose to the lives of its citizens. For instance, I am born and raised in Canada, a modern, Western country but when I consider what is the great, grand purpose of this nation and my role in it, it takes time to clearly define. And when the answers come, they are vague, uninspiring and even reprehensible, such as consuming and acquiring material goods, a good occupation, raising a decent family. Grander ideals, though resounding, with careful consideration seem dubious and corrupted. This malaise of purpose which commercial, capitalist societies conditions their citizens with is one of the gravest sufferings we as humanity encounter. The benumbing boredom which plagues our youth with existential anxiety speaks to this blemish.
Human beings are actually meant to be heroic and our love-affair with adventure tales and heroic sagas touches this deep desire in us all. This is why the Warrior is so important: noble warriors serve a transpersonal purpose, even one of cosmic origin and intention. Their entire life, day-to-day, is increasingly aimed toward discovering, connecting and fulfilling this higher purpose. It makes their life not only worth living but a perpetual occasion of relentless joy. It provides contexts for their work and for even the most mundane details of their daily living. Rediscovering and asserting this purpose truly is a revolutionary task and a tall order but one which promises abundant gain.
In my own life, I have been blessed to have worked from a young age with elders, healers, leaders and teachers from traditional cultures who grew up in such powerful contexts. Their teachings totally changed my life and allowed me to see my own worth in their great cosmic adventure. In fact, the vision quest of Native American culture was specifically about revealing to us through days of fasting and prayer what our gift is to give to culture and the higher universal order. When an individual becomes aware of their true worth in this great cosmic drama of existence, their life will never be the same. They will cherish themselves and the world in a whole new way that uplifts all who come into contact with them.
“The Warrior is alive, vivid, fairly crackling with energy from the sacred dimension! When the Warrior is on-line we feel a rush of blood and adrenaline, a quickening heartbeat, and a sense of something momentous about to happen. We feel mobilized for action, ready to charge forward to meet life head-on. Our daily concerns fall away from us and we are swept up into a kind of ecstasy in which we see ourselves and the world with a sharpened focus and clarity. Hidden rage is transmuted into energized courage. We come into touch with the great mystery of life and death, and we feel a strange sense of pleasure in the midst of pain.”
The spiritual warrior serves all life: human, plant, animal and spiritual as well (our ancestral spirits, spirit guides, etc.). Moreover, they serve the grand intent of the universe to generate life, cultivate it in flowerings of intelligent skill, creativity, and harmony, and blossom and ground virtue in the material realm. To borrow the Christian context, they are all about bringing Heaven down to Earth! The spiritual warrior also asserts that there is a need to protect existence for what need would there be for warriors if there were no opposition to such beauty? Thus, the spiritual warrior provides a powerful contextualization for reality to be understood authentically—that being that there is in the universe forces which are against life, against the flowering of consciousness and the spiritual path.
“The central mythic expression of the archetypal Warrior is that of cosmic combat.”
Often times, modern forms of new age spirituality have difficulty acknowledging this ‘cosmic battle’ because it denies them of believing all is simply positive, loving and good. However, we are not asserting a rigid dualism here: the spiritual warrior is nimble of mind and understands that, indeed, we are all sourced in oneness and yet dualism is an inevitable consequence of incarnation and must be met skillfully, with a paradoxical dance between living in dualism while maintaining an ethereal connection to that mystical realm where all is connected.
“Buddhist monks, Hindu yogis, the ‘whirling dervishes’ among the Muslim Sufis, all strive for a spiritual discipline to defeat what they believed to be forces of evil within their own souls.”
Becoming a spiritual warrior means we must accept and understand all these tricky terms of existence. In fact, they revel in it, for it offers an arena of perpetual exercise of one’s soul power; a whole adventure of cosmic drama and psychic activities to test us and help us more gloriously reveal our true selves. Adversity is not only met with a keen exuberance to wrestle more strength from our dormant aspects but invited as the true and necessary teacher that will aid us in revealing our untapped potentials.
The spiritual warrior comes to battle not with a physical sword but the sword of their state of consciousness. Well-honed by meditation, mindfulness and spiritual arts of body (including martial arts, yoga, qigong, etc.), they bring to battle a robust and impassioned sense of peace that is ever-vigilant to restore order when chaos rises. For example, when two people are in a heated argument, falling deeper into unconsciousness reactivity, turning vile to one another, the spiritual warrior will intervene to assert the oneness that is being forgotten by the emphatic dualism of their argument. The spiritual warrior is always on the lookout for such opportunities, even among those they have never met. They do not enter into intervention stupidly or naively: they know they will potentially be harmed but they are drawn because their anger at seeing other human beings of marvelous beingness compromising such in vain emotional conflicts trumps the anger of those skirmishing. They assert such anger, aggressively, and yet gracefully because they are skillfully master of themselves. They know how to hold and channel psychic force so that just the perfect amount is released in a moment. This is honed by skillfully living from the heart, in the present moment, which unleashes a masterful understanding of connecting to the infinite wisdom of the present moment. It is also honed by an understanding that body practice is the root of spiritual practice because the body is container and instrument for spiritual forces. When the body is made fit and fluid, the mind that is within the body is much more stronger and better able to channel force powerfully, express keen and clear insights in abundance and ever-transform emotional ‘chaos’ of anxiety, rage, depress etc. into useful feelings that rather than overwhelm us inform us.
In the ancient traditions of medicine from the Orient, the Heart was said to exude the virtue of propriety, which connotes knowing the exact, appropriate time to act. This requires a stilling of the intellectual mind, seating it in the bigger mind of the heart-space, where we will be coaxed through energetic feeling how and when to act. Thus, when a spiritual warrior intervenes in such a conflict as noted above, they bring grace and skillfulness of communication that can calm those opposed so that the true needs of both parties can be made intelligible, setting the groundwork for a restoration of harmony on a higher level through the wisdom that comes from healing a division. This is how peace spirals ever-upward, unleashing more and more understanding of the human condition, which is one of the great meaning of existence.
Inviting the archetype of the Warrior into our lives is no small task and we wouldn’t wish it to be so. The Warrior represents a ferocious side to ourselves that leaps into challenges with exuberance and even joyfulness, knowing that the infinite expression of our true powers lie waiting to be revelled by such meeting of things head on, while avoiding nothing. The Warrior will offer us a ‘fighting chance’ amidst our most harrowing experiences as it taps the great and even hidden reserves of our potency, even when all seems lost. There are legion of human beings who have exuded this fierce grace when all odds seem poised against them. The Warrior assures our best is constant output. The warrior is always impeccable. Even the smallest tasks should be taken on with this air, whether washing the dishes or practicing martial arts or yoga. We should always aim to do our best, to perfect what we are doing in constancy. This way we build a significant wave in our life-force that over time will become a hard won pattern. The best of us will become commonplace!
“Sweet are the uses of adversity” Will Shakespare
a cardinal warrior mantra