Tag Archives: Archetypes

Connecting to Life: Redemption of the Warrior


fullsizerender-1(Pictured: Emperor card in the Voyager deck)

Are you powerfully connected to yourself and others in the present moment? 

My father wrote me a virtual letter in which he told me that he was thrown down the stairs as a child by a family member (his father) just like I was by my older brother. After reading this I wondered if this shared childhood experience was where the character of our lives was born. I know this was the moment I decided that I would no longer allow myself to be at the mercy of another. I chose to become strong and no longer be vulnerable. So strong that I would block my very own family with my mind’s diamond hardness. Better to be safe and invulnerable even if it means closing myself to deep connection and love. Surface level love where I don’t have to be at risk of being harmed seemed so much safer and better.

Stairs going down represents the subconscious to me. My father was thrown by his father down into the collective unconscious. I was thrown by my older brother down into collective unconscious. As I was swallowed into the abyss I chose to become a warrior.  An overachiever. This was the only way I could survive such hurt. I would fight. I would grow strong. I would be the exception in our family. The extra-ordinary.

It was so much safer to be loved for my achievements. As long as I was pursuing my own greatness I was invulnerable to really being hurt. I was protected by my own ambition and self-centeredness. As I continuously strove for the future I was no longer at the mercy of the double-edged sword of being loved/hurt for just being. The present moment of time couldn’t catch me in any vulnerability, for I was rarely there.

With my own sense of significance I wrapped myself tight in armor that defended me against being vulnerable to those I so desperately wanted to experience love from. A defense strategy built by a scared child. Brave and necessary at the time, but let us look at the effects of this child’s defense strategy played out over my life and in my relationships.

It led me to close a deep and important part of myself to others. I would no longer allow myself to become too connected or too present. For in deep connection that is where the danger of being hurt lies. So I always held back. Or lived in the future. I always stayed self-centered. I always protected my heart with the might of my mind. I faked deep connection with others. I was even able to fake this deep connection with others to myself most of the time. So cunning was my mind.  Saying and speaking words of love and connection, but my actions told another story. Always focused on myself, my own growth & healing, my career and my personal/professional development. Connection and love with my family and loved ones always in second place (or lower). Rarely allowing myself to really just be with loved ones, be loved by loved ones, and love my loved ones.

My father’s letter shared how he wished he had spent more time just being in the moment of life and love with his loved ones. I see how I have mimicked him in this way in almost all of my relationships. With significant others. With my family. With my friendships. Even professional and casual relationships. Basically with all of my relationships. Never allowing myself to connect too deep or become too present. Despite trying to convince myself otherwise. Always lying to myself saying that I deeply connect with others, when in truth I am always holding back or always grasping for something in the future. Always in fear of being vulnerable. That fear of vulnerability always keeps me aloof and unconnected. It pulls me out of the present.  And it always leads me back to self-centered thoughts and actions I “think” will protect me. Believing that by being self-centered I am protected and safe. All an illusion. This belief system has led me to be so ashamedly selfish in most (if not all) of my relationships.

I don’t know where to go from here. I am scared. I am unfamiliar with allowing myself to be deeply vulnerable. I am unsure of how I can fully open the flower of my heart to the light of love. The brightness of love is so scary. Will it burn me again?

Well, in truth, I may be burned again. And I guess I have to accept that with courage and compassion. I now choose love and connection. I now choose presence in my life and in my relationships.  I will fail at all of this most assuredly.  But I’m going to fail forward into ever greater presence, vulnerability, love, and connection.  And each time I fail, I will practice self-compassion and self-forgiveness.  For I know now that failure is an experience, not a person. And in each failure there is the seed of incredible growth if I choose to water it.

I am committed to life.  Life is lived in the present.  Not in some future where I am invulnerable or in some past moment that I can never relive.

I now recommit to the divinity of life — knowing one of its greatest gifts is experienced through the connection to others and to oneself.  And the gift of connection is experienced through the ever-evolving present moment of now.


Emperor State Of Mind

“You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.” 
― Leonardo da Vinci

Recognizing and harnessing the Emperor within heralds a new beginning. The Emperor’s word is law. The Emperor rules over his realms through his word. Realms of possibility are created as we put words to our thoughts and actions to our words.

Words are the basis of all organized thought. Often we think of words as a way to communicate with others and forget that it isn’t until we have words that we begin to communicate with ourselves. And it is through this self-communication that we create our realms of experience. Words are the primal key to self-knowledge and intellectual growth. They are the means by which we make sense of the the chaotic images and experiences we go through daily and all throughout our experiential life. They are also the way by which we create and rule over our own inner and outer realms. The experiences we have are shaped and given meaning by the words we apply to them–forever creating stories that empower, disempower, or are neutral. Consciously acknowledging this allows us to proactively take up the throne of our experience and see that its government for better or for worse is and always will be within our hands.  We always wear the crown in our world.  For we always experience it from our point of view in time and space.

We are a government unto ourselves. We contain our own inner citadel. And from within this inner citadel we sit as Emperor upon our throne governing our various realms. From this position of rulership we can draw great power of focus and creative vision. We have all the internal resources to be the focused visionary, administrator of the vision, and the guardian of the vision.

Cultivating the inner Emperor takes self-government. You must listen to the entire constitution of your Self — your mind, emotions, body, and spirit. Then you must act and lead with all four constituents properly represented. The mind gives you vision and aspiration. The emotions give you passion and courage of heart. The body is our base from which we move and act in the physical world. It is the substance and matter that houses our mind, heart, and spirit and the vehicle from which we shape our physical life.

Our spirit is the pull that draws us forward towards ever-burning transformation. Spirit is always there to give impetus to our actions–both pushing us along and pulling us forward. It is ever present. Behind us. Within us. And in front of us. We run from the fire. We burn with fire. We trail-blaze with fire. We lead with fire. And we follow the fire we see upon the horizon of our own vision.

The mind has the power of vision, but also the power of logic to turn the vision into a crystalized plan. By directing our mind’s will we can fan the flame of our emotions that will govern the execution of this logical plan. Excitement to begin. Anger turned to resoluteness when we have to find new ways to carry out the plan when we come upon roadblocks. Passion to stay excited. And so on and so forth. With our physical body we commence upon the action that leads us to our achieving in the physical world. This entire process was started by our spirit, our aspiration. It is kept alive by our spirit. And it is toward the light of our spirit that we build and act upon this logical plan.

Ultimately, being one’s own Emperor is about proactively governing your own realms of experience.  Great realms are born from great vision.  And the execution of this governance is done by way of making plans towards the vision, acting on these plans, and all the while actively nurturing and cultivating this process.

If you are interested in looking at a straight-forward goal-setting strategy I used to commit to living one of my visions… [click here]

“Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.”
― Michel de Montaigne


This article was inspired by the books: Way of the Great Oracle & Jung and Tarot