South, Earth, Warrior

What part of me is being expressed by this archetype?

This is the part of me that upholds my boundaries. If someone or something gets into my personal space, invades my territory, my warrior comes out and says NO. This part of me has a clear idea of what is acceptable and what I will not put up with. It is the part of me that is built for defence but can attack if provoked.


This part of us wants to establish itself as individual, to have a strong identity. In establishing ourselves a certain way, we might also be looking to fit in with a particular group.


Contesting is the part of us that is prepared to fight, meeting challenges head on with every intention of triumphing.  Toddlers and teenagers know this energy well.


Upholding is the part of us that will stand up for what it believes in.  This part gets results and will always strive to get things done right.

The warrior part of me is sure of who I am…

…and crucially what I am not. As such this is the part of me that helps build and maintain my sense of myself, my identity. There are some particular times of our lives when we access this energy to help in this crucial work of identify building. As 2-3 year old children we get the first inkling that we are separate from our mothers, we start to develop our own sense of self. And our favorite word is ‘no!’ as we start trying to draw some boundaries. Then as teenagers we start the process of separating from our families, and again start to re-invent ourselves and step into a new, adult identity. Any time in our lives when we do identity building, we will access our warrior energy.

So my inner warrior know who I am…

…and know that you are not me. And that warrior will compete, contest and if necessary fight to uphold my territory. If my identity is threatened by someone- my warrior will come out fighting.

In Shadow work we associate…

…each of the four archetypes in our model with the four fundamental emotions we feel as humans. For the warrior archetype the gateway emotion is anger. We say ‘gateway’ because when I feel anger I get in touch with my warrior energy. Healthy expression of this energy is not rageful and chaotic, rather it is assertive, clean and clear. The warrior archetype is also able to take my frustrations and irritations (which are really just polite words for anger) and turn them into action. This is the part of me that gets the ‘bit between my teeth’ and just gets stuff done.

People who express this energy…

…include the military or police services, or any workers who need to be disciplined in what they do and who are comfortable with the concept of ‘service’ for a greater good. We sometimes say that our sovereign has the vision for live, and our warrior gets the job done.

When we remember…

…that as humans we are just animals, we can consider what animal instincts these human archetypes correspond to. It is not difficult to associate an animal instinct with the warrior archetype: all animals have a sense of their boundaries or their territory, and will be willing to defend.

When we do Shadow work…

…we have tools, or techniques that we use to help people access different archetypal energies. It is our believe that people have within them every ability and skill that they need to navigate their lives. And sometimes we get stuck because we can’t access those parts of ourselves that would be most useful in the moment. To help people access their warrior energy we help them to set a boundary of some sort. We may also set up a situation where a person can practice defending or expanding that boundary by finding their inner warrior.

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