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Personal Development

Lagom: Swedish Philosophy For Living a Meaningful Life

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Did you know that Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world? What do they do so differently that it helps them stay happy and satisfied with their lives? The answer is found in one word – lagom.

In this article, I will share with you what lagom is and how we can all implement it into our lives and make it more balanced and meaningful.

What Is Lagom?

Lagom (pronounced “lar-gohm”) is the Swedish philosophy that focuses on finding balance in your everyday life through moderation.

This word can be translated as “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.” In other words, if you focus on having enough but not too much, you create a balanced mindset.

The famous Swedish proverb says “There is virtue in moderation”. And this is the main difference between our american mindset which makes us always seek the next best thing.

Lagom philosophy is the opposite of materialism and consumerism. It focuses on creating a balanced, sustainable lifestyle that welcomes the pleasures of existence rather than those of consumption. This philosophy is very practical and applied to everyday lives – food, clothes, lifestyle, work, etc.

Lagom is all about having only what you need. It is the new minimalism for anyone who wants to live with fewer material possessions but aim to enjoy a more meaningful and happier life.

Don’t they get bored living like this?

Lagom is not a rejection of pleasure, but the ability to indulge in it in a moderate and balanced way. Of course, the Swedes also allow themselves to deviate from the plan. If you’ve ever been to Sweden you know what an incredibly strong coffee they brew! Not to mention punch-rolls, chocolate balls, cinnamon buns that Swedes adore. However, after a little indulgence, they do not punish themselves with strict diets but get back to a moderate and balanced lifestyle.

How to practice lagom?

Now let’s talk about how we can implement lagom into our daily life. As I already mentioned, it can be applied to all areas of life. In this article, I will share with you some ideas on how to do it.

Step 1: Inspect your home

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If we try to highlight the area where the Swedes are #1, it is home organizing. Impeccable Sweden style is not overloaded and attracts the eye.

But how did the Swedes manage to create this balance?

They have an innate desire for minimalism and absolutely no desire for hoarding. That’s why there are no boxes in Swedish homes filled with old things like broken phones, a dozen old sweaters, and jeans that we vow to wear one day, old magazines, etc.

Here’s a little clutter test for you. Check the correct statements box:

  • You have a box or drawer with the items that you never use.
  • It takes you more than five minutes to find the right thing.
  • You feel stressed if your friends come to visit you without an invitation because you have to do a big cleaning first.
  • You have things that you don’t use or things that you don’t like anymore.

If you have marked more than two points — it’s time to think about how to throw out the excess.

Here are a few tips on how to declutter without stress:

  • Don’t try to do it all at once. Take 10 minutes a day to declutter.
  • Distribute items in three boxes: keep, give away/donate, and throw away.
  • Use the “buy one thing, get rid of one” rule.
  • Do not allow the emergence of “hot spots” where junk tends to accumulate.
  • Keep your toiletries in a special box.
  • Keep all your papers and documents in folders.

Step 2: Infuse your house with lagom

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Reduce the number of items

For several months, once a week, remove one item from each room — and very soon you will notice that the energy of your house has improved.

Be mindful of what you buy

If you buy a new item, let it be not only beautiful but also functional and high-quality item. Look for handmade items, visit fairs, and meet new artists and designers. But before you buy anything ask yourself if you really need it or perhaps your home already has everything you need.

Invite nature into your house

Use natural eco-friendly materials in the decor. Get indoor plants. Collect twigs, snags, acorns, pebbles from the beach — all this brings you closer to nature. As you may already know, nature heals and if you invite nature into your house you also infuse it with peaceful and healing energy.

Do not clutter the house

Keep it simple. For each new item, get rid of one old.

Step 3: Be mindful of your food

We, Americans, tend to waste lots of food. It makes us spend more money than you probably should. But if we become more mindful in planning and organizing food we can actually save more money than you may think. And the less money we spend the less stress we have. Here are a few tips on how to be more organized with your food.

Freeze your food

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Label the bags of frozen items so that you don’t confuse chili with strawberries.

You can freeze herbs, juice, coconut milk in ice molds.

Freeze overripe bananas so you don’t waste them. You can use them later for making ice cream or smoothies.

Don’t let the vegetables wither

To keep salad leaves and green leafy vegetables fresh longer, wash them, put them in a sealed bag, and put them in the vegetable compartment.

Too much parsley or dill? Finely chop it and freeze it. You can use it for soups and other dishes.

Buy seasonal and local products

Do not use expensive imported ingredients brought from the other side of the planet for preparing your meals. Try to always buy local veggies, berries, and fruit. Find out which fruits and vegetables are in season and try to cook seasonally.

Plan your menu a week in advance

This is a super helpful tip for those who want to reduce the amount of food waste. During the week, prepare simple dishes. Leave new and complex recipes for the weekend, when you have more time. This will also help you to be less stressed about not having enough time.

Step 4: Create a balance between work and personal time

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We tend to go from one polarity to another. Today we’re working hard with no breaks and rest, and tomorrow we are so exhausted that have zero motivation even to get up from the bed. Lagom teaches us to create a balance between work and personal time that you can use for hobby, yoga, rest, or other things you like to do during your free time. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Reduce the number of tasks scheduled for the week and weekend

On the weekend, choose one day when you have nothing planned. This is a day for restoring balance, spending time spontaneously, and communicating with your family and friends.

Good rest is the key to efficiency and stress reduction

Try to go to bed on time and get up a little earlier than usual. An extra half hour in the morning will give you a sense of control over time and self-confidence that you are unlikely to be able to experience while doing everything on the run. If it is still dark outside when you get up, light a candle and drink tea from your favorite mug. It will give you a feeling of self-care and the necessary comfort for feeling safe and relaxed.

Step 5: Take care of your health

Swedish Philosophy For Living a Meaningful Life Image

A healthy body and a balanced mind lead to a happy life and less stress. Lagom gives us some tips on how to take care of our health and be more balanced.

Make your workout easier and don’t overdo it

Everyone should make time for rest, work, and active movement. Find a way to work out in a way that brings real benefits to both body and spirit. Make sure that you actually enjoy your workout time. For example, go for a run alone to clear your mind, or go for a walk with friends to chat. If you feel like lifting weights brings more stress to you than enjoyment, then maybe yoga or cardio exercises will suit you better? Don’t try to copy others. Find your own unique way to work out and enjoy it!

Seek balance, but don’t be obsessed with it

There is no doubt that balance is the key component for our physical and mental health. However, we all need to accept that there can always be a slight imbalance in life. There is no need to feel stressed about it. Each of us, from time to time, has days when we have too much work and it’s hard to find time for quality rest. Sometimes it is impossible to find time for the gym and working out. Don’t feel stressed or guilty about that.

Keep it simple

Use natural cosmetics. Skincare is really simple — healthy food, rest, and fresh air will do almost all the work for you.

Step 6: Spend more time outside in contact with nature

Swedish philosophy lagom image

Swedes love to spend time in nature. More than half of Sweden’s territory is covered with forest. Nature is an integral part of Swedes’ life.

The state also strongly supports such leisure. In Sweden, there is a concept called “Allemansrätten” – everyone’s right to access certain public or privately owned land, lakes, and rivers for recreation and exercise. Everyone can freely walk, pick mushrooms and berries, and camp in any place if it does not disturb the peace of others. So, Swedes in any weather go out of town, have picnics, go sailing, etc.

In 2016, the World Wide Fund for Nature conducted a study that found that those who regularly go out to nature feel happier and healthier. Another study also showed that during these “nature time”, we calm down, restore the psyche, and become more creative and peaceful.

Step 7: Don’t get involved into arguments

Try to cultivate peace in every communication you have. Instead of passionately proving your point, try to always find a compromise. If you feel like your opinion is not welcomed, let your opponent keep his/her views, don’t try to change them. Arguments and conflicts lead to stresses, disappointments, and breakups. You can always walk away from the argument and let people have their opinions.

Step 8: Invite celebration into your life

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Arrange small celebrations for yourself for your family and friends. In Sweden, there are many traditions that are designed to unite friends, colleagues, and family members. For example, the sacred Swedish Fika ritual – a coffee break with sweets. Its essence is simple: a hot drink, a treat, and communication without haste. Or Fredagsmys – a cozy Friday ritual, when you are gathering with the family, watch a movie, and eat something tasty. It is these small traditions that create unforgettable memories, evoke a smile, and create a feeling of being loved. This atmosphere reduces stress and makes life more enjoyable.

The Bottom Line

You can start practicing lagom by asking yourself, “Is this lagom?”. When you look inside your crowded closet, or when a big portion of food is placed in front of you, or when you consider that second cookie, ask yourself if you really need it, if it is lagom. Constantly, try to build that balance between work and your personal life. Always make sure you find time to do the things you love. Keep track of your spending, consciously reduce your environmental impact on the world, take purposeful breaks from work, spend quality time with family and friends. By bringing lagom into your life you become much happier, more peaceful, and less stressed.

Personal Development

8 Signs You’re an Old Soul & What It Really Means

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Signs You’re an Old Soul Image

Suppose you didn’t know your current age; how old do you reckon you would be today? If you guessed a number higher than your current age, you could be having an old soul. See, anyone with an old soul behaves too mature for their age. More so, they find their age mates too immature; hence struggle to fit into society. As outsiders looking into life, Old Souls prefer living solitary lives. In turn, society misinterprets this personality as anti-social. So, do you have an old soul? In this article, we discuss the eight signs you’re an old soul:

Becoming an Old Soul

Some Old Souls are born that way, while others grow into it through a spiritual awakening journey. Whatever the case, you have wisdom and a mature outlook on life that indicates your intelligence. This intelligence comes from your past experiences and not from memorizing books. Hence, young persons who are Old Souls are a gift to humanity.

For example, they become better leaders who focus less on material possessions and more on solving societal issues. Plus, they have better intuition that keeps them and those around them from harm’s way.

8 Signs You’re an Old Soul

#1: Empathetic

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Old Souls show lots of empathy towards others. Their high sensitivity, open-minded and open-hearted nature makes them emotional sponges. They pick up negative and positive energies from others and own these mixed feelings.

The Old Soul doesn’t think twice when lending a hand to those in need. And they use their wisdom to make other people’s lives better.

#2: Seeing the Bigger Picture

Does philosophy intrigue you? Or, do you question systems in institutions instead of accepting them at face value? An Old Soul has wisdom and a mature outlook on life that indicates their intelligence. This intelligence comes from observing what happens in the world instead of skimming through textbooks in class. Hence, such a person relates what is happening today to its possible impact on the future.

#3: Happiness in Solitude

Old Souls have unique interests, hobbies, and beliefs; different from their peers. More so, these are self-motivated individuals who are creative and original thinkers. They seek quality and not quantity in friendships. Hence, any small talk or group mentality annoys them.

For example, an Old Soul will struggle to stay up to date with friends on social media. Besides, they are direct in expressing their ideas, often seen as being rude. For this reason, an Old Soul prefers to have their own space and spend most time alone recharging their energies.

#4: Deep Thirst for Knowledge

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Would you rather keep up with a reality star or spend an hour watching a mystery film? See, Old Souls are intellectuals who are always yearning for wisdom. Even though they never acknowledge that they are smart, they are the kind of people who challenge their knowledge by reading or trying out new things. They prefer factual instead of trendy literature.

#5: Abhor Superficial Small Talk

Do you prefer having meaningful conversations that stimulate your thinking instead of small talk about the weather, food, or trendy stuff? You could be an Old Soul. Here, Old Souls want to make all their thoughts count. Hence, they are selective in how they talk or the words they use to express their views.

That’s why an Old Soul will naturally have strong communication and verbal skills. It can get lonely when those around you struggle to keep up with your conversations.

#6: Struggle with Dating

We live in a hook-up culture where the young and old meet online and date. It involves shallow flirting, playing games, or stringing others along to know each other better. Yet, this dating language is too hard for an Old Soul to wrap their heads around.

See, an Old Soul lives by personal standards they don’t intend to lower in the name of dating. Doing so will deny a core part of their true identity. On the flip side, when an Old Soul meets another Old Soul, dating becomes almost automatic. The two connect easily and cherish their soul connection.

#7: Exceptionally Good at Reading People

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If you are an Old Soul, you will often get strong gut feelings about someone you meet for the first time. This feeling will make you like or dislike the stranger instantly, regardless of how they portray themselves. Afterward, you realize that your intuition was on point, saving you unnecessary heartaches or propelling you to take risks that others would turn down.

Likewise, Old Souls are excellent body language readers and natural psychologists. By observing how someone twitches their lips, shifts eyes, or changes tone when speaking, the Old Souls can tell when the other is upset, honest, or deceiving.

#8: People Gravitate Towards You for Advice

Old Souls have a contemplative nature that will find valuable lessons in the most chaotic situation. They reflect and find clues to issues that we often overlook. In turn, friends and loved ones admire this maturity, clear and sound judgments. Others even view the Old Soul as a role model. Hence, they turn to them for advice, conflict resolution, or second opinions.

Can an Old Soul Be Bad for You?

Well, Old Soul traits can become challenging if: –

  • Your focus on the bigger picture or future goals distracts you from accomplishing mundane but necessary tasks. For example, not paying your bills or going to work due to procrastinating about the possible multi-million business you intend to run in the next five years.
  • Your desire for solitude leads you to chronic loneliness, even when surrounded by people.
  • Lack of dating skills leaves you feeling empty and unwanted.
  • You use your role model position in the society for selfish gain.

Conclusion

If you suspect that you are an Old Soul, use the above tell-tale signs you’re an old soul as your checklist. This will help you and those around you to understand and accept your unique personality. More so, determine if your Old Soul traits are interfering with your healthy lifestyle and make necessary lifestyle changes for better living.

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Personal Development

Which Sacred Feminine Archetype are You? Take a Quiz!

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Sacred feminine archetypes are the highest expressions of feminine energies that women embody. You could have all of the sacred feminine archetypes within you right now, or you could have different combinations of them. Usually, we embody multiple sacred feminine archetypes at once and cycle through them. This quiz will help you to determine the dominant sacred feminine archetype that you have right now. However, keep in mind that you can have more than one archetype in you. The one that the quiz will show is your dominant sacred feminine archetype (the type of energy) at this moment.

Enjoy!

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What's your dominant quality?

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Where are you on your spiritual journey?

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You are naturally:

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You have a tendency:

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Your life is filled with:

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What’s your spiritual gift?

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What do you like to do in your free time?

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What trait would you like to get rid of?

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Do you feel like others take advantage of you?

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Have you ever used your feminine power as a manipulative tool?

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Do you struggle to let go?

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Do you feel like you lack your purpose?

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Do you often feel depleted and drained?

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Do you often doubt yourself?

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Do you find it difficult to feel grounded and present?

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Are you prone to judgment?

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Do you think you could be emotionally unavailable?

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Do you accept and love your body fully?

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Do you often feel lonely?

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Do you tend to become emotionally co-dependent in a relationship?

Feminine Archetype Quiz
Maiden

Maiden archetype image

The Maiden phase is usually experienced before a woman discovers her career ambitions or enters marriage and motherhood. This woman is yet to find herself but is enjoying the journey to get there and isn’t afraid to break some rules along the way. This phase is filled with spectacle, positivity, dreams, and boldness. The Maiden represents such qualities as innocence, youthfulness, playfulness, passion, excitement for life, positivity, optimism, empathy, creativity, receptiveness. In her shadow side, the Maiden can be vulnerable and open to others taking advantage of her; diffident; irresponsible; drawn to risky situations, dangerous relationships, and even abusive men; compliant or obedient to satisfy her need to please others and be liked; emotionally co-dependent in a relationship. If the Maiden is immature, she is receptive, sexually unawakened, vulnerable, and generally, waiting for life to happen to her. The Mature Maiden is creative, compassionate, spiritual, and capable of displaying profound inner strength. She is comfortable in her own skin and not afraid to show the world who she is at heart. To embody the Maiden archetype, give your energy creative expression, think outside the box, set big goals, be playful, focus on yourself, explore your personal boundaries.
Seductress

Seductress feminine archetype image

The Seductress is fully connected to her sacred sexuality. She represents a woman’s sexual energy and her capacity for psychic and physical creation. Women with a dominant Seductress archetype feel compelled to fulfill both procreative and creative instincts. On one hand, the Seductress’s energy compels us to mate and pass our genes. But in a broader sense, this life force energy (often referred to as shakti), compels us to channel our feelings of passion into creation – whether that creation is another human being, a deep connection, a work of art, an invention, a creative project, or even the manifestation of a new reality. The Seductress represents such qualities as sensuality, sexuality, confidence, passion, independence, deep communication, sexually-oriented, natural magnetism. Women with a dominant Seductress archetype are intimately connected to creative energy, their own sensuality, passion, and pleasure. The Seductress craves deep connection and intimacy with others while simultaneously desiring freedom. She is grounded in the present moment. She often becomes the center of attention—which she loves. When we embody the Seductress archetype, we open ourselves fully to receive pleasure, love, and accept our bodies as they are, and feel confident expressing our sexuality. The Seductress encourages us to create a blissful life filled with joy and pleasure. In her shadow side, the Seductress can become controlling; be prone to vanity; attracts unnecessary drama into her life; uses her feminine power as a manipulative tool to get what she wants from others; can be vain; may find herself stuck in an unhealthy comparison trap; may have lack of focus; experiences lack of self-love and self-respect; has low self-esteem; may have a distorted image of her physical self. To embody the mature seductress archetype, use introspection tools to discover your true self, practice positive self-talk to boost your inner confidence, learn the art of self-love, work with a healer or therapist to heal past wounds, meditate.
Mother

Mother archetype image

The Mother archetype is an expression of nurturing and caring side of a woman. A woman with a dominant Mother archetype is a natural caretaker. This archetype represents a woman’s maternal instinct, the desire to create life and to provide physical, mental, and spiritual sustenance. Even when a woman with the Mother archetype is childless, or beyond childbearing years, she is responsible, protective, and finds great satisfaction in taking care of others. She is compassionate, nurturing, persistent, grounded, safe, has a desire to protect, nourish, and take care of others. She is selfless and has tendency to put others’ needs before her own. The Mother archetype teaches us to follow our natural rhythms and discover balance in our lives. For embodying this archetype it isn’t necessary to have children. You can take care of others or nurture your creations (art projects, for example). The Mother archetype helps us get connected to our inner child and heal our younger selves. In her shadow side, the Mother can neglect herself; be unable to show up as her best self; lose her own identity as a woman; be stubborn; become codependent and controlling; lack personal boundaries; struggle to let go. To embody the mature side of the Mother archetype, make a self-care practice your priority, learn to put your own needs first, spend more time in nature, heal your inner child, think about how you can become less codependent.
Enchantress

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Enchantress archetype gives us a beautiful opportunity to rediscover who we are once again, in a later stage of life. This is the time to explore our passions again or discover new ones. Enchantress has maturity and wisdom to guide us on our new journey. She represents such qualities as wisdom, maturity, clarity, boldness, accomplishment, personal power, the desire to give back. In her shadow side, the Enchantress can lose her sense of self; feel empty and unfulfilled; lack purpose; miss out on the opportunity to rediscover herself. To embody the mature side of the Enchantress archetype, start with exploring new passions, interests, or hobbies; integrate yourself into your community and find the ways you can contribute; lean on friends and family for support during times of challenge.
Healer

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The Healer archetype represents nurturing energy. She deeply nurtures and nourishes herself, enabling her to extend that care to others. The Healer is an alchemist that transmutes emotional wounds into strengths. She teaches us to face our Shadow self and heal our past wounds.The Healer represents such following qualities as unconditional love, healthy relationships based on genuine connection, patience, compassion, presence in the moment, support, nourishment, care. In her shadow side, the Healer can feel responsible for solving everyone’s pain and struggles; start over-giving and neglecting herself; feel depleted and drained; have a “gifted” complex and believe no one can heal unless they have her special knowledge and skill-set; be focused on self-gratification as the driving force for offering help, rather than focusing on the person’s healing. To embody the mature side of the Healer archetype, practice active listening; engage in your own shadow work; learn to recognize your true intentions before you offer any help; help people but don’t take their karma away from them, learn to assist not control.
Creatrix

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The Creatrix archetype represents creative energy. She teaches us to unleash our authentic selves and creative energy, and express our soul. The Creatrix recognizes that every creative expression she manifests is done in co-creation with the Divine. She represents such qualities as creativity, authenticity, honesty, integrity, purposefulness. In her shadow side, the Creatrix can doubt herself and her creations; feel not good enough; be paranoid; get trapped in a “starving artist” mentality; copy other people’s ideas. To embody the mature side of the Creatrix archetype, engage in practices that focus on healing self-doubt and boosting your self-esteem; practice deep meditation to re-connect with your higher self; learn the art of self-love; let go of limiting beliefs.
Priestess

Priestess sacred feminine archetype image

The Priestess archetype represents our unique soul path in this lifetime. She teaches us to tune into our intuition and trust Divine guidance as we walk our path. The Priestess aligns with our highest values and spiritual purpose. She has a sensitive soul a big passion for higher knowledge. She is connected to her higher self and the Divine. The Priestess follows the natural cycles and lives in harmony with nature. In her shadow side, the Priestess may struggle to differentiate between her intuition and ego; be conflicted between a path that society wants for her and the soul path she came here to walk; struggle to trust her intuition; finds it difficult to feel grounded and present. To embody the mature side of the Priestess archetype, spend more time in nature, tune in to the moon cycle, identify your soul purpose, meditate, think about how you can use your gifts to serve others.
Queen

Queen archetype image

The Queen archetype represents a natural leader who can set goals for herself and achieve them. She teaches us to be powerful women who devote themselves wholly to whatever we choose to focus our energy on. She represents such qualities as sovereignty, loyalty, leadership, confidence in taking charge, motivation, commitment to personal evolution, willpower, focus, self-sufficiency. In her shadow side, the Queen can be superficial; become controlling; be prone to judgment; feel easily threatened by other women; be jealous when someone has something she desires. Also, the Queen woman is predisposed to feel jealousy and rage towards other women, particularly those who threaten her position socially or her status as a wife. To embody the mature side of the Queen archetype, focus on your self-growth, upgrade something in your life today, develop your willpower, work on your confidence, let go of the need to be perfect, be social – surround yourself with people you trust.
Warrioress

Warrioress archetype image

The Warrioress archetype represents an independent female spirit whose primary goal is to achieve the freedom and sovereignty of her life. When this archetype is dominant, a woman’s primary concern will be autonomy and attaining her personal goals. She is goal-orientated, competitive, committed, stands up for what she believes in, relies on no one but herself, is a natural protector of other women self-assured, courageous, doesn’t believe she needs a partner to feel complete. In her shadow side, the Warrioress can be emotionally unavailable; push people away by withholding her love; be aloof; avoid vulnerability in an attempt to maintain total independence; be cruel; resent other women. To embody the mature side of the Warrioress archetype, let other people into your heart, set yourself big goals, spend more time outdoors close to nature, plan regular alone time for yourself, engage in physical activity/sports, learn to stand up for what you believe in.
Wild Woman

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The Wild Woman archetype is the source of the sacred feminine energy. To know her is to know your soul. She accepts and loves her body fully the way it is. She's not afraid of confronting her shadows. She is passionate, creative, connected with her inner wisdom, and wild in every sense of the word. In her shadow side, the Wild Woman can present herself as physical, mental, or emotional pain, darkness, denial, and destruction. To embody the mature side of the Wild Woman archetype, practice regular shadow work, bring awareness to your deepest emotions and feelings, unleash your authenticity, get to know yourself intimately, express yourself creatively, explore your passions, learn to accept and love your body.
Wise Woman

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The Wise woman is a deeply introverted woman who is focused on her inner spiritual world, and most concerned with maintaining zen-like peace. She focuses her energy on inner fulfillment, values solitude, and carries a figurative “heart” with her. Regardless of the situation, women who experience a Wise woman influence are capable of detaching themselves from emotional situations and outcomes. The Wise woman may appear cool and detached as she focuses her emotions inward. Women with a dominant Wise woman archetype are at peace meditating, volunteering, creating, or following a spiritual path. The Wise woman is deeply connected to the other world and the Divine. She serves those around her by offering her intuitive guidance and wisdom, helping others to elevate and evolve. When we channel our inner Wise Woman, she teaches us to go inward to find meaning. She represents such qualities as deep concentration, experience, confidence, wisdom, knowledge, introversion, intuition. She is inner-peace-oriented and fully awake. In her shadow side, the Wise woman may socially isolate herself from her family, friends, and community; be deeply introverted; experience emotional frigidity; feel deep loneliness; struggle to feel a sense of belonging in this world. To embody the mature side of the Wise Woman archetype, share your wisdom and knowledge, meditate, embrace your spiritual gifts, journal, connect with the outside world.

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To learn more about archetypes, read the article “Sacred Feminine Archetypes: Embodying Their Powerful Energy“.

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Personal Development

Masculine Archetypes: Reconnecting With the 4 Fundamental Energies

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Masculine Archetypes Image

Archetypes are everywhere: within you, within others, and they create the very foundation of human behavior. There’s no doubt that archetypes play an important role in our lives and build our character. Did you know that you can actually work with archetypes to increase self-awareness and boost your spiritual wellbeing? In this article, we will identify the sacred masculine archetypes and their importance for the divine masculine awakening. You see, the more you develop the qualities of these masculine archetypes and integrate them into your life, the more you will feel connected to your soul and life purpose. Therefore, it is so important to know and understand the fundamental masculine archetypes and how to embody their powerful energy.

What Is a Masculine Archetype?

In general, archetypes are patterns of behavior that aid and influence our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth as human beings. From a metaphysical perspective, archetypes are types of energy that form the underlying framework of reality. Like many pieces in the puzzle, archetypes are separate and easily definable qualities that compose the Whole.

Thus, masculine archetypes are the highest expressions of masculine energies that men embody.

Keep in mind that masculine archetypes aren’t personality types. Rather, the archetypes are simply patterns of behavior and thought, or “energies” that can be found in all people in varying degrees.

Masculine Archetypes

In the book “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine”, Jungian psychologist Robert Moore and mythologist Douglas Gillette propose that masculinity is made up of four fundamental archetypal male energies. Moore states that the problems we see with men today–violence, shiftlessness, aloofness–are a result of modern men not adequately exploring or being in touch with the primal, masculine archetypes that reside within them.

According to Moore, there are four major masculine archetypes: King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover. In order for a man to achieve mature masculinity, he must be in touch with all four. When a man is not consciously aligned in a relationship with an archetype, he is automatically ruled by its bipolar shadow, often switching back and forth between the active and passive poles.

According to Moore, each masculine archetype consists of three parts: the highest expression of the archetype and two bi-polar dysfunctional shadows of it. The goal of each man (according to Moore) is to reconcile and integrate these two bi-polar shadows in order to attain the fullest expression of the archetype.

Now let’s take a deeper look at each of the masculine archetypes.

#1: The King Archetype

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The King is the central archetype, around which the rest of the psyche is organized. He embodies the energy of the Divine Father. It is the kingship that is important, not the King himself. He serves his family, his community, and the world. It is the King archetype that allows a man to discover the Divine within.

The King archetype combines masculine consciousness and wisdom. It is this powerful combination that allows him to create entire civilizations, cultures, technology, prosperity, and peace. He is committed to serving others and creating a harmonious environment of prosperity and well-being where members of society can flourish with a sense of purpose. A man who has matured into the King empowers others through guidance, discipline, and reassurance. He is able to make wise, fair, and clear decisions.

The King represents the qualities of order, reasonable and rational behavior, integration and integrity in the masculine psyche. His powerful energy is able to transmute chaotic emotions and out-of-control behaviors into order, centeredness, balance and is directly connected to the element of earth.

The King in his fullness possesses the following qualities:

  • confidence;
  • lives with integrity;
  • purpose;
  • cool, calm, and collected;
  • decisive;
  • provides order;
  • creative;
  • inspires creativity in others;
  • recognizes and honors others for their achievements;
  • leaves a legacy.

When a man is not in touch with his inner King, he falls under control by the active (CHA) or passive (SO) poles of his shadow, the Tyrant or the Weakling.

The Tyrant

The active pole of the King’s shadow is the Tyrant. The Tyrant feels like he’s the center of the universe and pursues only his own interests.

He possesses the following qualities:

  • ruthlessness;
  • mercilessness;
  • envious;
  • hateful;
  • deprecating;
  • abusive;
  • lacks inner structure;
  • he is afraid of his own hidden weaknesses;
  • sensitive to criticism (even the slightest remark can make him feel weak and deflated).

The Weakling

The passive pole of the King’s shadow is the Weakling. The Weakling gives away his power over his life to other people, external circumstances, or substances. He may develop paranoia or a dependent personality disorder.

The Weakling possesses the following qualities:

  • lack of centeredness, calmness and security in himself;
  • he feels impotent;
  • incapable of acting or leading;
  • indecisive;
  • over-sensitive to the moods of his boss or wife;
  • anxiously needing approval and safety.

How to Channel the King?

So, how do you come in touch with the balanced side of the King? Here are some ideas:

  • live with integrity;
  • find a mentor or become a mentor yourself;
  • learn to create more and consume less;
  • establish your core values and life principles;
  • develop leadership qualities;
  • become decisive;
  • leave a legacy;
  • develop the virtue of order;
  • develop a life plan;
  • avoid the corruption of money, power, and sex.

#2: The Warrior Archetype

warrior archetype image

The Warrior is always alert and awake. He knows how to focus his mind and his body, how to control his own mind and attitudes. A man matured into the Warrior achieves clarity of thinking and discernment through discipline and training. This archetype is related to willpower and success and is directly connected to the element of fire.

The Warrior in his fullness possesses the following qualities:

  • a clear purpose in life;
  • decisiveness;
  • keen situational awareness;
  • flexiblity;
  • discipline;
  • loyalty;
  • emotional detachment;
  • stratigic;
  • courageous;
  • comitted.

When a man is not in touch with his inner Warrior, he falls under the control of the active (CHA) or passive (SO) poles of his shadow and becomes the Sadist or the Masochist.

The Sadist

The active pole of the Warrior archetype is the Sadist. The Sadist creates unattainably high standards for himself and those around him. He runs his family like a miniature Boot Camp. He can be commanding, critical, and even cruel towards his wife and children.

He possesses the following qualities:

  • cruelty;
  • workaholic;
  • often feels empty, lost, and bitter;
  • critical;
  • commanding;
  • prone to disdain the weak.

The Sadist feels insecure about being “man enough” and projects this insecurity onto others. He hates what he fears is within himself. He is unsure of his own masculine power and is battling against what he experiences as the frightening power of the feminine, and against everything supposedly “soft”, emotional, or relational.

The Masochist

The passive shadow of the Warrior is the Masochist. He is obsessed with succeeding and doesn’t like to take care of himself. The Masochist feels powerless to change anything in his life. If somebody disrespects him, he will not defend himself. He often feels stressed, overwhelmed by exhaustion, and self-pity. A man of this archetype dreams but never be able to act to make his dreams come true. He may hate his job or the relationship he’s in and complains about it, but instead of quitting and moving on, he just tries harder to be who his boss or girlfriend wants him to be and takes even more abuse.

The Masochist possesses the following qualities:

  • lonely;
  • self-pity;
  • has no personal boundaries;
  • likes to complain;
  • avoids confrontation and conflict;
  • always stressed;
  • feels powerless to make changes in his life;
  • lacks vigor;
  • often depressed;
  • tends to procrastinate.

How to Channel the Warrior?

It is the Warrior energy that propels men to dream big, set big goals in life, and to fight for a worthy cause. Men in touch with the balanced side of the Warrior archetype are greatly needed today. So what can you do to access the Warrior within?

  • practice martial arts;
  • do something that scares you;
  • meditate;
  • concentrate;
  • learn to detach yourself from the opinions of others;
  • find your core values and life principles;
  • engage in competetive sport games;
  • work on becoming more decisive;
  • develop self-discipline;
  • get out of debt;
  • simplify your diet.

#3: The Magician Archetype

22 Divine Masculine Quotes Image

As Moore puts it, “The Magician is the knower.” What does he know? “Secret and hidden knowledge of all kinds.”

This is how Moore describes it:

“All knowledge that takes special training to acquire is the province of the Magician energy. Whether you are an apprentice training to become a master electrician and unraveling the mysteries of high voltage; or a medical student, grinding away night and day, studying the secrets of the human body and using available technologies to help your patients; or a would-be stockbroker or a student of high finance; or a trainee in one of the psychoanalytic schools, you are in exactly the same position as the apprentice shaman or witch doctor in tribal societies. You are spending large amounts of time, energy, and money in order to be initiated into rarefied realms of secret power. You are undergoing an ordeal testing your capacities to become a master of this power. And, as is true in all initiations, there is no guarantee of success.”

Thus, all knowledge that takes special training to acquire is the province of the Magician. Teachers, shamans, scientists, inventors, doctors, stockbrokers, technicians, priests, etc. – all are using the power of knowledge. This means that one must be committed to the diligent study of whatever profession or body of knowledge one is in pursuit of. The Magician archetype is most closely related to the element of air.

The Magician is the archetype that possesses:

  • awareness;
  • knowledge;
  • stability;
  • objectivity;
  • insight;
  • centeredness;
  • self-reflection;
  • emotional detachment;
  • reticence.

Moore says that the Magician “understands the link between the unseen world of the spirits – the Divine World – and the world of human beings and nature. Playing the role of the mediator between these worlds, the Magician has the gift of explaining complicated spiritual, mental, and material ideas and theories in ways others can easily understand. You can easily recognize this archetype in action when someone starts explaining complicated ideas by using simple metaphors.

When a man is not in touch with his inner Magician, he falls under control by the active or passive poles of his shadow, the Detached Manipulator or the Innocent One.

Detached Manipulator

The active shadow of the Magician is the Detached Manipulator. The Detached Manipulator teases others with the prospect of learning his secrets, but he does not give them all his knowledge in order to feed both his pride and his wallet. He charges a ton of money for that little information he gives, which is usually just enough to demonstrate his superiority and feed his ego. Unfortunately many spiritual teachers today have fallen victim to this and are expressing the shadow of the Magician archetype. As students, it’s important to understand this concept in order to avoid such teachers or you might just wake up one day realizing you are a member of a cult.

Here are some examples of how the Detached Manipulator can be manifested:

  • The teacher who attacks his students, trying to kill their enthusiasm.
  • The lawyer who charges tons of money and doesn’t inform his client that his case is actually hopeless.
  • The medical specialist who withdraws vital imformation his patients.
  • The politician whose promises worth nothing and only designed to manipulate people to get what he wants.
  • Spiritual teacher who’s promising you enlightenment if you take his $5,000 course.

Do any of these examples look familiar to you?

The Detached Manipulator possesses the following qualities:

  • self-serving;
  • cruel;
  • cynical;
  • fraudulent;
  • dishonest;
  • manipulative;
  • egoistic;
  • mercontile.

The Innocent One

The passive shadow of the Magician is the Innocent One. The Innocent One wants the power and status that belongs to the Magician, but he doesn’t want to take the responsibilities that this status requires.

The Innovent One can get very excited about a new project, a hobby, or a job, but when the easy part has passed, he realizes how much hard work and effort is required to get really good, they give up.

Men with the shadow of the Innocent One want to be millionaires but aren’t willing to put in real effort and work years to achieve it. They are fascinated by the idea but are not willing to take the necessary steps to achieve it if it takes more time than they expected.

You can see many examples of the Innocent Ones in the spiritual community. When men want to be spiritual, but without all that prayer, meditation, disciplined behavior, or study.

The Innocent One possesses the following qualities:

  • irresponsibility;
  • envy;
  • inner desolation;
  • lack of effort;
  • inner desolation;
  • laziness.

How to Channel the Magician?

If you want to come in touch with the balanced side of the Magician, here are some ideas to start with:

  • meditate;
  • find a mentor or become a mentor;
  • commit to lifelong learning;
  • create more, consume less;
  • work with your hands;
  • study spiritual scriptures;
  • develop conscious discipline;
  • spend more time connecting with nature.

#4: The Lover Archetype

The Lover Masculine Archetype Image

This is the archetype of emotion, creativity, sensuality, feeling, unity and idealism. The Lover seeks to experience as many dimensions of life as possible, using all of his senses: seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, hearing and relates to the water element. This is the world of sensory pleasure. He seeks to experience life through his emotional and physical senses. The Lover feels deeply, whether those feelings are positive or negative. He is connected to his inner depths and those of others.

The Lover seeks to understand the world through experience and tends to have a hunger for sex, food, creativity, and reproduction. He is passionate about his goals, women, and life in general. When a man taps into the Lover archetype’s energy, he feels alive with vim and vigor.

The Lover in his fullness possesses the following qualities:

  • passionate;
  • sensual;
  • inspired;
  • creative;
  • in touch with his emotions;
  • empathetic;
  • lives life fully;
  • earthy.

When a man is not in touch with his inner Lover, he falls under control by the active or passive poles of his shadow, the Addicted Lover or the Impotent Lover.

The Addicted Lover

The active shadow of the Lover is the Addicted Lover. The Addicted Lover is forever searching for that one thing, person, or experience that will make him feel truly alive. We see two problems here:

  1. the Addicted Lover doesn’t really know what he’s searching for;
  2. he has overinflated expectations.

Because of this, the Addicted Lover’s hunger is never satisfied. In this case, his energy works to his destruction and the destruction of others around him. He becomes lost in an ocean of the senses, a prisoner of his own passion and sensitivity. He lives for the pleasure of the moment only, which locks him in a prison of immobility he cannot escape.

The Addicted Lover is a collector of possessions, experiences, or women. However, he has no structure or life philosophy to connect the things he collects. Therefore, his life feels fragmentary instead of whole. Due to a lack of focus, his energy dissipates into a million directions.

The Addicted Lover possesses the following qualities:

  • restlessness;
  • never satisfied;
  • addicted to pleasures;
  • chaotic;
  • obsessive;
  • lacks focus;
  • self-destructive.

The Impotent Lover

The passive shadow of the Lover is the Impotent Lover. The Impotent Lover tends to be bored, listless, and often depressed. He feels dead inside. Nothing brings him joy anymore. He has lost his passion for life. Libido is non-existent in this man, as is his sex life. Underneath all of this listlessness, there often lies smoldering anger against his wife, work stress, or money worries.

The Impotent Lover can arise in a man who is too strict with himself and disciplines himself too much. This is often the case with devoutly spiritual/religious men, who laden themselves with overly strict rules, and feel shame when indulging in life’s pleasures. 

Here are the distinctive traits of the Impotent Lover:

  • speaks in a monotone voice;
  • alienated from family, co-workers and friends;
  • disconnected from himself;
  • may speak about himself in the 2nd or 3rd person;
  • bored;
  • often depressed;
  • listless;
  • not in touch with his feelings and emotions;
  • doesn’t enjoy life;
  • no sex life;
  • overly strict with himself.

How to Channel the Lover?

If you want to come in touch with the balanced side of the Lover, here are some ideas to start with:

  • take more time to really enjoy the stuff that brings you pleasure in life (but, at the same time, cultivating the virtue of moderation);
  • instead of reaching for more, enjoy the things you already have and do in a deeper way, using all of your senses;
  • turn life’s little everyday activities into indulgent, pleasure-inducing rituals;
  • take part in a hobby you’re passionate about, particularly ones that involves artistic skills or craftsmanship;
  • make reading a lifelong habit;
  • spend more time outdoors close to nature;
  • take time for romance.

The Bottom Line

In order for a man to achieve mature masculinity, he must be in touch with all four of the masculine archetypes. When a man is not in a balanced relationship with an archetype, he falls under the influence of its bipolar shadow, often switching back and forth between the active and passive poles. Instead of using the constructive and creative power of an archetype, he uses its destructive energy.

Therefore, it is so important to know which archetype dominates too strongly in your psyche or is animated in the active or passive shadow poles. This provides an opportunity for healing and integration, resulting in getting your power back, achieving mature masculinity and aligning oneself with their true potential, power and purpose.

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