new_health (2006-38)

Stacked Deck

Playing the hand we’re dealt   

by Wendy C. Smith

A couple years ago, a group of women (me included) attempted to go through Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss. Myss is a well-known author of several best-selling books on spirit, energy and spiritual life. The idea put forth in Sacred Contracts is that we are born with certain things to do and accomplish, and to have certain relationships. We make and agree to these commitments, relationships and deals before we incarnate. We also pick 12 archetypes to guide us through these lessons and people.

Archetypes are not spirits or guides; they are patterns of behavior that are given names and, in a sense, personalities. They are universal and exist across time and cultures. They are tied to our soul’s personality and not our egos. I was curious to see how Caroline’s archetypal work tied into other archetypal ideas, like those of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. My group, however, disbanded before we worked through the book.

Imagine my surprise when I heard about Katy Koontz. She has quite an unusual profession. She’s a certified archetypal consultant and was personally trained and certified by Caroline Myss. Since I never finished the book, I decided to sign up with Katy and give it a whirl.

We decided to cast a Sacred Contract Natal Archetypal Chart. Katy says this process identifies the 12 archetypal energies a person is born with and denotes which areas of life the archetypes influence most significantly.

Everyone interacts with archetypal energy whether they want to or not. Every archetype also has two sides, light and dark. If you know what archetypes are active in your life, you can identify where the dark side might be causing problems. Another set of words for the two sides could be empowering or disempowering. The archetypes themselves have names, but they are not good or bad. They are neutral. It is we who use the energy for empowerment or disempowerment.    

Katy uses a deck of beautifully illustrated cards to help people find their archetypes. There are four archetypes that are common to everyone: child, victim, saboteur and prostitute. These might sound creepy, but it depends on whether you are empowered or disempowered by them. For example, the dark side of the saboteur can invoke a fear of change or sabotage an individual’s efforts to be happy by resisting opportunities. The empowering side of the saboteur responds with courage to face change or gives increased intuition and positive action towards opportunities. I don’t know about you, but I certainly know that I have sabotaged myself on more than one occasion and felt disempowered. Most of the time, had I either fought my fear or followed my gut, the situation would have been empowering instead.

Knowing that four of my energies were defined, we went about finding the other eight. The cards represent the different archetypes and their dark and light sides. Katy asked me to look through the deck and sort the cards. The “no” pile was for cards that didn’t register with me at all. The “maybe” pile was for cards that I felt might be an energy that I had, and the “yes” pile was for cards that I had a strong reaction to, either a “this is me” or “there is no way” feeling towards.

After I sorted the cards, Katy and I went through each one in the “yes” pile. We looked through the dark and light sides of each archetype to see if they were active in my life. We ended up with six cards, so we went through the maybe pile to find the last two cards. Katy wrote them down and gave me a list of questions to think about that might help clarify if these were indeed my 12 archetypes.

The next day, we looked at my answers and ended up throwing out one archetype and replacing it. Thus far, I had judge, seeker, trickster, rebel, artist, rescuer, storyteller and dilettante, in addition to the universal four. But while not all of these sound positive, they still are neutral. We then matched them with the various areas of my life.

Katy says each archetype has a “house” in which it resides. Like astrology, there are 12 houses, and each house denotes a different part of a person’s life. To place the archetypes, Katy asked me to pair each archetype with a numbered card, both face down. We turned the cards over, wrote the archetypes in their houses and discussed how these archetypes could be working in my life, as both empowering and disempowering forces. It was a bit surprising to recognize these different energies.   

Katy is a very intuitive person, and her knowledge of archetypal energy is intriguing. She offered me the chance to look at myself in an objective way.

Seeing the archetypes as neutral gave me an opportunity to see some areas where I had room for empowerment. I think we can all use that at some time or another. m

Katy Koontz is available for a wide range of archetypal readings. She can be reached at 584-3864 or .