We are launching the next season of Soul Sessions with a discussion of the symbolic themes in the movie, “Wonder Woman 84” as the Warrior Archetype. In this episode, learn how this archetype can help you in your life and make 2021 a breakthrough year for you in reaching your goals.
- What is the Warrior Archetype?
- Symbols and characters that appear in the film that are psychological lessons.
- The danger of ego inflation when working with archetypes.
- How to use the lessons of the warrior to overcome life’s challenges.
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Welcome to Creative Mind Soul Sessions with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado, founders of Creative Mind. Explore personal growth with us through Jungian psychology, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience in a deep, but practical way. Let’s begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:24
Hello, welcome to our Soul Session on this wonderful New Year’s Day. Happy 2021 to everyone.
Robert Maldonado 00:29
Yeah, Happy New Year to everyone, especially all our listeners and followers. Thank you for being supportive, tuning in to our work and participating through questions and feedback.
Debra Maldonado 00:45
Yeah, it’s been an up and down year, we felt like it was a, you know, really good year for us. We got a lot done. And we got lots of changes, what we’re doing, and I love the podcast, it’s really exploring a lot of the deep topics. And we’re going to bring more in 2021. This is going to be the new season for our podcasts, Soul Sessions.
Robert Maldonado 01:10
Yeah, this is the end of our series on symbols and movies, and the Jungian interpretation that we give to it, and hopefully, next year, or this year, or 2021, we’ll get to do some more of this work.
Debra Maldonado 01:30
And so today, the title is Wonder Woman and the warrior archetype, we’re going to talk about both movies Wonder Woman, the one in 270, the original one, and then the one that just came out, 1984. But don’t worry, if you haven’t seen it yet, we’re not going to give any spoilers, so don’t worry about that. And we’ll talk about the psychological aspects of the warrior archetype and the symbol, iconic symbol, that Wonder Woman brings into every little girl’s mind, and grown up girl’s mind. So I’m really excited to share this. And I think it’s a great topic for the beginning of a new year, the idea of the warrior, and facing challenges and being the hero of your life and all those wonderful things that we want to create in 2021. But before we start, I really would like to just do a quick visualization for the new year if anyone wants to participate. So close your eyes and take a deep breath, and exhale. And let go of all tension. And I want you to imagine that you’re walking along a path. And on that path is a doorway. And on that door is written the year 2021. And since we’re on the threshold of the new year, a new decade, what we want to do is we want to look back at the past with gratitude, with learning, with obsessive appreciation for who you are and the challenges you face this year. And imagine that you’re carrying with you all the wisdom that you gained, all the new awareness that you received. And you’re opening up that door into the new year. And as you step through that door, I want you to see just a lot of white empty space, vastness, pure potential that you don’t have to bring past mistakes with you. You can actually create with a fresh mind, a new beginning from this higher wisdom you gained from the past. And imagine as you step through 2021, as this path unfolds, see yourself walking along the path. And what would you like to create in this new year? Are there new people coming into your life? New opportunities? More abundance? More love? Better health? And I just want you to just take a moment and imagine you’re setting the tone for the new year with your powerful intention. Make it as vivid as possible. Gauge the emotion. You may even find yourself physically changing, shifting attitudes, growing even more into your new future. And I want you to think about a symbol that would represent the new year for you, your intention. Hold that symbol in your mind, it can spontaneously arise or you can create it. This is your symbol for 2021. To remind you of who you are, and the power you have to create your own destiny. So bring that symbol back with you, wrap it up with powerful emotion. And anytime you need to be reminded of your vision, when things get tough along the way, you can remember this symbol to keep you going, hold your focus, and create your desires. And so when you’re ready, come back to the room and open your eyes.
Robert Maldonado 07:03
Debra Maldonado 07:03
The power of the symbol. So now that we’re all centered on what we want to create, how do we harness this Wonder Woman archetype and become wonders in our own life? That’s what we’re going to talk about. So let’s start with the story. The story of the movie that— in the movies, obviously, there’s many tales of the Amazon and the warrior. But we’re going to focus on the Hollywood version of Wonder Woman. There’s the comic book, and then there’s the 70s TV show that they had. So a lot of variations of the story.
Robert Maldonado 07:44
Yeah, it goes back to the 40s, I think, or 50s, where somebody kind of had this idea of developing a comic book hero of Wonder Woman. And we’ll talk about the kind of the symbolism and how these iconic symbols play into art and culture from the Jungian perspective. Yeah, but the story is fairly basic. I mean, it’s a comic book story, which is great, it’s a lot of fun. It takes a lot of creative liberty with the mythology. But that’s really how myths work. They don’t have a solid structure, because they’re always morphing and changing and adapting to what people need in those different times.
Debra Maldonado 08:39
Also, the interpretations how people see the myth play out is different for everyone.
Robert Maldonado 08:45
Yes. So in the original 2017 movie Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman. And she’s an Amazon, which is, of course, this idea of the Amazons comes from Greek mythology. They were a warlike— or a tribe of warrior women who were separated or separate from civilized society. They lived on this island, where they trained and kept their culture going.
Debra Maldonado 09:28
And they were kind of isolated in a bubble where no one can find them, hidden away. Their job was to protect humanity.
Robert Maldonado 09:36
Yes. And Diane, or Diana, she rescues this guy named Steve Trevor, who is in the middle of a war. Kind of he’s being chased by enemies, and he ends up on their island kind of by fate. And that is the basic kind of plot of the story, or the beginning of it that Wonder Woman now is going to help in this war effort. But it’s kind of—
Debra Maldonado 10:18
So they were cushioned from the world, and then it took someone to come in from the unconscious, the collective, to enter their world to say “Hey, we need your help.” And it was that kind of the hero’s journey is the call to duty?
Robert Maldonado 10:32
Yes. In the story, Diana has caught up with this Aries, who is the god of war. And originally Aries is a proper God of War, very much like the Aztec God who demands blood. I mean, he’s not one of those nice Greek Roman gods. He’s definitely up for blood. You know, he represents that ferocity and destruction of war. And in a sense, he poisoned humanity in the movie. And part of the work of Diana is to kill this God. And of course, she’s given a special weapon that is leftover from Zeus. And the sword itself is called the God Killer. So these special weapons of course, we recognize them as part of what Joseph Campbell called the hero’s journey. That on the hero’s journey, the hero needs special weapons, special instruments to aid in their mission, in completing their mission.
Debra Maldonado 12:02
And then the second movie, we have, 1984, which had got bad reviews, and we’re not going to give the ending if you haven’t seen it yet. She is now taking on this persona as the anthropologist kind of in disguise—
Robert Maldonado 12:22
Working at the Smithsonian.
Debra Maldonado 12:23
Yes, in DC. And she’s mourning Steve, you know, he’s gone. And then her friend, the nemesis, is this woman who’s kind of awkward, Barbara Minerva. And she’s kind of like— we could see her in all of us, this kind of insecure parts of us that are kind of awkward but human self, and the person that’s always discarded and doesn’t know her own power. And then she wants Diana’s power. She wants to become this, just have everything Diana has. And we can all relate to that in our life. We see someone we admire, I want to have what she has. So she could represent that, we’re going to get into that later. And then the other part of it was the dream stone, which is basically this totem, that people had to ask for their wishes. And we all know this in our life, too. We’ll want to make wishes and use the magic of the gods. The last part of the person, that character is Maxwell Lord who plays this kind of con man, he’s not wealthy, he pretends he is, he has this persona on TV. There’s been some real life examples of this. And basically, his persona is hiding all the things that are— that he knows deep inside that are off, and also, I think they show early in life — he was trying to prove to his father when he was younger that he was worthy. And so he’s still trying to compensate. So all these characters are in play, and then this one wish, Dream Totem, they all make wishes on it. And so first Diana wishes for Steve to come back, Barbara Minerva wishes for Diane’s power. And Maxwell Lord wishes to become the totem, to become the power of the gods. And so it’s interesting how that all plays out. And we’re going to talk about that, psychologically how that plays out. When we talk about— first of all, let’s back up and talk about Wonder Woman as the archetype. One of the things I want to say is that, you know, I really love the work of Tony Wolf, she talks about the four feminine archetypes, and one is the mother type, this archetype of the mother that’s caring for others, the lover who’s after sensual pleasure. And then there’s the warrior, which is the Wonder Woman type, and then the mystic, or the sage for men, and it’s this mystical part of ourselves. And we have all four of them as women, but we’re really going to focus on that warrior archetype. Because I think a lot of women, especially women that follow us, they have big dreams, they want to do something with their life. And so how do we use this archetype and this story of Wonder Woman to apply in our life?
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Robert Maldonado 16:24
Let’s define first, kind of what is an archetype and what is a symbol.
Debra Maldonado 16:31
That’s important because a lot of people confuse the symbol with the archetype.
Robert Maldonado 16:36
Yeah. And so here going back on Jung’s theories, you we cannot observe the archetype directly. So the way we surmise—
Debra Maldonado 16:50
Because it really doesn’t have a form to it.
Robert Maldonado 16:52
It doesn’t have a form, but many symbols can represent it. So we can say, okay, Diana, as Wonder Woman is a symbol of the warrior woman. She’s pointing to a deeper archetype, which is the goddess of war, and kind of that hero, the hero’s journey as well. But her specifics, iconic symbol, or her as an iconic symbol is subject to change and to morph. And we see this, right, from ancient Greece to the Romans to present time. The symbol has morphed into different stories in different ways. But it’s the same, it’s pointing to the same archetype. So that’s—
Debra Maldonado 17:57
So the archetype is bigger idea. And the symbol is how we— basically how humans interact with the archetype. And it’s just like, when we’re younger, and we’re children, everything’s connected, we’re in the collective unconscious, and then when our ego’s created, we start to develop this language that puts everything in name and form, and it makes something pure potential into something more solid. So that’s the way we relate to the archetype. We need that symbol.
Robert Maldonado 18:29
Absolutely. So I’m glad you asked that. Let’s say, these are the characteristics of the iconic symbols. So iconic symbols, we can think of them as those that reappear over and over throughout history that really hit the spot, right? They trigger everyone’s imagination, because they’re touching upon much deeper archetypal elements in the collective unconscious.
Debra Maldonado 18:59
So the Savior, the teacher, the guru, the queen, we talked about the queen, all these ideas of the Wonder Woman. And they have such a powerful force, as celebrities have that iconic, symbolic iconic of celebrity.
Robert Maldonado 19:19
That’s right. So number one, these iconic symbols point to larger archetypes, or larger principles, universal principles in the collective unconscious, and they participate in the interaction with that archetype. In other words, they give us access to something deeper in the psyche.
Debra Maldonado 19:46
So they’re a doorway to our deeper self.
Robert Maldonado 19:48
Debra Maldonado 19:50
And separate from our ego, because our ego is this human self. It doesn’t even have a real solidness to it. It’s just this concept of individual I, this individual experience of our collective world. And then the symbol— the ego can interact with it in a way to give it a doorway to that symbol— to that deeper collective and divine powers that we have within ourselves.
Robert Maldonado 20:21
Yeah, and here you really see the power of art. So these iconic symbols, the Mona Lisa, for example. Everyone recognizes that it’s something deeper than a portrait of a woman. Of course, it’s a portrait of a woman. But it’s an iconic symbol, meaning it hits at a deeper level.
Debra Maldonado 20:45
So it has this sort of power in itself that’s way beyond the ego, way beyond the persona.
Robert Maldonado 20:53
That’s right. So that’s the first, or one of the first characteristics of the iconic symbol, the second one is that it’s a deeper, or it opens up a deeper level of reality to us.
Debra Maldonado 21:08
So beyond just our personal history, and what we’ve accomplished in our life, it opens up, like I said, that door— opening up to the door of potentiality, that wide open field to what we can create, and more power than we initially thought of ourselves as an ego.
Robert Maldonado 21:27
Yes, and of course, to take advantage of those deeper realities in us. There has to be a corresponding element in the soul that is able to perceive those realities.
Debra Maldonado 21:42
So if we could see that iconic symbol, we know we have it within ourself.
Robert Maldonado 21:47
Yeah, that’s right. So if you think about the icons that are used in religion, for example, Jung would say they have this numinous quality, that they transcend the ordinary world. And they take us into this dream time, into this deeper reality. But of course, what they’re showing us is that there’s a corresponding element in us that is capable of going there.
Debra Maldonado 22:17
So when you say deeper reality, can you clarify that?
Robert Maldonado 22:20
Yes. So the aboriginal concept of dream time is perfect, because there we see it in its most basic and ancient form, that they understood that the world that appears to us as nature is a covering, that there is a deeper, fundamental reality behind that. And that to reach that, dreaming and trance states are giving you access to that. And how do you reach those dream states or trance states? Through the use of ritual and symbol. Does that make sense?
Debra Maldonado 23:05
Yes. So how does that help someone in their life?
Robert Maldonado 23:08
Well, let’s go back, let’s finish the series. So there’s three characteristics of these iconic symbols. The third one is that these symbols are autonomous and Jung emphasizes that we’re not controlling them. So he says, you cannot intentionally create an iconic symbol. So Leonardo da Vinci, painting the Mona Lisa—
Debra Maldonado 23:42
He didn’t say, I’m going to create this masterpiece.
Robert Maldonado 23:45
That’s right. You can’t set out to say “This painting is going to be an iconic symbol.”
Debra Maldonado 23:52
Although some people do that. They try to do that.
Robert Maldonado 23:56
Yeah, absolutely. Everyone then says, oh, there’s the formula. Let’s do it. But it doesn’t stick.
Debra Maldonado 24:05
If you think about John Lennon, right, he was such an icon, this iconic superstar. And then his son had the same name, but didn’t have that— it’s like a quality that was something more like— that you can’t force it to happen. So people that want to be famous or that want to be really successful, or people that will admire you — you can’t manufacture that. Like if you want to be a symbol of a warrior, of a hero, you can’t manufacture that, and in essence, the best heroes are the ones who are reluctant to take on the role because they know the burden of responsibility that it takes to carry that symbol.
Robert Maldonado 24:49
Yeah, so these symbols are born in a sense. They’re not the archetype. The archetype, we can say, are more eternal. But the symbols or what represents them and what gives us access to that deeper reality that they represent, they can die. Like they can go into or revert back into the unconscious, they can be forgotten, just like we’ve seen, the warrior woman kind of be repressed.
Debra Maldonado 25:23
Amazon just died. And then the movie brought it back to life.
Robert Maldonado 25:27
We can say that art, theater, you know, we saw those ancient amphitheaters in Greece. The stories that humans tell symbolically bring these symbols back to life, that give us an access to that deeper reality.
Debra Maldonado 25:50
So even religious symbols like Jesus or Krishna, they would have died, or that idea would have died. But people tell the story. And so they align with that image. And they projected into the symbols, so the symbol of the statue, or the symbol of the cross, or the symbol of the fish, whatever we use as a symbol, but we know that that symbol carries so much more than “Oh, that’s just a fish.” It’s like “Oh, Christ energy”, it has so much more than you can’t physically or verbally explain. So that’s the power of this symbol. So when we see Wonder Woman as a symbol, we’re seeing bigger, something much bigger than just “Oh, that’s a woman with superpowers”, we’re seeing this archetypal divine power that we have an access to, all of us have access to.
Robert Maldonado 26:45
Yeah. And that’s the important idea that Jung gives us is that when we look at culture, we’re not looking at just kind of an incidental, haphazard forms of expressing the symbols, that these symbols are arising from the unconscious mind. And they have a purpose, and they have a very important function to play. But that if we’re not aware of them, then they die, essentially, because we’re not living them, we’re not expressing them to their full potential.
Debra Maldonado 27:28
Or we’re using them in the wrong way.
Robert Maldonado 27:30
Yes. So let’s go back, and then you can maybe give me some feedback on how you see the kind of the individual psychology of women and for example, the women that you work with in your coaching practice, how these ideas play into that individuation process. So the iconic symbols, first of all point to larger archetypal elements in the psyche, and they help the individual participate in that archetypal, deeper psyche. So how does that play individually? How can this idea help the person that’s going through a transformation?
Debra Maldonado 28:22
Well, I want to just say, before we talk about how it can help them, I want to talk about how people misuse it. And the idea that is a lot out there with archetypes, I’m becoming the hero and the goddess and all those things I’m going to, you know, be that archetype. And if you haven’t done Shadow Work, which means that you haven’t really understood the personal part of your life, the projections of your ego, of the shadow, you will basically take that archetype on as a persona. And so what I saw in the movie, tying it back to the movie, to give you a framework, is the idea of Barbara, she basically had access to that archetype of the hero, but it was in her shadow. She didn’t— you know, her powerful self is in her Shadow. Her persona was this, you know, weak nerdy girl that didn’t get attention. And so she projected that onto Diana, her power onto Diana, and Diana became the container for that archetype, the symbolic container for her power. And we do this when we fall in love. We do this when we look at a guru or a master or teacher, we say they’re so amazing, and they’re so great. And we forget that we have our own power. And then, I know for me, when I first started doing my work, and I wanted to help the world, I sort of wanted to basically put it on top of my instinct, like, let’s push insecure Debbie aside and let me be this, you know, Superwoman, and put this persona that I knew everything, and I was going to help everyone, and I’m a good person, and I’m, you know, a wise woman and all those things. And when you do that actually becomes destructive because you’re really inflating the ego with the archetype, you’re not really using it in its true sense. So, word of warning, what happened to Barbara is that her darkest instincts became very destructive for her in the movie, Barbara Minerva, you know, transformed herself into all these dangerous things, she couldn’t really— she didn’t come to terms with her own self, that it actually became very destructive. And then she ended up wanting to destroy Diana. So I see this happen a lot too with people, they love the celebrity, the celebrity is this icon that people love. And then guess what, they never live up to their— they have a bad day, or they get divorced, or someone finds out about something they did. And they go “Oh, she’s fooled me, and let’s tear it down.” And so I see this happens a lot, they build celebrities up, everyone projects them, they’d be the container for this larger image and the symbol, and then they tear them down.
Robert Maldonado 31:21
Isn’t that always the danger with projection in relationships that if you idealize the partner, or the opposite sex, they’re always going to let you down because they’re simply humans. And the projection is too idealized, it’s too over the top.
Debra Maldonado 31:39
And I think that’s the mourning is because I know, when people— someone told me once “If you start believing what people say about you, that’s the day you’re gonna lose your business.” Because you really can’t, your ego shouldn’t take credit for that archetype. The ego is just basically participating and watching as a passenger, while the archetype is acting through you, the symbol, so you can use the symbol, but if you take it on as “I am Wonder Woman, I am the wise woman, I am so great”, guess what’s going to happen, the opposite is going to be pushed away if your ego is using it. And this is what happened with the other guy, Max Lord, he used that power because he felt powerless. And he was insecure, and he was a failure. And then he used the power, and basically he became very destructive. And then it started destroying his body and everything. It’s like he could be very destructive with it as well. It’s called narcissism, where you reflate the ego. And then you think you’re the great one, you’re the one who’s healing everybody, you’re the one who’s changing the world. And so when I work with coaches, I’m always saying — don’t take credit, the client is doing the results, the client is doing the work, you’re just assisting and you’re being a guide, but they’re doing the work. If you take credit for it, you’re also going to take the blame. And so it’s a very tricky place to be. And if you ever have a goal in your life, if you want to lead a movement, or you want to be a best-selling author, you want to be a coach that helps people, you have to understand the symbol and know not to let your ego take it over because if your ego inflates it’s going to cause so much stress and anxiety.
Robert Maldonado 33:39
Yeah, that’s the caveat. So what’s the right way to do it?
Debra Maldonado 33:43
So the right way to do it is — and I love you and I talked about this — is that the archetype is bigger than you, it’s bigger than this little you, this little ego, and bigger than your persona. It’s this universal power. And if you think about the ocean, it’s like surfing, you’re surfing the wave of the archetype, you’re basically letting that archetype lift you, but not identifying that I am this wave and I am this power, you’re saying “I’m going to use the force of this powerful iconic image to carry me” and you know, I think about Brene Brown, she’s a really popular self-help guru now, best-selling books. She’s an iconic figure now. But when she started out, she didn’t go on to do a TED talk and say “I I’m going to be world famous. And I’m going to have everyone love me.” She was basically very, you know, just taught what she taught. And the archetype itself of the leader and the guru basically lifted her to that state. So if your ego takes credit, like I’m the one who created this, I came up with all these ideas and I’m so wise, that’s the first sign that your ego’s inflated, but if the archetype carries you, then you’re free to ride the wave without it taking over your life and you feeling that identification with it that has all the human fears and insecurities around. And because it does die, there will be a time where people aren’t going to put you up on a pedestal anymore. And if you don’t have the ground within yourself to realize it was just a projection of others, then you’re going to be very sad. So the powerful way to do it is that this force is already in there, there’s forces that are already there. And we can use it symbolically, but not identify with it personally.
Robert Maldonado 35:54
Number two then, the deeper levels of reality, kind of this opening up of different opportunities.
Debra Maldonado 36:05
Why I love Jung’s work is because what he does is he says that we’re not our persona, we’re not our ego, we’re not our shadow, we’re neither. And so that’s what I love about the Shadow Work itself is you’re working on that personal conditioning, the social conditioning that we made early in life, and we’re coming to terms with that, becoming more whole. And then we can step into accessing those greater powers in a very balanced way versus a lopsided way. So when we enter those deeper realms, we’re entering the realm of the gods, we’re entering the realm of power, and true power. And that’s really beautiful. When that happens, we always tell people that you can visualize all you want but if you haven’t done Shadow Work, you’re not going to create that much different in your life, you’re going to maybe have a little better results. But once you do Shadow Work, it opens up a whole new doorway and a whole new possibility for you. So that’s why I say elements that we’re accessing, you can’t really access it until you can see yourself as whole from a human standpoint, you’re not pushing away parts of your human experience, you’re actually seeing that as a necessary part of your life and then accessing something beyond that, that you’re not just what happened to you, you’re free to become who you’re meant to be.
Robert Maldonado 37:28
So would you say then the entrepreneur woman, or the business woman is accessing the symbol, the iconic symbol of the warrior to get in touch with a deeper archetypal divine feminine?
Debra Maldonado 37:49
Well, if you think about it, what makes someone a famous teacher, or a famous leader in the world, politician, someone who runs a movement, iconic figure, like RBG. She didn’t just go her life going “I’m gonna harness this, you know, warrior archetype” because she was a warrior too. But she was just doing basically what she was called to do. She wasn’t letting her ego drive and basically in a way she was doing everything against the ego, the ego would say “Be quiet, don’t wrestle the fathers, don’t go to law school, because there aren’t any women that go to law school.” She basically broke, kind of put her ego aside, was really ready to sacrifice her ego to do the bigger purpose. And when you do that the archetypes now serve you. So there’s this idea in the movie about the sacrifice. In the first movie, Steve sacrificed his life for the humanity, you know, they were going to do this mustard gas, and he flies up and he needed to sacrifice himself. That’s the hero, then he has this iconic hero image. I’m not saying we all have to do something that destructive. But when we talk about sacrifices, what are you not willing to give up to live your purpose? What is your ego saying? You know, “I want to be famous. I want to put my videos out on YouTube. But I don’t want people to criticize me.” Or “I want to put this book out. But I want everyone to love it.” “I want to have a business, but I want it to be successful overnight. I don’t want to fail.” And so it’s those little things that we can relate to in ordinary life. How do we let go of our ego for that higher purpose, for our mission, and then when we do that, the archetype will naturally lift us up, will naturally give us the power we need. But if we try to do it with our ego, we’re operating in a very limited, fearful, and hesitant way. I don’t think we really can truly do that, do our duty with the ego in the way. And I know for me, it was more compensating for— initially, I was trying to compensate, I wanted to be famous and I wanted to do all these things. And then after I did the Shadow Work, I realized these things aren’t that important. What I do and doing what I love is important. It’s not about Debbie and me being put up on a pedestal anymore. And I think that’s why I have a great relationship with you too. Because we don’t project onto each other, like, you saved me, you’re my hero, I mean, we kind of do in a way, but it’s a different level, it’s not “You have to rescue me all the time from my terrible life”, that container that we place on people, you’re going to be the container of all my power. And I see this a lot in the coaching industry, I’m in the coaching industry for 17 years, that a lot of leaders, unfortunately, give all their power to their people, their clients, and then they end up not being able to keep boundaries, not charged for what they want, feel afraid to speak up and say things that are a little more controversial, because they’re afraid of what people think. And they limit their success because the ego’s in the way of them. And then they’re not owning that power in a true sense.
Robert Maldonado 41:24
So we could say the warrior symbol, the iconic warrior symbol of a woman plays into relationships, it plays into success, the way she does her business.
Debra Maldonado 41:40
Well, I think one of the things that was very important in the movie too is this question that the warrior has to face when we think about the four feminine archetypes, the warrior’s choice of duty over love. And so a lot of women mis-think that if I go for my goals, I can’t have a relationship. Or I can’t go for my goals, because I have a family right now. And so there’s that conflict I see the modern woman have, I can’t be a warrior and at the same time, go home and, you know, take care of the kids, and how can I balance those ideas and this idea that we do have to sacrifice. It’s not that we have to sacrifice our personal life, but we have to be willing to not let that get in the way of our success. You can have both. Do you feel that’s common, too? I mean, I talked to a lot of women that do our coach training. And they think they’re putting their relationships, dating on the side while they’re pursuing their career, and I’ll worry about dating later. Or I’m going to worry about my career later, and I just want to focus on finding a partner. And there’s always that conflict. And then I see a lot of people in the coaching industry, they are married and they’ve been married for a while, they leave the corporate world, and they want to be a coach. And now the husband they’re with isn’t growing with them. And so there’s that other conflict of that relationship end. And so what do we need to sacrifice? And do we need to sacrifice things? And that’s really a personal decision, we have to be clear on why we’re doing it and what is it in the way? Or is it not in the way, is it just an excuse?
Robert Maldonado 43:27
Yeah. And then the third element of this autonomous power Jung talks a lot about is that we’re not really controlling the archetypes. It’s not like people talk about kind of putting on the mask off the wise woman or the divine woman, and being the teacher and just doing it that way. That it has more to do with a relationship with the unconscious mind. And then those powers, just like the ancient Greek gods, they intervene in your life, in culture and in human affairs. But you don’t really have full control of them. You’re kind of still hoping that it works your way. But it’s more like you were saying, the surfer on the wave using the power of these elemental forces to ride that wave, to kind of maneuver that power.
Debra Maldonado 44:30
It’s this idea of support, that the wave is supporting the surfer. And so when you’re having this autonomous, powerful idea of an archetype arising and using you, it is building that relationship. We can symbolically communicate, we have active imagination, exercises that we do in our training to work with the archetypes. But you’re not directing the archetype and saying “You need to be this way”, it’s more of a relationship. And it really is that when I say sacrifice the ego, you’re letting go of your own personal agenda and allowing it to arise. If you think about the collective unconscious, it’s full of wisdom, it’s been in every situation in every dimension of time. So you’re really tapping into your deeper wisdom when you allow it. And I think a lot of times we want things to happen faster than they do, we feel like we know it better, I’d never do that. We feel like we know the right way the thing should unfold, we are so attached to how the outcome looks that we forget to allow the support of our deeper selves, or the archetypal universal powers within us, to carry us. And it’s a lot less work to let that happen. But the ego does have a tendency to want to take all the credit and to inflate itself. So we always have to watch. That’s why Shadow Work is so important. Because once we do the shadow work, your egos has a less tendency for inflation, because you’ve dealt with all the things that you’re pushing away that the archetype would compensate for. So if you’re feeling like that Barbara Minerva, feeling a little insecure, and you’re saying “I wanted to be Wonder Woman”, it’s going to be destructive. But if you’ve kind of come to terms with those aspects, that you don’t feel good enough, you don’t feel like you have something to offer — those self doubts that we all have — and think that other people are better than us, and you know, that kind of putting people on pedestals, we start to really see ourselves as “Oh, that’s not even real”, then you don’t have to worry about the archetype becoming inflated, because you know that your ego isn’t really real. And that’s, I think, the beauty of it. And it’s hard to do intellectually. And I think it’s really important for people to realize that having a coach that knows this work is going to change your life in such powerful ways. And a lot of people try to do it on their own, try to do the quick fix. In the beginning of the second movie, they show the little girl taking the shortcut, and she’s “I’m gonna take the shortcut to win.” And I think a lot of us want to take the shortcut, because we do want the things we want in our life. But when we take shortcuts, there’s a price. We don’t know the whole truth. And we have to know the truth about ourselves, so that we can use those powers and we need to know who we are. So we can really direct our life in a powerful way.
Robert Maldonado 47:39
The shortcut would be something like spiritual bypassing?
Debra Maldonado 47:42
Spiritual bypassing, tapping things away, clearing things out of the way, rejecting parts of ourselves. I don’t like that angry person. For me, I remember one time, very early on, just before I met you, I said to my coach at the time “I really hate that part of myself that’s insecure.” And she said “Why don’t you love that part of yourself?” And I was like “Oh, I never thought of that.” You know, we want to push away those parts. And that’s what creates the shadow is that we don’t want to be that person. But that energy doesn’t go anywhere, you can’t clear that away, you have to integrate it. And that’s the difference between Jung’s work and other work is that we want to integrate, we want to take it, pull it all back together, come back to wholeness, not fragment ourself to only the things we like about ourselves, and all the things that are acceptable, because that’s what we did in the early part of life. So we’re just rearranging the furniture. And so that’s why I think you can’t do it on your own. Because the ego is so clever, it will tell you that you’re better, and you’re done, and let’s go to the shortcut. It’s always looking for that shortcut. But it knows that shortcut is going to lead you back to the same place, and you’re not going to get anywhere, and so the ego is very clever. And that’s why you need someone who’s gone through the shadow to coach you through your own shadow. They know the path, like this string of Penelope, she had the string to get the hero out of the maze, it’s like you need someone to help you through the maze. You have to go through the maze yourself. But you need someone who’s been there so they could say “Oh, yeah, this is where you’re tripping up. This is where you’re going to that dead end again.” And that’s what a coach does. It helps you redirect. It’s not about healing you, it’s about redirecting you to know who you are and see yourself as you truly are. The Wonder Woman that you are on a deeper level.
Robert Maldonado 49:33
You know, thinking about the warrior woman symbol, maybe think about— the individuation process for all of us, I mean, is an intense period of transformation. But I’ve noticed that in women a lot of times it boils down to the symbol of the mother which of course is this more complete, divine woman archetype.
Debra Maldonado 50:05
Well, the divine woman has the mother in her. And if you look at Diana in the movie, she cares for mankind. So she’s the mother of the world, kind of like Mother Nature’s taking care of mankind. She’s the lover, she has the romantic love, and heart, and emotion, and caring, and she is the warrior. But she also is the mystic, she’s wise, she has understanding of philosophy and knows how to harness the deeper powers, and knows the wisdom of the gods. So she really is not only just the warrior, she is the divine woman [inaudible].
Robert Maldonado 50:39
Absolutely. I think that this kind of understanding, because you know, right now worldwide women are waking up en mass, and it’s continuing to expand, women entering the workforce, becoming entrepreneurs, becoming coaches. A psychology of this really deep transformation is so important, and Jung left us kind of a general blueprint of the psyche, but not specifically what is the difference between the individuation process for a man and what’s the difference for a woman? So I think working with some of these symbols gets at that — what is really happening on the road to get there?
Debra Maldonado 51:34
Yes. And I think for me, as a woman, I’ve read a lot of Jungian women that wrote books, and a lot of it is based in therapy. So there’s this idea of traumas and wounds, and, you know, it’s really focused on completing your personal stuff, and not really a lot about creating, about really what do we want to do with our life? Let’s just analyze why we hate our mother. It’s more about how do we create, how do we move? And maybe there are some, but it’s been really hard to find. So that’s why I’m so glad we’re bringing this work to women and men, to really see that there’s so much more than just the personal unconscious, there’s so much more to us than just what happened to us in this life. We’re sitting on the ocean of these powerful forces that we can ride like the surfer. And I don’t know how to surf. So I know to surf the consciousness, but I don’t know how to surf in the ocean. But if you think about the power of the ocean, it’s a kind of an energy of its own. And that’s the archetype of work, the collective that we all have access to. And I want to leave with one note about heroes and women is that when we think about an iconic symbol, when we think about the Wizard of Oz, everyone’s seen that movie — Dorothy, the hero of the story, was seeking this great powerful Oz to help her get her back to where she needed to be. And so finally, she sees this Oz and he is the projection, which I thought was really cool. He actually was a Jungian, the guy who wrote that story, the projection of this icon, of this Oz, the whole city, he’s the great powerful Oz. But then behind the curtain is this little scared old man, we don’t want to have that. And the lesson at the end was, you had the power within you all along, Dorothy. She had it in her shoes. And so my message to you for this year is no matter what happened to you, no matter what terrible things happen to you, all the setbacks that happened in 2020 — we are riding the wave of this powerful force of who we are. And it’s our duty to find out who that really is. We’re not defined by the things that happened to our life. We’re not defined by our size or weight, or how beautiful we are, how young we are, how successful we are. We’re so much more than that. And so that’s my message today is we’re all Wonder Women, and we need more women to step out and empower others, to live their purpose and stop rearranging the furniture and trying to get stuck in the past and over processing everything, and really moving forward in a coaching model that helps people reach their potential.
Robert Maldonado 54:33
So you’re gonna bring back the race of Amazons?
Debra Maldonado 54:36
I’ll be the Amazon queen. And yes, actually Tony Wolf called the warrior the Amazon. That was her name for the warrior. And we call it the professional. And we do have a test if you’re a coach, how to find out what archetype your default is. It’s more of a persona type that archetype has taken over, the role that you’re playing as a woman. And then how do we become more complete and more whole as a woman so that we can really access these, like you said, the deeper parts of our soul that are ready for us to use and work with, so much more our superpowers. So great talk today. I hope this kicked off your new year to a great start. We’ll see you next week on our next Soul Session, which is actually going to be on Friday because we have another training on the eighth, so they’ll either be Fridays or Saturdays here on YouTube. And on our podcast, don’t forget to subscribe. If you’re listening to us on iTunes, or Spotify, or those other plethora of podcast hosting services, make sure you subscribe to Soul Sessions.
Robert Maldonado 55:57
Yeah, we’re thinking of doing a series on the psychology of coaching. So stay tuned. Thanks for joining us. Happy New Year. Stay well, and we’ll see you soon.
Debra Maldonado 56:09
Okay, take care. And for you guys out there, you’re Wonder Men as well. So just take it the same way. Take care, everyone, have a great, wonderful day and a great new year. Bye bye.
Thank you for joining us. And don’t forget to subscribe to Creative Mind Soul Sessions. And join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with Creative Mind Soul Session. See you next time.