Archetypal exploration is a very dynamic and down-to-earth approach for coming to know ourselves and each other in a deep and meaningful way. The knowledge of our archetypal make up gives us very helpful information about our creative instincts and the powerful nature of our spirit.
Archetypes can be thought of as universal instincts/patterns of thought or behavior that inform and shape the basic nature of who we are as human beings. (Carl Jung was a great pioneer of archetypal theory.) It could probably be said that there are an infinite number of archetypes. And infinity is very difficult to work with! So, different archetypal theorists have developed models that focus on a limited number of archetypes that are deemed essential to our development as human beings. The work of the ILC focuses on over forty archetypes: the twelve from Carol Pearson's book Awakening the Heroes Within and many others that have been identified and developed by Chris Saade.
In speaking about or naming archetypes, it is very common to use poetic, symbolic or mythological language (i.e. Lover, Rebel, Warrior, Pioneer, Catalyst, etc.). Through such naming, we are able to speak about and describe aspects of our humanness that can otherwise be very difficult to distinguish and put into words.
It is important to recognize that each person will have some archetypes that are dominant while others are less prominent (or even "exiled"). From the perspective of the ILC, the process of self development is about striving toward a wholeness of being which involves: 1) honoring, claiming, & ennobling those archetypes that are most pronounced in us (maximization); and 2) identifying and intentionally calling forth the archetypes that are most "foreign" or "exiled" within us (inversion).
The archetypes that are most dominant in us define the essence of our character; they are the roots of our authentic nature and specific creative style. It is tremendously important that we work to free and consciously unleash our dominant archetypes. In addition, the archetypes that are most unfamiliar to us are tremendous sources of vital energy and untapped potential that can help us achieve breakthrough, and thus, move our lives forward in ways that previously seemed unimaginable. We call this process "Archetypal Maximization" and "Archetypal Inversion."
We encourage you to check-out two links below to PDF files that give detailed information about archetypes:
An Overview of the Intentional Heart-centered Approach to Archetypes as formulated by Chris Saade
Archetypal Inversion as a Moment of Impact:A Theoretical Article by John Amen (based on the work of Chris Saade)