I really love the characters and stories that unfold in my work as a spiritual counsellor. From a psychology perspective, the characters could be thought of as archetypes; universal characters that are familiar the world over, who keep popping up throughout history and in story-telling. Archetypes are personality patterns, essentially, or frequency states in the aura. Each character explored during a healing has a transpersonal, intrapersonal and interpersonal facet.
The transpersonal is the spiritual, larger-than-life realm, so this is where we frame a character as a spirit guide; an intangible character/energy that is giving you spiritual guidance.
On the intrapersonal level (intra meaning ‘within’ the self), the character represents an inner self; some part of your personality that the spirit guide is reflecting, enhancing or representing.
On the interpersonal level (the realm of human relationships), the archetype may also be playing itself out in the world around you, popping up as a character in the screenplay of your life.
Daniel Boone showed up during an aura sketch recently, or at least, that is the name that popped into my head when I ‘saw’ him. He was smiling and I had an immediate feeling of warmth towards him. I just ‘knew’, that he he was a lovely person, kind and generous. When I get characters that are commonly known (e.g. animal spirit guides, mythological, historical), I always make sure I tune in and hear their story from their perspective first, before I research them. The guide may not have literally been Daniel Boone himself. It is possible that this well known character was the closest approximation to a sum-up of the guide’s identity that could be found in my own psyche. Where on earth I have heard of Daniel Boone, I don’t know, but being an avid reader I’m sure it registered on my radar at some stage in the past and has since been lurking about in my subconscious just waiting for the right moment to emerge!
Daniel was holding a gun resting on one shoulder. He looked relaxed and was smiling. In his other hand was a collection of pelts, perhaps racoon or squirrel pelts. I ‘knew’ that these were spare pelts he himself didn’t need and he was going to distribute them between half a dozen families in the local area, families who had lost their husbands and fathers, women and children who were doing it hard, on this ‘wild frontier’. He told me he was a hunter and a trapper and he himself had experienced loss, so he knew what it felt like. He enjoyed being a positive mentor for the children, especially the boys, and in a strange way these families were like surrogate families in place of his own. He could be part of these families without risking full commitment. Having loved and lost, he was too scared to risk loss again and this informal arrangement suited him just fine. He had great respect for the women, admiring their strength and resilience in the face of hardship and isolation.
So on the face of it, we simply have a lovely spirit guide watching over the client, lending her his strength, and extending her (and her children) his compassion. That’s the transpersonal level. On the intrapersonal level, this character represents the gentle yet self-sufficient and entirely capable male aspects of her own personality that she may have disconnected from. By connecting with this aspect of herself she will be better able to provide for herself in practical ways, rather than relying on an external male to do it for her. But she must first be convinced that being self-suffienct and capable is something she can and should source from within. Until this happens she might feel as though she is only half-complete without a man to provide for her and she may even reject her capable inner male energy out of fear: If she is too capable will this mean no-one will come and help her, rescue her, provide for her and that she will have to do it all by herself?
What a frightening thought. The reality is, that once she can own this internal male energy within herself, she will attract and be attracted to someone very dependable. If she attempts to enter into a relationship without first resolving her internal disconnection from her own healthy male energy, she will either attract someone who abandons her, or someone who tries to control her, rather than an equal who can share responsibilities with her in a balanced way.
We must first own that which we wish to experience out in the world around us. The interpersonal realm reflects the intrapersonal realm. Whatever is missing ‘out there’ is first missing inside us. Magic begins on the inside. We so often focus ‘out there’, as though by finding this man or achieving that success or owning this car or having the perfect haircut…. we will somehow get the completion and fulfilment we have been craving. True, these things can help, in a limited, short-term way…. but until you actually address the emptiness and lack within, the rest of it is just window-dressing; we will tend to attract reflections of our damaged internal state, reflections that don’t really cut the mustard, reflections that fall sadly short of our ideal. You can cover a wound with a bandage that hides it, but that doesn’t necessarily make the wound go away.
The Trickster and the Dancer
I loved working with these two guides. The trickster was male, with an interest in martial arts. Trickster guides teach us to lighten up and be less serious. This helps us enjoy life more and to overcome ego-driven behaviours. He talked about dangling carrots in front of my client to test how far he had come in his work with the ego, which my client acknowledged as a major focus over the past year. ‘Carrots’ are temptations that can hook the ego in, leading us on merry goose chases that inevitably result in misery. It might sound cruel, teaching in this way, but it’s very effective. After a while you learn not to get sucked in by the ego’s games; you learn to see right through it.
Towards the end of the healing, the trickster guide was showing my client how to strengthen his core, telling him that by strengthening these muscles in the physical body, corresponding muscles in his psyche would likewise strengthen. These muscles would help him stay focused on his true path, rather than being distracted by illusions that glitter brightly in the sunlight only to be revealed as empty offerings on closer examination.
The trickster was being supported by a young female Aboriginal guide. I ‘saw’ her dancing with a brolga, using dance as a form of story-telling. My client was creative but uncertain about his career direction and had been trying to ‘nut it out’ by being serious and analytical about his options. From my perspective as a healer, this appeared to be resulting in tension and crossed wires in the aura, a common outcome when over-thinking has become the norm. The dancer was showing him how to reconnect with his intuition and to have faith that he would ‘know the next move’ instinctively, rather than intellectually.
Together, these two guides led my client into a new state, creating a bridge between two parts of him that had become disconnected. One part was pragmatic, the other was gentle and kind. He had tended to swing between the two, rather than combining them together. First he would be gentle and kind, engaging his intuition but doing it in a vague, ungrounded manner that lacked pragmatism. This led him no where, so then he would swing to the other extreme, mistaking over-serious mental analysis for pragmatism and completely divorcing himself from the intuitive guidance of his heart chakra in the process. But finally now he had a bench-mark, a new mood or way of being to guide him through the next chapter of his life.