The Archetyp of the Child
– the guardian of innocence
A child’s archetype is not only found in contexts of the past. In addition to influencing and guiding our behavior in the immediate present, he also influences and orients our thinking. In all of Caroline Myss’ four universal archetypes — child, prostituate, victim, and saboteur — we can see early-learned forms of behavior and inprinted early response patterns, and these are also found when we study the archetype of the child. Working with the “inner child”, an approach developed amongst others by John Bradshaw in the 1970’s and 1980’s, focuses on healing the wounded parts of the human psyche that were injured in childhood.
However, the Archetype of Childhood is timeless and does not only consist of childhood memories and possible traumas. The experience of this particular archetype revolves around the polarizing tension of innocence and emotional maturity. Playfulness stands in direct opposition to responsibility, and the drive for independence is inextricably connected with the desire for belonging.
In the archetype of the child, we see both the talents, and preferences we possess, as well as the light and shadow sides of our lives.
There are seven basic archetypes of the child defined by Caroline Myss, which are very similar in some ways, but are driven by very different forces.
The following are included here: the eternal child, the dependent/adult child, the holy child, the magical child, the natural child, the wounded child, and the orphan child.