Discover Your Authentic Self: Be You, Be Free, Be Happy - Sherrie Dillard (2016)


One of the most common questions that I am asked during an intuitive reading is What is my purpose?

We have an inner knowing that we have come here to give and share of ourselves in a unique and meaningful way. Your purpose is an innate aspect of your authentic self. This chapter empowers you to become aware of and express your innate gifts.

131. Recognizing Your Purpose

An inner soulful drive compels us to find out what we came into this world to do, give, and experience. Even though our purpose is not always easy to discern, it is always winding in and out of our day-to-day life. When you live authentically, it naturally surfaces.

To better identify your purpose and apply positive energy and effort to making the most of it, consider the following.

You have more than one purpose. You may have a purpose that lasts for a lifetime and others that last for a few years, months, or just weeks. In every aspect of your life, there is a purpose that you have come here to explore.

For instance, relationships are endowed with purpose. People come into our lives who are part of the overall plan through which we can express and live our purpose. You may be in a relationship with someone with whom you have a karmic debt. You may need to extend generosity and help to this person, or they may be in your life to support and care for you. You may also need to learn how to own your power and love and care for another without compromising yourself. A relationship may also come into your life for the purpose of providing you with the experience of a deep and committed love and passion. Your purpose may be to let down your barriers to intimacy and truly give and share of yourself.

There are also special abilities and skills that you have developed and refined in past lives and your present life that you have come here to express and share. This is your opportunity to contribute to the overall good of others and the planet. Sometimes your purpose in the world is easy to recognize. When you work for an organization that directly helps those who need assistance or for a group that cleans up polluted lakes and rivers, your contributions are visible and tangible. At other times, your purpose may be less obvious. When you work in a supportive or clerical position within a group or organization that is involved in assisting, helping, and caring for others or the environment, your purpose may not be as evident, but it is no less important.

Your purpose is not necessarily specific to your career. Instead, it may emerge though the arts, your spirituality, your intuitive or healing gifts, or your kindness and ability to inspire others to forgive and love. Remember, your purpose cannot be measured purely by worldly criteria. When you are aligned with your authentic self, your positive contributions are always significant.

In every area of your life, there is a purpose that is specially designed for you. Let go of your expectations as to what you believe a purpose should be. Look within your heart and feel what brings you a sense of connection and inner satisfaction. Become aware of the challenges that you seem to continually confront. Feel your passion and let it guide you. Let go and know that your purpose seeks you. Be available and attentive to its emergence. As you become aware of your authentic self and express it in your daily life, you are living your purpose.

When I experience joy, I am living my purpose.

132. Your Gift Archetype

Expressing and sharing your authentic self with others is an important dynamic in fulfilling your purpose. You have come into this lifetime with innate talents and abilities or gifts. Giving and sharing them with others is an essential part of your purpose. Sometimes our gifts are obvious, but not always. Surprisingly, they often lie dormant within, ignored or undervalued.

One of the ways to recognize the special abilities and innate strengths that you have come into this world to give and express is through understanding and working with archetypes. Archetypes are universally understood patterns of behavior. They are the basic blueprint from which all of humanity develops, grows, and evolves. The origin and basis of archetypes dates back to Plato, who observed and developed what he called the theory of Forms. Carl Jung developed a similar understanding of the universal and ancient patterns and images that govern the psyche. In 1919, he began to refer to these as archetypes. In the 1940s, Joseph Campbell brought to our attention the archetypes embedded within myths and stories and their importance in our personal and collective growth and evolution.

Archetypes Throughout History

Archetypes influence all areas of our lives. They emerge through our personality, our personal preferences, and our soul energy and through the innate gifts that we share with others. Since the beginning of recorded time and in all cultures across the globe, there has been a prominent belief in the exchange of gifts between humans and a greater divine source of power. This relationship has formed the powerful, potent structure and content of archetypal gifts.

For instance, there were many gods in ancient Egypt and all of them bestowed both earthly and spiritual abilities, talents, and gifts. The goddess Isis was associated with the gift of healing as well as pregnancy and birth. The god Anhur bestowed upon warriors the gifts of strength, courage, and cleverness, while the powerful Bast gave the gift of music and joy to mortals.

In Greek mythology, gods are responsible for the origin of the earth and its inhabitants and both the good and evil aspects of the human experience. Gods provided not only good crops, protection, and health but also the gifts of prophecy, magic, and special powers. Athletes, warriors, philosophers, and artisans received their power and talent from the gods. Medicine was also thought to be a gift from celestial beings. In the Christian faith, gifts play a central role in God’s relationship and interaction with the earthly realm. Gift giving is so common in the Bible that the words givegiving, and gift and other such words occur at least 2,100 times throughout the scriptures.

Since the beginning of time, the importance of giving and receiving gifts has been a cornerstone in understanding ourselves and the greater cosmos. Although archetypal gifts originate in the cosmic realms, they empower us with practical and useful skills here in the material and physical world. Through your archetypal gifts, your soul finds expression in the everyday and mundane world. When you consciously tap into their archetypal energies, you are supported beyond your individual experience and efforts.

There are hundreds of ancient archetypes imprinted in our collective unconscious, and most of them, including the leader, healer, and artist, are familiar and play a dynamic role in contemporary culture. To better recognize your gifts, I have identified seventeen predominant gift archetypes. Some may be expressed through a career, others through hobbies and interests, and many through more subtle everyday interactions with the world and with others. The predominant gift archetypes are the warrior, innovator, teacher, misfit, healer, seer, artist, magician, sage, patron, athlete, entertainer, shaman, leader, monk, channel, and alchemist. As you tune in to your archetypal gifts, your dormant abilities, skills, talents, and subtle faculties and capabilities come to life.

Your gifts are at the heart of your authentic self. Knowing and expressing them empowers you to live in harmony with your most empowered and eternal self. The seventeen gift archetypes are described in the following pages, with tips and advice on how to identify your gifts at the end of the chapter.

I express and share my special gifts with others.

133. Warriors

Throughout time, one of the most recognizable archetypal gifts has been that of the warrior. When the archetypal energy of the warrior moves through you, your authentic self is on fire. The warrior is active, passionate, and courageous. Warriors are able to move through obstacles, confront negativity, dispel illusions, and alert and inspire others to do the same. Warriors courageously face reality, know it for what it is, and confront and conquer their inner and outer demons.

If you are a warrior, you likely are attracted to environments where vigorous change is needed. You may enjoy professions that provide you with the opportunity to be active and create change. Not content to be quietly complacent and on the sidelines, warriors are likely to join the military or the police or fire department or to seek political office. Often community-minded, warriors champion the rights of those who are poor and disenfranchised, become environmental activists, or work from within the system to improve and challenge the policies and practices of traditional institutions. The accountant who insists on rechecking receipts, the parent who speaks out at school board meetings, or the taxi driver who calls city hall to complain about broken street lighting in poorer neighborhoods may all harbor the gift of the warrior. Many warriors help others to work through limiting beliefs or inspire them to make changes in their lives and follow their dreams.

Warriors can provoke strong reactions in others. Unlike healers, teachers, and even shamans, warriors are not always diplomatic and sensitive to individual needs. They are catalysts who often wonder why others are complacent and idly sit by and allow negativity or corruption to flourish. The warrior’s heart is connected to justice and power. An archaic energy that has been expressed in a multitude of ways throughout time, modern-day warriors are still inspired by and connect to raw and primitive power.

Many people are repelled by the idea of power. It is often associated with manipulation, force, control, and selfishness. Power for power’s sake, as we all know, can be dangerous. Since the beginning of time, power in the wrong hands has caused more suffering and devastation than any other demon that we know. For the warrior, the dance with power must be connected to the highest vision of justice, peace, and equality for all. Without this intent, their innate relationship to power will at the very least lead to aggressive and self-centeredness and, in the worst-case scenario, become destructive and damaging to self and others.

Power in the hands of the enlightened and balanced warrior can be sublime artistry. The warrior can be a prophet in motion. If your gift archetypes include the warrior, aim high and allow your authentic self to be expressed through positive and vigorous constructive action.

The archetypal gift of the warrior 
motivates me to take positive action.

134. Innovators

Innovators see a new way. Not content with the familiar and expected, they often seek new paths and ways of doing things, for the sheer joy of it. With intuitive and insightful awareness, they quickly detect outdated methods and wasteful expenditures of time and energy. An innovator would much rather be finding their way through chaos and uncharted territory than following the known. Innovators feel that because something has always been done a certain way, that is enough reason to change. They are bored with the norm and are inspired by the challenge of blazing new trails.

Innovators can be found in a multitude of environments and in all walks of life. Many are drawn to traditional areas of science, engineering, construction, and technology. In these areas, physical necessity and desire catapults them into creative action. If your gift archetypes include the innovator, you may be a bit of an inventor. If you have a multitude of ideas and perceive possibilities for new gadgets, new technology, or futuristic healing or scientific instruments or inventions, you embody the gift of the innovator.

With this diverse gift, innovators can be found in any environment that allows them to do things their way. Many artists, musicians, writers, and teachers are innovators. Mothers and fathers who entertain their children with interesting games and inspired ways to learn or the office employee who devises a time-saving computer network for sharing information are likely innovators. So is the farmer who creates an environmentally sound method of fertilizing plants or the young college student who launches a successful media business that speaks to a current need.

The innovator creates new systems and cutting-edge ways of dealing with old problems. What is seen, known, and utilized repels them. With one foot in the pure, vibrant energy of the unseen, they long to put into physical form what lies just outside of our reach. Blending and combining the abstract and concrete, they are eternal pioneers who move us out of our patterns and habitual approach to life. Their greatest joy may be in giving physical expression to what is necessary but elusive.

If we cripple the heart of the innovator, we will lose our collective soul. As much as we need the innovator, we are at times at odds with their genius. As a culture, we have rigid expectations and fixed ideas of what is desirable, and we are repelled and suspicious of the new and different. Our schools teach conformity, our places of business expect their employees to adhere to specific standards, and we dismiss what is not popular and not yet proven. The original, unique, and unusual are sidelined by the trendy and fashionable, but the innovator does not live in the past. All of the things that promise you prestige and popularity today are, for the innovator, already relics of the past. The message that innovators persistently whisper in our ears is that reality is out there somewhere in what can only be imagined. If you think that you have found the way, think again. Truth runs along a very thin high wire that extends into the unknown.

If one of your gift archetypes is that of the innovator, keep reaching into the beyond. Allow yourself to indulge in what can be while keeping your feet planted firmly on the earth. Your authentic self is expressed through your innate ability to bring into physical reality that which is not yet seen or believed. It is through this passion that you feel most alive.

I allow new and original ideas to flow through me.

135. Teachers

When you have been bestowed with the archetypal gift of the teacher, you cast a compelling and magnetic spell far and wide. Your authentic self embodies wisdom and gifts you with the ability to dispense knowledge and understanding. By unraveling the mysterious, simplifying the complex, and explaining the essential and important, the teacher provides what others need to know and cannot easily grasp on their own.

Some teachers are professionals who can be found in the classroom or as instructors in various fields of study. Others teach through cyber technology, mentoring, or coaching or as speakers and trainers. Those with the archetypal gift of the teacher likely lined up their dolls or pets as children and explained the ABCs or the mysteries of the universe to them. With the gift of the teacher comes the passionate ability to share knowledge and enlighten. Teachers have a natural magnetism that engages others, and they often contribute their time and money educating those with a desire to learn. Teachers not only are able to decipher the complex but can also reach deep into their student’s soul and wake and stir their unacknowledged intelligence and drive.

Many with this archetype teach in less than conventional ways and places. For instance, you might find a teacher driving a taxicab, expressing their enlightened philosophy to their riders while careening down a busy street. Your hairstylist, landscaper, mechanic, check-out attendant at the grocery store, patient, child, or dog walker or the homeless man standing on the side of the road may all be teachers. They may, of course, not recognize this gift in themselves, yet they all have one thing in common. The archetypal pattern of the teacher is working through them to share and provide the knowledge and information that others need to know or experience. Some teachers are strong-willed and assertive and freely share their beliefs and philosophies. Other teachers are more subtle and intuitively tune in to what others need to know and learn. They may teach through offering suggestions or insight or sharing their own stories and struggles.

No matter what kind of formal education teachers have, a great number of them have acquired knowledge through the school of hard knocks. Many with this gift have had to confront and learn through their own difficult and challenging life circumstances. At an early age, they may have been motivated to seek deeper knowledge as a way to understand and cope with their own confusing and complex issues.

The God Icarus

If your authentic self embodies the gift of the teacher, it is essential to balance your innate connection to wisdom with the humble attitude of a novice. In Greek mythology, the saga of the god Icarus represents the inherent challenge of the teacher. Icarus attempted to escape Crete by flying over the sea with wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus was warned not to fly too high or too low. The sun’s heat, he was told, would melt the wax on his wings, while flying near the sea’s dampness would weigh down and damage his feathers. Yet Icarus ignored these instructions. When he flew too close to the sun, the wax of his wings melted and he plunged into the sea and drowned.

This is an important lesson for those who embody the archetype of the teacher. Their role is not to accumulate knowledge and wisdom for its own sake. Instead, like Icarus, the teacher must travel and act as an intermediary, receiving the higher light and vibrations of wisdom, symbolized by the sun, and then giving this knowledge to those in the darkness and in need, symbolized by the vast sea. The teacher’s home is in this in-between place, between wisdom and ignorance.

I learn by teaching what I know.

136. Misfits

When your authentic self embodies the archetype of the misfit, you have a powerful but often hidden purpose. Most misfits are painfully aware from an early age that they are different. If this is one of your archetypes, you most likely do not consider it a gift. Instead, you may feel inherently out of step with those around you and misunderstood by many. It takes time and deep understanding to fully appreciate this gift and yourself.

Many misfits do not feel like they fit in with their families, workplace, or community. They may struggle with loneliness, self-acceptance, and self-confidence. Their life lesson is to become a light unto themselves and accept the positive impact that their uniqueness can have on others.

The soul elects to embody and express the archetypal pattern of the misfit to learn and teach transformative lessons. Divine energy moves through the misfit to shake and move us out of our humdrum acceptance of what we consider the norm and the way things should be. The impact that the misfit can have on others can be subtle or astronomical. A misfit may unknowingly be the catalyst through which another opens their heart, comes to a new understanding, or embraces self-acceptance.

The child who is born with a facial disfigurement, the artist who works as an accounts receiver in a corporation, the man or woman who struggles with gender identity, or the brawny, macho-looking biker who worships the Goddess are a few of the varied expressions of this gift. Through their mere presence, they break the mold and present a new way of being. Fully realized misfits can change the course of history. Every great enlightened teacher had the gift of the misfit. Jesus broke through the religious limitations of his time and brought forth an evolutionary world teaching. Siddhārtha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, gave up a life of ease and wealth to seek the true path to enlightenment. Noah, Moses, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and modern-day challengers of the status quo such as Steve Jobs all embody the archetype of the misfit.

In Greek mythology, the ultimate mythical misfit was Prometheus, who was charged with the task of molding humankind from clay. In an attempt to better the lives of the mortals, he risked his standing as a god by stealing the best food from the gods’ lavish feasts to nurture the mortals. In direct rebellion to Zeus, he also gave humankind fire. Creating upheaval in the prevailing status quo between the mortal and godly realms, Prometheus suffered a punishment that was quick and harsh. He was condemned to be pecked apart by a giant eagle for eternity. Yet as a misfit, he transformed humanity.

Many misfits, either knowingly or unknowingly, go against the tide of the accepted norms. While their opposition may come through their own innocence or by way of helping and enlightening others, they often pay the price. They may be shunned, misunderstood, falsely accused or suffer the isolation that often comes with being different.

Misfits challenge the status quo and provide opportunities for growth and the expansion of consciousness. They alter our preconceived notions of how things should be and allow room for alternative viewpoints and behaviors. The hardened box that we might unknowingly confine ourselves within slips away bit by bit when we are given free passage to new perceptions and ways of being. Although misfits can often be annoying or perplexing and invoke fear, misunderstanding, awe, or disdain, they can also strengthen our ability to be our most authentic self and help us to know ourselves in new ways. When we accept the gift of the misfit, we set ourselves free.

I accept and celebrate all that is different about me.

137. Healers

When your authentic self seeks expression as a healer, you are a conduit of love and healing to those who suffer and are in need. You have an innate ability to tend to those who are ill, transform pain and toxicity, and restore emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. True healing is always a mystery and takes place in a variety of ways. The manner in which this archetypal gift is expressed varies from individual to individual.

Many healers work primarily with the physical body and within traditional settings as conventional doctors, nurses, physical therapists, or chiropractors. Social workers, counselors, psychotherapists, and life coaches focus on healing emotional, mental, and spiritual issues. Some healers harness the higher vibrations of divine healing energies and become hands-on healers. They may work with healing touch, Reiki, or the laying on of hands. Others may practice acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy, or one of the many other types of alternative healing. Some healers do not work in a professional capacity. Instead, they offer their gifts of love and healing to friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers. They may heal through prayer and send healing energy to another or to a group or nation. Some healers quietly heal through listening to the sadness and grief of another or being present and compassionate during times of hardship and trauma.

No matter what form of healing those with the gift archetype of the healer utilize, they allow a greater power and wisdom to flow through them, to others and to the world. Many healers do not always recognize that they embody this gift. However, if you are a healer, you will likely experience some of the following common characteristics.

You naturally and usually unknowingly form relationships with those who are wounded or in need. An invisible radar attracts those whom you can help. The less conscious you are of your gift, the more likely it is that you will unconsciously attract friends, lovers, partners, and strangers who need healing. You are likely able to compassionately listen to another’s misfortunes and troubles. Thought of by your friends and family as the giver, nurturer, and listener, you easily open your heart to others. Attuned and sensitive to emotions, you easily feel what others feel. Many are attracted to your calm and nurturing presence.

Healers are often clairsentient. This is the ability to intuit the emotional feelings and physical sensations of others. Waking at night feeling sad, stressed, excited, or joyful for no known reason is common. Tuning in to the emotional energy of loved ones, even those thousands of miles away, may be a frequent occurrence. Healers might also absorb the physical aches, pains, and bodily condition of others. They may suddenly experience an intense pain in their chest only to later discover that this occurred at the same time a family member had a heart attack. Since this ability is not limited to serious illnesses or pain, a healer might also feel another’s headache or digestion issues.

Healers may also feel the emotional energy of a tragic or an uplifting event before it happens. Many people have told me that they felt a sense of doom and fear and woke during the night feeling profoundly anxious, sad, and stressed prior to the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001. This was also true of the tsunami in Japan in 2011. Many people reported to me that for days preceding the event, they felt waves of grief, fear, and stress.

Healers can intuitively absorb the energy of others while riding on a subway, sitting in a classroom, or watching the news on television. Moving through the day with an acute awareness of others’ moods, feelings, stress, wounds, and pain can be tiring and confusing. The drive to assist others who are in pain is so powerful that healers may experience an inner pressure and almost compulsive need to give, share, soothe, comfort, and uplift. When you are not conscious of being a healer or your gift is not recognized by those in need, you likely will unconsciously absorb their negativity and pain. This can cause long-term mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical issues and problems. When we take on others’ pain, stress, illness, and fear, we suffer. If you suspect that you have the archetypal gift of the healer, acknowledge it and seek a positive avenue through which you can be of service. The more conscious you are of your gift and the more you are able to harness its potent energy, the less you absorb unwanted and detrimental outer influences.

I allow healing energy to flow through me.

138. Seers

Within the archetypal gift of the seer is the intuitive ability to discern the cosmic order, patterns, and wisdom inherent in all things. The soul elects to express the archetypal gift of the seer to bring insight and understanding to chaos and confusion. The seer taps into the deep well of all-knowing and reveals the truth with clear awareness. Seers are driven to know and understand and are often frustrated by conventional explanations and definitions. Trite answers will never satisfy the seer. They need to experience the aha knowing of intuitive insight to be fully convinced.

Seers can be found in all kinds of careers and jobs. However, they are most fulfilled when they are able to intuit and dissect unknown and unseen patterns and energy information that can help and enlighten others. For example, many psychiatrists, therapists, and life coaches can perceive the underlying influences hidden within another’s behavior and attitudes and help them to understand these unconscious patterns. Many seers are drawn to teaching, research, and writing. Scientists who discover the cause of illness and disease and develop medicine and treatments likely have the energy of the seer as one of their archetypal gifts. The engineer who can discern the patterns and organization inherent in structures, both physical and theoretical, shares the gift of the seer. This gift can also be found in many architects and builders who are able to perceive the blueprint of a skyscraper or the complexity of technology and computer science.

Whatever their job or career may be, most seers eventually become restless with conventional information and knowledge. This inner discontent often leads them to explore the mysteries of self, life, and the cosmos. Through contemplation and intuitive insight, the seer seeks a truth that they can feel within their heart and soul. The seer enters the door to a more celestial wisdom, often felt as piercing insights and revelations. Yet the truth that seers often stumble upon is not always easy to accept. It may be counter to their personal beliefs and previously accepted understanding and challenge them to accept new perceptions and views of reality. This, too, is a gift that the seer shares with others. As they break down the old forms and systems of belief, they accept a higher understanding of universal wisdom and inspire others to do the same.

Many seers have an interest in working with the traditional tools of an oracle. They may be professional intuitives, astrologers, or tarot card readers, or they may work with runes or discern the wisdom of the I Ching. Seers are driven to share their gifts with family and friends and provide insightful guidance and advice. They are the people others go to when they are confused and need clarity and a sense of direction. Others know that the seer’s penetrating intuitive awareness can skillfully unknot the ball of confusion, revealing the clear strands of truth and a course of action.

One of the beginning signs that the archetypal gift of the seer is flowing through you is the desire to understand and make sense of your life. Seers expend time, energy, and attention in thought, generating new ideas and going beyond appearances. Once the archetypal energy of the seer is activated within the psyche, seers vigorously listen and look within to fully know their authentic self.

I perceive the patterns and cosmic order behind appearances.

139. Artists

When the archetypal gift of the artist emerges through your authentic self, the world becomes a magical playground of color, shape, music, form, and sublime sensory expression. Life wakes you up and pulls you into another reality transposed over the seemingly inert material and mundane world. You see, feel, hear, and touch with the skill of the divine. Because you are misunderstood and often disregarded by the busy, security-minded general population, your task is not an easy one. The creative divine is seeking expression through you, and when you feel its energy and fire, you cannot rest. Your purpose and mission is to free yourself from limitation and capture the essence of the sublime and give birth and form to it. You are here to call others into the mystery of the creative, to move hearts, open minds, and be the springboard from which others leap into glorious, freewheeling expression.

Artists express their authenticity and creative fire in limitless ways. They may, for example, be painters, woodworkers, weavers, potters, writers, musicians, metalworkers, poets, actors, cake decorators, film makers, or costume designers. The list is endless. However, there are many artists who do not draw or paint, did poorly in art class in school, or have never been motivated to pursue a particular artistic genre. Your artistry may not be expressed through a specific talent or form. Instead, it may surface through what you wear or how you decorate your home, wrap gifts, or garden. Whether it is through writing, dance, choreography, swallowing swords, or telling jokes, artists express their unique gift wherever they may be. Whatever their creative expression, artists are always reminding us of the pure genius at the core of their being. When you respond and fully accept the artist archetype, the gates of creative freedom open wide in sometimes subtle and sometimes momentous ways.

The beginning sign that signals the presence of the artist archetype is the sensitive awareness of a beauty and perfection that others do not perceive. You see, feel, experience, notice, respond to, and are moved by a subtle but persistent impulse that cannot be adequately defined. In a ray of sunlight slanting across the horizon, your spirit rises. You feel a rhythm travel up through the earth, and your body spontaneously moves in unison with it. Colors jump off of a work of art. They play with your senses and you become mesmerized and enchanted. You perceive the perfect love in the face of a child. A flower dips slightly in the dew and you feel a oneness with all of nature. Within the sound of the wings of a bird in flight or the buzz of a bee, you hear the heavens sing. You not only long to participate in this wonderful melody of heaven and earth, but are compelled to express it to those who are denied access. The artist within flares up and moves you to create this bliss.

Claiming Your Artistry

Not all those with the archetypal gift of the artist engage and align with their creative desires. Many are not aware of the gift that longs to move through them. Their artistry may stay focused in keeping up with current trends of what is popular and the opinions of others. Instead of listening within and being motivated to reach greater creative heights and go beyond the conventional, their vision is mediocre. Often frustrated and unsatisfied, always searching for the new and novel, the artist within becomes restless. Some with the artist archetype may be aware of the creative and artistic impulse, but they do not participate in their deeper calling. The risk of letting go into creative freedom and creating original and unique forms of art that may not fit in with the current popular norm may be too great. They may fear being ridiculed and having their work misjudged. Some artists feel that they need outer recognition and financial guarantees to pursue their artistry. Whatever the obstacle may be, the biggest limitation for most artists is the fear of letting go into the unknown and living in the now.

The archetype of the artist is not simply about what you do, produce, and materially create. This gift calls you to accept and receive the creative force of the universe and then to interpret and express its mysterious rhythm as best you can. The perfection of this calling is not simply in what is produced, but in your ability to absorb creative energy and express it in your own unique way.

The artist lives in present time and responds moment to moment with creative originality. When a soul elects the archetype of the artist as their gift, the authentic self expresses itself in fluid and constantly changing ways. What is true today may change tomorrow or a few minutes from now. The artist is constantly being pulled by an invisible muse that demands full allegiance. Artists may be unconventional, appear to be spacey, do things their own way, and disregard convention and the current norms. This is part of what they offer us: a way out of the familiar and acceptable. They prod us to explore another vision of truth. However distant and elusive this vision may be, the artist confidently leads the way.

I flow with the power of the creative.

140. Magicians

The magician is a unique and original creator who acts with courage and inner assurance. When your authentic self flows with the energy of the magician, you are driven to shift, change, and transform both what is seen and known and what lies outside of physical laws and limitations. The elements of the heavens, the earth, and everything in between are the tools of your trade.

The magician archetype has its roots in the mythological practice of the immortal deities who granted otherworldly gifts to the human realm. It is this mysterious exchange that drives and motivates the magician. Sailing beyond what can be measured and defined by physical standards alone, those under the influence of the magician use their innate instincts and intuition to create and produce the practical from the unexplained.

Modern-day magicians seek to redefine and defy those physical laws that confine and limit. Often drawn to work in cutting-edge science and technology, they imagine and conceive of possibilities that may seem unattainable to others. The magician is not content with purely theoretical potential. Instead, with tenacity and determination, they go about building and implementing their vision into concrete reality. Modern magicians are presently involved in such pursuits as creating clothes that carry enough of an electrical current to power an MP3 player, and designing underwear embedded with electromyographic sensors that can inform an athlete of the intensity of their muscular workout. They have created eyeglasses that turn a computer or iPad into a three-dimensional game board and robots that are controlled by thought. Closely linked to the gift of the innovator, who empowers original thought processes and inspires new ways of doing things, magicians are not as interested in what has been. Instead, the magician has an innate intuitive awareness of natural power and seeks to combine elements and forces to unleash possibilities.

Although the fields of science, technology, and engineering are dominated by magicians, people who embody this archetype can be found in whatever career or pastime offers them the opportunity to pursue and manifest their futuristic visions. They often work silently in their garage for hours, patiently designing and building a tool that perfectly shells a pistachio or captures the power of the wind and sun. As parents, magicians engage their children to experiment and discover new ways of doing things. They are the friend or family member whom everyone turns to for help with understanding and figuring out the latest technology and gadget. Magicians may also be interested in modern-day magic, puzzles, gambling, or playing cards and they may design and play video games.

Some magicians still practice the ancient arts. Many are Pagans who follow the Old Religion and seek to live in harmony with the natural forces. They may spend years learning how to harness the power of the earth, moon, sun, and stars to become effective practitioners. Casting spells with clear intent and deep self-awareness, the magician channels life force energy and directs it into positive forms.

Magicians can influence and affect others in profound ways. What they present to the world can send shivers down the spine, seduce us into wordless states of awe, and release us from the prison of normalcy and convention. Like wizards and magicians throughout time, present-day magicians harness an elusive power, then offer to our wearied minds the gift of magic.

I perceive the magic of life.

141. Sages

The archetypal gift that may best embody the power of the authentic self is the sage. The sage is the master of self. If this is one of your gift archetypes, then you have the courage and curiosity to know self, and in knowing self, you know the world.

The journey of understanding ourselves begins by identifying our many varied and multidimensional aspects. Like a spiral, one knowing leads us to another and another, until you encounter your core authentic self, whose center is the heart of goodness. There is a powerful force within you that wants to reach out and love others. When you encounter the magnitude of the love that is within, you become aware that you are part of a greater whole. The journey into self continues until there is no longer a boundary that separates you from others. It is at this juncture that the sage archetype comes into its full power.

With transcendent intuitive and psychic abilities, such as precognition, clairvoyance, and telepathy, the sage taps into the mystery of the divine. These special abilities emerge along with the desire and drive to further develop them. Once their intuitive and psychic abilities are fully developed, the sage seeks to inspire others to better know and understand their core truth.

The sage walks through the world quietly and often unnoticed. Although they are sprinkled throughout all professions and careers, they are most comfortable in the role of guide, advisor, consultant, expert, or director or in any position where they can see the big picture and help others to perceive their gifts and effectively utilize them. Sages can be found in conventional careers such as finance, politics, or law or as philosophers and writers. They also populate less conventional areas. Many spiritual guides, professional psychics, intuitives, life coaches, and counselors also embody the sage archetype. Yet the sage doesn’t always express their gift through a profession. They are the friend or family member who offers timely wisdom and insight or the waitress at your favorite restaurant who shares a bit of advice when you most need it.

All of the gift archetypes have a shadow side. When you are in denial of your gift and do not consciously develop and follow its inner direction, aspects of the gift emerge in confusing and often negative ways. Self-awareness and conscious self-development are essential for the gift of the sage to fully blossom into its most positive expression. When the lower ego drives impede the natural emotional, spiritual, and mental maturation process of the sage archetype, difficulties arise. Instead of crossing the bridge of personal truth into the rich waters of objective and universal truth, they may feel that their way is the only right way. They may lack compassion and ridicule, criticize, and judge others harshly. Their ability to deceive and to justify their behavior allows them to exert control over others and use them to their advantage. The shadow side of the sage archetype can show up in the policies and actions of groups and governments. Tyranny has its roots in a lack of emphasis on personal self-development and self-awareness.

Embrace the journey of the sage. Layer by layer, peel off the false and that which does not ring true to you. When what is left is your personal truth, you will dive into the sea of all and discover that there is no separation between you and others. This is your freedom and the gift of the sage archetype.

I seek truth.

142. Patrons

The archetypal gift of the patron is expressed as freely given, altruistic, and devoted service to those in need. If this is one of your archetypal gifts, you are likely the friend or family member who is always available to lend a hand and help others. If common activities include things like mowing your busy neighbor’s lawn, cooking meals for your sister’s family when she is ill, or answering the phone at 2:00 a.m. to talk to a friend who had an argument with her boyfriend, you are expressing the gift of the patron.

Mythological deities created the original archetypal pattern of the patron through their devoted service to the human realm. Certain gods and goddess ruled over specific areas of human need and activity. For example, the god Apollo ruled over music and healing, Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, and Demeter was the goddess of the harvest. These deities devoted themselves to the care and nurturing of their specific domains and the humans who were a part of them. This celestial and benevolent care is also at play with patron saints, such as Archangel Michael and Mother Mary, who protect and guide those in need. When the archetypal gift of the patron is influential within your authentic self, pure compassionate and gentle strength flows through you to those in need.

Much of the charitable and selfless work in the community and the world is undertaken by those who have the patron archetype as one of their gifts. They support positive causes, movements, and activities with their time, money, loyalty, and effort. The patron is often able to manifest large sums of money and attain positions of power through which they accomplish their higher purpose. Through their infectious altruism and empathy, they attract others who follow their example. They are heart-centered compassion in action. Some patrons work on the local scale through bettering schools and advocating for the needs of people who are poor, mentally ill, or disenfranchised. They may also be fundraisers for medical and health initiatives and social projects. Many patrons can be found working on a national or global level, enlightening others about political or social conditions, challenging the misuse of people and resources by corporations, or protecting those who have no power and voice. Yet for all of their selfless giving and sharing, the patron often goes unnoticed. With little need to be in the spotlight or be publicly acknowledged for their efforts, patrons give because it feels so good and right to do so.

The supernatural gift of the patron often shows up early in life. The child who notices and responds to the needs of others might very well be a budding patron. Through lemonade-stand sales, donating clothing, and giving their toys to children who have less, they have a natural and spontaneous desire to give. Children who embody the archetypal gift of the patron are often innocent and a bit naive. Their drive to give and support others can be so powerful that as they grow older, they are at risk of being taken advantage of and possibly duped, fooled, or exploited by those seeking an easy victim. For this reason, it is important that children who exhibit this gift learn discernment and who to trust. Otherwise, they can become easy prey and may eventually shut down the impulse to give, robbing them of the tremendous joy that comes from being in harmony with their gift.

Through their deep, empathetic drive and devoted commitment and passion to help and be of service, patrons inspire and motivate others to do the same. The patron has a compelling aura that others notice and want to be a part of. They are not easily intimidated, repelled, or discouraged, and they do not give much credence to the word no. Capable of moving mountains and inspiring others to follow their vision of possibilities, patrons exude magnetism and power. When you come into contact with one, you can sense their inner strength and devotion. In the midst of obstacles and overwhelming conditions, the patron is patient and works day to day, transforming frustration, anger, and fear into passion and drive. The authentic self of those with this archetypal gift tends to be uncomplicated, as they do not overthink their heart-centered impulses. They are action-oriented and are motivated by a higher vision of unity and equality.

I generously give to others.

143. Athletes

The archetypal gift of the athlete flows through the authentic self as the desire to excel, triumph over physical limitations, and express the strength of one’s spirit through awe-inspiring physical feats. This gift exists within those who participate in sports, physical exercise, and training. The athlete archetype also exists in those who overcome physical limitations, health challenges, and illness. The ability to defeat physical frailties and imperfections through inner resolve and self-will exemplifies the gift of the athlete.

The Olympic Games are representative of the archetypal beginnings of this gift. Although the first documented Olympic Games was held in Greece 776 BCE, the original games were said to have started as early as 1232 BCE to honor the god Zeus. By defeating Kronos in a wrestling match, Zeus was said to have won dominion over the earth.

The archetype of the athlete is not solely a gift given to the individual to enjoy and develop their athletic prowess, strength, and skill. Instead, there is something mysteriously magnetic and compelling about athletes. They possess an unspoken connection to a raw and organic presence and power that we long to embrace. Spirit speaks through the athlete and reminds us that we are not simply bones, blood, and finite matter. Within every act of physical excellence, the power of the spirit is apparent. Great athletes thrill and excite us and get our adrenaline pumping by pushing the body to act and participate in ways that seem to defy what is physically possible. The message that we, too, are greater than what we appear to be sinks deep into our psyche when we watch an athletic event. This archetypal gift is also present in those who confront debilitating illness or who, either through birth or accident, struggle with a disability. When the power of the spirit victoriously shines through as determination, a positive attitude, and victory over physical limitations, we are humbled and reminded of the power of our spirit.

Just as the first Olympic competition was held in honor of Zeus, we still perceive and absorb the radiance and vigor of the gods in our present-time athletes. We put them on a pedestal and want to absorb their special magnetism and expert abilities. Although current-day athletes for the most part do not want to be role models when it comes to their behavior and choices outside of their sport, we are hard-wired to perceive them as having a higher status than the rest of the general population.

Many young children who compete in sports tap into the archetypal energy of this gift. They boost their self esteem and confidence by testing their skills and abilities against their peers. Seeing the happiness and pride of their parents as they defend a goal or hit a home run may be one of the first experiences they have in being admired for their prowess.

If you have the athlete as one of your archetypal gifts, you may not be a professional athlete and you may not struggle with an illness or disability. Many of those with this gift go to the gym, run, swim, or work out on their own with no applause and with no visible benefit to others. Yet their devotion and drive to touch the heart of this gift within themselves strengthens their spirit and endows them with the ability to positively impact others. For instance, the woman running down the street at six o’clock in the morning may encourage her neighbor, who spots her from the window, to work out and take better care of herself. The father who coaches his child’s soccer team may feel more alive while watching his team’s attempts to learn new skills while running down the field. The lonely and awkward adolescent who receives praise and attention for winning and breaking records in his high school cross country races might give hope to others who are awkward and lonely.

When the archetypal gift of the athlete is expressed in one of its many forms, your body, mind, and spirit aspire to move with the magic of the gods. Feel this energy and accept the raw vital life force energy that pulsates through your authentic self.

I exercise and enjoy physical activity.

144. Entertainers

When the archetypal gift of the entertainer expresses itself through your authentic self, your aura sparkles and activates a response in others. If you can evoke laughter in even those with the driest and most serious demeanor or if you can naturally spin a dramatic story that captivates those around you, the archetypal gift of the entertainer flows through you. This gift enables you to stir the heart and invoke emotion in others.

Entertainers are fairly easy to spot. They are seldom shy wallflowers who hide in the background. They are widely seen on television, movie screens, stages, and church pulpits and at political rallies. Some entertainers make a career with their gifts, but most do not. Many who embody the gift of the entertainer are not in the spotlight or in front of large audiences. These entertainers might be the class clown in school, the office employee whose jokes break the tension of a serious meeting, or a salesperson whose sales skyrocket because of their ability to make others laugh and relax. Entertainers are everywhere, and although they may not be media stars and become wealthy, their contributions are endless. They are the parent who parades around like their child’s favorite storybook character to help the child learn how to read or the friend you can count on to see the humor in life’s most difficult events. Entertainers brighten our day and help us to laugh, take ourselves less seriously, and enjoy the daily grind of life.

Entertainers have played a prominent but often misunderstood role in every culture and place on earth. The ancient Romans loved storytelling, theater, and plays. In China, operas complete with elaborate costuming and masks have kept the country’s cultural and spiritual history alive. Court jesters helped maintain calmness and just rule in the Middle Ages. In our society, professional entertainers are more popular and admired than those in almost any other occupation. Actors, comedians, musicians, vocalists, producers, dancers, and performers have some of the highest incomes and are the most gossiped-about people in our culture. Despite our advancements in science, technology, medicine, and engineering, we fall under the mesmerizing spell of the entertainer, who yields tremendous influence.

Many entertainers unknowingly use their intuition to know what their audience, even an audience of one, is feeling and what will make them laugh, cry, and feel deeply. Many of those with the gift of the entertainer are able to dissolve their personal boundaries and identify deeply with what another is feeling.

We love entertainers in part because they exude a special magic that we cannot control, contain, and fully grasp. When we sit in rapt attention listening to the harmonic chords of musical interments all blending in unison, our worries slip away. Our hearts race during a suspenseful scene of a movie thriller, and we forget our judgments and isolation when a comedian evokes laughter in our shared everyday experiences. Entertainers move us out of our incessant thinking and into the moment and pure presence. They invoke authentic reaction and emotion.

The purpose of the entertainer is so much grander than the personal quest for accolades, praise, and honor. The archetypal energy of the entertainer is not concerned with the egotistical, irresponsible, and pleasure-seeking pursuits of many present-day entertainers. All too often they trade their dance of laughter and joy with the divine for the vain applause of the mundane. Within the gift of the entertainer is the ability to be a force of unification for all of humanity. Their gifts can only be fully realized when they accept that their greater purpose is in what they give and not in what they receive. For all of their magnetism, charisma, and spontaneity, they are, after all, one of us.

I openly and freely express myself to others.

145. Shamans

Within the archetypal gift of the shaman is the ability to perceive the true essence within all of life. If being in nature, hearing a bird’s song, caring for a pet, or working in the garden helps you to feel a oneness with all of life, then you may have the gift of the shaman. This gift empowers you to be a bridge between the natural world and the human realm. Your task is to become conscious of the grace and power that this gift endows you with. With the gift of the shaman, you open to the greater essence of nature. The spirit of the plant, the rock, or the animal reaches out and invites you into a more intimate relationship. This unique connection with the natural world empowers you to learn its secret wisdom and mysteries.

Shamans are commonly thought of as intermediaries who, while in a state of trance, provide healing and wholeness to others through communication with the spirit realm. Yet the archetype of the shaman includes a much broader range of interaction and connectedness with all living beings. Not all shamans act as traditional indigenous healers who enter into altered states in order to help others. Instead, many with this archetypal gift express it through their ability to perceive the energy of the divine life force at work within physical form. For the shaman, the dandelion, the squawking crow, the rolling river, and the starry night all flow with the essence of spirit. They tune in to, understand, and communicate with all of life, and all of life seeks to commune with them. Each plant offers its perspective, birds warn of what is to come, stones reveal old wisdom, and snakes bring the gift of transformation. Shamans come to express and share nature’s secrets.

It is no surprise that the emergence of the shaman begins with a deep and abiding love for nature and all of its inhabitants. From a young age, shamans have an affinity and fascination with the natural world. From a pet dog or cat to fish, insects, dinosaurs, caterpillars, and elephants, the young shaman is fascinated by all creatures. They love to be outdoors, playing in the sunlight and in the mud, with their pockets full of stones. Whether they are watching ants carrying off bits of cracker crumbs or gazing into the sky and speaking to the clouds, the young shaman’s connection with the spirit within physical form is natural and intuitive. As the shaman grows older, their interest with nature matures into devotion. They are likely to rescue dogs and cats, learn about herbs, spend time gardening, camping, or walking in nature or contribute financially to organizations that preserve the natural world.

At this crucial time in history, as we confront the potential destruction and decline of Mother Earth, it is more important than ever that shamans embrace their gift. Since the beginning of time, the inherent power within all living beings has been recognized and honored. In times past, indigenous cultures have had a reverent and sacred relationship with the plants, trees, water, wind, sun, moon, and all creatures large and small. We understood our dependence on the natural world and sought ways to invoke its continued sustenance and grace. The role of the shaman to please the spirits of the natural world and ask for their blessings was essential for survival. This is no longer the case. We ignore, disregard, and feel more powerful than any other life form. With our arrogant sense of entitlement, we have brought ourselves to the brink of environmental disaster. Although its usefulness and importance are often ignored, the shaman archetype is still present and working within the psyche of many. More than ever, we need the shaman to act as an intermediary between the spirit of the natural world and the human realm. There is an unrecognized, powerful alchemy that occurs when we listen to nature and act in response to its rhythms and wisdom. When we reconnect with the earth through our spirit and heart, healing is possible.

If you have the gift of the shaman, recognize its power. Listen within to your heart and spirit, and you will be guided to where you can have the greatest impact and be of service. It does not matter whether your contribution is big or small. Your authentic self will be strengthened and your purpose clearer as you open your heart to all living beings.

I am one with all living beings.

146. Leaders

Do your friends and family look to you for direction and sound advice? Do you have a natural ability to bring people together for a common cause? Are you fair and can you put aside your self-interests for the greater good? Can you harness the collective energy of a group and focus it toward a common goal? If you have these abilities, you may have the archetypal gift of the leader. The leader is an empowering archetype that enables you to bring people together, create change, and accomplish goals.

Magnetic personalities with an underlying seriousness about their role and responsibilities, leaders can be found in all types of environments and occupations. Politics, business, the military, and the fields of eduction, religion, science, and technology all attract leaders. Capable of initiating reforms and creating change, leaders often work outside of the norms and conventional roles. Leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights champion; Mahatma Gandhi, who led through nonviolent civil disobedience; and Nelson Mandela, who fearlessly led others through personal sacrifice, became the change that inspired their followers. No matter how big and daunting their opposition may be, leaders believe in the power of the individual, and they often find themselves living this truth at their own expense.

There are many inspired leaders who do not gain fame and public attention. Naturally humble and not seeking the spotlight, most leaders work quietly and discreetly. For instance, a leader might be the family member who steps out of the dysfunctional family patterns, heals, and then inspires and helps others to do the same. In the workplace, the leader is the employee whose integrity, kindness, and strong work ethic cast a wide net of influence that sets the tone for others to follow. Unlike leaders who are motivated by selfish and egotistical motives, those who accept the soulful archetypal energy of the leader can unite disparate groups and work toward unifying solutions. They are rugged pragmatists who lead with inner confidence and knowing and are able to confront the raw realities of life. The world, with all its chaos, conflicting viewpoints, confusion, and ups and downs, does not intimidate the leader. Their purpose is fixed in the innate belief that they must go forward despite opposition. With piercing insight into what needs to be accomplished, they inspire others to go beyond their self-defined limitations. In religion, business, politics, or whatever field they are involved in, their bliss is in helping others to discover their personal talents and work toward common goals. The leader is similar to the magician or alchemist in their ability to harness collective power and energy and focus it toward a common dream. Wherever they are, their sense of purpose and charisma attract attention. They tend to be passionate individuals who others innately trust. Without much overt effort on their part, their thoughts, opinions, and views influence and guide others to new levels of self-awareness and effective action.

Throughout history, leaders have played an essential role in shaping and controlling human destiny. There have been benevolent leaders who have inspired, enlightened, and moved us toward positive reform. Other leaders have been more ruthless and domineering and have led us to prejudice, war, and death. If your archetypal gift includes the leader, you may be tempted to use your natural magnetism and charisma for personal gain. The archetypal gift of the leader unites, draws people together, and directs individual power and effort toward the common good. Self-centered leaders who violate the archetypal pattern separate themselves from its magical aura. If you embody this gift, it is essential to align yourself with the impulses of your highest integrity and wisdom and heart-centered love. Otherwise, the temptation to abuse your gift may be too great. Be worthy of this gift and share it wisely.

I use my leadership abilities for the common good.

147. Monks

Those with the archetypal gift of the monk live from the inside out. Their inner sense of connection to the presence and love of a higher power is of utmost importance. Do you send love, prayers, and healing to those in need? Is it essential for your health and well-being to spend time alone, in meditation, contemplation, or prayer? Do you feel that you are connected to a loving higher power and presence? If so, your purpose may be to be a spiritual light to those who suffer.

The gift of the monk is a clear and centered awareness of self, their spirit, and the emanations of a higher loving presence. Satellites of divine energy, monks have an inner stillness that ripples outward into the world of chaos and despair as a balm of calm reassurance. Monks are anchors of light who emit a mysterious energetic signal. Most monks are emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually sensitive creatures who can become easily overwhelmed with too much outer activity, stimulation, and interpersonal interaction. It is for this reason that they retreat into themselves and seek out quiet places and harmonious environments.

From an early age, monks are aware of an invisible ray of purity and goodness. This reality is so tangible and real that they often set the bar high for their own behavior, thoughts, emotions, and intentions. With an acute sensitivity, they can also be painfully aware of their own perceived shortcomings and their propensity to be human. Their sense of spiritual perfectionism can be so extreme that even the smallest of infractions, such as becoming angry or being impatient with another, can affect their sense of self. While we all feel angry and upset and act in self-centered ways at times, the monk will be repelled by and work to transform and eradicate these human tendencies. Monks are on a quest to release their negativity, selfishness, pain, and desires and become pure receptacles for the presence of all that is good, loving, and forgiving. Although many monks feel as if they fall short of their aspirations, they remind us of the work that we all must do. Tending the inner garden allows for the full emergence of our spirit’s light and love. The monk provides us with the encouragement and impulse to look within. Tremendous courage flows through their veins. Confronting our fears, pain, wounds, and the intentional and unintentional hurt that we have inflicted on ourselves and others may be the most daunting work we are asked to do. In usually unassuming and simple ways, the monk leads the way into the heart of the beast within. Yet for all their deep probing, the monk can swiftly ignite the light of compassion, kindness, love, and forgiveness and send it to those in need.

Although they often live quiet lives, most monks do not live in monasteries or in seclusion. Both male and female monks are often married or in a relationship and can be found in suburban homes raising children, working in all occupations, and participating in a variety of spiritual practices. Quite often monks have a regular meditation or prayer practice and spend time and money in pursuit of inner healing and wholeness. With the strong and undeniable instinct to attain higher levels of enlightenment and awareness, they may at times appear to be self-focused. Yet this is far from the truth. Their ability to transform and heal their own personal failings, pain, and judgments and discover inner harmony and goodness makes it easier for all of us to do the same. Their work, intent, and focus act as an energetic pattern that supports our own similar efforts.

The archetypal gift of the monk is an understated mystery. While monks rarely attract attention and ask for little, their spirits ascend into the realms of light and pure blessings. Putting aside their personal desires, fully realized monks intercede on behalf of those who are ill, lost, and lonely. Through their prayers, meditations, and intent, they petition the divine higher forces for blessings and healing. In this world of self-centeredness, pettiness, and conflict, they can be anchors for all that is holy.

If the archetypal gift of the monk flows through you, inner purification and spiritual focus are necessary to be able to fully actualize this mystical pattern. The more you release the trivial, vain, and self-serving, the more attuned you will become to your true self. It is in this awareness that you experience true happiness, love, and joy.

I care for my soul.

148. Channels

Through the archetypal gift of the channel, the sacred and divine makes its way into the physical realm. Angels, loved ones on the other side, spirit guides, divine love, and others’ thoughts and feelings all flow in and out of the channel’s consciousness. They are the vessel and the nest and are never truly alone. Spirit beings are ever ready to seize the opportunity to make contact with the human realm through the channel.

Many channels do not acknowledge their unique archetypal gift. They may feel uncomfortable with the idea that a love and presence outside of themselves has the ability to enter into their consciousness. The fear of not having control and being taken over by something or someone may cause some channels to deny and repress their ability. However, because archetypal gifts are innate and spring from the soul, they cannot be so easily dismissed. When this gift is repressed or not acknowledged, it does not simply go away. Instead, it is diverted into unconscious forms of expression. For instance, the channel who ignores their intuitive and psychic ability may dream of others or receive messages while sleeping. Many of my clients tell me of conversations and encounters they have had with loved ones while they sleep.

I have a client named Stella who told me that one night while sleeping, she was awakened by her boyfriend’s grandmother who had died many years before. Exhausted from a busy work week, she finally gave in and said aloud to her half-awake boyfriend, “Your grandmother Weber says hello.”

She then went back to sleep. The next morning, her boyfriend told her what she had said. Until he reminded her, Stella had forgotten the incident. Her boyfriend had not. He was quite happy to know that his grandmother was close and thinking of him.

Without knowing they are doing so, channels frequently express messages to others through simple conversation or by randomly contacting another in their time of need. They often underestimate the importance of the messages that they receive. I have a client who told me that her neighbor knocked on her door one afternoon with a loaf of freshly baked banana bread. The neighbor said that she was thinking of her and decided to bake an extra loaf. This act of kindness was especially surprising to my client, as it was the anniversary of her beloved grandmother’s death. Unbeknownst to her neighbor, her grandmother had loved to bake and had frequently made banana bread for her.

These kind of incidents can be commonplace for the channel. It can be awkward when a channel receives a message for someone who does not necessarily believe that it is possible to communicate with the spirit realm or for those who do not believe in life after death.

Most channels work quietly and modestly and allow the love and wisdom of spiritual forces to flow through them wherever they are. With family, friends, and at times strangers, their words can be comforting, wise, loving, insightful, and exactly what another needs to hear at that time. Some channels use their natural gifts in a professional way and become mediums, psychics, tarot card readers, and intuitives. Surprisingly, many channels choose not to work directly with people. With their tendency to absorb the energy of those they are in close proximity to and to receive messages for others from the spirit realm, they prefer quiet environments where they can focus on the work at hand.

If you suspect that you are a channel, pay attention to your daily thoughts, feelings, sensations, and dreams. Tune in to the often subtle energy messages that may feel like mind chatter, inner restlessness, and fuzzy feelings. If you often feel overwhelmed but you are not necessarily in a chaotic or overly stressful situation, you may unknowingly be receiving too much intuitive energy. It is important for the channel to recognize their gift and create a positive outlet for its expression. You cannot shut off your archetypal gifts. They are an aspect of your authentic self that you are here to share with others. Set aside time on a daily basis to become quiet and just listen and feel.

As a channel, you are part of a network of celestial love and wisdom. Allow yourself to be guided. Take charge of your gift and integrate it into your life in a healthy and positive way. You have been given this gift to experience your interconnectedness with all living beings and be a blessing to the world.

I allow the spirit of love and wisdom to flow through me.

149. Alchemists

If you possess the archetypal gift of the alchemist, you have the vision and drive to change, alter, reform, improve, and transform yourself, others, and the world. You strive to actualize your dreams and do the difficult work of growing and changing from the inside out. As an alchemist, you give to others and to the world the inspiration and motivation to believe that with effort and focus, change and transformation are possible.

With a positive vision and belief in our innate goodness, alchemists are able to go through the step-by-step process to manifest and actualize this potential. They are not deterred or intimidated by the unknown or by obstacles. Instead, they are able to perceive the truth, as fuzzy as it often is, and use it as their compass. Alchemists are action-oriented. Rarely harsh and brazen, they can act with restrained artistry and skill. Alchemists tend to be courageous and determined to dispel darkness and be of service. They are the soil, rain, and sun that bring to blossom the seed of possibilities.

Many alchemists are drawn to work in which they can have a positive effect on others or on the environment. They are often psychotherapists, hypnotherapists, psychiatrists, social workers, or life coaches who assist others in the deep work of inner emotional, mental, or spiritual transformation. They may also be drawn to health professions such as physical therapy, medicine, or nutrition where they empower others to heal the physical body and become whole. Many scientists, chemists, and researchers are alchemists who seek to understand, convert, and alter core substances and materials. Some prefer transforming physical environments and may be builders or architects, interior decorators, or landscape architects. Many artists are also alchemists who transform environments and people through visual stimulation, music, or other creative pursuits. In any environment where there is the opportunity to create change and transformation, you will likely find an alchemist.

When alchemists are fully engaged in their archetypal energy, there is little that can stand in their way. You can see the element of fire at work in most alchemists. Look into their eyes and you will sense the flame of movement, change, and resolve. However, they are not always cognitively aware of what direction to take or exactly what they are doing. Their gifts often bypass understanding and surface through their passion and gut intuition. Alchemists are led by the invisible pull of unrealized potential and possibility. This is not a wispy fantasy, but a reality that goes deep into their bones. Their vision is always focused in the misty halo of what has not yet been realized. Where others see a barren field, the alchemist perceives a lush garden. As a counselor or life coach, the alchemist pushes their clients to work through their fears, take the next step, and trust the vision of happiness that they know is possible. Against all odds, it is the alchemist politician who tirelessly campaigns for improvement and reform, despite resistance from powerful forces.

Early in life, alchemists have a bit of restlessness and usually an excess of energy. Some become frustrated by the status quo and openly rebel against the conventional and established ways of doing things.

Alchemists often work hard at transforming themselves inwardly and outwardly. They want to be all they can be, body, mind, and spirit, and they may constantly seek improvement. This can drive some alchemists to be self-critical and unable to accept their perceived flaws. The challenge for the alchemist is to accept their individuality, trust their vision, and realize that not everyone has the courage and desire to change and transform. Patience, restraint, and being in step with what is possible at the moment often gets them further than expecting and rushing their own or another’s change and transformation.

Being different is not always easy. Alchemists tend to be out of step with accepted norms. Even if by outer appearances they appear to live in the traditional way, they are attuned to a voice that few can hear, with their eyes focused on a vision that few can see. Like a seed waiting for the right moment to germinate and emerge, the gifts of the alchemist one day ignite with resolve and passion.

If you have the archetype of the alchemist as one of your gifts, remind yourself often that it is not only change that is important. It is the love and passion that moves through your heart to create a better way that makes a difference. Like most of the archetypal gifts, the alchemist contains paradoxes. While alchemists are driven to transform and create change, it is only in the present moment that their gifts are fully realized. In this way, the alchemist is a bit of a time traveler, spanning the past and the future to reveal and live fully in the truth of the moment.

I confidently accept change.

150. Identifying Your Archetypal Gifts

Your authentic self is fueled by the vibrant energy of your soul and spirit. You are more than your personality, your body, and your current conditions, beliefs, and thoughts. Your archetypal gifts are the bridge through which your soul energy passes into your everyday life. You can draw from the primal power of your gifts to guide you in expressing your purpose.

You have more than one archetypal gift. You have a predominant gift, and a few that you are developing, and some whose energy you are evolving out of. After reading over the descriptions of the different archetypal gifts, you may be confused as to what your gifts may be. You may identify with some aspects of several of them or you may closely identify with just one or two. Be patient. It may take time for you to fully recognize a gift’s aspects and characteristics at work in your life. At times your gifts are obvious, but not always. If you are not sure if a feeling, tendency, or preference stems from an archetypal gift, allow yourself to be led by passion and intuition. Try on the energy of a gift by expressing certain characteristics of it and tune in to how it feels. If it is yours, you will experience an empowered sense of connectedness. Opportunities to further develop and express the gift will spontaneously surface.

Although you may or may not recognize your gifts, your soul sends you signs and signals when you are connecting with them. The following are a few telltale signs that you may have experienced when reading over the archetypal gift descriptions:

• A feeling of tingling or shivering up your spine

• The hair on your arms standing up

• Warm feelings in your heart

• An inner surge of energy

• Feeling motivated and inspired to follow your passion

• Having a spontaneous inner vision of yourself engaged in a specific gift

• Recalling memories of feeling and acting in ways that are congruent with the gift

• Having an aha moment of recognition

• Feeling as if a missing piece of the puzzle of your life is falling into place

• Feeling understood and validated

• Feeling empowered and whole

Your gifts are innate and natural for you. Paradoxically, it is for this reason that we sometimes do not recognize them. By paying attention to your subtle feelings, tendencies, and actions, you can better identify which archetypes are deep at work within you. Contemplate these questions:

• In what activities do you to feel most free and empowered?

• In what situations and circumstances do you feel goodness flow through you?

• What is easy and natural for you to give to others?

• What are you good at and what comes naturally to you?

• When you were young, what did you imagine yourself doing in the future?

• When do you feel that you are in the flow of a greater power and presence? What are you doing?

• What do others want from you? What is easy for you to give?

• What kinds of situations and circumstances do your find yourself involved in without any effort on your part?

• What are you drawn to? What comes easily to you?

If you suspect that one of the archetypal gifts describes you, claim it. You will not know if it is your gift until you further develop and embody it. If its archetypal energy lies dormant within, your efforts to fully develop it will feel natural and proceed with ease. If it is not one of your predominant gifts, then there will be no passion and your attempts to further develop it will be met with obstacles and resistance.

One of the most powerful and meaningful actions that you can take in this world that is in need of so much love and positive energy and action is to allow the archetypal energy of your gift to flow through you and out into the world.

I embrace my archetypal gifts.