Class 1: Identifying Your Sacred Contracts – Sample
An Overview of Your Sacred Contract
What is a sacred contract?
Have you ever wondered what your mission in life is supposed to be? You probably know people who seem to have had their entire life mapped out from the day they were born. You may have envied their sure sense of what they were born to do—their work, career, marriage, and personal goals. And yet you have probably also wondered whether that was really all there was to it. This is something we all have wondered. The answer is that there’s much more involved.
I believe that we each agree to the terms of our own Sacred Contract before entering the physical realm. Your Sacred Contract contains a wide range of agreements regarding all that you are intended to learn in this life. It comprises not merely what kind of work you do but also your key relationships with the people who help you learn the lessons you have agreed to work on. Each of those relationships represents an individual Contract that is part of your overall Sacred Contract, and may require you to be in a certain place at a certain time to be with that person.
Your Contract encompasses all the components of your life, yet it cannot be reduced to any one of them by itself. Think of your Contract as your overall relationship to your personal power. It determines how you work with your energy and to whom you give it. Finding and fulfilling your Sacred Contract also depends on how much you are willing to surrender to divine guidance.
Of course this does not mean that free will plays no role in your Sacred Contract. At any given moment—or “choice point”—your Contract may provide you with an opportunity for growth. It can come in the form of a challenge at work, the dissolution of an old relationship, or the formation of a new one.
Nothing could be more valuable to you than to learn to see clearly, to make choices that must be made because the history from where we’ve all come from is over. The starting point of the journey is to get to “know thyself.” We can begin this journey by identifying our Sacred Contract agreements and the archetypal patterns that are part of our lives.
To help you understand and fulfill the terms of your Sacred Contract, you have been encoded with a set of twelve archetypes. Four of these are universal archetypes essential to survival: the Child, Victim, Prostitute, and Saboteur. We all have these four because they are vital to our growth and functioning as adults. The other eight are drawn from the vast storehouse of archetypes dating back to the dawn of human history. They play valuable roles that relate to our work, our relationships with individuals and society, finances, values, spirituality, and our highest potential.
Awareness of archetypes dates back to at least the time of Plato, who believed that these eternal forms were reflected in material objects. The archetype of beauty, for example, is abstract and applies to all beautiful things. The great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung further developed our understanding of archetypes. Jung believed that archetypes comprised psychological patterns from historical roles in life, such as the Mother, Child, Trickster, King, as well as universal events or situations, including initiation or death and rebirth. Along with our individual personal unconscious, which is unique to each of us, Jung asserted, “there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature that is identical to all individuals.” The collective unconscious, he believed, was inherited rather than developed, and was composed mainly of archetypes.
Although archetypes are impersonal patterns of influence that are both ancient and universal, they become personalized when they are part of your individual psyche. Since your Sacred Contract is embodied in a support system of twelve archetypes, it is best to think of them as intimate companions. They provide the foundation for your personality, drives, feelings, beliefs, motivations, and actions. But archetypes are not passive entities floating around the psyche like old family portraits hanging in a dusty corridor of your ancestral castle. They take an active role as guardians and inner allies, alerting you when you are in danger of falling into destructive or “shadow” behavior. When you learn to recognize such a pattern, instead of ignoring it or denying its presence, it becomes your friend and can help you avoid selling yourself out.
An archetype is a universal pattern of power that you were actually born understanding. You speak archetypes fluently. When you look at a person and say, “that woman is a natural mother,” you are summing up her essence in a single magnetic word. And that single word is an archetype. An archetype will find a way to penetrate and influence your life because that is its purpose. As we explore the world of archetypes, all that we are really doing is bringing a language you were born knowing into your consciousness.
The Shadow: All archetypes have shadow manifestations as well as “light” or positive attributes. The shadow has power precisely because it remains in the dark; we tend to deny its presence in us because we consider it unacceptable. Only when we face and acknowledge the shadow’s presence can we neutralize its potential negative impact on us.
What is a house?
I remember an exercise that my dearest college professor and mentor had taught. To convey to a class on spirituality the great power of detachment in perceiving reality, she had us imagine that we were sitting in the center of a clock. Each of the twelve hours of the clock represented a totally different reality. One hour represented the spiritual teaching of Buddhism; another, the principles of the Hindu traditions; the others, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Wicca, Zoroastrianism, shamanism, and atheism. This image shows that there is no such thing as one reality, that truth presents itself in many forms.
The clock also represents a complete cycle of life. Day and night both have twelve hours, and twelve months complete a year. Twelve signs of the zodiac surround our planet, twelve apostles were sent by Jesus on their missions, and twelve tribes of Israel made up the biblical Jewish nation, arguably the foundation of the entire Western Tradition. The mystical implications of the number twelve suggest that it too is an archetypal pattern. The clock, when divided into twelve sections, also resembles a wheel, one of the most ancient representations of spirit, fate, fortune, and the cycles of life.
There is a link between archetypes and the zodiac. The archetypal wheel is an intuitive method that makes symbolic information accessible to you. Your archetypes become even more significant when you see them at work in the houses that signify twelve different aspects of your life. The Wheel helps you decode the behind-the-scenes patterns of your life. It shows you your experiences and relationships as spiritual dramas, filled with opportunities for personal transformation.
Specifically, the Wheel is a medium through which your archetypal patterns can best communicate their role in unfolding your Sacred Contract. Each of the twelve houses represents a different focus of your life. The twelve houses of the Wheel provide a format through which you can evaluate how your archetypes operate in your daily life, both literally and symbolically.
All of your archetypal patterns are present in the concerns of your twelve houses, for they interact as one hologram-like system within the psyche. Nonetheless, one pattern takes the lead regarding the theme of each house.
An overview of archetypal vision
Tomorrow – A sample from Class 2: The Three Wheels of Life
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