Defending the Archetype

A Great Moot talk by Eowyn OR Many understand an archetype to be a model of a person, personality, or behaviour- a prototype or idealised form- which is then copied in some way, either via its appearance, patterns or behaviours. It is also understood as a stereotype that is observed multiple times, such as in our perception of the hero or the “puella” (eternal girl) image that is foisted upon girls and women today. Some folk understand the gods from these perspectives: thus Odin may be perceived as the image of a figure wearing a blue cloak, wide-brimmed hat and having one eye being followed by two wolves and two ravens. The problem with this “psychologised” understanding of an archetype is that it is a flat, lifeless pattern resembling a cookie cutter that is superimposed onto something that is a living entity: the map is not the territory.