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The Year of Reclaiming What is Lost

Dr Helen B Johnson

5 Jan 2024

Way back before the pandemic and babies and the like, I wrote a post about how six different archetypes used their year ahead to transform and find balance and light. Now I find myself revisiting this post and reflecting on the last couple of years. I realised that each of these archetypes is really telling a story about how to regain something that has been lost or forgotten - maybe even consciously rejected - and how to reclaim this.

So here is my version for 2024 - which one resonates?

The love and pleasure archetype 

If your inner Aprhodite (Goddess of love, beauty and sensuality) or male equivalent has been lost then you'll be craving love - and you probably aren't admitting that to anyone because it makes you sound like you're in a Jane Austen novel and you are tough! So what to do? Because the thing is, we can't rely on other people to love us and such is the nature of relationships that people can and do let us down. A reliable way of getting that love is to turn it on ourselves - to become our own source of adoration and support and joy and fun and pleasure. So in 2024, try taking yourself on dates and treating yourself how you have longed for in others - go absolutely crazy with pleasure, sensuality, beauty, and filling yourself up with the kind of love and acceptance you crave - and deserve - from others.

The wild archetype

Our Artemis, on the other hand, loves a bit of isolation! Her freedom loving nature would happilly live in a cabin in the woods and only talk to her dog and/or framed picture of Katniss Everdeen. This is the energy of running with the wolves. How often are you just being in your body and nature, with no other care in the world. How often do you feel powerful and a little bit dangerous, when your strength and fighting nature is in full expression? Not a feeling that is readily available to us in the Free From aisle at Tesco, let's be honest. The answer? Doing more things that scare you - and preferably a few of those things being physically challenging too. More adventure - and I'm not just talking about a new flavour of gluten free biscuit, okay??!

The nurturing archetype

If you are a 'sleep when your dead' type then this is for you. Or indeed, if you are a 'look after everyone, their dog, their plants, and their rare stamp collection but totally ignore myself' type of person then this is also for you. In other words, if you think that caring and nurturing is basically weakness - or something for everyone else but not for you - then it's time to pull up a chair for our earth mother, the Greek archetype Demeter - Goddess of creativity and motherhood and the like. She is here to tell you to go to bed on time, eat some greens, stop being so hard on yourself, take it easy, and to admire your creative endeavours (did you forget about those?!). If you have lost your ability to nurture yourself, then it's time to focus on your basic needs so that you can regain your energy for your projects and for other people. Have a lie down!

The leader archetype

Have you been feeling a little, well, discombulated? Are too many things unpredictable? Are you taking more of a 'throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks' approach to life, work, or relationships?... Guess what you need??! You need to put a frickin crown on your head and start taking charge of things. To be honest, some people find the archetype Hera - Goddess of community, responsibility, and keeping everything running smoothly - a bit boring and tedious. Yet without our strong foundations and clear expectations of ourselves and others, we can end up frustrated and disappointed. So what are your top lines (absolute must dos) and bottom lines (absolute must NOT dos) right now?

The warrior archetype

It is no accident that the warrior Goddess in Greek Mythology - Athena - is also about progress and innovation. She represents our contribution and sense of purpose in society (whereas Hera represents our responsibilities and standards). The message Athena has for you is: your purpose is something you need to fight for. If you have been compromising a lot on how you spend your time and what you do with your life in terms of work and career then this is the 2024 energy for you. Time to put on your armour and start fighting for what you really want - yes, you might take some knocks - yes, you might meet more challenges - but oh my god YES you might actually also come alive.

The spiritual archetype

If you have a lot to process then 2024 may be the year for going under and bravely walking through the stuff that has been holding you back or weighing you down - the perhaps ignored and forgotten emotions that are swimming around somewhere inside. Time to channel a bit of Persephone - Goddess of the Underworld - and forge a path for yourself through darkness. What might this look like for you? Facing your fears and facing up to yourself – both the good and the bad. Beginning a process of letting go of anything that didn’t truly serve you, even if this means loss. Getting really uncomfortably intimate with ourselves, our relationships, and our lifestyles. Let 2024 be all about clearing out your internal (metaphorical) closet.

So there you have it, 6 different ways to approach 2024. Who knows what’s coming but hopefully we can take on some of these strategies and enjoy them…

  1. Find ways to love yourself the way you want others to

  2. Do more things that scare you

  3. Commit to meeting your basic needs - let go of the rest

  4. Put on your crown and start setting standards for yourself

  5. Start fighting for what you really want - your true purpose

  6. Forge a path for yourself through darkness

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