Archetypes are basically psychological patterns that form the basis of the personality. A brief intro to archetypes can be found here.
Every person has twelve primary archetypes--eight that differ from person to person, and four that are found in everyone. The Common Four are: the Inner Child, the Victim, the Sell-Out (or Prostitute, but I prefer Sell-Out for its wider connotations), and the Saboteur. Today I want to talk about the Saboteur.
The Saboteur. The one who sabotages. This archetype is about self-sabotage, the part of us that actively works against our happiness and higher good. Typically the Saboteur goes unrecognized--unless a person becomes intentionally aware of its influence.
Caroline Myss writes:
The Saboteur archetype is made up of the fears and issues related to low self-esteem that cause you to make choices in life that block your own empowerment and success. As with the Victim and Prostitute, you need to face this powerful archetype that we all possess and make it an ally. When you do, you will find that it calls your attention to situations in which you are in danger of being sabotaged, or of sabotaging yourself. Once you are comfortable with the Saboteur, you learn to hear and heed these warnings, saving yourself untold grief from making the same mistakes over and over. Ignore it, and the shadow Saboteur will manifest in the form of self-destructive behavior or the desire to undermine others.Like all archetypes, the Saboteur is neither inherently good or inherently bad. It all depends on how we allow it to work in our lives. Being aware of the inner Saboteur turns it from an enemy into an ally; when we realize how we are in danger of being sabotaged, we can prevent said sabotage. Particularly if we are the ones behind our own sabotage.
Recognizing the Saboteur
Again, from Caroline Myss, the 12 Houses of the archetype wheel:
Where does your Saboteur fall? This is something you can pray about or muscle test on.
Personality, Ego: the face you present to the outside world Life Values: ownership, finances, your relationship to earthly power Self-expression, Siblings: the power of choice Home: establishing your emotional foundation Creativity, Good Fortune: erotic energies, including creativity, sexuality, and synchronicity/chance Occupation and Health: seeking security in the physical world Relationships: marriage and partnerships Other People's Resources: stocks, inheritance, death and closure Spirituality: wisdom, publishing, travel Highest Potential: completing the integration of the self Interaction with the World: relating your creativity to humanity The Unconscious
We all have an inborn tendency to sabotage our own success. Being aware of this tendency helps us proactively avoid self-sabotage.