After working with several archetypes: the Artist, Skeptic, and Seeker, a writing exercise using the dominant and non-dominant hands brought up dragon energy, fire, anger! What could this be but the Warrior/Gatekeeper archetype? My writing assured me that this power is not terrible, but a disguise of love waiting to be transformed. I decided to paint.

As the process of working with various archetypes continued, it became more and more difficult to separate them. Lover? Sage? Sovereign? Warrior/Gatekeeper? And here is the Dragon Rider. Somehow, I want to ask her if she is spiraling in a labyrinth or mandala. I’m feeling that the dragon and rider are one like the dancer and the dance.

The rider looks back, knowing she has subdued a powerful energy and has directed it. Plenty of power but it seems gentled by Wisdom and Love...or has the dragon been her ally all along? a protector as any inner warrior would be? Perhaps. And what of the birds? Perhaps the rider has been surprised by the entourage of little songsters , their musical chirps adding joy to her vigorous ride. My sense is that she is peaceful knowing she is safe.

To begin integrating these various archetypes - artist, seeker, doubter/skeptic, warrior/gatekeeper, lover, sage and sovereign, would be the work of a Magician! And so, the Magician archetype appeared and was up to the task. The Magician proposed I tell the story of these archetypes in writing a fairy tale, beginning with the words, “Once Upon A Time.” My Art and Archetype Integrative Reflection follows.
Once upon a time, there was a Beautiful Sorceress who knew how to pass through locked doors. She lived in mystery and had walked in magic since she was a small child. The Beautiful Sorceress was mothered by a Queen, a true Sovereign who emanated loving power.

Of course, her royal mother had a consort, the Great King. Somehow the young daughter inherited his Warrior strength as she lived through her infancy and childhood under his loving protection. When he held her close to his father heart, she deeply knew she was safe and always would be.

In this royal household, the Sovereigns truly cleaved to one another. The Queen, like her daughter, knew her own safety in the King’s embrace. In turn, the Great King was energized and enchanted by the loveliness and gentle spirit of his Queen and the girl princess who grew into the Beautiful Sorceress.

This royal union was a bulwark, a rock upon which the entire kingdom was founded. Beautiful Sorceress knew from her earliest memories that love was valued above all else by her parents, the King and Queen. She lived in their generous giving and receiving to each other as a fish lives in the water, suspended and fully supported by it.

When she came to her majority, her Royal Parents asked her, “And now, what will you do, Beautiful Sorceress?”

She answered, ”My destiny is to pass through locked doors. How this can be, I do not understand, but I know I must follow my path. I cannot see, but I know that the Great Mystery beckons. I can’t resist.”

All she really understood was that she had this day, this very day, to begin.

All she really understood was that what she sought was somehow already here and yet, in some way, also beyond. Was she searching for a paradise of sorts? a place where the ghosts of birds flew in the night?

All she really understood was the burning in her soul when she knelt before her shrine of the Holy Mother, honoring her with beads and firelight.

All she really understood was that each creature of this fertile world carried intimations of the Mystery she sought… the Mystery that seemed within her grasp.

All she really understood was that her seeking would take her far. And so, she set out in trust and hope. It was as if she followed the Pole Star. It was as if she was being swept along by magnetic forces.

Without ever having been taught, she passed through the first locked door. She was surprised to find that she knew how to work on this road, and in new ways. She hadn’t known what she hadn’t known. She hadn’t fully understood that creativity had been born in her, but now she began to see. As she traveled farther and farther from her childhood kingdom, a powerful creative energy burned within her like a beacon.

All she really understood was that she could go far away and never be stranded…she could journey to the ends of the earth and this life-giving force would still be there, deep within her, all around her.

Not that there weren’t dark nights. On the winding road, there were times of fear and unnerving doubt. Even so, the blackest night seemed to hold a perspective, to offer a view. All she knew was that there were many moments when all was right with the world. She sensed the light before it glimmered and somehow knew the void itself vibrated with love flowing from the mystery of itself. Even in the darkness, her eyes were open to a deeper seeing. And in the magical times when that happened, the heart of the Beautiful Sorceress jumped with the joy of a precious child.

And so her journey continued, not without surprises. She had never imagined she would be carried into mysterious realms by a Dragon Defender. She hadn’t known she had an ally, and fearsome and gentle he was. As she wended her way through the stars on the back of this ferocious steed , she began to hear music. Little bluebirds of peace and blessing sang sweetly at her side. And so they were, companions all, the Beautiful Sorceress, the Dragon of Rescue and the soaring bluebirds...magically airborne.

Her trilling entourage of songsters added joy and wonder to her vigorous ride. The heart and soul of the Beautiful Sorceress was peaceful. She knew she was safe.