Gaining Archetypal Vision –
A Guidebook for Using Archetypes
in Personal Growth & Healing
Author: Toni Gilbert, RN, MA, HN
Counselor Know Thyself
The ability to recognize yourself in the archetypes is at the
Foundation for competence with tools that make use of the
Archetypes. Only when you begin to identify archetypal
Patterns and their expressions in your own life can you hope to
Use the tools that work with archetypes in a therapeutic session
The first thing that I noted about this book was the cover, by renowned artist Robert M. Place. Depicted is the Temperance card from the Tarot, an archetype that represents the principles of moderation and integration, essential requirements for healing. The imagery is very esoteric in nature – the figure holds the waters of dispassion in her hands, and is pouring them on the fires of passion that flame at her feet. There is a very strong connection here between the artist and the author – they were definitely on the same page, and I was very happy to see that the image was important enough that an interpretation was included at the beginning of the book. This attention to detail is typical of Toni Gilbert – the cover graphic for her first book, “Messages From the Archetypes” showed a very complex presentation of male and female archetypes, whirling energy, and symbols (such as the Sun at the foot of the male figure (who is wearing a fiery red robe), and the Moon at the foot of the female figure (who is wearing a calming blue robe). In both books, the graphic on the cover sets the tone for the book. Well done!
This is not just a book about archetypes – it is a book about archetypes in action in the physical world. It is also the archetypal journey that the author took on her path. She made the decision to go into nursing, only to find that the field in reality was not what she expected. The one thing that she knew was that she wanted to follow the path of the healer, and share her wisdom in that manner. She has a formal education in transpersonal studies and psychology, and with certifications in wellness counseling, mind-body consciousness, and guided imagery. She also uses the tools of Tarot and astrology in her work. Remember, Toni Gilbert was headed into alternative nursing at a time when the field had yet to be defined. Her story – which is the backbone of this book – is a very important and enlightening story.
Toni writes about alternative nursing, how we recognize the archetypes, and how they play out in our lives. I come not from a nursing background (although I do have over 25 years as a Medical Technologist), but from the perspective of Tarot. I use the Tarot, and the archetypes as expressed through the Tarot, to understand and heal myself and my clients. Toni writes from personal experience, while also citing examples from her client sessions. When we can see the archetypes through the eyes of a counselor and their client, we gain a new perspective on how we want to do our own work. Personal/interpersonal examples are incredibly empowering! At one point Toni talks about going to the hospital to see a client, at their request. She knew that she would need privacy, so she asked her husband to accompany her, and literally “stand guard” at the door so that she and her client were not interrupted. Why did this affect me so? Because I have had dreams (literal dreamtime dreams) of doing the exact same thing – right down to the guarding of the door!
Toni gives us in-depth background on the archetypes, including an interpretation of Jung’s five main archetypes, archetypal concepts as expressed by the Greek philosophers, Erick Erickson’s developmental model, the chakra system as it relates to archetypal principles, and archetypes of community. She talks about he larger archetypes (such as the masculine and the feminine), as well as the smaller archetypes (such as gossip, disappointment and insights).
I find this book easy to read, easy to follow, presenting a tremendous amount of information, and a wonderful resource for the nursing profession, the alternative nursing profession, therapists, counselors, and healers of all persuasions.
© August 2011 Bonnie Cehovet