Rebecca Lowrie, The Sexual Alchemist, discusses personas and archetypes and how working with them can help you to explore and expand your sexual horizons.
In the workshops I’ve run and in my private sessions, I absolutely love to work with personas and archetypes to help people learn more about themselves as sexual beings. Using personas and archetypes gives people permission to explore the places in them that might otherwise feel unfamiliar, powerful, ‘yucky’, dangerous, too much, too sexual, exciting and all kinds of other things they might have difficulty accessing or expressing.
The Costume Shop
Over the last few years, in some of the workshops I’ve run, I presented an exercise that was called ‘The Costume Shop’. It was a fun, playful, sexy and often very illuminating way to get people to explore different aspects of their ‘sexual selves’.
Several hours after teaching it at a particular festival a woman came running across the field towards me saying, ‘Thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU!’ She caught up with me and told me that I’d changed her and her husband’s sex life forever and that they were both over the moon!
In the workshop, as we played with different personas, she had discovered, for the first time ever, her ‘inner Dominatrix’ – a part of her that had until then eluded her but that her husband had always hoped would blossom. She had discovered a new, unknown part of herself and allowed it to open her up to new possibilities.
After running the exercise successfully for a few years, I started to teach with a colleague, Seani Love, and we included it in some of our workshops. Only this time we expanded on it.
Now, instead of just trying on the ‘costume’ of different sexual personas, we guided people to invite the archetype or persona to rise up from within, to come express itself through this willing person. It is a very different feeling and process to just ‘trying it on’ for fun.
This made the exercise a lot deeper – more fun for some and more challenging for others. Either way it was a great teacher and way to find different parts of your self, especially your sexual self, that had been hidden or forgotten about, suppressed or not yet discovered. It was always very very powerful. Each archetype or persona brings it’s own flavour and wisdom.
Personas vs archetypes
The difference between a ‘persona’ and an ‘archetype’ is not an exact science and they definitely cross over in places. However, generally speaking, a persona could be said to be an exaggeration of a personality trait, a characteristic or a role that someone might play in their life. An archetype is a more of a universal pattern that exists in the collective consciousness, something that could be recognised across cultures and societies, often embedded in our subconscious.
Seani would also separate out what he called Godforms. These would be the Gods and Goddesses of various cultures and myths, the Divine Beings, not necessarily related to any religion, but more of a spiritual nature.
Each persona, archetype and Godform has a ‘light’ side and a ‘shadow’ side. Each side is equally important and can teach us something about ourselves. Although it may not appear so at first, no persona, archetype or Godform is intrinsically good or bad. They just are what they are and offer us an amazing opportunity to know ourselves better and deeper, to open up and expand ourselves, our sexual selves and our experiences in the world.
Examples of personas:
- The busy bee
- The ‘good girl’ or ‘good boy’
- The Sacred Slut
- The intellectual
- The Dominatrix or submissive
- The ‘know-it-all’
Examples of archetypes:
- The Father or Mother
- The Trickster or Fool
- The Innocent
- The Hero or Villain
- The Rebel
- The Lover
Examples of Godforms:
- Shiva or Shakti
- Isis, Osiris or Horus
In my private sessions I love encouraging people to explore different parts of themselves using personas, archetypes and Godforms as a map. Often these aspects will arise naturally as we clear whatever has been blocking them in the past. It could be a part of a person that needs deeper healing, connection and often, sexual expression. Sometimes it’s obvious why a particular persona or archetype has come up and other times it’s a surprise.
Sometimes we decide in advance which persona or archetype we’d like to work with (and why) and then together we invite these aspects to come out – to ask for what they need. We can then use touch, connection, movement, breath, sound, sexual intimacy and more to nurture, feed and encourage them.
This allows a person to expand beyond their conditioning, to learn more about their full, true self, to receive healing to specific parts of themselves, to awaken dormant parts, to be witnessed, to take their power back and much more.
Sometimes a part comes forward that wants healing, holding and loving. Sometimes it is a part that has particular desires and wants to explore having those met. Sometimes we are guided through different rituals or ways to integrate the ‘persona’ with the person. I never know for sure exactly what might happen, but some kind of magic always unfolds.
I’ve seen people uncover lost parts of themselves, remember ancient desires and fantasies, discover parts of themselves they never even knew existed and find their way back to empowerment – both sexually and generally, through exploring and playing with personas and archetypes.
Venturing into these places in yourself, opening them up and exploring them in a safe, held space allows you to know yourself better, to have access to deeper parts of yourself, to have more inner resources and access to deep wisdom.
Exploring your sexual self through personas and archetypes can give you permission to expand your sexual wings, to try new things and meet new parts of yourself. It can open up doors to whole new realms of sexual possibility and pleasure.
Integrating these powerful parts of yourself can make you more confident, more whole, more sure of who-you-really-are, more connected to yourself, your lovers and the world in general.
If you’re inspired and would like to book a Sexual Alchemy session, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you’re interested in. I look forward to hearing from you!
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Rebecca works with individuals and couples to help them have better sex lives. Using various forms of conscious sexuality, including tantra and conscious kink, Rebecca can help you transform your sex life into something deliciously juicy, delightfully fun and ecstatically blissful!