At Pan Society, we often talk about the wheel of life. We see it in the calendar, the seasons, the moon, the 24 hour day, and many other places where birth is followed by maturity, decline, death, and rebirth. That’s why it only makes sense to start your Pick-a-Card/Ritual journey with the Child archetype, the beginning of the cycle.
An archetype is an idea that exists in all cultures in myth, stories, dreams and visions, in roughly the same way, throughout time. The general framework for the Child archetype in stories is he is born into dangerous conditions. He probably should have perished, but somehow survives. With the help of others who recognize his gifts, he can grow into his magic and fulfill his special destiny. The stories of Jesus, Lord Krishna, Mabon, Dionysus, and Harry Potter are examples.
The Child is just the beginning stage of the journey. All children meet some type of danger or betrayal that results in wounding and become the Wounded Child. Were it not for this wounding, we’d stay in perpetual childhood and never grow, so it’s a necessary pain. As life unfolds, we come into contact with other archetypes that help us to grow and become more whole people. The goal is not to leave each stage behind, but to bring the pure nature of each archetype with us as we grow.
Unfortunately, many of us either don’t grow beyond the Child stage or lose touch with it along the way. The wounding, judgments, “supposed tos,” and judgments make us timid and afraid. We forget how to play in the rain, sing at the top of our lungs, dance without restraint, or dream big things. We play small. Our ideas are squashed before they can bloom. We play safe to fit in and never spread our wings.
This ritual and pick-a-card will help you to hear the voice of your inner child again. This voice is your pure essence. It’s the inner light that always guides you home and never steers you wrong. While it doesn’t have the power of the Warrior, King or other more experienced archetypes, the Child archetype reminds us that innocence, glee, and softness are powerful too.