Do you have a strong sense of justice, loyalty, and a willingness to defend what you see as just and right? Are you goal oriented, know what you want, and how to get it? Do you have the patience to stay with a task until the end? Do you have the ability to see problems with clarity, to strategize, and use tactical means to overcome them? Are you motivated by the belief that strength and power can be used to defeat whatever threatens freedom or any injustice?
These are the traits of the warrior. This archetype may bring up images for you of warfare or aggression. However, the warrior is often reluctant to go into battle. This archetype’s overriding motivation is not to fight for the sake of victory at all costs (which would actually be a shadow attribute of the warrior), but to instead fight to defend what is just.
To those who take advantage of others, the warrior is a formidable foe. Unafraid of anyone or anything, he or she acts with courage. Remember, all archetypes are neutral, and the warrior can be male or female. History brings to mind the names of these warriors: Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and even the Navy Seals.
We also have witnessed this energy in women throughout the ages. The Amazon women, Joan of Arc, the women of the 1970s fighting for equal rights, and now we see new age of warrior femininity represented through characters like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena the Warrior Princess. These women are not dependent on men defending or protecting them. They engage in battle for themselves.
I’m bringing up the warrior because we need this archetypal energy now in a worldly and spiritual sense. It’s vitally important to be able to define your core values, to have a plan and purpose for your life, principles you stay loyal to. You can strengthen yourself by clearing your head of chatter that’s unnecessary. Strive to be honorable in all that you do. Listen to your heart, and live from there.
John Welwood writes, “When the heart breaks open, it marks the beginning of a real love affair with this world. It is a broken-hearted love affair, rather than the conventional kind based on hope and expectation. Only in this fearless love that can respond to life’s pain as well as its beauty can we be of real help to ourselves or anyone else in this difficult age. The broken-hearted warrior is an essential archetype for our time.”
Where is the injustice in the world today – or, closer to home, in our nation? Can you bring forth the warrior and take action against what you deem unwarranted? To be a defender of what is honorable may require a change of mind, an opening of the heart, and a profound desire to defend those who cannot defend themselves. These qualities take self-discipline, courage, and a positive attitude, along with the belief that the fight is not over if problems still exist for others.
Robert Moore says, “The characteristics of the warrior in his fullness amount to a total way of life, what the samurai called a do (pronounced ‘do’). These characteristics constitute the Warrior Dharma, Ma’at, or Tao, a spiritual or psychological path through life.”