In the latest edition of Connecting You…Erica Piebiak, our publicity coordinator had the pleasure of chatting with our local analyst Zeljko Matijevic this past week to get a better understanding about the Orphan Archetype…  Thank you Zeljko for taking the time to explore and entertain the Orphan Archetype…

Unknown-3Q.  We talked about the “stages” of experiencing the Orphan archetype from infancy where one receives nourishment from the mother (paradise)  to first discovering the Orphan when the child realizes that the mother has other tasks in life (paradise in broken)… a very brief overview. We later are exposed to what you called “containers”  such as school, peer groups, citizenship, professional groups, and family relationships.  Can you elaborate on these “containers” and how and when does the Orphan archetype reveal itself and what the Orphan is trying to teach us from these societal

A. ”Containers” are the groups that we belong to in any given time. Some are more important some less. Positive containers are places where we feel that we belong. They are important to us, they nourish and sustain us. Losing important connection creates sense of loss which can be more traumatic at times and evokes feelings of abandonment that is when orphan archetype becomes constellated.



Q.  I find that the direction for many of us is looking or searching to belong to someone or something or part of some group.  That many of us feel “lonely” in that search.  What does Orphan help us to discover and what are some  consequences of trying too hard to belong or trying to fit in?

A. Orphan archetype can help us in different ways. Seeing it as archetype means it has happened before. It is a pattern. If we become aware of the pattern we are more oriented about what is happening to us. Orphan archetype has a narrative that takes orphan through the stages – about which we will talk in the lecture.


Q.  What happens when we don’t pay attention to Orphan and continually ignore or suppress Orphan?Unknown-4

A.  Projection, sneaks upon us.

Q. What is the dark side or shadow of the Orphan?

A.  To be stuck in victimization, not open to redeeming qualities of the orphan.
Orphan can be very demanding and aggressively narcissistic.

Q.   How do we know the Orphan is activated as a complex in our lives?

A.  That would follow from previous question.
We catch ourselves as reacting too strongly one-sidedly, narcissistically. Also we may find ourselves:
a.) trying too hard to get recognition by “pleasing   others” or being a “nice guy/girl” . Need  to be validated.
b.) we can develop perfectionism, never good enough (not good enough is then orphan)
c.) we can be very demanding, attention seeking, hard to deal with, the aggressive type, confrontational.

Q.   How do we know if we are interacting with someone else’s Orphan?

A.  Whenever narcissistic grandiosity or narcissistic inferiority are there orphan is always lurking from the unconscious. We can observe it in others and in ourselves.

Unknown-5Q.  So now that we know what shows up when Orphan comes up and what happens when we ignore it, what then can we do to get back on track in order to have a relationship with Orphan?

A.  Orphan belongs to shadow experiences, experiences that nobody wants. If orphan is constellated and we ignore it, it will affect the balance in the psyche, like any other denial in our lives. Understanding orphan better is dealing with our losses better and more creatively.

Q.  You gave me examples of cultural representation of Orphan such as institution, companies,etc. not taking care of others and acting with self interest or indifference  giving society a feeling of abandonment, what are these “macro”  or outer examples showing us?  What are we to learn? As a society what can Orphan archetype teach us?

A.   Institutions, governments, corporations are huge containers (collective groups we are part of) when they act in self interest and neglect the interest of the people they are supposed to serve we feel powerless, neglected and betrayed. Feeling disenfranchised as much as it is painful at first, or for a while, it became a place of individual action and creativity. For example you go and vote on elections, you vote as a consumer by how you spend your money, socially you become more active and engaged.

Thank you for all your time Zeljko and we look forward to your lecture this Friday, 7:30pm at Parkdale United Church!

Publicity Coordinator
Calgary Jung Society

buy tickets at the door or on our events page

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