All of us have experience with the prostitute archetype. We all experience her literally in dealing with our finances and carry her within as the one who forms our value systems. This archetypal pattern is a fundamental part of human nature. The lessons we gain from struggles with the prostitute archetype are what bring us into our divine nature, and our authentic selves.
The prostitute is intimately linked with our self-worth. Anytime anyone asks you your net worth or how much you make at your job, they are engaging your prostitute archetype. Your response, to recoil or light up, is fueled by the prostitutes’s current value system.
By nature, the prostitute, wants to understand what we are worth. The most obvious valuation system for the prostitute is money. As we grow and develop in our capacity to consciously work with the prostitute archetype, we find other value systems such as recognition, praise, social status, security, and strategic alliances. When these systems reveal themselves as self-serving, we turn to more benevolent values. This is when we begin to learn our true value.
The light aspect of the prostitute archetype understands that our true net worth has nothing to do with things of this world and everything to do with our gifts, wisdom, compassion, generosity, and more. Knowing what has value to you is important step in engaging with the prostitute archetype.
Which Road Would You Take?
You can say you value helping others, but when faced with choosing between a high-paying, high-powered job in a corporation and a break-even job as a non-profit employee, which way would you go? Suffering comes from wishing we could have our cake and eat it too. The prostitute archetype complains that having both is not possible, which makes things worse.
We want security AND to follow our calling, our soul’s work, but life doesn’t always pan out that way.
By rule life has to give us either/or choices because we need to learn real self-worth.
We can’t learn true worth as long as we think money, security and our soul’s work are anywhere near comparable.
The prostitute archetype is the piece of us that knows we have to choose faith over security. This is the essence of putting your money where your mouth is. This isn’t easy and it gets at the core of who we are.
Are You Selling Out?
Today’s term “to sell out” means to compromise who you are and/or what you truly value to get ahead in the world. A musician is a sell out when she agrees to accept money to create catchy pop music rather than the soulful R&B she adores. This is the stereotype of a sell out, but since we all embody the prostitute archetype, we all sell out in one way or another.
A sell out works weekends to keep a secure job when all she wants is to have those days with her children. A sell out accepts the authority of a dictatorial boss because he can’t handle the risk of searching for a new job. A sell out agrees to put in extra hours so that he can befriend people in positions of influence. A sell out writes dry, editorial pieces rather than the poetry she loves because everyone tells her she’s so good at the former.
Negotiating with Security
The prostitute archetype helps you recognize when you succumb to the fear of losing your security.
Whenever you feel yourself in an either/or situation, nervous about the risk on one hand and resentful of the security on the other, the prostitute is present. The shadow prostitute archetype is the voice in your head that is urging you to simply fold and compromise to stay safe. The light aspect of the prostitute lends a steady hand reminding you to let go and follow your heart.
Compromise is a key component of the shadow prostitute. Do you ever find yourself doing something halfway because you’re afraid you might lose your income, your job, your marriage, your home, your family, or your friends?
Making a Deal with the Devil
Have you ever made a deal with the devil? Talking yourself into working for someone you despise at a place you love is one of these kind of deals. Accepting financial support from family members who constantly criticize you is another one of these deals. Accepting a pay raise but sacrificing your free time is a deal with the devil.
Let’s get this straight. The devil is not your boss or your family. The devil is fear you just gave in to.
In the end, the lesson is always that ordinary world security is an illusion. No matter what we do to hold on to stuff, status and people, we learn that any of it, any of them, could be taken away at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes when this security is taken away, we are relieved because (paradoxically) we no longer have to sacrifice what we truly value. An example would be being laid off from a job you wanted to quit years ago. Other times we are left powerless because we don’t understand where true power lies.
We also learn that deals for security end up draining our energy more than anything else. The primary way we lose power is by giving ourselves over to something or someone. It is a downward spiral. As we give away power we have less power to avoid negotiating more of ourselves away. The prostitute archetype is the archetype that helps pull us out of this decline.
The Prostitute Archetype in the Light
All archetypes have a light and a shadow aspect. We tend to understand the prostitute from the shadow, but in the light aspect, the prostitute brings the gift of clarity about what really matters.
The prostitute in the light helps us understand that security comes in trusting in what is of true value. By believing in love, goodness, charity, and honesty, by placing our hope in these values, we engage the gifts of this archetype.
The mature prostitute archetype pulls us out of the suffering our fear causes. In the gifts of this archetype, we confidently and gracefully refuse the pay off. We step into the lives we are meant to live with elation on our face. We do not regret any decisions born of true values and we forgive decisions born of fear. We release the past and open our heart to the future.
Living in Integrity
To have integrity means to be whole, unified, and to have an internal consistency. The prostitute archetype in the light brings us into integrity, aligning our values with our actions. This is what it means to put your money where your mouth is and walk your talk. With the prostitute in the light aspect, we are able to move from valuing things in the material world that pass away to finding worth as it is defined by the soul.
Material things change, fall away and are lost. When we place our trust in material things we find that we are lost when they die away. When we shift our focus to values of the soul that are imperishable, we find our way to the heart of all things. This is not about doing away with the material world but instead realizing that the origin of all things is where we place our worth. In essence, the prostitute archetype in the light takes us into the heart of all things, to the source of true worth.
The opposite of the fear of lack is not worship of abundance, but trust in what never passes. The lack will pass and so will the abundance. The fear will move and so will the courage.
Ultimately, the highest expression of the light of the prostitute is place trust, value and worth in what always is while knowing that same force as the mother of all matter. To live in integrity is to be in alignment with Source. To be congruent with the Real. To find unity with our roots and origins.
About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch
Stacey L. L. Couch is a Spiritual Director who teaches about archetypes and symbolism. Her speciality is working with soul pioneers - those of you who are making it up as you go along the spiritual path. She works with beginner and life-long spiritual seekers. Through working with Stacey, lost seekers find their way home and professional spiritual guides receive mentorship. Stacey empowers people with the ability to explore their purpose and calling. Wisdom found in story, mysticism, and nature provide guidance and healing in her work. She is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. She values mindfulness, wonder, and compassion in her daily spiritual practice. Learn More about Stacey.