The Saboteur archetype is one of the four survivor archetypes identified by Caroline Myss in her work on Sacred Contracts. Each of us embodies the four essential survivor archetypes from birth to death. The other survivors are the victim, prostitute and child. They are the foundation of what it means to be human. The survivors tend to matters of, you guessed it, our survival, but also our evolution. The lessons we gain from survivor archetype struggles are what bring us into our divine nature, our authentic selves.
To Deliberately Destroy
The definition of sabotage is to “deliberately destroy, damage or obstruct something, especially for political or military advantage.” A saboteur is someone who conducts sabotage. Now, how could that help our survival? In more ways than you can imagine!
Inherent in the force of destruction is change, and this is the gift of the saboteur. Each archetype has a light and a shadow side, bringing gifts or trouble. When we become conscious of how the archetype operates and learn the potential inherent in the archetype, we have the option to tap into great power.
The light side of the saboteur archetype also helps us deliberately strengthen, build and support the lasting change we want to create in our lives. By making key empowering choices, the saboteur archetype can help us rise to new levels of who we are meant to be and what we are meant to do in this lifetime.
Just think of one time in your life when you made a big choice to change something in your life for the better and stuck to it. That’s the saboteur archetype working in the light! We so often focus on how the saboteur drives our poor choices, but the saboteur directs the fruitful one choices too when she’s in the light.
Agent of Change
The saboteur is an agent of change. When we resist an intentional change, the saboteur will cause upheaval covertly. Ever wonder why you have those days when you just can’t seem to walk without falling on your face? That is the saboteur. A grease stained shirt, broken dish, and missed appointment all carry the signature of the saboteur. We know what it looks like and we get frustrated by it.
However, we don’t realize that the positive changes we instigate are also the jurisdiction of the saboteur. When we choose to allow plenty of time to dress and prepare for an important meeting we are embracing the saboteur. When we decide we’ve had enough of the old, ineffective way of doing things and we’re ready for a big change, that is the saboteur.
Like anything, this all happens along a spectrum, just as a refusal to change can be the shadow of the saboteur, so too can be the over infatuation with change. We all know that someone who changes things just to change them destroys progress before it’s even begun. An important aspect of learning to work with the saboteur archetype is to be present with the change we are making. It is not about the change itself, but our active participation in choosing the course of change.
Guardian of Choice
When we gather a fierce determination to make better choices, we are acting in the light aspect of the saboteur. Here the saboteur is known as the “Guardian of Choice”. This is the part of ourselves that makes solid, far-reaching, and forward-thinking choices. The saboteur archetype is in close connection with the mystical law of cause and effect and understands deeply the impact of our choices. This can be a position of immense empowerment or incredible debilitation. Like the woman in the photo above, all the options and ramifications of our choices can really bring us down.
In calling on the wisdom of the saboteur, our guardian of choice, we can make our way through the mire and find a solution. The ability to make an informed decision that relies on our faculties of intuition and foresight is a gift of the saboteur.
Fear of Power
The saboteur is that part of us that knows deep down inside that we can attain greatness. And we are deathly afraid of this happening. We think we aren’t afraid, but we are. Simply imagining that we had all the money and all the time in the world sends us into a tailspin of questioning. We wonder… How would I make a difference? What would people think of me? How would I make sure I’m making the biggest impact? Should I stop world hunger or prevent the spread of disease? Would I do the right thing?
Dare to Dream
The saboteur archetype is motivated to achieve success. In the definition of sabotage we saw that the destruction is for a “military or political advantage”. Both military and politics are directly related to power. The guardian of choice is where a personal advantage, personal power, comes in. The saboteur empowers us to live the life of our dreams. Without the help of this archetype, we would never have the courage to make choices that lead to achieving our full potential.
We are fascinated by movies that feature the rise of an unrealized genius because we love to see how choices unlock greatness. Good Will Hunting, The Pursuit of Happiness, and Proof are all key examples of the triumph of the saboteur. The protagonist is ultimately faced with the realization of his or her success and must destroy the fear and resistance that blocks the way using the strength of the guardian of choice.
Want to know more about the Saboteur Archetype?
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About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch
Stacey L. L. Couch, Certified Archetypal Consultant through Caroline Myss’s CMED Institute, works as a publicist and journalist for Mother Nature and is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. She empowers people with the ability to explore life’s big questions by calling on nature, story and synchronicity as sources of guidance and healing. Stacey has a unique blend of rational and mystical perspective that makes the world of symbolism and archetypes easily accessible to others. She values mindfulness, wonder, and compassion in her daily spiritual practice. Learn More about Stacey.