The Saboteur Archetype

All of us have experience with the saboteur archetype. We all experience her literally in the daily decisions we have to make and carry her within as our active free will. This archetypal pattern is a fundamental part of human nature. The lessons we gain from struggles with the saboteur archetype are what bring us into our divine nature, and 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.

The One Who Drives Change

The saboteur is the archetype in us that drives us to 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.

Making Better Choices

When we gather a fierce determination to make better choices, we are acting in the light aspect of the saboteur. This is the part of ourselves that makes solid, far-reaching, and forward-thinking choices. The saboteur archetype is in close connection with the  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, 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?

[ct_focus background=”#f3f3f3″ gradient=”eeeeee” color=”light” style=”normal” ]”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson[/ct_focus]

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 saboteur in the light 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 saboteur archetype in the light.


Stacey Couch

About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch

Stacey Couch is a Spiritual Advisor who supports creative seekers learning as they go on the spiritual path. She serves beginner and life-long students of the soul. Her compassionate and collaborative approach honors the humanity and value of each person. Wisdom found in story, mysticism, and nature provide guidance and healing in her work. Through meeting with Stacey, lost souls find refuge. Connection to the Divine is realized. Belonging comes. She is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. Learn About working with Stacey
6 replies
  1. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    Great read! I’m becoming more aware????! Perhaps it’s time for me to revisit Sacred Contracts and further my journey with that. It gets overwhelming for me and I have to step back, to understand, allow myself to experience it in small doses. Otherwise a wall comes up and I’m in a state of hiding. sigh????!

    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Cheryl, Be gentle with yourself for sure. This is a lifetime’s worth of study! I still am learning every moment of every day. The key piece is remember to have fun! Many Blessings, Stacey

  2. Nancy Brennan
    Nancy Brennan says:

    While casting my Chart of Origin during Stacey’s study group, the Saboteur archetype claimed my first house. I was devastated!! I know the saboteur very well, as in “self sabotage” of which I am very experienced. However, after listening to Stacey’s online class, I was thoroughly delighted to hear all of the light attributes of which I have also claimed. Her focus on empowerment, making good choices, embracing change, and understanding fear helped me to see myself in a more positive light. While I still slide backward into shadow more times than I’d like to admit, I really do reach for those light attributes a lot…..I just don’t give myself the credit. Thank you Stacey for this very enlightening and positive class.


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