Author Caroline Myss believes that before we incarnate, we (our souls) make contracts with people to accomplish and learn certain things. Archetypes, which are impersonal energy patterns, help us and others fulfill these contracts. (For more information on Archetypes and how they "dance" together, see my article Seeing Yourself and Life Symbolically.)
You may wonder "Is Finding Your Sacred Contract Workshop just a re-hash of what's in the Sacred Contracts book?" (At least, that's what I wondered!) The answer is no. There is definitely an expansion of some of the elements covered in the book, as well as interesting stories about Archetypes and how they play out in actors, politicians, and even Myss herself. You may also be wondering "Do I need to read Sacred Contracts to understand the Workshop?" In my opinion, yes you need to read the book to understand the major tenets covered in the Workshop.
Why? Although Myss conveys practical wisdom that could be understood by anyone, she refers often to the "3 columns" that are in the book, as well as the Archetypal Wheel, Archetype/chakra correlation, and the Archetype gallery in the back of the book. I think those references would prove confusing for those that have not seen those elements visually (3 columns and the wheel), as well as those not familiar with Archetypes and how they play out contractually.
Even though I read and highlighted my copy of Sacred Contracts many times, I found myself taking 13 pages of notes (front and back, lined paper) from this audio Workshop. I'll share some gems from each of the CD's in a minute, but I need to warn you: there are some people that find Myss abrasive, arrogant, and rude. In fact, when I first started listening to this CD set, I was so turned off by the arrogance she displayed in the first few minutes that I turned it off in disgust...waiting several months to even put it back in the CD player.
The story? She mentioned encountering someone in California who claimed to channel an archangel (and would do it for a price) as well as providing other services like massage. Nothing in Myss' story indicated that the woman was defensive or haughty, but Myss shares that she thought Don't you even go there, you snoot. I'll slice you in half like a muffin. In fact, in the beginning of CD 1 she says that her whole purpose is to disorient the audience: "I need to unplug you from who you are right now because you are my obstacle. To move and shut off your 'personal self'." She certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea, especially in person or on audio. But there's no denying that Myss has some great wisdom to impart, especially in the realm of becoming more empowered and conscious. And, I can certainly see why some people need a swift kick in the behind to jolt them out of patterns of disempowerment and victim-consciousness.
Myss describes the Archetypal wheel, the House divisions, the purpose of contracts and their "animation", and the illusion of personality. She discusses how we are under "spells" in our unconsciousness and how "spell perception" has more authority than our own reasoning capabilities. This is why counselors are "spell breakers" of illusion and self-deception. She goes on to share how we can become strong enough to be break those spells ourselves.
Myss continues to talk about archetypes and contracts, the connection between emotional states and illness, the 3 angels you meet before incarnating (necessity, choice, compassion), energetic currency, chakras and spiritual alchemy. She discusses archetypes in the public, such as Hilary Clinton exuding Goddess Athena, Kevin Costner as Hero, and Sean Connery as King.
Myss uses examples of great spiritual masters and teachers (like Jesus) and explains the role of four archetypes common to all people (Prostitute, Child, Victim, and Saboteur.). She also discusses these four archetypes in greater depth, as well as how we lose power and the fundamentals of spiritual alchemy when healing wounds of the past. Myss tells a funny story about how 2 seemingly contrary archetypes may show up in a person, such as a female Stanford Professor in a mini-skirt who portrayed both the Scholar with the Goddess.
Myss fields questions about archetypes (including "Can your archetypes change with time?") She also discusses how the four archetypes common to everyone show up in health challenges (for example, Saboteur hits the stomach/spleen area), how to use the archetypal chart, shadows, and navigating contracts. Myss also takes a closer look at the differences between Healer and Servant, Knight and Warrior, Wounded Healer, Prophet (like Gorbachev), and other archetypes.
If you've studied Jungian psychology and archetypes, you may have a problem with the theory that you have 12 fundamental archetypes in your first wheel that never change (as well as two other outer wheels.) Like any profound and powerful tool, Myss' archetypal wheel system can be a double edged sword. On one hand, a person can use the process to further delude themselves, especially if they focus on only a few archetypes at the exclusion of possible others that are working prominently in their psyche and life. For example, thinking "Well, Vampire is not an issue for me because it's not even in my first wheel." Or, using archetypal concepts to relate to people as mere archetypes as opposed to, well, people.
However, I've not found a greater tool for excavating the personality and consciousness-and using it to become more aware and empowered-than the Myss archetypal model and the concept of sacred contracts. This CD series is well worth the affordable price, as well as the Sacred Contract book. It's an investment in your life, your health, your awareness, and your happiness. It certainly has been for me.