Suppression of my intuitive function has appeared symptomatically in the loss of my voice, both in dreams and while performing as a vocalist. On a broader level, my voicelessness has materialized in interpersonal difficulties, such as a hesitancy to advocate for my own perspective, impostor syndrome, and a distrust in my instincts and intuitions.
The constant tension and accompanying fatigue in my waking life might be seen as the price I paid for the maintenance of a persona that had outlived its utility. The executioner lurking in the demonic position grew potent in the shadows, but the inferior function was rising. Energetically, a talisman was constellated, signifying a burning away of an inauthentic outer mask.
I was in the grip of my own unconscious, projecting the shadows I was grappling with onto the work environment around me. I felt compulsively gripped by a desire to “fight the evil empire.” At my darkest point, I disregarded the fact that I did not have all the details and simply projected my personal beliefs and limited perceptions onto every decision made.
I’ve discovered that the functions express their unique influence through the tao of the Greek goddess Artemis—an archetypal propensity richly endowed with autonomous power, fierce agency, determined focus, profound self-sufficiency and capacity for self-care, and enormous ability to maintain a connection with the purity of a thalassic and lunar soul.
Many women, and not least women with dominant Ni, intuitively know that their spirituality, their creativity, and their sexuality arise from the same source. The priestess may be found in all walks of life; she is the woman who mediates between matter and spirit, between the human and divine realms, who “will always honor sexual energy as a link to the source of life itself.”
Much of the depth psychology literature has been written by and for intuitive types and introverted types, which means that those with an extraverted sensing (Se) preference are a rarity in the field. This in turn perpetuates a subtle bias against extraverted sensation. Yet, contrary to popular opinion, sensing types do have access to the archetypal realm.
Humanity is being summoned to change its perspective in an assortment of ways. When a pandemic wipes the calendar clean, the heroes are not the rich, successful, and scholarly; the heroes are those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy, the people who are risking their health to maintain normalcy during isolation and self-quarantining.
When I first learned about typology in the mid 1990s, I set out to conquer the inferior function. After all, I wanted to develop in every way possible, and surely that meant quashing anything inferior! More recently, however, I have come to appreciate the power of this gremlin to draw me closer to the middle realm of dreams and imagination, where wisdom rises from the depths.
There is a secret connection between the most Beautiful and the most Terrible things, just as there is between mountain peaks and abysses, between calm lakes and the rushing streams that feed them, between noble, laughing Life and the dark Death that lies near us all the time. … But one naturally could not let the maiden anywhere near the Dragon … .
The world of Rilke’s tale is one besieged by the Dragon. This is the world of the wasteland, where people are living inauthentic lives. In most fairy tales, a successful hero is the answer to the wasteland. Rilke, however, presents the tale not as a deliverance from the Dragon but rather as a slow descent into the shadowy realm of the Dragon.