The Child Archetype

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Nature Child
This archetype inspires deep, intimate bonding with natural forces, and has a particular affinitiy for friendships with animals. Although the Nature Child has tender, emotional qualities, it can also have an inner toughness and ability to survive–the resilience of Nature herself. Nature Children can develop advanced skills of communicating with animals, and in stories reflecting this archetype an animal often comes to the rescue of its child companion. Many veterinarians and animal right activists resonate with this archetype because they have felt a conscious rapport with animals since childhood. Other adults describe being in communication with nature spirits and learning to work in harmony with them in maintaining the order of nature.

The shadow aspect of the Nature Child manifests in a tendency to abuse animals and people and the environment.

A love of animals is not sufficient to qualify for this archetype, however. A life pattern of relating to animals in an intimate and caring way, to the extent that your psyche and spirit need these bonds as a crucial part of your own well-being, is your best clue in this direction.

Films: Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet ; Anna Paquin in Fly Away Home;  Kelly Reno in The Black Stallion
Fiction: Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mowgli – The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

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