The Archetypal Case for Hillary Clinton



“So why is Clinton critiqued for raising her voice like Sanders, speaking hard truths like Biden, and making an awkward Pokémon Go reference we almost certainly would have dubbed a “dad joke” had Kaine said it? Why do we find their flaws likable and Clinton’s flaws off-putting? Why isn’t she seen as America’s awkward aunt or nerdy stepmom? I would argue it’s because we don’t yet have cultural touchstones for flawed but sympathetic women. We can recognize Sanders as a fiery activist, Biden as a truth teller, and Kaine as an earnest goof, but we just don’t have an archetype—fictional or otherwise—through which to understand Clinton.”    – Caroline Siede

After the primaries were over and the Democratic Convention had ended, several friends were disillusioned, bitter and, sometimes, inconsolable that Senator Bernie Sanders had lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

This led me to explore the archetypal patterns of Sanders. Only later did it develop into a study of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s archetypal make-up. (I will cover Trump’s archetypes in a separate piece.)


Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 3, 2015, to oppose fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Bernie Sanders’ defining archetype is the PROPHET/VISIONARY. The function of this archetype is to speak truth to power, without compromise, and hold power accountable. This function cannot be filled inside the circles of power. It is most effective when spoken from the outside. Author Caroline Myss has often cited Mikhail Gorbachev as a visionary/prophet who brought about glasnost but was unsuited to govern in its aftermath. The prophet/visionary archetype generally does not have a strong governing charism.

Senator Sanders has a strong REVOLUTIONARY archetype. Coups come from inside the circles of power; revolutions come from the outside. Revolutionary change tends to be instant, chaotic and uncompromising; political change, on the other hand, is incremental and gradual and necessitates compromise.

Philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote an essay called The Hedgehog and the Fox. In the essay, Berlin divides philosophers and thinkers into two categories—hedgehogs who view the world through a single defining idea and foxes, who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea.

PROPHETS, VISIONARIES and REVOLUTIONARIES tend to be single-minded and see the world from that perspective. Former Vice-President Al Gore, an environmental prophet, is single-minded in the focus of his attention. Likewise, Senator Sanders with his nearly single-minded focus on bringing our attention to the “rigged economy” which he has done most effectively.

Another of Senator Sanders’ dominant archetypes is that of the OUTSIDER, the independent, beholden to no one. One cannot govern from the outside. President Jimmy Carter, another uncompromising idealist and a great man, failed to martial the support he needed to affect a successful presidency. Yet, he remains, 25 years after his presidency, a singularly respected moral voice in our country and a role-model for anyone who aspires to live a life of contribution and service.

Given his archetypal make-up, it seems to me Senator Bernie Sanders can best serve the country in the role he plays. His campaign has given enormous visibility and credibility to that role. Whoever the next president is ignores him and his followers at their peril.


“Some people may think I’m, you know, too this or too that. But I think that’s another one of the dangers about being in public life. One cannot live one’s life based on what somebody else’s image of you might be. All one can do is live the life that God gave you. And, you know, you just do the best you can. And if somebody likes you or doesn’t like you, that is really, in many ways, something you have no control over.”  – Hillary Clinton in an interview with Arkansas Public Television in 1979


We just don’t have an archetype—fictional or otherwise—through which to understand Clinton.”   – Caroline Siede

Referring again to Isaiah Berlin’s essay, whereas Bernie Sanders is a Hedgehog, Hillary Clinton is most definitely a Fox. Where his vision is singularly focused, she is a polymath. It makes sense then to begin with the archetype of the STUDENT.


“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president, and I think that’s a good thing.” – Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is first and foremost a STUDENT (WONK). She is apparently interested in and knowledgeable on almost every topic. Robert Reich, the Secretary of Labor during Bill Clinton’s presidency, recalls the years when he, Clarence Thomas, and Bill and Hillary Clinton were Law students at Yale. According to Reich, Hillary Clinton was not only the smartest student in the class but always the best-prepared.

Clinton’s education from her entry into high school in 1961 to her graduation from Law School in 1973 took place during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. It is impossible to over-estimate the impact that these events of her school years had in forming the character and beliefs of people who were on university and college campuses during this period.

Historian Kenneth Woodward said of the period:  During the boomers’ formative years, “Americans witnessed an unexpected exfoliation of religious belief, behavior and belonging” that paralleled “the cultural and political upheavals that convulsed American society as a whole.”

These experiences clearly impacted Clinton; while at Wellesley she switched from being a Goldwater Republican, like her father, and became a socially engaged Democratic activist.

Here’s a timeline of Hillary Clinton’s and other “baby boomers’” coming of age:

High School 1961-1965:

1961 President Kennedy creates the Peace Corps and proposes to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. (Hillary Clinton makes inquiries about joining the space program and is told it is only open to men); Freedom Riders challenge Segregation on Inner-State Buses; the Berlin Wall built.

1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis, National Guard Desegregates “Ole Miss”, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) calls first convention; Rachel Carson publishes “Silent Spring”; Michael Harrington publishes “The Other America,” a stinging critique of poverty in America that was the genesis for LBJ’s “war on poverty”. Harrington later became the leader of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee. (Harrington’s work had a great influence on Bernie Sanders)

1963 The March on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” speech; the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing; the murder of Medgar Evers; Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space; Betty Friedan publishes “The Feminine Mystique; in  November, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.

1964 President Lyndon Johnson declares War on Poverty; the Warren Report on the assassination of JFK is released; the Student Free Speech Movement begins in Berkeley, CA and quickly spreads to other campuses; LBJ defeats Goldwater (Hillary’s father’s candidate).

Wellesley 1965-1969

1965 The Voting Rights Act is passed as is the Higher Education Act, which for the first time grants federal college scholarships; President Johnson sends troops to Vietnam; the Supreme Court Decision “Griswold v Griswold” makes birth control legal; Malcolm X is assassinated.

1966 The passage of Medicare and Medicaid; The National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Black Panther Party are founded; mass draft protests and draft card burnings erupt on college campuses.

1967 Three astronauts are killed in a simulated launch; Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American Supreme Court Justice; the Six Day War in the Middle East.

1968 Both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are assassinated; the My Lai Massacre takes place; the Tet Offensive is launched; violent riots disrupt the Democratic Convention in Chicago; feminists burn bras in protest of the Miss America Pageant; Richard Nixon is elected President.

1969 Neil Armstrong lands on the moon; Woodstock; the Weather Underground is formed at Ann Arbor Michigan; the Trial of the Chicago Seven; Gloria Steinem publishes “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation”.

Yale 1969-1973

1970 Four Kent State students killed by National Guard; the first Earth Day; Nixon invades Cambodia; the Environmental Protection Agency is created; The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is signed into law.

1971 The 25th Amendment is ratified allowing 18 year olds to vote; the Pentagon Papers are published.

1972 The Watergate break-in takes place; Nixon is reelected.

1973 Roe v Wade overturns state laws against abortion; the US pulls out of Vietnam; the Senate Watergate hearings begin; Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigns in disgrace as part of a plea bargain; Gerald Ford is appointed Vice-President

Clinton continues to be an eager and engaged student. Her often mocked “listening tours’ were a way in which, as Senator from New York, she educated herself about the needs and concerns of her constituents; she continues to do this as a presidential candidate—apparently most comfortable in situations where she can listen and learn as well as talk.

If you examine Hillary Clinton’s 47 years in the public eye, it’s easy to see how the events of her school years shaped her world view and inspired her passions.

The STUDENT archetype is not without SHADOW aspects in Hillary Clinton’s public persona. She tends to answer questions in interviews, press conferences and congressional hearings as if she were defending a doctoral dissertation before a board of oral examiners. “Defend “ is the operative word and whether she is defending others or acting in self-defense, her responses are cerebral, measured, rehearsed, often lacking in spontaneity, and give little clue to her personality.


hrc1My late dear friend, Mark Thompson, wrote, “To be an ADVOCATE means to own a voice, further a cause, to stand up and shout about something that matters . . . and no matter the outcome, they (advocates) are fully engaged and helping others to be the same.”

As evidenced by the commencement speech that she gave at her graduation from Wellesley College in 1969, which was remarkable enough to be featured in Life Magazine, Hillary Clinton has a long and consistent history as an ADVOCATE and social ACTIVIST.

In the 1960s, Mrs. Clinton was a subscriber to Motive, a now-defunct magazine published by the Methodist Student Movement. During that period, the publication was largely anti-war, pro-worker and anti-nuclear weapons, publishing essays by Methodist thinkers and activists, as well as other Christians, including Thomas Merton.

As an undergraduate, as a graduate student, as a newly-minted lawyer and as first lady, Hillary Clinton has been a tireless, almost compulsive ADVOCATE, “a voice for the voiceless” on behalf of children, women, families and minorities. During law school, Hillary took a summer job researching the education and health of migrant farm workers and their children. Her experience helped sharpen her focus on children’s rights (possibly a result of her work with migrant children when she was an adolescent). After law school, she went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund. She went door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts, gathering stories about the lack of schooling for children with disabilities. These testimonials contributed to the passage of historic legislation that required the state to provide quality education for students with disabilities. (Disclaimer: I have a 10 year-old great nephew with Downs Syndrome who is a thriving fifth-grader in the Aurora CO public school system.) In Arkansas, Hillary ran the legal aid clinic and prison projects and co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, one of the state’s first child advocacy groups. As First Lady she worked with Republicans (including right-wing Republican House Speaker Tom DeLay) and Democrats to help create the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the largest expansion of public health insurance coverage since the passage of Medicaid in 1965, and helped cut the uninsured rate for children in half; today the program provides health coverage to more than 8 million kids.

In 1995, Hillary led the U.S. delegation at the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Many within the U.S. government didn’t want her to go and others wanted her to pick a less “polarizing” topic. But she was determined to speak out about human rights abuses, and her message became a rallying cry for a generation. “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely—and the right to be heard.”

As the Junior Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton advocated successfully for the victims and survivors, particularly the first responders of 9/11. She authored legislation to help families of veterans who return home with brain injuries and PTSD and worked with Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to increase survival benefits for military families from $12,000 to $100,000.

The SHADOW of the ADVOCATE can be tunnel-vision and a self-righteous certainty about her cause. ADVOCATE is also a synonym for ATTORNEY. It is this aspect of the shadow ADVOCATE that has created a lot of distrust for Hillary Clinton. Her carefully parsed, hair-splitting, lawyerly responses to simple questions makes it sound like she is avoiding answering questions or that she is answering them to death. Her lawyerly caution may have been exacerbated by bearing witness to and living through the perjury trap that Congress set for her husband. The shadow motto of the defense attorney is “anything you say may be held up in court against you.”


If I had to guess how Hillary Clinton perceives herself archetypally, I would say SERVANT. Both before and after Yale, Hillary Clinton’s advocacy and activism have been integrated into the archetype of the SERVANT. Hillary Clinton has held only one elective office: U. S. Senator from the state of New York. She has, however, been dedicated to public service since her early teens and attributes this to her religious upbringing and the Methodist mantra. “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”  As early as 11 years old she volunteered, through her church, to babysit the children of Latino migrant workers who were too young to work in the fields. I would imagine that her acceptance of the position of Secretary of State was rooted in the commitment to service, more than to ambition. It took the humility of a servant to agree to work for and serve the vision of the President who had so recently defeated her in the Democratic primaries.

The SHADOW of the SERVANT is the compulsive caregiver: the “need”, often unconscious, “to be needed” accompanied by the belief that “I need to take care of others because they can’t take care of themselves.” This is why conservatives decry “the nanny state.” If you reflect upon it, Hillary Clinton’s no-nonsense, unsentimental approach to problem-solving has many similarities to the patron saint of nannies, Mary Poppins.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on September 14, 2016, to promote her latest book, The Year of Voting Dangerously, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, said Hillary “is a wonderful public servant who always wants to save the world; she’s always had that part of her and still does, but there’s a darker place in which she makes decisions, a place of fear and insecurity and that kind of trips up the public servant side.  I was thinking Trump has his wall but she has her wall—the defensiveness, the secretiveness—that is so self-destructive to her.”


hrc3Ms. Dowd’s reference to Hillary Clinton’s wall, the defensiveness and secretiveness is very much a part of the shadow MARTYR.

It’s hard to think of a modern public figure who has been subjected to more stonings, firing squads and crucifixions than Hillary Clinton. Fox News was inaugurated during her husband’s presidency and sometimes it seems the network’s raison d’etre is to defame Democrats in public life, and none more than the Clintons. On September 15, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. joked that she might be sent to the gas chamber.

The root of the word “martyr” means witness. The MARTYR is willing to be persecuted, insulted and vilified rather than compromise core principles and beliefs. Her willingness to stand by her husband during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and other infidelities has been framed by her detractors as political expediency, the price that must be paid to keep her own political ambitions afloat. It could also be, based on her life-long championing of women, children and families, to be faithful to her values even when her husband wasn’t. It is also characteristic of the commitment and loyalty for which intimates say she can be relied upon. Hillary Clinton has been mocked and demeaned for standing by her husband through his infidelities and that has burnished her image as a MARTYR. Appearing with her husband on 60 Minutes in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary dropped the gauntlet:  “You know, I’m not sitting here – some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette. I’m sitting here because I love him, and I respect him, and I honor what he’s been through and what we’ve been through together. And you know, if that’s not enough for people, then heck, don’t vote for him.” That’s not victim talk; that’s MARTYR talk.

Hillary Clinton revealed the SHADOW MARTYR during the first Democratic Primary Debate when she was asked to name the enemy she was proudest of making. Ms. Clinton replied, “Well, in addition to the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, (and) the Iranians, probably the Republicans.” The MARTYR sees enemies as PERSECUTORS. The big reveal and martyr’s faux pas was including the Republicans. Her, until recently, rare press conferences strongly suggest that she sees the media as persecutors or interrogators. Matt Lauer’s badgering of Hillary Clinton at the September 9, 2016 Commander in Chief Forum (completely different in attitude and tone from his questioning of Donald Trump at the same Forum) played on the sense of persecution. The SHADOW MARTYR believes unquestioningly in the nobility and purity of her cause; when that is challenged, the MARTYR feels unjustly maltreated. It is most likely the SHADOW MARTYR who has refused to release the transcripts from her Goldman Sachs speeches and is offended when questioned about her ties to Wall Street because the SHADOW MARTYR believes she would die for a cause rather than compromise her values. The SHADOW MARTYR cannot comprehend the idea that she is anything but transparent.


hrc4In the case of Hillary Clinton the WARRIOR QUEEN is closely aligned with the SERVANT archetype, more specifically the SERVANT LEADER. The phrase, “servant leadership” is believed to have been coined by author Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970 in an essay entitled The Servant as Leader.

In Greenleaf’s essay he describes the archetype: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.”

“The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?

The concept of the servant ruler appears in many spiritual traditions, famously in the New Testament (Mark 10: 40-45):

“Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be servant of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The concept is echoed in the Methodist mantra quoted in the section on the SERVANT archetype.

In their ground breaking work, “King Warrior Magician Lover” (Harper Collins, 1990), authors Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette ascribe to the WARRIOR archetype the following characteristics: focus, clarity, disciplined, dedicated, committed, courageous, loyal, persevering and decisive. Looked at through the lens of this archetype, Hillary Clinton’s determination to be present at the 15th anniversary of 9/11 in spite of the pneumonia diagnosis reveals her as a warrior “doing what she has to do” and “toughing it through.”

The good QUEEN, as well as the good KING, places the good of the realm (or constituency) ahead of personal needs, desires and preferences. The good sovereign is dedicated to order, to creating order out of chaos—a task to which Clinton wholeheartedly dedicated herself after 9/11.

Combine the WARRIOR archetype with the QUEEN archetype and Hillary’s resolve and willpower become even clearer. 9/11 occurred during her tenure as the Senator from New York and impacted her constituents more than any others. My guess is that this WARRIOR QUEEN would have shown up for the anniversary if she had to be carried in on a stretcher with an IV-drip.

Commitment to duty and responsibility define the good sovereign. Equally important is the capacity to manage the energy of holding together opposites, living with paradox. In Hillary Clinton’s case this shows itself in her capacity to balance commitment in the face of never-ending criticism. This capacity (the ability to listen to and carefully weigh conflicting opinions, perspectives and priorities) is also key to being an effective DIPLOMAT, MEDIATOR and PEACEMAKER.
The SHADOW WARRIOR is the BULLY/COWARD (heads and tails of the same archetype) which is rooted in fear and acts out, often aggressively, rather than being perceived as weak, vulnerable and indecisive. Some of Hillary Clinton’s mistakes and poor decisions seem related to this. (“I am as tough as any man.”) There is a wonderful western comedy, released in the mid-60’s called Cat Ballou; it starred Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin (who won an Oscar for his performance). The Ballad of Cat Ballou is sung at intervals throughout the movie and tells of the terrible, unjust things that happen to Cat Ballou (Jane Fonda); every verse of the ballad ends with the same refrain: “But they can’t make her cry.” The Ballad of Hillary Clinton could easily end with the same refrain.

The SHADOW QUEEN lives in fear of betrayal and can be distrustful and secretive, sometimes to the point of paranoia. (Richard Nixon is an example of these traits in the SHADOW KING.) Of necessity, the QUEEN must rely on a court (or cabinet) of advisors and confidantes. If the QUEEN discovers that a trusted member of the inner circle is gossiping about her or manipulating their relationship for personal gain (think of all of the self-serving, tell-all memoirs by former advisors to the famous and powerful) she can either become a vengeful, punishing TYRANT or become withdrawn, impotent and paralyzed by indecisiveness.


hrc2As described in the section on the QUEEN, “the capacity to manage the energy of holding together opposites, living with paradox” is essential qualities of the DIPLOMAT archetype. The DIPLOMAT is a masterful, patient negotiator, a skilled and perceptive listener, a trusted secret-keeper and an unsentimental realist who is tireless in forming, nurturing and sustaining multiple on-going relationships. The strength of the DIPLOMAT’s relationships is integral to her effectiveness. The DIPLOMAT understands the value of fair dealing and labors to make sure that all involved parties come away from the table with something of value. Like it or not, the success of the Clinton Foundation is largely due to both Clintons’ talent for creating strong and enduring, mutually beneficial relationships.

The DIPLOMAT lives in a world where incremental progress is the norm and where managing and containing conflict is generally more likely than completely solving it. Honesty, discretion, patience, trustworthiness, steely resolve and dogged determination are the indispensable characteristics of an effective DIPLOMAT. Hillary Clinton’s success in bringing allies and adversaries (like Russia and China) together to impose and maintain the stiff sanctions against Iran that paved the way for the nuclear disarmament of that country are but one example of her skills as a DIPLOMAT.

The SHADOW DIPLOMAT is a consummate manipulator, skilled at sabotage and espionage, often motivated by a hidden agenda, who skillfully plays both ends against the middle and willingly betrays their own announced principles for personal gain. The SHADOW DIPLOMAT is an artful rationalizer who can switch sides and positions in a heartbeat. Campaign spokespersons and operatives are timely examples of the SHADOW DIPLOMAT, shamelessly lying and contradicting their own statements so often that no one can trust where they stand.


The ARCHITECT designs and the ENGINEER execute the designs. Hillary Clinton is both. Visit her website and you will find 39 separate, carefully thought out position papers that address issues from Campaign Reform to Climate Change, from K-12 education to Campus Assault and from Veteran Care to Paid Family and Medical Leave. Hillary’s WONK is a tireless ARCHITECT of detailed position papers and a practical nuts and bolts ENGINEER who provides step by step plans for making the ARCHITECT’S vision a material reality. The word ARCHITECT comes from the Greek and means chief builder. The breadth, depth and ambition revealed in her policy papers are reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson’s blueprint for building a Great Society and a reminder that Clinton came of age under two presidents, Kennedy and Johnson, who had big, challenging dreams for the United States that involved the active participation of its citizens. The root of ENGINEER is the same as the root for ingenious. That discovery, in the early days of my study of archetypes was revelatory. The ENGINEER archetype describes the inventive, creative problem solver. Hillary Clinton’s resume reveals someone who is equally expert at defining problems and finding solutions to them.

The SHADOW ARCHITECT/ENGINEER imagines grandiose monuments to his genius and builds them on sand. The SHADOW ARCHITECT/ENGINEER seduces people with impossible and impractical dreams that he has neither the intention nor ability to bring to fruition.


The MOTHER archetype is the unifying vessel for Hillary’s archetypal energies not in the sense of being Chelsea’s mom (although Hillary apparently has done an excellent job) but in the grand sense of this primal archetype.

The MOTHER is the archetype of fertility, connection, nurturing communion and the full bounty of the universe. The MOTHER (the divine feminine) experiences life, not so much as an individual, but as relationship—connection All of Hillary Clinton’s myriad position papers, including her focus on infrastructure and climate change are rooted in the MOTHER archetype’s faith in the universe’s capacity (if properly respected and cared for) to renew itself and generate the resources essential for the nurturing, sustenance, growth, care and development of its children and its children’s children. It’s the MOTHER archetype in the guise of STUDENT that researches every possible resource that can benefit her children; it’s the MOTHER archetype in the role of ACTIVIST/ADVOCATE who campaigns tirelessly for the benefit of the community (family in the larger sense). It is the MOTHER archetype in the form of SERVANT who volunteers, contributes time and energy and works indefatigably for those in her care. It is the MARTYR archetype that willingly stands firm for and sacrifices on behalf of her family (the community and the planet). It is the MOTHER archetype in its manifestation as the WARRIOR QUEEN (think Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment) who will ruthlessly battle to the death on behalf of those in her care. It is the MOTHER archetype as DIPLOMAT/NETWORKER who will negotiate with, cajole and even strong-arm those whose resources can benefit or harm those for whom she is responsible. And finally it the MOTHER functioning as ARCHITECT/ENGINEER who manages to multi-task and keep a hundred balls in the air at the same time without ever losing sight of the big picture, the grand design which is the foundation and inspiration for all she does.

The SHADOW aspects of the MOTHER archetype manifest variously as the DEVOURING MOTHER, the SMOTHERING MOTHER and the CASTRATING MOTHER. When people, especially men, project the shadow on the MOTHER, they see a fire-breathing dragon. (The symbology of the Mother of Dragons and the Dragon Mother in Game of Thrones—and whether a rescuing mother, a devouring mother or a castrating mother, who isn’t a Dragon Mother in Game of Thrones?  The Dragon mother plays on the fears and insecurities of every man who has unresolved mother issues. (The United States abounds with such men—and women!)

The projection of the SHADOW MOTHER crystalized on Hillary Clinton and generated the irrational animosity projected on her during her husband’s 1992 presidential campaign when she said, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband entered public life,” rather than remain a stay-at-home mom during her husband’s tenure as Governor of Arkansas. (Never mind that Bill Clinton’s salary as governor was $30,000 per year, the lowest of any governor at the time and Hillary was the breadwinner in the family.)  Chauvinists and anti-feminists have never forgiven her refusal to “know her place” and play the role of wife and (lower case “m” rather than archetypal) mother. Hillary’s unwillingness to play the required role along with her declaration of the right to autonomy, self-determination and the pursuit of her own destiny regardless of the limitations placed on women by a conservative society, struck terror into the hearts of far-right reactionaries who have demonized her ever since.

Right-wing activist, anti-feminist Goldwater Republican Phyllis Schlafly was beyond peer at embodying the SHADOW MOTHER. She courted celebrity by touring the United States, loudly denouncing the Equal Rights Amendment and preaching that a woman’s place is in the home. In other words, “Do what I say, not what I do.” Ms. Schlafly said repeatedly about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, “There will be a woman president over my dead body.” Ms. Schlafly died on September 6 this year. May it be an omen!






4 thoughts on “The Archetypal Case for Hillary Clinton

  1. Jim this is your writing and analysis- right? It looks like Julia wrote it…that should be clarified.

    But, it is brilliant. I found the insight about how the Mother is expressing herself through the various archetypes illuminating. An aha moment – including the Dark Mother, the Black Madonna, the Devourer and Destroyer. No wonder Game of Thrones is resonating with so many!

    Thank you, thank you. Love, Kay

    Sent from my iPad


    • Hi Kay – Julienne here. I do all of Jim’s technical tasks and forgot to switch the author of the article to Jim when I first posted it. It is indeed ALL Jim’s writing. I’m just the Servant here. :).

  2. Well done Jim! I just shared this and if everyone would read this the election and Hillary would make so much more sense. Thank you for putting the time into doing this. Look forward to the DT archetypal analysis. Karen Van Dyke

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