Fathers are often the hidden heroes of our personal stories. The Dad Archetype brings up tough emotional issues and reactions, both the longing for structure and connection and the resentment of authority etc. On the Hero’s Journey (as Joseph Campbell, the “father” of modern study of myth in society) the archetypal dads represent power and structure, a force the Hero both craves and rebels against. Often the Hero finds her/himself launched into adulthood, often as a result of the absence of dad’s protective power.
Don’t be too quick to judge or blame fathers for carrying this cultural archetype bestowed upon them by society, economics, and even biology. The energy of fatherly love takes many forms and serves its powerful purpose especially in the absence of the illusion of the ideal TV dad.
Here are 4 examples of Divine Dads in Myth and Archetype.
Jupiter- If your dad has a way of dreaming big, and is larger than life both in stature and personality, he carries Jupiter’s energy as the benevolent bringer of abundance. Jupiter’s energy in astrology is associated with optimism, philanthropy, luck, generosity and abundance. He is the “Ghost of Christmas Present” standing before a cornucopia of plenty ready to feed his children physically and emotionally. He has a generally jolly nature and is extremely generous with his children, which likely included you, your friends, and heck, why not, the whole neighborhood.
If your dad knows how to throw a party, and is generally an optimist, then you were likely raised with the benevolent and supportive energy of a Jupiter archetypal father. While you probably appreciated all the positive attention and generosity dad offered, you may have become frustrated at times if dad made grandiose plans and then stumbled on the follow through. Think Clark Griswald from the National Lampoon’s series of movies. Deep down, though, you have to admit that dad’s heart is as big as the planet Jupiter and his intentions were always to have a good time with those he loves.
Saturn- The father of generous Jupiter, Saturn’s energy is quite different. He is the father who emphasized tradition, discipline, safety, and security. If your dad has a knack for keeping a tight budget and schedule, if he knows how to keep family traditions and routines running like clockwork, and if you have heard the phrase “someday you’ll thank me for this” applied to numerous occasions in which you were not able to get your way, chances are your dad has Saturn’s earthy energy.
You had the safest house in the neighborhood, and your dad didn’t lose his shirt in the housing crisis, or any other financial crisis, because he is not a gambler but a patient follower of order and direction. Your Saturn archetype dad is the trustworthy guy who understands the importance of rules, integrity and discipline. While you may not have enjoyed being grounded, or consequences of rule breaking, you know now looking back that dad was teaching you valuable lessons. Saturn is the King of Karma, and this dad knows how to be tough but fair. His praise, when earned, is genuine, and he kept the family safe during difficult times. You may have envied the kids of the Jupiterian dads growing up, but as an adult you can see how your Saturnine dad shaped you into a strong character with lots of integrity.
Odin- If your dad carries Odin’s Warrior energy, you know it. Like the warriors of old, your dad never backs down from a fight, and may even enjoy starting a few. He has a keen sense of justice and is not afraid to put his personal reputation on the line to stand up for what he believes in. Your Warrior Dad also taught you how to fight your battles with honor. Odin is not just a warrior, but a source of wisdom and poetry. Your Warrior Dad showed you that the pen can be as mighty as the sword and helped you learn how to use your words powerfully, yet wisely.
Whether your dad is a Wise Poet-Warrior, a Saturnine Traditionalist, or a Bringer of Abundance, or a combination of all 3, his legacy is a profound part of your life and family.
Appreciating not only the dad who gave you life, but also the fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, foster fathers, step fathers, and other manifestations of Fatherly Love who helped create a safe, meaningful, prosperous life for you is what Father’s Day is all about.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, and thank you for being the foundation of our family’s evolving story.