Archetype II: The Wanderer
Carol Pearson says, the Wanderer becomes central when we feel misunderstood, alienated, or are cast into an unknown situation. It is a call to move into another life that is less restricting and more ‘us’. The Wanderer sees life as an adventure, symbolised by the knight, the explorer, the cowboy or the hippie who hits the road, but the impulse for new frontiers applies to the mind and heart as well as the physical world.
The archetype may make itself known in adolescence, when we start to look objectively at our place within the family and community, but another key point is mid-life, when many people reject being ‘responsible performance machines’. Even if a person realises that their sanctuary has become their cage, the call to be a Wanderer may cause guilt feelings. If you choose to no longer take on the protector role, who will? The vital question for the Wanderer is whether they are simply escaping from trouble, or searching for a new self. The call to wander may mean painful breaks and terrifying leaps into the unknown, but without them we don’t grow.