Deep Dive into the Nature Child, a Primal Archetype

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Transform denial and betrayal into a sustainable path


Archetypes are traditionally said to live in the unconscious and were discovered by Carl Jung in his epic breakthroughs on human consciousness. I saved my life from cancer working with archetypes and saw how they can be awakened out of the unconscious. The archetypes can magically go from feeling like an enemy to being a superpower that exists to help us complete our missions on Earth.

In 2015, my dad died of cancer and I was recovering from cancer. In the depth of grief and healing, I discovered in myself the eight archetypes that map out the journey of those who are on a mission of service to this planet. This journey begins and ends with the Nature Child.

Given the growing rise of what we don’t want to see happening to our natural world and the state of humanity, exploring this Nature Child within ourselves is very timely. While things may look bleak, I have a clear vision of what a world with an awakened Nature Child archetype would be. We can live in harmony with natural forces, both within and around us. This vision makes me want to continue helping those who are serving the planet to find their way on the journey. 

The Nature Child’s superpowers

The superpowers of the Nature Child include being able to tap into the natural cycles and flow so we can ride on its immense, raw power. This power is what moves the ocean tides, what shines the sun, what burns in the core of our Earth and what forever delivers fresh water, air and soil to its surface. Considered one of the primal archetypes that every human holds near, the child archetype exists on the precipice between life and death, and is wired for basic survival. 

The calling of this archetype on the journey is to go from the experience of betrayal – which is rooted in the fear of not surviving – to being awake, fully alive and caring deeply for our world and the expression of its innocence. It is to awaken from the pseudo-bliss we associate with loving nature in a naïve, sentimental way to a wise, eyes-open place where the awesome wholeness of nature is seen without blinders. The ignorance dies, but the pure innocence lives on. 

Ironically, to embark on the journey of returning humanity to its rightful place in nature, we must experience the unconscious shadow and get betrayed.

The dark side

In the shadow of this archetype lies naive innocence, avoidance of disillusionment and fearful protection of the self. The Nature Child will do anything to avoid the experience of betrayal, but as Carl Jung so famously said, “What you resist persists.”

For centuries, we’ve worked against natural forces, both within and around us. Nature and its human aspect has been royally betrayed. And we see the devastating effects in our health, our relationships and our environment. We can suffer the shadow of the Nature Child by ignoring these effects because it’s too much to take in and it challenges our innocent bliss. We unconsciously fear the loss of our innocence and bliss, but it’s really our ignorance that is at stake. 

We can find our place in nature again

To take our rightful place in nature and to protect the fragile inner child in a wise rather than naive way, we have to see if we’re using this archetype’s powers consciously from love or unconsciously from fear. Are we awakened to the reality of where this planet is at or are we stuck in the shadow of denial and betrayal?

To help guide this awakening of the Nature Child for those who wish to be of more service to this planet and its people, I created a map of the journey. It will help us regain the energy we waste staying stuck in the unconscious and use it to truly help create the solutions. 

There are five elemental steps to transforming denial and betrayal into a sustainable path to a natural life for all. If you care deeply about the Earth and make it your responsibility to take care of it, this transformational process will help you work with the forces of nature as they are, so you can slipstream more easily on the power of the collective consciousness that archetypes represent.   

Step One: 

Have a ‘Big Why’ behind your desire to serve the planet

If you have a sincere desire to be a leader on the path of returning humanity back to a natural state, you first need to feel deeply connected with your reasons to awaken yourself and others. In other words, you need to connect with your “Big Why” in order to gain the powers of spirit and purpose at the outset.

If our Why is empty and disconnected from deeply rooted, soul-level and very personal purpose, then we will be hard-pressed to withstand the challenges of the journey. This empty Why for the Nature Child, when you boil it all down, is the unconscious fear of not surviving. Whether that’s personally, as the human species or as the planet as a whole, this fear is a betrayal of the human spirit’s true nature and strength.

At 29, I survived a Stage IV lymphoma against the odds, in part, because I discovered a much bigger Why to heal than merely not wanting to die. By resisting sickness, I was pulling it in. But when I stopped betraying myself with fear and got in tune with what I loved about life and the opportunity it created for profound freedom at the soul level, I began to survive against the odds. 

Why I now do this work of empowering people to be valued for their Earth missions is so we can work together to liberate ourselves from a disconnected, superficial and artificial existence. I feel it to be true that if we all did our part (what is ours to do from within our own soul’s sacred contract), together we would rise. 

Doing the work of establishing your Big Why out of love instead of fear fuels the fire of inspiration that is desperately needed to positively drive us to create solutions. It also cures the sense of purposelessness that is a betrayal to ourselves and this planet.

Step Two: 

Fuelling the fire

Where we source our inspiration matters. If we let our fear lead, we won’t find the ignition, drive or ambition to care deeply about the world we live in and are leaving to our children.

There are two kinds of fire. First, there is hungry fire, which only gets more hungry when you feed it. Then, there is soul fire, which makes you feel full when you feed it. We have been so monumentally sold on hungry fire by the mass media that many humans act like hungry ghosts, only living to get their next hit of empty, purposeless inspiration that’s not inspiration at all. This empty fire adds up to nothing more than a stimulant that takes you up and down.

It’s a betrayal of ourselves when we trade the experience of true inspiration for stimulation and other purposeless distractions that we unconsciously use to avoid our inner experience. We can measure the effects of this betrayal by our low levels of energy, our lack of care and our lack of ability to get genuinely interested in creating anything, especially badly needed solutions for the problems we are all facing.

Next time you see something that burns you up, pay close attention. That will point you to your own source of inspiration, show you your unique direction and light a fire under your butt. You maybe don’t know why it’s under your butt, but it is. Once you’ve let yourself be on fire with what really feeds you, the ideas come.

Step Three: 

Ideas, beliefs, dreams

The New Age movement has not helped us here. It’s spread the notion that thoughts and beliefs are somehow not natural, that they are the enemy of a human being’s peace and that they shouldn’t, ideally, exist. And yet they do.

So, what if your journey to find your mission, and have the kind of impact only you can have, is about aligning your thoughts, beliefs and dreams with nature? When we spiritualize away our thoughts, beliefs and dreams, we are betraying our nature, because this is such an important aspect of creating through our life’s purpose. Anything that exists as a result of human creation can be traced to an originating thought. So to create change, we have to think of it first!

We are taught that reading, watching movies and consuming great art and knowledge are stimulating to the imagination. There is a certain stimulation, yes, but from an outside source that may or may not have our best interests in mind. When you take the trouble to think for yourself and create your own original thoughts, beliefs and dreams based on what your life has taught you, you are exercising this elemental power.

When I travelled in India, I was taught by a guru on a mountain to search for the true nature of everything. They said if you find a thorn on a bush, there is no problem. That thorn is doing its job to protect the plant from being eaten before it can seed and reproduce itself. But if you find that thorn in your foot, you’re going to call that thorn a problem. This is how thoughts are. 

If we use thinking to call ourselves and others down, for example, then thinking will seem like it’s not natural, not helpful. Thinking all day long of what we lack and fear is a betrayal of the Nature Child in ourselves. But if we use our thinking mind to come up with ways to help others, have better lives, be more awake and suffer less, then this is the true nature of thinking that will benefit many and contribute to returning humanity back to nature. 

Step Four: 

The path of water

Water has always been my teacher, both literally and symbolically (it’s a mermaid thing). For the Nature Child, water is symbolic of human emotions, and it’s at this level where the shadow of betrayal is acutely felt. This represents a major obstacle for us, because if we feel something, the tendency is to believe it to be true without investigating its true nature fully. 

The betrayal at this leg of the journey is the denial of feelings, the spiritual bypassing of our inner experiences that pushes us into false self-portrayal, the comfort of addictions and the quiet suffering of powerlessness. 

By awakening the Nature Child and the water element, we can look deeply into the true nature of of our emotions and have the power to discover what feelings we have that stand in the way of manifesting our thoughts, beliefs and dreams.

Unconscious feelings are where we are trapped, often sunk. We don’t like our feelings, so we habitually stuff them into the unconscious at any cost. Unfortunately, from there they rule us and create everything we don’t want in our life, making us forget our true soul’s path and mission.

In this watery elemental step towards taking humanity back to a natural place, we need to assume radical responsibility for how we feel and learn some way (there are many) to release the feelings that don’t serve our Big Why, our inspiration and the dreams that want to manifest into something tangible.

Working with this, or any archetype, is such a useful tool. When we see the shadow of betrayal, it’s half gone. Poof! And if you apply yourself to releasing the remaining emotions that stop you from manifesting through your ideas and dreams, you become an unstoppable force for good. Once the feelings are dealt with, we come to the next step and create what really matters.

Step Five: 

Ground it down.

“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain,” said Carl Jung.

To reclaim the lost energy of the Nature Child and to awaken out of its naïve  innocence into natural wisdom, we have to get grounded through purposeful action and the exercising of our inherently human capacity to make something out of seemingly nothing. We see now it’s not nothing. Rather, it’s a Big Why, it’s the seed fire, the thoughts and feelings that lead us to this chance to create something tangible in our own image.

To fail to take action and create what we know to be right and true is a betrayal of the Nature Child. In letting opportunities for helping go by, we are allowing our life force to slip between our fingers, one hardly noticeable drop at a time, and short-circuiting our natural journey to manifest.

We get stuck in manifesting our solutions for an unnatural world by being entirely ungrounded by the feelings and programs that lay under our inspiration and ideas. This disconnect from the Earth and our ability to manifest keeps us from giving the universe clear messages about what we envision is possible. 

When you go out to make a difference in the world, you will be greatly aided by this aspect of the Nature Child’s superpowers. It will help you in actually making that difference, whatever that looks like for you, whether it be through your movement, your message and what you stand for, or the ground on which you are firmly rooted. We all have our area to take care of, to care about and to pour our care into. We just have to follow the thread of what we authentically care about and we will know what is our ground to root in.

Know your superpowers and the shadows that conceal it

If you let yourself look at what’s happened to nature –in you and on this planet – it can be a bit of a shock. It can bring up your deepest fears. These five elemental steps, if carefully applied, will create sustainability along this path of returning humanity back to nature. 

With a clear soul level reason why we are moved to be part of solutions, we can navigate ourselves back to nature. We’ll do this using the fire of inspiration that feeds rather than creates more hunger; the opening to ideas, beliefs and dreams that work with natural forces; the swimming like mermaids through the waters of our emotional worlds; and the grounding it down with acts of creating something tangible for the benefit of all.

If we let ourselves unconsciously run from the fear of not surviving and remain in our naïve innocence that is really ignorance, then we are sunk. But when we resolve to gain our freedom from this endless suffering and assume the awakened voice of the Nature Child, then we are on a sustainable path to a natural life for all.

If you want to go deeper

Maybe you’ve got some of these pieces in place, but you get mysteriously stuck along the way and hunger for a sustainable path in making your difference in the world. Just know you don’t have to go it alone. 

If this is your time to take a stand for nature in the way nature uniquely intended you to, visit my website at to sign up for a free training package that will reveal how those who care deeply about the planet can use the Nature Child archetype and get paid for answering the call. I’ll send it direct to your inbox, along with three questions for your journal so you can get the most out of it. No one person can return this planet to its true nature, but together we can.


Since surviving a three-year battle with cancer by working with archetypes, Beth Martens has helped others to be valued for their calling and create divinely aligned businesses. To learn more about Beth’s work building a community of gifted “MerPreneurs” for the betterment of humanity, visit


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