Superhero as Shaman
By Keith Varnum
“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!”
Who are we talking about? Superman, you say? Yes … and someone else!
We’re talking about you! … Who? Yes, you
Who is your favorite superhero?
Superman and Superwoman. Batman and Batwoman. X-men and Wolverine. Cat Woman and Wonder Woman. The Flash. Spiderman. Green Lantern. Captain Marvel!
What superpowers would you like to possess?
Extraordinary strength, speed and flexibility. Instant healing. Hyper-accentuated senses. X-ray vision. Omniscience. Omnipresence. ESP, telepathy, precognition, premonition and clairvoyance. Inter-dimensional travel. Time trekking. Invisibility. Invulnerability. Immortality. Flying. Levitation. Teleportation. Telekinesis. Transmutation. Shapeshifting.
Well, you do possess these powers … and many more!
We’re all taught that we should “outgrow” our interest in superheroes and superpowers before we turn twenty. And we do. … That’s the problem! As we “grow up” and become adults (adulterated), we lose contact with our childhood shamans.
Our superheroes are the modern day shamans of Western society. They’re our culture’s wise elders, our medicine men and women. They’re our treasure. A goldmine of example and opportunity for each of us!
We’re attracted to the superpowers of our superheroes because the truth is that we inherently possess the same super abilities as they have. Forgotten perhaps. Dormant for the most part. (except in emergencies!) Yet these powers are our inherent nature nonetheless!
Absorb that Morphic Field!
Our superheroes act as morphic fields (models) for us to recapture our natural spiritual (super) powers. The abilities of our superheroes act as fields of energy and experience that we can tap into in order to re-activate our own inherent abilities—in order to exercise the same powers!
In the same way we might put on the cape of Superman as a child, we can take on the mantel of Superman’s powers as an adult. When we connect to the morphic (form) field of energy as our favorite superhero, we automatically trigger the abilities woven into the vibration (frequency field) of that space.
Why don’t most of us use our natural spiritual (super) powers?
In my experience with thousands of people as clients, I’ve discovered a common theme (decision) in most people’s soul story:
Before we came into this lifetime, most of us promised ourselves that we would not use our natural spiritual powers until we develop the deep compassion and understanding necessary to use these abilities with real love and wisdom.
The archetype of Superman provides a good example of this phenomenon of “Superhero as Shaman.”
Superman is seen as both an American cultural icon and as the first widely admired comic book superhero. His adventures and popularity have established the character as an inspiring force within the public psyche. The spirit of Superman still serves as inspiration for all our culture’s mythmakers—writers, filmmakers, teachers, musicians and public speakers.
Ironically, one of the most socially accepted denials of our true supernature is the declaration, “Well, you know. I’m not Superman!” Ironic because, in fact, we are a superhuman!
As an influential archetype of the superhero genre, Superman possesses extraordinary powers.
As a closeted archetype of the superhero genre, we possess the same extraordinary powers!
Superman’s famous arsenal of powers includes x-ray, heat-emitting, telescopic, infra-red and microscopic vision. He possesses super-hearing and super-smell. He has incredibly tough skin that cannot be pierced by even an exploding artillery shell. He can lift cars over his head, hurl mountains, withstand nuclear blasts, soar into the sun unharmed, and survive in the vacuum of outer space without oxygen. He can fly with ease to other worlds, galaxies and even across universes!
Guess what? We have at our disposal the same arsenal of powers!
Superman as metaphor—and model for us—goes deep into his character: