Prostitute Archetype

Guardian of Faith

Faith is the power to stand up to the madness and chaos of the physical world, while holding the position that nothing external has any authority over what heaven has in mind for you.

— Caroline Myss

The Lens of the Prostitute

Survivor Archetype: Caroline Myss’s book, Sacred Contract, identifies four survival archetypes embedded in every person: The Child, the Victim, the Prostitute, and the Saboteur. These archetypal respondents swoop in when your sense of security is threatened (real or imagined).  Each address specific challenges that will have you confront your self-esteem.  Let’s take a look at the Prostitute Archetype.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Setting: Senate Chamber

Senator Jefferson Smith:  “I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.

I guess this is just another lost cause Mr. Paine. All you people don’t know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for and he fought for them once. For the only reason any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain simple rule. Love thy neighbor. And in this world today of great hatred a man who knows that rule has a great trust. You know that rule Mr. Paine and I loved you for it just as my father did. And you know that you fight harder for the lost causes than for any others. Yes, you’d even die for them. Like a man we both knew Mr. Paine. You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well I’m not licked. And I’m gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause. Even if this room gets filled with lies like these. And the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me. [1]”

Jimmy Stewart’s portrayal of Mr. Smith in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” may come as a surprise representation of the Prostitute Archetype.  Besides the obvious examples you can find in movies (Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman and Fantine in Les Misérables), Mr. Smith represents the average man or woman who faces temptation of negotiating their integrity away.

Backstory: Mr. Smith is named interim Senator to replace one who had recently died.  A ruthless political Media character name Taylor, is pleased with the choice who already has Senior Senator Paine in his pockets.  Mr. Smith’s good nature, sense of integrity, and limited political skill makes him a perfect puppet to hide some questionable schemes Taylor and Mr. Paine are engaged in.  

The chance for Mr. Smith to work with his father’s good friend Senator Paine as well as make a difference in the lives of others is too good to pass up.   It does not take long for Mr. Smith to uncover corruption and betrayal from his idol Senator Paine.  Mr. Smith faces a painful choice.  Will he look away from the corruption and continue being a puppet of his political bosses or face the consequence of holding his integrity and speak the truth?  

Mr. Smith chooses Integrity and truth and as a result he is confronted with trumped up charges and forgery before the senatorial committee. Mr. Smith faces expulsion and humiliation from his fellow Senate colleagues.   This leads to the famous scene in the movie, Mr. Smith filibusters so his fellow Senators will hear his side of the truth. Do you have the courage, the strength, and endurance to stand and speak your truth?

The Template of the Prostitute:

The Prostitute pattern emerges in you when you are called to assess your surroundings, your capacity to handle situations and your worth, and develop strategies to survive or change your situation.  Have you ever agreed to do something that you know in your heart you don’t want but you do it anyway? 

That’s the energy of the prostitute giving in for something in return.  It does not always have to do with money. It may include doing something in exchange for being “liked” or saying yes to something, so the person would stop bothering you.

MotivationFueled to survive, the Prostitute archetype struggles with holding onto Integrity and faith vs. Self-betrayal.


 The Gifts of the Light and Shadow: The Light/positive aspects of the Prostitute archetype empowers the individual to overcome difficult events and situations.  The Shadow/negative aspects can disempower you and lock you into fear, anger, and suffering. Being conscious of how the light and Shadow responds offers you the gift of choice.   


Shadow – Disempowering Attributes

  • Sells out integrity, talents, creativity
  • lacks self-value
  • taken advantage of, used, blackmail
  •  exploited
  • Lacks faith

Light- Empowering Attributes

  • Maintain personal boundaries
  • True to self
  • principled
  • feels worthy
  • takes a stand
  • Has faith [2]

The Lessons for the Prostitute Archetype: (Guardian of Faith)

  • The ability to stand up for yourself and learn to say “no”
  • To develop self-worth
  • Maintain boundaries
  • Have courage and have Faith
  • From lack of self-worth to Authentic Self

ReflectionThere are times when you find yourself having to do something you do not want to do.  The balance calls you to compromise and keep your integrity vs self-betrayal.  Compromising based on love has you willing to give and take without losing a sense of yourself.  When you negotiate there’s a feeling of partnership and good will.  However, if you find yourself being asked to do something where it costs your power, your energy, your psyche, and your integrity, this is the Shadow Prostitute engaged in self-betrayal.

Have you ever engaged in the following?

  • Sacrificing your dreams for comfort
  • Ignoring your values for social approval
  • Doing something mainly for financial gain rather than passion or conviction
  • “Selling out” in order to gain popularity rather than being true to yourself and your unique message
  • Staying in an abusive or toxic relationship for emotional, social or financial security rather than courageously facing the unknown
  • Being falsely nice to others solely to gain something from them
  • Doing something that goes against your ethics
  • Manipulating others in order to get an advantage over them

Movie Analysis:  
Mr. Smith is backed into a corner and everything is stacked up against him.  His adversaries create false evidence against him.  But despite Mr. Smith feeling so defeated, finds strength to stand up with a hoarse voice and keeps fighting and using all his energy until he literally faints.  

In the end, holding onto faith, the truth comes out.  The Prostitute Archetype is not a “good” or “bad” force. Again, it’s a pattern of behavior. The major teachings of the Prostitute archetype involves learning how to develop integrity, self-respect, self-belief and faith in the Divine. 

Do you have what it takes to stand up to powerful men knowing you will receive backlash of tweeter rage and false accusations?  Next time you watch political show see if you can spot politicians who engage in the shadows of the Prostitute Archetype and those who engage in the light.

Archetypes are dualistic patterns of behavior.  Don’t get distracted by the name. It’s the choices people make that has them fall in the light pattern or shadow pattern. Mr. Smith symbolizes the Enlighten Prostitute, also known as “The Guardian of Integrity”.  Can you stand up for truth regardless of the consequences?



Remy Nirschl
—— About Remy Nirschl:
Remy is a writer, a mother to two wonderful souls, and a soul companion to her husband of nearly 25 years. Propelled into the autism journey in 2004 with the diagnosis of her son, this lead Remy to journey within as she experienced great losses and challenges. Trained in Caroline Myss “Sacred Contract”, this modality has given her the tools for clarity and empowerment. Remy is called into service as an Archetypal Consultant mentoring individuals in their soul journey.
Want to learn more about your other Archetypal Patterns?  Read more….

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