The Three Parts of Self
The Self-conscious intellect is that part of our self where rational thought
and much of the personality reside. It can be referred to as normal waking
consciousness, the middle self, the very descriptive talking-head self, or just
Talking self, and it's power is an important part of what makes us human. It is the
man in the lovers card of the tarot.
Middle self thinks, decides, and judges. It is strong in the elements of Air
and Fire, Mind and Will. It controls conscious movement, but has little to do with
the moment-by-moment operation of the physical body: breathing, circulation,
nervous system, etc. It recognizes emotions sometimes, but it is not the source of
our deepest feelings.
Unfortunately, most people act as though the Middle Self is all we are, and
that is far from the truth.
It is variously called the subconscious, the lower self, or the younger self.
This level is generally ignored by the conscious level, Middle self.
The younger self is a valuable ally to the conscious mind. It is in charge of
the physical body, emotion, memory, and sensation. All that you feel, remember, or
experience in your body comes from this deeper part of you; and if you think that's
not power, just recollect the last time you were in love or sexually aroused, and
just how little your brain was involved at that moment.
Younger Self is a powerful generator and channel of psychic energy, but it
often requires the guidance of the conscious self in order to use this energy
constructively. It is the bridge between middle self and higher self; it is the woman
on the lovers card of the tarot.
In many respects it is childlike, though in the Hawaiian Huna tradition it is
represented as an animal spirit, with a mammal's deep instincts, intuition, and
immediate awareness of the sensate world. In this model, the animal soul has
evolved to the point where it is ready to become part of the self of a sentient
creature-you-but It could not function in a complex human society without Middle
Self's think ability.
There is yet a third aspect to the self, which Starhawk in The Spiral Dance
“the higher self or God self, which does not easily correspond to any
psychological concept. The Higher Self is the Divine within, the ultimate and
original essence, the spirit that exists beyond time, space, and matter. It is our
deepest level of wisdom and compassion and is conceived of as both male and
female, two motes of consciousness united as one.”
“Two motes” because in Faery Wicca and Hawaiian Huna, the Higher Self
is thought of as a pair of spirits who guide and protect us, as well as taking raw
magickal energy and shaping it into manifested results. They speak to us through
the still, small voice within, our intuition and sense of right and wrong.
This is the part that many religions represent as an angel or deity “out
there”, rather than within-and-without. They might also depict it as the soul,
which is understood to be immortal but essentially passive. In our model, however,
it is the part of self that is our connection to divinity, and that can channel
immense power into creation and transformation when approached correctly.