Archetypes, a Recap
12 Archetypes. Sounds simple, right? They represent lots of things to us, both actually and metaphorically. But we need to take a more in-depth look at what and how they represent metaphorical life and what can happen if we over-identify with our archetypes. How we apply this information about archetypes in life and trance, set the tone for how well we are able to navigate life, overcome problems and set goals.
We have plenty of examples of people who over-identify with archetypes, i.e. Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, etc. But what happens when you under-identify with your archetype(s)? My guess is you live a boring and unhappy life while always dreaming of something better. Doesn’t sound like to much fun to me.
The Big 12
Here’s a list of the traditional Jungian Archetypes and how they function. What the strengths and weaknesses are and their primary goals. This list doesn’t, in my opinion, address male/female aspects and only touches on the darker side of the archetype.
1. The Innocent
Those who identify with the innocent archetype are sometimes criticized for being naïve dreamers. However, their positive outlook and happy-go-lucky personalities can uplift others. The innocent always tries to see the good in the world and looks for the silver lining in every situation.
Goal: to be happy
Fear: being punished for doing something wrong
Weakness: being too trusting of others
Talent: faith and open-mindedness
2. The Orphan
The orphan archetype represents those who are dependable, down to earth realists. Some people might describe them as a little negative at times. The orphan is always searching for belonging in the world and may join many groups and communities to find a place where they fit in.
Goal: to belong
Fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd
Weakness: can be a little too cynical
Talent: honest and open, pragmatic and realistic
3. The Hero
The hero thrives on being strong and standing up for others. Heroes may feel they have a destiny that they must accomplish. Heroes are courageous in their quest for justice and equality and will stand up to even the most powerful forces if they think they are wrong.
Goal: to help others and protect the weak
Fear: being perceived as weak or frightened
Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight
Talent: competence and courage
4. The Caregiver
Those who identify with the caregiver archetypes are full of empathy and compassion. Unfortunately, others can exploit their good nature for their own selfish ends. Caregivers must pay attention to looking after themselves and learning to say no to others’ demands sometimes.
Goal: to help others
Fear: being considered selfish
Weakness: being exploited by others and feeling put upon
Talent: compassion and generosity
5. The Explorer
The explorer is never happy unless experiencing new things. The Explorer may enjoy visiting different countries, or they may be happy learning about new ideas and philosophies. However, they find it hard to settle down at one job or relationship for too long, unless the job or relationship lets them retain their freedom to explore.
Goal: to experience as much of life as possible in one lifetime
Fear: getting trapped or being forced to conform to the norm
Weakness: aimless wandering and inability to stick at things
Talent: being true to their own desires and a sense of wonder
6. The Rebel
When the rebel sees something in the world that isn’t working, they look to change it. Rebels like to do things differently. Sometimes rebels can abandon perfectly good traditions just because they have a desire for reform. Rebels can be charismatic and easily encourage others to follow them in their pursuit of rebellion.
Goal: to overturn what isn’t working
Fear: to be powerless
Weakness: taking their rebellion too far and becoming obsessed with it
Talent: having big, outrageous ideas and inspiring others to join them
7. The Lover
The lover seeks harmony in everything they do. Lovers find it hard to deal with conflict and may find it difficult to stand up for their own ideas and beliefs in the face of more aggressive types.
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work, and an environment they love
Fear: feeling unwanted or unloved
Weakness: desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
Talent: passion, appreciation, and diplomacy
8. The Creator
The creator is born to bring something into being that does not yet exist. Creators hate to be passive consumers of anything, much preferring to make their own entertainment. Creators are often artists or musicians though they can be found in almost any area of work.
Goal: to create things of enduring value
Fear: failing to create anything great
Weakness: perfectionism and creative blocks caused by the fear of not being exceptional
Talent: creativity and imagination
9. The Jester
The jester loves to liven up a party with humor and tricks, however, they have a deep soul. The jester or fool wants to make others happy and can often use humor to change people’s perceptions. Sometimes, however, the jester uses humor to cover his or her own pain.
Goal: to lighten up the world and make others laugh
Fear: being perceived as boring by others
Weakness: frivolity, wasting time and hiding emotions beneath a humorous disguise
Talent: seeing the funny side of everything and using humor for a positive change
10. The Sage
The sage values ideas above all else. However, the sage can sometimes become frustrated at not being able to know everything about the world. Sages are good listeners and often have the ability to make complicated ideas easy for others to understand. They can often be found in teaching roles.
Goal: to use wisdom and intelligence to understand the world and teach others
Fear: being ignorant, or being perceived as stupid
Weakness: can be unable to make a decision as never believe they have enough information
Talent: wisdom, intelligence, and curiosity
11. The Magician
The magician is often very charismatic. Magicians have a true belief in their ideas and desire to share them with others. They are often able to see things in a completely different way to other personality types. And can use these perceptions to bring transformative ideas and philosophies to the world.
Goal: to understand the fundamental laws of the universe
Fear: unintended negative consequences
Weakness: becoming manipulative or egotistical
Talent: transforming people’s everyday experience of life by offering new ways of looking at things
12. The Ruler
The ruler loves to be in control. They often have a clear vision of what will work in a given situation. Rulers believe they know what is best for a group or community and can get frustrated if others don’t share their vision. However, they usually have the interests of others at heart even if occasionally their actions are misguided.
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community
Fear: chaos, being undermined or overthrown
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate
Talent: responsibility, leadership
Because Carl Jung was a guy living in a guy’s world, I think it natural for him to pin the archetypes down as ALL MALE Roles. He made a brief attempt to be inclusive in his Anima and Animus writings, but not included in his archetypes model. Unfortunately, when men describe women or women describe men, it isn’t from a space of knowing but rather a place of observation, and their gender bias will always bleed through the description, even my own.
If we were to view these archetypes form a matriarchy rather than patriarchy, would they all be different? Perhaps. I’d like to see someone do a model on this.
Sensory Styles are how people process information through their 5 senses. The predominant ways are through sight, sound, emotions, and sensations. We, in hypnosis and NLP, refer to this as V for visual, A for auditory and K for Kinesthetic.
There are 6 primary combinations of this, which are VAK, VKA, AVK, AKV, KAV, and KVA. Each of these combinations also has their own strengths and weaknesses, and if you combine these distinctions to the archetypes, you get 6 times the number of combinations of the archetypes.
Eventually, I’m going to backtrack and redo a deep trance identification with each of the archetypes with the Sensory Styles in place. I’m curious to see what types of combinations may arise.
Archetypes and Deep Trance Identification
One of the primary things that I’ve learned through this 100 days of trance is how under-utilized the archetypes are and what we can learn from them. Remember that archetypes are pure in form, so they don’t really conform to human life as we see it. They don’t pay bills, go to the bathroom or get the flu during the holidays. They, instead, embody all the things we can do, if we weren’t focused on all the other human things that get in our way.
Is it a good idea to imagine we are superman and can overcome evil? I think so. Just make sure you know what evil is before you start “busting heads”. I think the real use for archetypes is as a teaching tool in trance. Learning something new that you’ve never tried or accepting a completely different thinking process gives you new tools.
Next time you have what seems to be an unsolvable problem ask, “what would Superman or Wonder Woman do?” Or maybe pick the Sage or Jester as a model and ask them. There are 12 models to choose from so why not try them all? You may be surprised to discover that the answer was there all the time you just weren’t in the correct archetype mode.
Final Thoughts about Archetypes
These new tools can be practiced in the world, as well as in trance, to make your existing toolbox, better. We all have our favorite archetypes, what might happen if you tried a new one? Something you’ve never done before?
The answer is you could fall on your face but you could also learn something about your capabilities that you never dreamed of. There are plenty of stories about people who had a situation thrust upon them and somehow they managed to not only succeed but to succeed with a bang. They were using a new archetype that they hadn’t drawn upon until the situation called for it. Sure they might have failed in the beginning but just like the storybooks if you keep trying eventually you are going to succeed.
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