After studying myths and symbols found in various cultures, Gustav Jung devised 12 archetypes for personality.
He believed that the path to consciousness was not through saintly and virtuous ideas of whom we should be, but instead through recognising what lies in our darkness and bringing it to light.
This process is painful and riddled with our worst memories and insecurities, we have to face them to own them, but simply being aware of these archetypes should further your self-awareness.
Yearn for Paradise. Explore Spirituality.
The Innocent – Safety – Ego
A naive people pleasing type, one who fears getting things wrong and receiving punishment. ‘If I keep everyone happy then I will be happy.’ They hold faith that their good actions will grant them access into paradise. Their faith and optimism is strong.
The Sage – Understanding – Self
‘I must know the truth. Knowledge and analysis will protect me from ignorance.’ The Sage fears being mislead and disdains ignorance. The Sage aims to seek out information and knowledge with particular attention given to self-reflection and understanding thought processes. While wise and intelligent, this archetype can often get stuck in details without action.
The Explorer – Freedom – Soul
Individualist seeker looking to live the most authentic and fulfilling life. Cannot abide conformity, inner emptiness or being trapped. ‘I will discover myself through exploration and experiences.’ Once bored the Explorer feels the need to be on a journey, to be discovering and experiencing new things. While being true to your soul and having ambitions can be useful, the Explorer may wander aimlessly and feel like a misfit.
Leave a mark on the world. Pass on a legacy.
The Hero – Mastery – Ego
‘Courage and victories are the measure of my worth!‘ The Hero wants to facilitate world change with expert mastery. They are strong and arrogant, feeling validated through quests and conquests. Without a battle to fight the hero can feel frustration at not exercising their courage and ability.
The Magician – Power – Self
The Magician makes things happen and wants to understand the fundamentals of the universe in order to make dreams come true. To do this they develop strong visions to live by and take action to make them happen. The Magician may become manipulative. They cannot stand unintended negative consequences. They are however, masters at identifying win-win situations and outcomes. ‘I will do what is required to expertly achieve my vision.’
The Outlaw – Liberation – Soul
The Rebel chasing revolution or revenge, or both. It’s time to make change happen, this is not the time to lack effect or be powerless. Destruction, disruption and shock effect are the hallmarks of the Outlaw, which may lure them into criminal tendencies or dark-side behaviour. They are against control or the imposition of control. Outrageousness and true freedom are the outlaw’s strengths. ‘I will not be defined or put into a box by anything!’
Connect with others and pursue connection
The Everyman – Belonging – Ego
‘We are all equal and I wish to connect with you. Let us belong and no-one stand out, then no-one will be left out either.’ The Everyman maintains that if we’re all down to Earth and proper with our nice strong values, then we will make it through all together. ‘It doesn’t matter much if we all blend into one. I can be just like you for the sake of our relationship – honest.‘ While the Everyman might get lost in trying to fit in, realism, empathy and lack of pre-tense are the powers of this type.
The Jester – Enjoyment – YOLO – Self
‘This moment is all there is and I want to enjoy it with you.’ The Jester hates to feel bored and embraces the role of entertaining others. This type is most comfortable in play, humour and high spirits. They see inciting laughter and amusement as acts of love.
The Lover – Intimacy – Soul
Intimacy and experience are a core value combo that the lover cannot escape. ‘I want to experience intense love with you, passion in my work and feel connected to my environment.’ They fear being alone, unwanted or unloved. This causes them to invest time and energy in looking and feeling attractive to others. They may lose themselves entirely in trying to outwardly direct their attention at pleasing others.
Provide structure to the world
The Caregiver – Service – Ego
Energised by looking after, protecting, and caring for others. Motivated by a genuine desire to help, the caregiver is repelled by selfishness and those lacking gratitude. While generous and compassionate, the caregiver may be exploited or become a martyr. ‘If I care for you, you will see my love and reciprocate.’
The Ruler – Control – Self
‘I will ensure safety, prosperity and security for my family and community by being in control.’ Whilst flexing this power and leading the family or group towards success the ruler fears being resisted or overthrown. As a result they may become authoritarian dictators or – in hoarding power – become overwhelmed if they do not delegate and share responsibility.
The Creator – Innovation – Soul
‘I want to realise and achieve my vision. I must create something with meaning and permanence.’ The creator finds innovative and artistic means to express their visions and values. The power of their creative skills will determine whether they execute a masterpiece, a poorly executed vision, or worse, mediocrity. Creativity and imagination are abundant but vulnerable to perfectionism and bad solutions leading to unfortunate outcomes and stress.
These twelve archetypes offer you a chance to observe behaviours and traits you possess without judgement. Simply being aware and mindful of the pros and cons to each archetype, can help to shift your behaviour leading to more positive outcomes and greater success.