Where do archetypes come from?
The archetypes have developed through the centuries since the first societies.
In ancient Greek, the word archetype means initial type. Carl Jung was the first to articulate a coherent theory about the influence of the archetypes in human personality.
We can identify 12 archetypes as common behavior patterns of all people.
Many years ago they were not so many professions is that out today. In ancient societies professions or better occupations were counted our fingers. Many years ago, there were not so many professions as there are today. In ancient societies, “professions” or better occupations were counted in the fingers of our hands.
Among the main ones were the following:
- warriors who would fight enemies and protect their property and people
- hunters who would look for food
- explorers on reconnaissance missions discovering new territories
- magicians who were also conducting the duties of doctors
- caregivers who made sure everything functions well within the community
Of course, every society had its own leader who ruled it.
Those eras left a deep footprint in the collective unconscious of humanity. So today, despite the specialization in the thousands of professions, the basic rules remain relatively the same. The doctor can have a very narrow specialization but remains a doctor, at least he’s not in my magician. The director of an organization is a governor. Without his wife, the nurse, the personal trainer role caregivers. Sales people of any kind save something from an explorer in the hunter.
We all have a particular combination of archetypes within us. Some of them are dominant while some others just play a secondary role. As soon as we identify them we will have a very strong cognizant of self-knowledge. We will understand why we are very good at some things while another words don’t do so well. What excites us and what lives us indifferent. Our weaknesses and our big fears. Our talents and our strong points.
The 12 archetypes
For every archetype the following information is provided:
- Motto: the phrase which characterizes them
- Basic wish: what they desire most
- Goal: their higher purpose
- Greatest fear: what they fear most of find difficult to face
- Strategy: the strategy they develop to achieve their goal
- Weakness: their shortcomings, their Achilles heel
- Talent: what they are good at
- Also known as: other names, synonyms or characteristic adjectives
For each archetype below, read the description and think how much you associate with it. Give it a mark from 1 to 10.
The Hero sees life as a constant battle. Heroes are persevering and courageous. They will make great use of their willpower to overcome any obstacles they meet on their way. To this end, they cultivate systematically their strengths and skills. They will also try hard to identify and alleviate their weaknesses.
Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s away!
Basic wish: To prove their value through courageous acts
Goal: to excel and find a way to improve the world
Greatest fear: to feel powerless or weak
Strategy: to build skills and competence in order to become more capable
Weakness: arrogance, negativity, continuously looking for the next battle
Talent: courage and skill
Also known as: warrior, crusader, winner, superhero, soldier, rescuer
Magicians can exploit the power of the universe to influence people and achieve their goals. They combine with ease complementary information but also appropriate persons they know to create win-win conditions. They can easily transform themselves and those around them.
Motto: I make things happen!
Basic wish: To understand the fundamental rules of the universe
Goal: to transform dreams into reality
Greatest fear: side-effects and unforeseen negative consequences
Strategy: builds a vision and lives by that
Weakness: vulnerable to manipulation
Talent: finding win-win solutions
Also known as: visionary, catalyst, inventor, therapist, doctor
The Sage is in a continuous journey to discover the “truth”. Believes that only through truth we find true freedom. Never stop doubting their vulnerable beliefs. They seem to be in a constant existential crisis. High self awareness and excellent analytical skills.
Motto: Truth breaks you free!
Basic wish: understand and find the truth
Goal: to use their intellect in order to analyze and comprehend the world
Greatest fear: to be deceived or misinformed
Strategy: seeking knowledge, introspection and deep understanding of the mind and the thinking process
Weakness: can study the details for ever without taking any action, can become judgmental
Talent: curiosity, wisdom, intelligence, quality thinking
Also known as: expert, detective, consultant, philosopher, academic, investigator, teacher
The Governor creates structures as family, communities and organizations and then strives to rule them. Appreciates power and possesses strong leadership skills. Can become aggressive and single-sided whenever their authority is questioned.
Motto: Power is not everything, it is the only thing!
Basic wish: To control
Goal: to create a thriving, successful family or community
Greatest fear: chaos, to be overthrown
Strategy: exercise power and authority
Weakness: authoritative, unable to delegate tasks to other people
Talent: responsibility, leadership
Also known as: boss, leader, chief, aristocrat, king or queen, politician, director, manager
The Innocent avoids struggle and any kind of difficulty. Innocents seek safety and ignore anything which is out of their control. Happy and spontaneous. They see the good side in everything. As a result, they face all small joys of life with childish enthusiasm.
Motto: I want to be myself!
Basic wish: To go to Paradise
Goal: to be happy
Greatest fear: to be punished for a mistake
Strategy: to do things right
Weakness: naiveness, innocence
Talent: faith and optimism
Also known as: utopian, traditional, naive, saint, romantic, dreamer
The Realist has a strong need to belong and connect with others. Realists don’t like to differentiate. They are usually very friendly, compassionate and emotional. At the same time, they are distrustful and insecure. They do not have high expectations from life or people.
Motto: All people are equal!
Basic wish: connection and acceptance
Goal: to belong
Greatest fear: to stand out of the crowd, or left out
Strategy: develops simple but solid virtues
Weakness: can be cynical, or lose authenticity in order to comply with others
Talent: realism and empathy
Also known as: the person next-door, orphan, regular/everyday guy
The Caregiver loves to help, treat and support other people. Always places the needs of others above their own. Caregivers are kind and generous. They will never miss an opportunity to offer their help even if they are not asked to. They can also become quite manipulative. In some cases they might expect an emotional compensation and when it is not received, they get disappointed.
Motto: Love your neighbor as yourself!
Basic wish: To protect and care about others
Goal: to help other people
Greatest fear: egoism and ingratitude
Strategy: to do things for others
Weakness: to become a martyr or to get exploited
Talent: compassion, generosity
Also known as: altruist, parent, helper, supporter
The Lover begs for intimate relationships with friends, family or romantic partners. Lovers will do anything possible to be physically and emotionally appealing to everyone around them. They are deeply devoted in building and maintaining relationships of every type.
Motto: I have eyes only for you!
Basic wish: intimacy and experience
Goal: to build a relationship with people
Greatest fear: to be left alone, unwanted, unloved
Strategy: to become physically and emotionally appealing
Weakness: tries too hard to please others and risks losing own identity
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation and commitment
Also known as: partner, team-builder, friend, sensualist, intimate, enthusiast, spouse
The Jester finds joy and happiness in every situation. Jesters have inexhaustible humor and they feel on top of the world when it is appreciated by others. They are extroverts and can share their jokes with ease even with those who are not very familiar with yet.
Motto: YOLO! You only live once!
Basic wish: to live in the moment with full satisfaction and enjoyment
Goal: have a good time and lighten up the world
Greatest fear: get bored or make others get bored
Strategy: making jokes and fun, playing games
Weakness: silliness, frivolity, waste of time
Also known as: fool, comedian, trickster, joker, practical joker
The Rebel’s intention is to overthrow anything that does not work in the system. Rebels are very sensitive about the concept of fair and unfair. They are born angry and often can get furious. For them, the red rag is the status quo, the institutions, the government of the values of the society.
Motto: Rules are made to be broken!
Basic wish: revenge or revolution
Goal: to overthrow anything that does not work
Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffective
Strategy: to disrupt, destroy or shock
Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, offense, crime
Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom
Also known as: revolutionary, wild man, misfit, iconoclast
The Explorer is a lone wolf. Explorers are authentic and unconventional. They like travelling and meet new people and new places. They are getting excited when they take the less-travelled path. Continuously looking for another quest, not only to search for new places but also their own self. Usually they live a very fascinating life.
Motto: Do not fence me in!
Basic wish: To discover who exactly they are through the exploration of the world
Goal: to live a better, more authentic, fulfilled life
Greatest fear: to conform, get trapped or feel an inner void
Strategy: travelling, constant seeking of new experiences, avoiding boredom
Weakness: aimless wandering, difficulty to adapt, egocentricity
Talent: autonomy, vision, ambition, authenticity
Also known as: wanderer, individualist, pilgrim
The Creator has a vivid and often wild imagination. Creators enjoy having new ideas and bring them into reality. They continuously look for the next good idea which will produce something useful or valuable. After they make something good, they cannot stop thinking how it could be improved.
Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done!
Basic wish: create things with great value
Goal: to create culture, to express their own vision
Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution of a plan
Strategy: develop artistic control and skills
Weakness: perfectionism and mediocre solutions
Talent: creativity and imagination
Also known as: artist, inventor, innovator, musician, writer, dreamer
In the above diagram there is an effort to classify the 12 archetypes according to their motivation. Freedom is in the upper side of the vertical axis and Order in the lower. In the horizontal axis we have Society and Ego. So, depending on the orientation of each archetype we have 4 groups of 3 archetypes each.
For example, the Rebel, the Explorer and the Creator are motivated towards Freedom, satisfying at the same time their Ego. In the opposite fashion, the Governor, the Innocent and the Realist are oriented towards Order and Society.
Continue exploring your personality by discovering your Social Style
* This article is based on the works of Carl Jung related to the archetypes and the collective unconscious. Despite the many different versions and variations, we believe that this particular classification offers a very good RoI for the time we will devote.