Twelve Jungian Archetypes

Twelve Jungian Archetypes

The term "archetype" has its origins in ancient Greek. The root words are archein, which means "original or old"; and typos, which means "pattern, model or type". The combined meaning is an "original pattern" of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are derived, copied, modeled, or emulated. 

The psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He believed that universal, mythic characters—archetypes—reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over. Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions. 

Although there are many different archetypes, Jung defined twelve primary types that symbolize basic human motivations. Each type has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits. Also, the twelve types are divided into three sets of four, namely Ego, Soul and Self. The types in each set share a common driving source, for example types within the Ego set are driven to fulfill ego-defined agendas. 

Most, if not all, people have several archetypes at play in their personality construct; however, one archetype tends to dominate the personality in general. It can be helpful to know which archetypes are at play in oneself and others, especially loved ones, friends and co-workers, in order to gain personal insight into behaviors and motivations.

The Ego Types

The Hero | The Everyman | The Innocent | The Caregiver

The Soul Types

The Outlaw | The Lover | The Explorer | The Creator

The Self Types

The Magician | The Jester | The Sage | The Ruler

The Four Cardinal Orientations define four groups, with each group containing three types (as the wheel of archetypes shown above illustrates). Each group is motivated by its respective orienting focus: ego-fulfillment, freedom, socialness and order. This is a variation on the three groups of Types previously mentioned; however, whereas all the types within the Ego, Soul & Self sets all share the same driving source, the types comprising the four orienting groups have different source drives but the same motivating orientation. For example, the Caregiver is driven by the need to fulfill ego agendas through meeting the needs of others, which is a social orientation; whereas, the Hero, which is also driven by the need to fulfill ego agendas, does so through courageous action that proves self-worth. Understanding the groupings will aid in understanding the motivational and self-perceptual dynamics of each type.

Group 1: Leave Legacy 

The Hero | The Magician | The Outlaw

Group 2: Pursue Connection

The Everyman | The Jester | The Lover

Group 3: Explore Spirituality 

The Innocent | The Sage | The Explorer

Group 4: Provide Structure

The Caregiver | The Ruler | The Creator

There is one quite effective way (if not the most) to find out which of these twelve archetypes resonates with your identity the most. All you have to do in order to find out what archetype you identify with in highest intensity is look into your shadow!

1. The Hero

Motto: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Core desire: to prove one’s worth through courageous acts;
Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world;
Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a “chicken”;
Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible;
Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight;
Talent: competence and courage.

2. The Magician

Motto: “I make things happen.”
Core desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe;
Goal: to make dreams come true;
Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences;
Strategy: develop a vision and live by it;
Weakness: becoming manipulative;
Talent: finding win-win solutions.

3. The Outlaw

Motto: “Rules are made to be broken.”
Core desire: revenge or revolution;
Goal: to overturn what isn’t working;
Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual;
Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock;
Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime;
Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom.

4. The Everyman

Motto: “All men and women are created equal.”
Core Desire: connecting with others;
Goal: to belong;
Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd;
Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch;
Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships;
Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense.

5. The Jester

Motto: “You only live once.”
Core desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment;
Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world;
Greatest fear: being bored or boring others;
Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny;
Weakness: frivolity, wasting time;
Talent: joy.

6. The Lover

Motto: “You’re the only one.”
Core desire: intimacy and experience;
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love;
Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved;
Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive;
Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity;
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment.

7. The Innocent

Motto: “Free to be you and me.”
Core desire: to get to paradise;
Goal: to be happy;
Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong;
Strategy: to do things right;
Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence;
Talent: faith and optimism.

8. The Sage

Motto: “The truth will set you free.”
Core desire: to find the truth;
Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world;
Biggest fear: being duped, misled or ignorance;
Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes;
Weakness: can study details forever and never act;
Talent: wisdom, intelligence.

9. The Explorer

Motto: “Don’t fence me in.”
Core desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world;
Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life;
Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness;
Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom;
Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit;
Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul.

10. The Caregiver

Motto: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Core desire: to protect and care for others;
Goal: to help others;
Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude;
Strategy: doing things for others;
Weakness: martyrdom and being exploited;
Talent: compassion, generosity.

11. The Ruler

Motto: “Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
Core desire: control;
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community;
Strategy: exercise power;
Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown;
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate;
Talent: responsibility, leadership.

12. The Creator

Motto: “If you can imagine it, it can be done.”
Core desire: to create things of enduring value;
Goal: to realize a vision;
Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution;
Strategy: develop artistic control and skill;
Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions;
Talent: creativity and imagination.