The term “archetype” means original pattern in ancient Greek. Jung used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He identified 12 universal, mythic characters archetypes reside within our collective unconscious.
Jung defined twelve primary types that represent the range of basic human motivations. Each of us tends to have one dominant archetype that dominates our personality.
The 12 Jungian Archetypes
What do each of the 12 archetypes seek?
The 4 Cardinal Orientations
The 4 cardinal orientations that the archetypes are seeking to realise are:
- Ego – Leave a Mark on the World
- Order – Provide Structure to the World
- Social – Connect to others
- Freedom – Yearn for Paradise
The 12 Archetypes in Detail
Detailed Description of Desires, Fears and Talents of each of the 12 Archetypes
The Ego Types
1. 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
- The Innocent is also known as: Utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer.
2. 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
- The Everyman is also known as: The good old boy, regular guy/girl, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority.
3. 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
- The Hero is also known as: The warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, the soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player.
4. The Caregiver
- Motto: Love your neighbour 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
- The Caregiver is also known as: The saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter.
The Soul Types
5. 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
- The explorer is also known as: The seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim.
6. The Rebel
- 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
- The Outlaw is also known as: The rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast.
7. 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
- The Lover is also known as: The partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder.
8. The Creator/Artist
- 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
- Task: to create culture, express own vision
- Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions
- Talent: creativity and imagination
- The Creator is also known as: The artist, inventor, innovator, musician, writer or dreamer.
The Self Types
9. 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
- The Jester is also known as: The fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian.
10. 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.
- The Sage is also known as: The expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative.
11. 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
- The Magician is also known as:The visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man.
12. 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
- The Ruler is also known as: The boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator.
A Corporate Perspective on Jungian Archetypes
Which well known corporate brands are representative of each of the archetypes?
If you liked this post, you will also like Why Business Leaders Hire Coaches and What is a Story?.
Further Personality Resources
Conor explaining the Big 5 Personality Traits…
Other Personality Profile tools to understand yourself and those around you:
- The Myers-Briggs type indicator (not free), Here’s a free Myers-Briggs style test
- The DISC Profile
- The Eneagram
What is your dominant archetype? I’d love to hear in the comments below 😉