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Carl Jung’s Archetypes and How they can help you

Carl Gustav Jung
Psychiatrist and one of the first psychoanalysts Carl Gustav Jung in his study.

Carl Gustav Jung was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who worked in Switzerland in the early part of the 1900s. Initially a kind of apprentice to Sigmund Freud (AKA the father of psychoanalysis), he later became his colleague and heir apparent, following in his mentor’s footsteps into this relatively new field of psychology. While Freud was quite focused on his Oedipus concept (that the son in a family unconsciously wishes to kill his father and sleep with his mother, and the same with a daughter towards her father), and saw many of people’s issues and challenges through the lense of repressed sexual urges, Jung was more interested in investigating the drives and motivations within us which can be likened to that of characters from myths and legends. The differences in opinions on psychoanalysis, its theory and practice are what eventually drove a wedge between these two and led to a break down of their professional and personal relationship. 

Over time Jung developed the theory of the 12 Archetypes, such as the Hero, the Magician, the Caregiver, the Lover etc. assigning a series of talents and skills to each type, as well as strengths and weaknesses.

The archetypes can be useful in the life process for self-reflection as it helps us to look at what are our driving motivations. 

  • What is it that makes us want to do the things that we do? 
  • What is it that makes us get up each morning? 
  • What is it that, perhaps unconsciously, we are trying to achieve in our life? 
  • What impact are we wanting to make on the world?
Then the ‘Greatest Fear’ and ‘Weaknesses’ sections can help us to see what the internal obstacles are they may be holding us back in our lives. This to me is the real gold! in this work of Jung, it’s the seeing what we are aiming for, and then seeing what might be blocking us from achieving our goal. This knowledge can then help us in our Soul Alchemy process. 

Below is a list of Carl Jung’s Archetypes, divided into groups. Each group has a particular goal that defines their vision.

Group 1: Leave A Mark On The World

1. The Hero

  • Type: Ego
  • 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: 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, superhero, crusader, rescuer, the soldier, dragon slayer, the winner, and the team player.

2. The Magician

  • Type: Soul
  • 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.

3. The Rebel

  • Type: Soul
  • 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 Rebel is also known as: The revolutionary, the misfit, wild man, iconoclast.

Group 2: Connect with Others

4. The Orphan

  •  Type: Ego
  • Motto: 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 pretence;
  • The Regular Person is also known as: The good old boy, the working stiff,  the realist, the good neighbour, the solid citizen, the silent majority.

I would say a good example of this Archetype would be the Australian footballer Craig Foster, who as well as commentating sport, is currently very focused on defending the rights of refugees in Australia (‘all men and women are created equal’).

5. The Jester

  • Type: Self
  • 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, deep soul or comedian.

6. The Lover

  • Type: Soul
  • 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, enthusiast, friend, intimate, sensualist, spouse, team-builder.

Group 3: Yearn For Paradise


6. The Innocent

  • Type: Ego
  • 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: The utopian, mystic, saint, traditionalist, naive, dreamer and happy-go-lucky. 

8. The Sage

  • Type: Self
  • Motto: “The truth will set you free”
  • Core desire: to find the truth;
  • Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world;
  • Greatest 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 Innocent is also known as: The expert, philosopher, scholar, detective, advisor, academic, researcher, professional, mentor, thinker, listener, planner, teacher and contemplative. 

9. The Explorer

  • Type: Soul
  • 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;
  • Greatest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness;
  • Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from bordeom;
  • Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit;
  • Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul;

The Innocent is also known as: The seeker, wandered, iconoclast, pilgrim, individualist.

Group 4: Provide Structure to the World


9. The Caregiver

  • Type: Ego
  • 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: not being able to say no, martyrdom and being exploited for good nature
  • Talent: compassion, generosity;

The Caregiver is also known as: The saint, helper, empath, altruist, parent, compassionate, supporter.

11. The Ruler

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

The Ruler is also known as: The boss, leader, king queen, politician, role model, manager, administrator.

12. The Creator

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

The Creator is also known as: The artist, inventor, innovator, musician, writer or dreamer.

 Below is my Youtube video on the Carl Jung’s 12 Archetypes. 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below either this article or on the Youtube video, which Archetypes you might have identified with, and if this recognition  helped you.