Deborah Ward

Archetypes - What Are They?

The Word

The word 'Archetype' comes from the Greek arkhetupon ‘something moulded first as a model’, from arkhe- ‘primitive’ + tupos ‘a model’. It is the 'original pattern' or essence from which all other similar patterns, types and templates are based upon. Personality Archetypes represent primordial human characteristics. They can evoke deep feelings, be it inspiration, distaste or profound indifference. These reactions are all interesting.

Jungian Archetypes

Carl Gustav Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, employed the concept of archetypes as universally collective portraits of personality types. He utilised these extensively in his work. The archetypes are timeless and depicted as myths and symbols. As humans, we usually have several archetypes at play at any given time although we tend to have one dominant character as our central theme. This represents our most automatic sense of self and governs our go-to behaviour.

Becoming familiar with our relationships with archetypes gives us greater clarity to the shape of our personality and it's strengths and weaknesses. This self-knowledge provides a frame for defining that ever-illusive concept of who we are. Without this fundamental grasp, attempts at change run the risk of being artificial and may well not serve our best interests. Wholesome change comes from honing our own original self to express itself untethered by false masks. This makes for more informed decisions and, therefore, a more resonant lifestyle.

The Fingerprints of You

Colour Palettes of Character

Understanding our own unique blend of archetypal strengths and weaknesses is like discovering a paintbox of character traits for more accordant interaction with the self and the world at large. Archetypal tendencies often present themselves in dreams to illuminate our psychological state, what strengths we might call upon to help us or what less helpful approaches we are taking. These pieces of information are gems.

In archetypal work, we learn what our comfortable archetypes are as well as the ones we have negative reactions to and those who have little or no seeming impact. As this understanding develops, we become better equipped to witness our responses to events and make more authentic choices. This is personal empowerment. Getting to know your unique array of archetypal influence is like embracing your unique palette of character colour that suit you. Matches and contrasts are made with wisdom.

Fingerprints of Your Character

Although there are many more archetypes, Jung believes that they all gather within this essential classification of 12 types. They all have their strengths, weaknesses, motifs and blend that is as unique as your fingerprints. These prints may be clear and unfettered or, like with most of us, they may have some smudgy bits that might have served us well in the past but have now outrun their usefulness. The clear water of awareness provides a more insightful and smooth experience of being yourself.

Introducing the 12 Essential Archetypes

Very Brief Sketches

Please find below some very simplified sketches of the 12 essential Archetypes as defined by Jung. While I have ascribed some meaning to each one, this is a very personal matter and moves with circumstance. Archetypal meaning is seldom static, but rather evolves, abates, blends and breathes with time. Each will have its own meaning for the viewer despite what it is called.

I have created my own set of many dozens of pictorial Archetype images that are available to work with in sessions.

Archetypal Identities

Evolving Internal Feminine

for Men and Women

Evolving Internal Masculine