• What is an Archetype?

What is an Archetype?

When you look at her what archetypes do you think of?
(HINT: See bottom of page for answers)

The easiest way to answer the question is to give you examples: Mother, Father, Child, Fool, Queen, King, Prince, Warrior, Destroyer, Angel, Bully, Victim, Gambler, Rescuer, Thief, Goddess, Monk, Hermit, and so on…

Archetypes are names for a certain types of people. These names are easily recognizable by anyone anywhere around the world.

You know you are referring to an archetype when all you have to do is say the name of the archetype and nothing else. Instantly, anyone you’re talking to gets an image of the type of person you’re referring to, and they often have an entire story around that character. This is indicative of the amount of power that each archetype contains. Archetypes are universal patterns of human nature that coordinate how you think and feel. We all have certain archetypes that are ours to express, and it is often easiest to start with looking at the archetypes other people have.

You might meet someone for the first time and say, “She’s such an angel” or when a friend gets pushy with you, you might exclaim, “Stop being such a bully!”

What is an archetype and where does it come from? The Greek origin of the word “archetype” comes from the roots archē meaning “beginning or original” and typos meaning “pattern, model or type”. Thus an archetype is the original or first pattern from which all others are made of.

Knowing Your Archetypes Helps …Immensely

We all have our own set of specific archetypes that we are working with at any given time. Some of these archetypes are life patterns that we express over and over again. Other archetypes are ones we adopt for certain roles or projects. Until we ask ourselves, “What are archetypes?” these patterns operate unconsciously. The Caregiver won’t be able to stop giving to others and avert burnout. The Hermit benefits from the gifts of solitude and has trouble socializing. The Artist is able to help others with her creative expression, but she may struggle to make ends meet.

Not knowing your archetypes means that you are running on autopilot. This allows the problematic side of the archetypes to run you and the full potential of the gifts to remain untapped.

Knowing which archetypes are yours tells why you are who you are and why you make the choices you do. With this awareness you have the opportunity to view your life objectively. Each archetype has challenges, called the “shadow”, and gifts, called the “light”. When you recognize the shadow side of an archetype in yourself, you can consciously break patterns of unhealthy behavior or choices. Understanding the light expression of an archetype brings you incredible opportunities and allows you to wield the archetype’s gifts more fluently.

  • Knowing your archetypes helps you appreciate the source and nature of your feelings and passions.
  • Once you understand this, you have the chance to shift the patterns that run your life to those that unleash your potential.
  • Your understanding of your life purpose improves when you know what your archetypes are likely to think and express.
  • Identifying the light and shadow expressions of each archetype offers insight into your life circumstances, personal relationships and professional direction.
  • Pinpointing where you are in the evolution from shadow to light helps you map future self-growth.
  • You come to know yourself in a new way. Much less often will you wonder, “why did I just do that?”
  • Having a sense of who you are and honing that allows you to love others more fully and help change the world.

Below is a complimentary series of educational videos about archetypes.
To see the list of videos to watch, click on the “Playlist” button in the upper left hand corner. Enjoy!

ANSWERS for what archetypes the woman in the photo could be: Angel, Mother, Lover, Goddess