Archetypes as we use them were originally developed by Carl Jung, but he didn’t give a number to the amount of archetypes there could be. It’s really fuzzy. There are about 20 that are most talked about that we’ll list below to give you some breadth and understanding of the energy of a variety of archetypes.
To learn more about the Archetypes, tune into our What are Archetypes video here.
Archetypes & Their Energy
The Child or Innocent: Our ‘Inner Child’, connects to our innocence, naivety, and the energy of what we are like before the world and experiences happen to us. This energy is sometimes spoken about as ‘Wounded’ or “Orphaned’ depending on how our Child shows up.
When in balance, the gifts of the Child are beautiful and still needed in adulthood in the right situations.
The gifts: innocence, playfulness, imaginative, free energy, joy
The challenges: Our Child comes up in the worst places when s/he is wounded and not being cared for. The Child doesn’t understand the rules of the world, or emotions for that matter, so being in your Child can often show up as being overemotional, although it may have been the emotion that triggered the archetype. Often when feeling overwhelmed, we can slip into our Child archetype. The challenge is, the Child can’t do the work, so we have to come out of the child to solve the Child’s challenges.
The Adolescent: Our Adolescent archetype takes on the energy of great change. It’s focus is on discovery, curiosity, identity, authenticity and transformation.
The gifts: The ability to let go of what no longer serves, taking risks to test boundaries and waters, the ability to change and move through big transformations
The challenges: The adolescent can be impulsive, making big changes before the rest is ready to adapt. Sometimes s/he wants to burn the whole place down and start over without using wisdom which she is still gathering.
The Mother: The Mother is our inner nurturer. She is the one who cares for things and births children, visions and ideas into fruition. She cares and nourishes them to grow.
The gifts: nurturing love, compassion, motivates growth, wants the best for her children even when it isn’t what they want
The challenges: It can be difficult to watch things grow without controlling them or wanting to hang on to what we birth. The Mother is compassionate and can have a hard time creating boundaries.
The Warrior: The Warrior is our action-taker. This archetype wants to complete the mission is has. S/he is the best archetype for making strong boundaries and accomplishing the tasks to get to your goals. When focused on the mission, a warrior continues until completion or told to stand down.
The gifts: accomplishes goals, offers protection, sets boundaries
The challenges: The Warrior energy can be rough depending on your action-taking energy. Sometimes the Warrior can get so focused that s/he is actually causing havoc and more problems by acting like a bull in a china shop.
The Sovereign: The visionary that leads the other archetypes when she is standing in her power. S/he is able to see what will best serve us and has the tools and the other archetypes to support her. S/he is in control of her emotions and is graceful and just. S/he is also the giver and receiver of blessings.
The gifts: vision, power, confidence, blessings, respect, our best selves
The challenges: The balanced sovereign is a beautiful thing. The unbalanced sovereign can be a tyrant, or seen as the wicked queens in fairy tales. The Sovereign still needs to seek council and wisdom or s/he can be working against our best interests.
The Lover: Our sensual self that is looking for connection, beauty and love. The Lover wants to be in the moment and enjoying life. Art, music and affection are what the Lover relates to.
The gifts: is in the present moment, wants to connect to others, appreciates beauty and art, reminds us to slow down and smell the roses
The challenges: The Lover can be so present that nothing productive happens. The Lover can wait for things to happen to them instead of putting action into motion. The Lover is not the go-getter.
The Seeker: The Seeker archetype is the energy of searching for something better. This archetype can help us become curious about life and also help us expand options when there seems to be little by uncovering new perspectives.
The gifts: opens our eyes to new options, stays optimistic and curious about life, drives us to be better or achieve a better life
The challenges: There is a time for seeking and then there is a time to do. Often Seekers can get caught up and not actually achieve dreams because they are always seeking a new one.
The Sage: The Sage archetype is our inner spiritual guide that offers us wisdom and spiritual comfort. Our Sovereign relies on the Sage for spiritual advisement and blessings to stand strong in her power.
The gifts: spiritual blessings, spiritual guidance, timeless wisdom
The challenges: The Sage is another archetype that is very present to the current moment. The skillset for the Sage is powerful, and limited so we can be challenged if we expect the Sage to be a planner or a mission-focused warrior rather than a guide or let’s say, spiritual coach.
The Crone/Wise Elder: In many more broken down descriptions, the wise elder/wise man/wise woman/crone are broken down into separate categories. Since we don’t need the precision to use them for personal growth work, I usually lump them together and then am able to decide upon deeper reflection how my wise elder shows up. The Wise Elder is just that – the grey-haired man or woman who is able to understand that life is a cycle of repetitions and paradoxes that have been similar for thousands of years. S/he is able to hold the power of life and death, light and dark, pain and joy – all of it.
The gifts: taps into generational wisdom, guides us to our own intuition and inner wisdom, offers the comfort in knowing life is a cycle, grounds us in times of grief
The challenges: The Wise Elder is another wisdom granting archetype that stays in the moment to comfort and offer power through wisdom. As such, relying on her wisdom alone, without employing others archetypes to turn her wisdom into a plan or carry out what she advises, will exhaust her. An exhausted archetype tends to either disappear or not live up to its best potential.
The Jester: The Jester (sometimes called Fool) wants to make light of serious situations even though s/he is quite wise. The Jester uses its energy to make people happy and bring joy which is why the Jester can often address difficult conversations in a way that people will actually hear it.
The gifts: influences people’s decisions without them even knowing, lightens tense situations, offers wisdom in a way people can hear it
The challenges: Sometimes a situation isn’t appropriate for joy and laughter, or needs a bit of intensity. This is not a Jester’s best chance at offering wisdom. Also, while a Jester is great at influencing people, s/he may not always abide by boundaries.
The Destroyer: Although this archetype can be initially thought of in a negative light, there are benefits to the Destroyer. Like the Warrior the Destroyer can hold safety. The Destroyer’s idea is to deconstruct that which is no longer needed. We can destroy old ways of being or ties to relationships that are harmful to us.
The gifts: helps keep boundaries, lets go of what isn’t needed, deconstructs perception
The challenges: Too much of the Destroyer and you will likely let go of more than is necessary or even what you still need. The Destroyer is a powerful force and is best used with wisdom or advisement of another archetype.
The Creator: The Creator is where our ideas and our imagination lives. The focus of the creator is to innovate or make things better in some way. The Creator allows us to express ourselves through art, music and writing in addition to the many other ways of inventing and creating. The underlying mission is often to find their own authenticity and accept themselves.
The gifts: creative energy, birthing innovation, self-knowledge
The challenges: The Creator has a hard time maintaining the everyday. They want to move on to bigger and better creations to explore themselves, so they may have a hard time staying organized or on any type of plan.
The Magician: The focus of the Magician is to transform what is in front of us. It might be transforming our perception, influencing people or changing illusion into reality. Magic allows us to think outside the box and transform what we see.
The gifts: new perspectives, creative thinking, finding unique answers, transforming situations
The challenges: The Magician, when not necessarily needed, can actually do harm. We can use this archetype to subconsciously manipulate people even when it isn’t necessary. This is a powerful archetype and can serve us well if we don’t let the energy go wild and try to transform too much too soon.
Revolutionary: This is the energy of being fed up or having enough and rising to do something about it. The Revolutionary challenges the status quo and asks for change if things can be better. This archetype comes out when s/he has enough of injustices and disrupt what isn’t working.
The gifts: seeks justice for all, creates motivation for action, brave enough to challenge the authorities when needed
The challenges: With so much going on in the world that the Revolutionary can get upset about, s/he needs to choose battles or everything will end up a fight. Impatience can also be a trait of an overworked or immature Revolutionary.
Hero: The Hero energy wants to make good overcome adversity and evil. This energy is competitive and self-sacrificing for the greater good. The Hero lives best in dramatic or urgent situations that need an immediate fixer.
The gifts: helping others, self-sacrificing, generous acts of courage
The challenges: The Hero is a fantastic energy that isn’t always needed. Often, when unchecked, the Hero energy can fix things that don’t need to be fixed or create drama just to have something to fix. The goal is to know what is yours to fix and what you can leave for others to be their own hero.
Mediator: The Mediator archetype wants peace and compromise. They want to solve disagreements in just and fair manner. The Mediator in its highest state looks to create harmony while remaining unbiased.
The gifts: compromise, bringing people together, creating harmony
The challenges: Like the Hero, The Mediator can sometimes fix things that don’t need their assistance. Also, we have to check that our Mediator is being used in an unbiased manner.
Saboteur: The Saboteur energy knows how to interrupt progress or change. While many people think that the Saboteur is a ‘negative’ or ‘bad’ energy, the fact is the s/he has his or her talents like stopping us from doing things that aren’t in our highest interest.
The gifts: able to interrupt a plan, manipulates to get what it wants, can help manifest if we are focused on good (Example – manipulates us to see what we want to see in the world if that is what we focus on)
The challenges: When not in harmony, the Saboteur will feed off our fears instead of our intentions and will manifest what we don’t want to see. Those of us who have strong Saboteurs may take some time to see how the Saboteur shows up in our lives because s/he is tricky.
Judge: Our inner judge is there to be able to see our surroundings and keep us safe. The Judge gone overboard is often what people refer to as our Inner Critic, however, too little Judge energy and we become fools that will fall for anything.
The gifts: able to discern ways to keep us safe, is also able to help us decide what our best decisions are by weighing options
The challenges: Our Judge energy, especially for Perfectionists can get way out of whack and lead us to believe we are not safe when we are. As mentioned, a too strong Inner Critic can take over and keep us from really embracing all of our best qualities while accepting the human flaws.
Healer: This archetype is the one who wants to fix and heal situations. Gentler than the warrior energy, the healer is about healing others as well as healing our own core wounds. S/he honors the body and spirit and remains focused on creating whole health.
The gifts: Our personal development comes through the Healer energy, even when other archetypal energies are present. S/he is able to see the wound and get to the core problem rather than the symptoms. She offers us the chance to heal the wounds we can’t see as well.
The challenges: When we don’t give the Healer a chance, as in ‘I’m too busy to think about that stuff’ she forgets that she can heal and lets all the other archetypes take over. Those who are Healers in life, can find they use all their energy healing others that they forget to heal themselves.
Advocate: The energy can be your biggest cheerleader and is always looking at ways of advocating for your talents, abilities or to speak up when there is injustice happening to you.
The gifts: encouragement, confidence, support, appreciation
The challenges: When the Advocate energy is out of balance, it won’t be able to do its job well. Too little of the Advocate energy and we likely won’t have enough confidence to do the things we want. Too much Advocate and we might exaggerate or become attached to the image we paint which can also wreak havoc in our lives.
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