What Type of Archetype Are You?
Recently, a friend challenged our thinking by claiming that with only four archetypes, one can characterize the behavior of any individual. Early in the 20th Century, the eminent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung outlined four main archetypes:
- The Self - the regulating center of the psyche and facilitator of individuation
- The Shadow - the opposite of the ego image, often containing qualities that the ego does not identify with but possesses nonetheless
- The Anima - the feminine image in a man's psyche; or:
- The Animus - the masculine image in a woman's psyche
My friend, however, identified a different set of archetypes:
- The Monarch - From the Greek, meaning "one ruler”, which refers to an absolute ruler (King, Queen, Overlord).
- The Warrior - A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage or aggressiveness (Politician, Hero, Athlete).
- The Shaman - “He or she who can control and/or cooperate with the spirits for the community's benefit” (Wizard, Magician, Conjurer).
- The Jester – “A person retained to provide truth, disguised as casual entertainment and general foolishness” (Joker, Fool, Trickster).
In order to test my friend’s theory, we printed equal numbers of ‘Monarch’, ‘Warrior’, ‘Shaman’ and ‘Jester’ nametags for forty guests at a recent party. Initially, I selected a ‘Jester’ tag for me. After assuming that role, I had no trouble convincing each new party guest to hang an archetype nametag around their neck.
Some guests immediately selected their ‘type’ and others anguished and vacillated over what to choose, as if they would actually have to perform according to their chosen role. Eventually, all but one guest slipped a nametag around their neck and joined the party.
Part of the game was to change roles over the course of the evening. We defined ‘success’ as playing all four roles before the end of the party.
Although our study was not scientific, it was interesting to note:
- Jesters and Shamans tended to hang out with their type, even if they had not met before.
- Warriors just went about their business and never looked back.
- Monarchs gained recognition only when someone changed and “arose” to that status.
- Jesters tended to cheat, by going back to the rack of nametags to change roles, rather than convincing someone to switch with them.
- Women of any role-type had no trouble getting men to change roles with them, simply by asking.
- As in most human endeavors, once a person cast himself or herself into a role, they preferred not to change again.
Since each archetype had positive, but powerful connotations, our party guests seemed empowered as well. When forty people get together, with a desire to enjoy life, it can create a powerful vibration. With a little urging, each participant became a little more of ‘who they really are’.
As a group, we connected to the cosmos by letting the ties to our daily consciousness thin, or in some cases to dissolve altogether. It turned out to be a wonderful experiment in New Energy in a Now Moment.
It was lots of fun, so we hope you will try it at your next party.
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