Carl Jung published his archetypes which encompass key human roles and motifs in his works The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (1969) as well as On the Nature of the Psyche (1954).
His highly detailed and abstract ideas are still used abundantly in film development, storytelling, and advertising today.
Jung stated that archetypes exist in a “psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature.” He proposed that “a group experience takes place on a lower level of consciousness than the experience of an individual,” as mob psychology would suggest.
The 12 archetypes were popularized by Mark and Pearson in the popular brand psychology book, The Hero and the Outlaw (2002). The pair revamped Jung’s original terms into more modern lingo. For example, the Child was renamed as the Innocent.
Each individual is said have a complex blend of a few of the 12 Jungian archetypes, which can gradually develop and change over time due to our life circumstances and personal growth. These archetypes provide general explanations for our various methods of feeling and reasoning.
There is a fair amount of overlap of Jung’s infamous archetypes with other personality theories such as the four humors, temperaments, astrological elements, instinctual variants, and Enneagram—a mystical interconnectedness.
Each archetype has a main goal, fatal flaw, and primary addiction. These qualities manifest in slightly different ways in everyone, however, their trademarks are still easy to pinpoint in behavior.
Before we jump into the archetypes, there are four cardinal orientations (i.e. underlying life motto / inspiration) that must be mapped out, which are:
- Ego → To make one’s presence known and admired
- Order → To maintain structure in societal settings
- Social → To foster genuine connections with others
- Freedom → To break free from physical and psychological limits
The 12 Jungian archetypes popularized by Mark and Pearson are as follows:
- Caregiver (Order)
- Creator (Order)
- Explorer (Freedom)
- Hero (Ego)
- Innocent (Freedom)
- Jester (Social)
- Lover (Social)
- Magician (Ego)
- Member (Social)
- Outlaw (Ego)
- Ruler (Order)
- Sage (Freedom)
The Caregiver sees altruism and self-sacrifice as the pinnacles of maintaining the social structure. They are selfless and generous in their actions and wish to make their loved ones fulfilled and happy through their undying care and dedication.
|Main goal: To help others, give freely, and be recognized for their care and dedication |
Fatal flaw: Tendency to “rescue” people who are detrimental to their mental health
Addiction: Codependency in romantic and platonic relationships
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 2, Enneagram 9, SO instinctual variant, Phlegmatic
At any given time, the Creator has a multitude of projects in the works. Whether it’s to release their stress or spark a sense of meaning, work is their lifeblood. The Creator aims to wholly accept and channel their authentic self towards the external world.
|Main goal: To create and express their thoughts and feelings through various mediums|
Fatal flaw: An abundance of unfinished projects and tendency towards procrastination
Addiction: Overworking, obsessiveness, and tendency towards poverty
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 4, SX instinctual variant
The Explorer seeks an escape to focus upon the next adventure. Although self-centered in nature, the Explorer acquires knowledge and understanding from their personal experiences and gritty autonomy. Their definition of success can be defined as, “I did it myself.”
|Main goal: To be free to wander and interact with surroundings and discover new findings|
Fatal flaw: A sense of ungroundedness; a perpetual feeling of wanderlust
Addiction: Job hopping, extended travel, new experiences, hyper-independence
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 7, Enneagram 4
The Hero seeks to fight for justice and the greater good, however “good” is defined in their minds. Through their conquest and journey, they will encounter many hurdles that will test their true character. The Hero is objective-focused and can develop a savior complex.
|Main goal: To save the day, a person, or accomplish a lifelong goal|
Fatal flaw: Tunnel vision in order to focus upon one objective, fear of failure
Addiction: Ego-feeding and self-validating behaviors, narcissism
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 1, Enneagram 3, SO instinctual variant
Wide-eyed and overly trusting, the Innocent basks in the oblivion of potential threats to live in their imagined utopia. They are prone to indulging in gluttonous behaviors to further distract from the dangers of the world.
|Main goal: To retain their childlike wonder and cheerfulness to live peacefully|
Fatal flaw: Naivety and denial to the dangers of societal hidden traps
Addiction: Excessive consumerism and dependence on sugary highs
Similarities to other personality typology systems: SP instinctual variant
The Jester is essentially a free-wheeling, blatant hedonist who will plot silly pranks simply for the fun of it. The moment is the most important—the past and future are mete illusions that eat away at joy. Even in the most dire of situations, the Jester can always find a way to crack a joke.
|Main goal: To live in the present and enjoy life without any mental or physical bounds|
Fatal flaw: Loss of self-control and the inability to assume responsibility towards anything
Addiction: Hallucinogenics, stimulants, depressants, an adrenaline rush
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 7, SO / SX instinctual variants, Sanguine
What is there to live without passion and romance? The Lover seeks to ignite and feed the flames of lust to seek an emotional high after high. Although initially energetic, their struggles with true intimacy can ultimately fence them into short-lived flings.
|Main goal: To experience a sense of bliss in their relationships|
Fatal flaw: Objectification of others, and problems with intimacy
Addiction: Relationships, lust, and a tendency to lose oneself in another
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 2, SX / SO instinctual variants
As an emotional alchemist, the Magician fills their brain with psychological tactics and strategies to win friends and ultimately influence people. They enjoy having an upper edge with their charisma and sharp-witted tongue.
|Main goal: To transform situations and influence people from their core|
Fatal flaw: Tendency towards deception and manipulation of others for their own needs
Addiction: Hallucinogenics, witchcraft, alchemy, and mind-altering substances
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 5, SO / SX instinctual variants
The Member will do everything in their will to fit in and feel secure in society. They value tradition, loyalty, and safety. When they unintentionally stick out like a fish out of water, they can develop anxious and compulsive behaviors.
|Main goal: To belong to society and fit in seamlessly; to seek peace and security|
Fatal flaw: Being taken advantage of, sticking out unecessarily
Addiction: Catering to everyone’s needs in order to maintain their social status
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 6, Enneagram 9, SP instinctual variant, Phlegmatic
Are rules meant to be broken? Not necessarily, unless if they have to. The Outlaw seeks to destroy and reinvent the wheel for laws they personally see unfit. This often results in chaos, deceit, and mayhem in order to achieve their goals for a better future.
|Main goal: To start a riot or revolution to challenge current norms and accepted ideologies|
Fatal flaw: Habitual destruction and ignorance of the law; criminal activity
Addiction: Preaching freedom and new ways of thinking
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 8, Enneagram 4, Choleric
The Ruler seeks to impose order upon the world. They seek rigidity and responsibility to be in total control of their lives and dictate what should—not could—be done. Structure, in the Ruler’s mind, creates the gateway to productivity.
|Main goal: To maintain and uphold an orderly life while remaining in control|
Fatal flaw: Incapatibility to digest chaos or plan around spontaneity
Addiction: Controlling, adamant behaviors and a looming sense of elitism
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 8, SO instinctual variant, Choleric
Where there is understanding, there is peace. The Sage values knowledge and wisdom above all and will go great lengths to get their hands on books, experiences, and detailed recounts of past events in order to truly make sense of the world.
|Main goal: To attain truth, wisdom, and understanding of life’s mysteries|
Fatal flaw: Lack of empathy, judgementalism and impracticality
Addiction: Being morally correct and promoting objectivity in all situations
Similarities to other personality typology systems: Enneagram 5, Enneagram 1, SP instinctual variant, Melancholic / Phlegmatic
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