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psychology intro

Jungian archetypes

We all carry an image of ourselves in our minds of who we are, what we are like, and what qualities we have.  We form this sense of self through repeated experiences in the world with others and through self-reflection.  We are inextricably linked to the world around us – interconnected.

People throughout our lives have given us direct and indirect information about who we are through what they see in us and how they respond to us.  We then internalize these reflections from others and take what “fits” with how we would like to see ourselves and reject what “doesn’t fit.”  Through this process of filtering information, we (hopefully) form a coherent sense of identity in the world.

When you dive into these archetypes and the behaviour traits of each, you will probably recognise yourself, your family and your friends.


Jungian archetypes are defined as universal, primal symbols and images that derive from the collective unconscious, as proposed by Carl Jung. They are the psychic counterpart of instinct. It is described as a kind of innate unspecific knowledge, derived from the sum total of human history, which prefigures and directs conscious behaviour.

Jung coined the term “Archetypes” in the context of personality. He said we all have a “collective unconscious” that channel experiences and emotions, resulting in typical patterns of behaviour. In other words, we are born with the same instincts and unconscious understanding of behavioural patterns and we recognise them when we see them.

Archetypes want to express and are expressed through images, symbols, myths, and fairytales created by man. 

Jung analyzed the dreams of many people ("mapping" the subconscious - Freud). By attempting to find a common human thread among many cultures and the subconscious itself, he proposed the concept of archetypes. Some view archetypes mystically as part of the "collective unconscious" (kind of similar to Plato's "Forms") and others see instead a valiant effort to find the essential concepts relevant to every man (though of course not all cultures could be studied).

Man And His Symbols

Plato, (The Greek philosopher) who was knocking about in Athens in 348 B.C. explored the idea of archetypes when he spoke of “forms of intuition” as the templates of intuitive understanding.

Critics have accused Jung of metaphysical essentialism. His psychology, particularly his thoughts on spirit, lacked necessary scientific basis, making it mystical and based on foundational truth.

Felicity's Test Result

Example of test


Based on the answers that Felicity provided, we have found archetypes for both her inner self and the persona of her personality:

Motto: Free to be you and me
Core desire: to get to paradise
Goal: to be happy
Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong
Strategy: to do things right
Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence
Talent: faith and optimism

The Innocent is also known as Utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer.


The Innocent

Safety |  Yearns for the Spiritual

Just like a young child, the Innocent is bright, open-minded, happy, and generally full of positivity. They notice the good in the world, even if others sometimes struggle to see the light.

Known for being kind, trusting, and unpretentious, they fear punishment and need validation. The dark side of their sunny outlook is that their naivety makes them too trusting. The Innocent lights up a room and makes people feel welcome without even trying.

The truth is that all 12 archetypes are present in your psyche. Some will be more pronounced than others. The archetypal qualities that are absent or weaker need developing before you become whole and release trapped emotions. 

We unconsciously connect to brands by archetype marketing.


In a 2001 book “The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes” Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson state that; “Archetypes are the heartbeat of a brand because they convey a meaning that makes customers relate to a product as if it actually were alive in some way, they have a relationship with it and care about it.”

How to observe your Shadow Self

 Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist, called this the shadow.  Jung wrote, “Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants himself to be.  Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is” (Jung, 1938, p. 131).

Our Shadow Selves are those dark and mysterious places within us that we have refused to shine the “light” on, for one reason or another. The human shadow contains every thought, feeling, desire, and personality trait that we have rejected or suppressed.

  • Make a list of 5 positive qualities that you see yourself as having (e.g., compassionate, generous, witty, etc.)


  • Look at each positive quality that you wrote down – describe its opposite (e.g., unfeeling, stingy, dull, etc.)

  • Picture a person who embodies these negative qualities vividly in your mind.  Roughly, this is your shadow.

An important idea here is that the less awareness we have of the shadow self, the “blacker and denser it is.”  For me, this calls to mind a mental image of a very dark area inside a house that never has any light cast on it.  If you think of your conscious awareness as that “light,” then consider the importance of casting the light onto the very darkest places inside your “house” (i.e., the self).

Jung wrote, “To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light.  Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self.  Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle” (Jung, 1959, p. 872).

Jung stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality. According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.

“One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

By illuminating how we construct our identity, mindfulness practice helps us recognize and accept our shadow moment by moment.  Every desirable and undesirable feeling, thought, and image eventually arises in meditation, and we practice noticing and accepting them all.  We see our anger, greed, lust, and fear along with our love, generosity, care, and courage.  Seeing all these contents, we gradually stop identifying with one particular set and rejecting the other.  We eventually see that we have a great deal in common with everyone else – including those we are tempted to judge harshly.  We see for ourselves why people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Siegel (2010)

Jung, C.J. (1959) Good and evil in analytical philosophy.

Jung, C.J. (1938). Psychology and religion. Binghamton, NY: The Vail-Ballou Press, Inc.

Siegel, R.D. (2010). The mindfulness solution: everyday practices for everyday problems. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

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