An archetype is a symbol that captures the essence of particular talents, temperaments, characteristics and behaviour patterns inherent to each person.
An archetype is a facet of our personality.
Mythology of archetypes
(Translation FR to ENG in progress)
For millennia, every civilization on every continent has become rich and has perpetuated great myths and legends.
The myth that resonates the most in us is undoubtedly the Hero one. We find, in all great mythical heroes, a journey that takes place in a determined sequence: it begins with an “adventure call” pushing the hero to abandon his country and family.
During his journey, he will have to overcome a first obstacle, often helped by a master or a spiritual guide – a test from which he will come out strengthened.
He will then succeed other tests that he will overcome victorious, gradually freeing himself from his mentor’s help, to finally achieve his quest: to reach an apotheosis that symbolically represents his emancipation.
The hero finally returns to his country, completely transformed by the initiation experience of his epic journey and can therefore be involved in the transformation of the kingdom he had left.
All the mythical heroes, from whatever time or culture, follow these schematic outlines.
Contemporary works are no exception : Star Wars, Matrix, Lord of the Rings or Avatar are based on the same archetype.
For each of us, the true heroic quest is to say “YES” to who we truly are and, in the process, to become fully alive and effective in the world we are living in.
Therefore the first step of this journey is to discover the hidden treasure of our true self. The quest itself is full of dangers and pitfalls, but it offers great rewards: the opportunity to find and express the unique gifts we have, the understanding of human nature, the ability to be prosperous and live in harmony with others in our community.
In this search for “who we really are”, we are helped by our inner guides : the Archetypes.
The Archetypes and us
As with the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the DNA wich human race carry and which characterize the individuals, human species also has universal psychological contents which will shape the self development and human relationships.
We all have an idea of what is a mother, a sage, a warrior, a foul and so on. It’s as if our psyche is populated with many characters who have a greater or lesser capacity to influence us during the different phases of our lives.
All these archetypal characters are found in humans, across ages and in all cultures. They tell us about our characteristics and the way we move in this world.
In a nutshell, an archetype is a symbol capturing the essence of the particular talents, skills, temperaments, characteristics and behaviour patterns inherent to each person.
Archetypes are immediately recognizable. For example, both mother and father are archetypes. Like the adventurer or the hermit. You already have an idea of these archetypes and many more in your mind.
In fact, you probably know people who have these archetypes in them. You can probably apply one or more of them to yourself.
Each of us already knows these archetypes intuitively.
Understanding them helps us to clarify why we and others act in a particular way. We understand it in a innate way, and that’s what makes the archetypes so fascinating.
For example, you don’t expect an explorer or a mother to behave the same way with an angry child. ILikewise, a hermit or an adventurer will have a different presence when are asked to speak in front of a large assembly.
On another note, if the warrior is dominant within us, we always see battles to fight and win. If the clown is dominant, we see constant opportunities to laugh and make laugh.
The way we see the world is defined by the archetype(s) that are dominant in our thoughts and actions.
Archetypes are basically characterized by the fact they combine a symbol with an emotion. As a result, they are potentials of psychic energy, constitutive of human activity. Hence the interest and importance of identifying them, and recognize those who are dominant in us.
To help us in this task, several tools and processes have been suggested in recent years and can be found in some books or writings on the subject, including the remarkable Sacred Contracts written by Caroline Myss, a successful American author.
Although their value and usefulness are undeniable, they may seem difficult to grasp. This led to the creation of Identity Pursuit‘s game, guiding the player in a fun and friendly way on the path of his archetypes discovery.
Definitions and texts above come from several sources and archetypes experts such as Caroline Myss, Carole Pearson and Robert Moore.