The 12 major archetypes that lay deep within our unconscious mind were first described by Carl Gustav Jung. These are the psychic drives that pattern our social awareness, and even our behaviors.
According to Jung, our engagement with archetypes allows us to tap into their positive worth. Understanding we are not just one archetype, but rather, these are the “ideal” personalities, or creations of our imagination that appear in many of our dreams, fantasies and fairy tale stories. We contain many different archetypes that change and adapt to our normal state of being.
Here are some of the major archetypes described by Jung:
Mars (Ares):: “God of War”, associated with the element of Fire
- Positive: strength, assertiveness, stamina, courage, pioneering spirit, protection and inspiration for all new ideas
- Negative: war, purses their personal goals without regard for others, lack of impulse control
“Daughter of the Moon”, associated with Taurus
- Positive: She seeks peace at any cost, provides food , clothes and shelter for the needy, sociable and physically attractive, “Lady Luck”
- Negative: ferociously jealous, vain, passive aggressive, slovenly, clumsy, bashful, highly sensual and less perceptive to intellectual matters
“Son of Jupiter”, associated with Gemini
- Positive: Learning, knowledge, wit, comedy, teaching, authorship, adaptability
- Negative: puerile, un-grounded, restless, nervous, flighty, unfeeling, “Court Jester”
“The MOON”, associated with Cancer the Crab
- Positive: personal magnetism, domesticity, instincts, the unconscious mind
- Negative: oversensitive, fearful, conservative, clingy, moody, prone to “lunacy”, too attached
“Invincible Sun” (Apollo):
“The SUN”, associated with Leo
- Positive: nobility, divinity, vitality, courage, drama, spirituality, generosity, intuition, prone to nervousness if the situation gets chaotic
- Negative: theatrical, oppressive, authoritarian, “Big Brother” in both family and society, egocentric, proud, hyperactive
Jung said consciousness was “mytho-poetic”, and however complicated that may sound, all it really means is that we are guided by imagination. While others may argue that humans are basically rational, Jung understood just how irrational people really are in their unconscious mind. He also knew that people are not born a “blank slate”, and that we contain the archetypes listed above and many others lurking beneath our ego-consciousness.