The 12 Archetypes in Personality and Jungian Psychology

Below you will find the full list of the twelve archetypes of personality, along with a brief description of their typical traits.
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The origins of the word "archetype" can be traced back to the days of ancient Greece, with its definition referring to "original pattern". That definition accurately describes the application of archetypes, as we use it to identify the original patterns of personalities, beliefs, and motivations.

Renowned psychologist Carl Jung first developed the 12 jungian archetypes as a framework for understanding fundamental human motivations and the operations of the human mind, or what we also know as the human psyche. Within each archetype lies profound insights into our thoughts, our emotions, and our actions.

The 12 jungian archetypes are known to conjure a combination of mental images and emotional attachments, with each archetype having its own unique set of personality traits, meanings, and values. It is no wonder that archetypes are used in such a wide variety of applications; literature, mythology, branding, spirituality, psychology, and of course, personality.

With that said, literally anything that evokes imagery and emotions could be an archetype. However, these imagery and emotions would hold different meanings depending on the individual encountering them. That explains why Carl Jung defined only 12 primary archetypes that have remained constant, which we now know as the 12 jungian archetypes.

Before we look into the 12 jungian archetypes of personality, it is vital that we first establish each of their cardinal orientations. The 12 archetypes are divided into 4 cardinal orientations. These orientations represent the archetype’s focus - the one single mission that the archetype wishes to fulfil. By understanding these 4 orientations, you'll gain a much better graps of the hidden motivations and self-perceiving dynamics of each archetype.

12 archetypes
  1. Ego
  2. Leaving a mark or making an impact on the world

  3. Order
  4. Providing some form of structure or order to the world

  5. Social
  6. Striving to form intimate connections with others

  7. Freedom
  8. Yearning to realize its own sense of paradise

We experience archetypes as energies. As we have established, archetypes are expressed through intangible elements such as evoking emotions and conjuring imagery - elements that are intangible, but we somehow feel its presence. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with certain energies, but feel unable to accurately describe them.

Whether its the Hero’s energies driving us to discipline our minds and go after what we want, or the Sage’s energies urging us to ponder upon things at a more profound level, or perhaps the Jester’s energies influencing us to inject humour into serious situations. These are all examples of how we experienced archetypes as energies.

It would be far too simplistic to say that each individual’s personality is merely made up of only one archetype. After all, human beings are far more complex than that. Typically, there can be several archetypes forming the core of our personalities.

However, only one archetype tends to have the greatest amount of influence or dominance in our personality. It is through identifying our primary archetype that we are able to define exactly which archetypal energy is governing our thoughts, feelings, and personalities. By doing that, we open ourselves up to understanding the hidden constructs of psyche and personality.

Here is a detailed overview of the twelve archetypes and their most iconic personality traits and motivations:

The Caregiver

The Caregiver is a compassionate altruist whose selflessness comes unparalleled. They're always willing to help the people around them, be it friends, strangers, or sometimes even foes. Their generosity inspires everyone around them and fills receivers with an immense amount of gratitude.

  • Slogan: The simple act of caring is heroic
  • Deepest Desire: To care and protect those around you
  • Goal: To administer aid and help wherever possible
  • Fear: Ingratitude, being taken for granted, and selfishness
  • Strategy: Perform acts of kindness for others
  • Weaknesses: Being exploited for selfish reasons
  • Talents: Compassion, sympathy, empathy, generosity
  • Other Names: The Altruist, The Helper, The Supporter, The Saint
Learn More About The Caregiver

The Creator

The Creator archetype associates itself with being completely and entirely original. Their greatest pride lies in their ability to be creative when it comes to everyday life and achieving the goals that they've set for themselves. Creator's are constantly paving ways for others to follow.

  • Slogan: You are the creator of your own reality
  • Deepest Desire: To innovate and create things of long-lasting value
  • Goal: To achieve the outcome of one’s vision
  • Fear: Achieving unsatisfactory results, executing poorly
  • Strategy: Skill enhancement and perfection
  • Weaknesses: Spending too much time on perfectionism
  • Talents: Creativity, innovation, imagination
  • Other Names: The Artist, The Inventor, The Innovator
Learn More About The Creator

The Explorer

Think of the Explorer as an adventurer who wants to make his mark in the world and discover new lands. The Explorer archetype has a high regard for his or her freedom. Sitting still for even just a short period of time can cause them to feel jittery, uneasy, and restless. They crave adventure and they feed on new experiences.

  • Slogan: Life is an adventure
  • Deepest Desire: Having the freedom to discover oneself through travel and adventure
  • Goal: To live a life worth living
  • Fear: Being trapped, not having freedom, inner emptiness
  • Strategy: Escape reality and seek new experiences
  • Weaknesses: Aimless wandering, not fitting in with others
  • Talents: Independence, being true to oneself
  • Other Names: The Seeker, The Wanderer
Learn More About The Explorer

The Hero

This archetype is known as the Hero. They thrive on bravado and seek every opportunity to display their formidable sense of courage. Individuals who identify with this archetype tend to feel the need to prove their worth by performing courageous acts. It's one of the defining attributes of a typical Hero, and what differentiates it from the 12 archetypes.

  • Slogan: When there’s a will, there’s a way
  • Deepest Desire: Proving one’s worth through acts of bravery and courage
  • Goal: Mastering oneself in a way that can impact the world
  • Fear: Being perceived as weak, vulnerable, or fearful
  • Strategy: Become as strong and capable as possible
  • Weaknesses: Arrogance and overestimating one’s abilities
  • Talents: Courage, bravery, discipline
  • Other Names: The Warrior, The Crusader
Learn More About The Hero

The Innocent

The Innocent archetype is typically naive and easily impressed by anything and everything, making them brilliant audiences for performances. However, their naivety is not what defines them. The Innocent archetype is best defined by its sheer positivity and optimism.

  • Slogan: Live life with full optimism
  • Deepest Desire: To realize one’s sense of paradise
  • Goal: To attain true happiness
  • Fear: Breaking the rules and being punished
  • Strategy: To do what’s morally and ethically right
  • Weaknesses: Being perceived as boring or naive
  • Talents: Unbreakable sense of optimism and having great faith
  • Other Names: The Utopian, The Traditionalist
Learn More About The Innocent

The Jester

The Jester is an archetype that lives for the moment. Nothing pleases them more than experiencing emotions to the maximum. The Jester is the one with the infectious laugh and a bag full of jokes. “Fun” is the Jester's middle name, and it has an insatiable desire for as much of it as possible.

  • Slogan: Life can be fun
  • Deepest Desire: To live in the moment with full enjoyment
  • Goal: Lightening up the world through humour and laughter
  • Fear: Being bored or being perceived as boring
  • Strategy: To inject humour and appreciate the little things in life
  • Weaknesses: Thoughtlessness, lacking seriousness
  • Talents: Infecting a room with laughter and being the center of attention
  • Other Names: The Joker, The Trickster
Learn More About The Jester

The Lover

At first glance, the title “Lover” might come as a surprise to some. However, the Lover archetype is associated less with romance and sexuality, and has more to do with commitment and faithfulness. The Lover archetype revolves vastly around emotions, feelings, and sensuality.

  • Slogan: Love makes the world go round
  • Deepest Desire: To love and be loved
  • Goal: Being in a relationship with people and the things they love
  • Fear: Rejection, being unwanted, loneliness
  • Strategy: To become as emotionally and physically attractive as possible
  • Weaknesses: Losing sense of oneself, trying too hard to please
  • Talents: Being fully committed and expressing oneself with deep passion
  • Other Names: The Partner, The Sensualist
Learn More About The Lover

The Magician

The Magician archetype can be described to be somewhat aloof when it comes to forming personal connections. Their deep connections with the universe makes them difficult to understand. Magicians tend to have a strong belief in their dreams, their abilities, and themselves in general.

  • Slogan: Some want it to happen, some wish it to happen, I make it happen
  • Deepest Desire: To attain knowledge of the world
  • Goal: Seeing dreams and visions to fruition
  • Fear: Not foreseeing negative consequences
  • Strategy: Have a vision and see it through
  • Weaknesses: Becoming manipulative of others
  • Talents: Discovering win-win situations and making deals
  • Other Names: The Visionary, The Inventor
Learn More About The Magician

The Member

The Member is one of the most interesting archetypes in society. They're essentially the building blocks of this world and are the ones who restore faith in humanity. One of the most distinct attributes about a Member is his or her ability to blend into any group thinkable.

  • Slogan: Everyone is created equal
  • Deepest Desire: To build lasting connections with others
  • Goal: Belonging to a tight-knitted community
  • Fear: Being left out or sticking out like a sore thumb
  • Strategy: Remain grounded in values and principles
  • Weaknesses: Forging superficial relationships, being taken advantage of
  • Talents: Empathy, authenticity, realism
  • Other Names: The Everyman, The Realist
Learn More About The Member

The Outlaw

The Outlaw archetype is best described to be free-minded and free-spirited. Nothing stands in their way and nothing controls their desires. They're the true representation of what it really means to be the captain of your own ship.

  • Slogan: Rules are meant to be broken
  • Deepest Desire: To start a revolution or power-shifting movement
  • Goal: Destroying the things that are not working in the world
  • Fear: Being powerless or ineffective in one’s efforts
  • Strategy: To pave new ways through disruption or destruction
  • Weaknesses: Being negatively influenced and committing criminal activities
  • Talents: Inspiring action through freedom and outrage
  • Other Names: The Rebel, The Revolutionary
Learn More About The Outlaw

The Ruler

Leading is arguably the most distinct trait of a ruler. While others tend to avoid playing the role of a leader, Rulers are absolutely comfortable with volunteering to take charge. It's important to note that it's not the desire to lead that defines the Ruler archetype, but the actual quality of leadership that they're able to provide.

  • Slogan: A true leader is hated by most, and respected by all
  • Deepest Desire: To have absolute power and control
  • Goal: Developing prosperous communities and families
  • Fear: Chaos or losing power to someone else
  • Strategy: To lead others to victory, prosperity, and success
  • Weaknesses: Being overly authoritarian, not delegating
  • Talents: Natural ability to lead, exercising responsibility for one’s actions
  • Other Names: The Leader, The King
Learn More About The Ruler

The Sage

The Sage archetype is highly dedicated when it comes to seeking knowledge and wisdom. If the Sage were a vehicle, then information would be its fuel. Practically everything that they experience in life is a lesson for them, as they're able to identify the obscure meanings behind every event in their lives.

  • Slogan: Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes
  • Deepest Desire: To discover the truth behind everything
  • Goal: Understanding the world through careful analysis and wisdom
  • Fear: Being misled or ignorant
  • Strategy: Uncovering wisdom and knowledge through self-reflection
  • Weaknesses: Never taking action and being overly obsessed with details
  • Talents: Possessing great wisdom and intelligence, giving sound advice
  • Other Names: The Scholar, The Philosopher
Learn More About The Sage

We have gone through an exhaustive list of the twelve archetypes, and understood the 4 cardinal orientations, now what? Well, now that you've been introduced to each of the archetypes, you can use this page as a guide for understanding the your own motivations and the motivations of others.

By looking to the 12 archetypes and understanding which particular one dominates our personalities, we begin to realize what is truly important to us, giving us the fighting chance to return to our roots and original callings. We are reminded of our unique purpose, and when we dive even deeper, we begin to understand the direction we must head toward.

Whether it's striving to achieve certain goals you have set out for yourself, or knowing why you behave in a certain way when it comes to certain situations, or becoming aware of your emotions, the 12 archetypes can give you a profound level of self-awareness and self-understanding. But in order to do that, you must first identify your archetype.

Discover More About The 12 Archetypes

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While the names of the archetypes seem mostly self-explanatory, things grow far more complex when you start to go a little deeper...

Beneath the surface, you'll find some extraordinary traits, attributes, and tendencies that you would never expect.

Free Archetype Quiz