12 common archetypes featured

March 10, 2022

A Fundamental Guide to the 12 Common Archetypes


Jung defined 12 common archetypes that he said represented underlying human motives and forces that drive our goals and ambitions. These archetypes were recognized by Carl Jung. Our emotional responses to these brand archetypes are so intense that we find ourselves repeating stories about them over and over again.

Moreover, they have appeared in practically every Hollywood blockbuster and best-selling novel that has been released in the last several years. Every type has its own set of values, meanings, and personality characteristics that separates it from the others in a unique way; hence, the character archetypes.

Even though human beings may be a combination of character archetypes, one archetype tends to prevail. It can be good to become acquainted with our archetypal personalities to have a greater understanding of our behaviors and motivations. Are you prepared to discover which archetype you belong to?

We’ve got you covered! In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • How the collective unconscious plays into the Jungian archetypes
  • The way the twelve archetypes affect the human psyche
  • Deciphering personality traits with each character archetype
  • Using the collective unconscious to understand each character archetype

Why do you need to know about your character archetype?

A conventional portrayal of a person or object is referred to as an archetype. Each time the words “caretaker,” “hero,” “rogue,” or “magician” are said, you not only comprehend what they mean, but you also have a sense of the values, connotations, and personal traits that are associated with each of them. You are aware that the term “caregiver” does not necessarily refer to a woman who is a mother, but rather to someone who provides nurturing, love and loyalty, compassion, and self-sacrifice.

Also, you recognize that a “hero” is more than just a combatant; he or she is a figure that exemplifies steadfast courage, resolution, leadership, and a fervent desire to fight and win a battle against all odds. In this way, each of these conceptions might be considered an archetypal image in regards to a character type. This is what you deal with when it comes to Jungian psychology and the character archetypes.

You must understand your identification talent because, at times, we are unable to delegate skill for ourselves, which is especially true when identifying which of the Jungian archetypes you connect with and which archetype you are not. It is better not to fight talent than it is to own who you are – this is especially true when dealing with the dominating archetypes of the human psyche’s collective unconscious.

How Philosophers perceive the 12 Common Archetypes

Plato, the Famous Greek Philosopher, was the first to use the term “archetype” in conjunction with his concept of forms. Furthermore, it is written in Plato’s forms that he believed in a physical world as well as a non-physical universe made up of idealistic patterns or designs that had come before them. These notions included concepts such as fullness, hardness, and so on.

To further develop this notion, Carl Jung, the Swiss father of analytical psychology, came up with the concept of archetypes. Jung was a specialist in religious and legendary iconography and depth psychology, and he discovered that the dreams and fantasies of his schizophrenic patients typically contained the same themes and symbols. Then here comes one of his most notable works…the character archetypes.

Carl Jung’s idea made significant contributions to contemporary psychology and assisted in the discovery of the underlying rules of human behavior. Everything Jung suggested assisted people in discovering and harnessing their actual selves through their personality types and through the character archetypes.

His research also revealed striking parallels in symbolism and meaning across cultures and periods; he was perplexed as to how this could have occurred, and he concluded that similar concepts arose because our brain contains archetypal notions that were shared by everyone before the person was born. It was believed that this information was unconscious, and it belonged to something he refers to as the subconscious mind.

In his writings, Eric Neuman, a student of Jung’s, argued that “much as the body is made up of organs that have been created genetically before birth,” so the mind is made up of structures (archetypal knowledge) that organize it.” As a result, Jung felt that humanity’s goal was to become aware of this information, which we either inherited or accumulated through some mystical process.

Which of these 12 common archetypes represents you best?

Jung drew twelve primary types of archetypal characters from within his Jungian analysis. Many archetypes pose a radical transformation strongly influenced by each personality type. Certain archetypes – or should we say every single archetype possesses their own independent thinking and new ideas to present to the world. Knowing your character type will help you create order and establish clarity in your human mind. Through this, you can even get to know yourself better.

#1: The Innocent Archetypes

People that identify with the innocent archetype are often criticized for being naïve idealists, which is a common misconception. Those with a positive outlook and cheerful demeanor, on the other hand, may serve as an example to others. The innocent sees the good in the world and the ray of optimism that shines through every situation. People that identify as Innocent desire to be self-sufficient, cheerful, and well-loved.

When people are joyous and trustworthy, and the universe is a secure and respectable place, we are in the golden period. For as long as they feel accepted, it makes no difference to the Innocent whatever group they belong to. Individuals, on the other hand, must choose which characteristics to give up in order to fit in. The Innocent comes to learn that the world is not perfect, which is another positive development.


They will not always be liked, and they will go through “the fall,” in which they will be devastated; they are now referred to as the Orphans because of their situation. Every era has its own version of the narrative of a golden age or a promised land where life has been or will be faultless in the future. Life doesn’t have to be difficult, as the Innocent promises, and the Innocent within each of us is the impulsive, trusting child who, while a little dependent, is excited to go on the journey.

The Innocent seeks safety because he is afraid of being abandoned. It is their trust and optimism that distinguishes them from others and enables them to garner assistance and support for their endeavor. Additionally, their greatest risk is that they may be blind to or reject their glaring defects. They could also become dependent on others to see their heroic efforts through to completion.

#2: The Orphan Archetypes

The orphan archetype represents people who are trustworthy and down-to-earth logical thinkers. Most people may admit to being a little pessimistic from time to time. A place to call home in the world is something they are constantly searching for, and they may belong to a multitude of clubs and societies in an attempt to find a place where they can fit in. Additionally, they avoid situations that could be harmful to them, yet they must learn to refresh themselves by social interaction with others.

As a byproduct of this, they build a good feeling of self within the group, and this strength helps to bring the Hero archetype to life. The Orphan understands that everyone, in their own unique way, is important. It demonstrates a profound framework that is inspired by the injured or orphaned child who asks for very little from life but who teaches us empathy, realism, and social awareness in the process.

It is modest and unassuming in its appearance. Afraid of being mistreated, the orphan tries to recover the tenderness and newborn protection of the womb by being wrapped in the arms of loving parents. They must suffer through the pain of missing developmental stages in order to fulfill their purpose, this heightens their survival instinct. Their connection and practical realism, which they were compelled to learn at an early age, are the sources of their power.

#3: The Hero Archetypes

A hero is usually the main character of a story…but just because they are the main character doesn’t mean the rest of the archetypal characters are less important. The hero’s journey thrives when he or she is in a position of authority and an advocate for others. There’s a chance they believe they have a task that they must complete.

When it comes to pursuing equity and justice, heroes are courageous, and they will stand up to even the most powerful forces if they believe they are true. It is only until the Orphan has developed a less idealized perspective of the world and a reliable sense of self within a group that the Warrior appears.

In order to achieve their objectives in a hero’s journey, people must have the courage and determination to stand up for what they believe in. Following the emergence of a positive, strong manifestation of Warrior, the individual has a sense of self that allows them to care for others, and as a result, they are designated as the Caregiver. Even when all seems lost, the Warrior mounts his horse and travels over the mountain to save the day.

This archetype is strong and bold, and it aids us in developing and attaining goals, conquering obstacles, and enduring difficult times. However, it has a tendency to regard others as enemies and to think in binary terms, especially during the status quo. Good examples of this archetype would be Wonder Woman and Iron Man/Tony Stark.

The Warrior’s mental processes are quite basic, with the one goal of defeating any problems they face, including dragons who live inside their heads and their underlying dread of being inferior to other people. Their task is to provide meaning to what they do, which they accomplish with bravery and warrior’s determination, potentially by selecting battles that are strategically advantageous to them.

#4: The Caregiver Archetypes

Those who identify with the caregiver archetypes (also known as “mother archetype” you can find in fairy tales) are sympathetic and empathic in their actions. It is unfortunate that others can take advantage of their good nature. Parents and caregivers must prioritize their own well-being while also learning to say “no” to the demands of others on a regular basis.

Following the development of discipline and desire to fight for themselves, a person may learn to conduct with meaning, fight for others, and prioritize others as well as the collective good by applying these lessons. It is the altruist who is driven to serve others by empathy, compassion, and altruism that distinguishes the Caregiver.

Considering its tendency for self-sacrifice and sympathetic conduct, the inner Caregiver aids us in raising our children, supporting others in need, and establishing systems to maintain health and life. In order to help others, caregivers must first demonstrate love and compassion for them.

One risk they take is that, in their efforts to help others, they may wind up damaging themselves in the process too. They despise selfishness, especially in themselves, and are fearful of what it will do to them if they allow it to flourish. Among all the archetypes, they cherish human life, human development, and every regular person the most.

#5: The Explorer Archetypes

The explorer is rarely fulfilled until he or she is exposed to a variety of new and exciting experiences. They could find it interesting to visit different countries or learn about diverse points of view and concepts. In order to retain their ability to explore, they find it difficult to commit to one job or relationship for an extended period of time unless the career or relationship allows them to do so.


The individual has established a sense of self, but he or she is seeking something more. In order to pursue new avenues, the individual must journey into the unfamiliar and brave alone, frequently discovering themselves in the process. Their belief that enlightenment is about being better may cause people to move from one self-improvement class to another, without dedicating enough time to actually accomplish anything.

When the Seeker inevitably comes upon unhappiness, he or she wants a revolution in order to modify what isn’t working. Thus, the Rebel archetype is born, and the Seeker archetype is born, both of which renounces the known in order to seek and explore the unknown – hence becoming each other’s best friend. It is necessary for this inner tough guy to confront loneliness and alone in order to construct new paths and avoid aimless wandering from this point forward.

A revolutionary character, who is frequently adversarial, may also be a great asset in helping us uncover our own uniqueness, perspectives, and vocation. It is possible that those looking for anything to improve their lives are ignorant that they already have a great deal of what they are looking for in the first place. They enjoy learning and are enthusiastic in their pursuit, and they typically shun the barrier of outside assistance when possible.

#6: The Rebel Archetypes

When the Rebel discovers anything in the world that isn’t operating properly, they set out to change it. Rebels like to do things their own way rather than following the rules. Rebels, on the other hand, may at times abandon perfectly acceptable customs merely because they wish to improve the system. Rebels may be charming, and they may be able to easily persuade others to join them in their revolt.

The Rebel signifies a person’s rage towards things that no longer suit their needs and a desire to dismantle them in order to make way for something better. This can be extremely unpleasant and can result in the ruin of oneself as well as the destruction of others. If the Rebel can come to terms with and conquer their sorrow, they will be ready to receive love for the first time again.

Although these institutions are backed by society or by our reasoned decisions, the Rebel reflects a suppressed rage against structures that no longer fulfill the needs of living beings. This figure weeds the garden in a way that allows for fresh growth, despite the fact that it is cruel.

The Rebel is a puzzling character whose destructive strength shows a desire to die as well as an inner fear of being destroyed by the world around him. This may remind you of Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games and Robin Hood.

#7: The Lover Archetypes

The lover strives for balance in everything they do. They find it difficult to deal with disagreement, and they may find it difficult to defend their own beliefs and convictions when confronted with more combative types. Following their transformation, the Rebel can discover and commit to their true love and passion. This could be a romantic relationship with another individual or any other aspect of life.

As a result, the true self emerges. The Lover archetype governs all sorts of love, from familial love to friendship to spiritual love, though we are most familiar with it in the context of romantic love. Despite the fact that it can cause heartache and anguish, it also allows us to enjoy pleasure, build relationships, make commitments, and pursue our passion. All of which is the heart of the human experience.

When they put up the effort and devotion necessary to win the heart of another, they frequently display the passion they seek in a relationship. People are terrified of being alone as well as of losing the love that they have discovered, thus a lover makes sure to keep their love relationships going for as long as possible.

#8: The Creator Archetypes

The creator creates things that do not yet exist in the physical world. Rather than be passive consumers of everything, they prefer to generate their own entertainment. Although creators are most usually painters or vocalists, they are capable of working in virtually any industry. The archetype of the Creator may arise as a result of the Lover’s love in order to manifest their full potential and discover their true identities in relation to the rest of the universe.

Also, the Creator archetype supports all forms of creative expression, from the most monumental works of art to the most insignificant shifts in one’s lifestyle or place of employment. It, like stasis, has the potential to cause us to overburden our lives with a constant stream of new projects; nevertheless, when channeled effectively, it allows us to express ourselves in new and innovative ways.

Creators frightened that all is an illusion, endeavor to demonstrate reality from beyond their own consciousness to prove their point. One of the most significant aspects of their journey is discovering and accepting their own selves, as well as discovering their true identities in relation to the outside world. At the end of the day, they only have one job…and that is to keep up with the status quo while also generating fresh ideas.

#9: The Jester Archetypes

You can always rely on a jester when it comes to comic relief. However, while the jester enjoys bringing fun and antics to a party, they also have a deeply spiritual side. They are motivated by the desire to make other people happy, and they regularly employ humor to influence others’ viewpoints. Likewise, the jester may employ hilarity to conceal his or her own inner turmoil from time to time. The archetype of the Fool/Jester invites us to have pleasure in the path of life.

In spite of the fact that the Fool/Jester is prone to laziness, the positive Fool/Jester encourages us to play by teaching us how to make our jobs, interactions with people, and even the most basic routines more enjoyable. In terms of wisdom, the Fool/Jester’s is likely the wisest: “to just embrace life as it is, with all of its uncertainties and obstacles.”


#10: The Sage Archetypes

Above everything else, the sage places a high value on original thought. They can, however, become agitated from time to time due to the fact that they do not know all about the world. Sages are excellent listeners, and they frequently have the capacity to clarify complex subjects so that others may understand them. They are regularly found in positions of authority in educational institutions. While consistently bringing dreams to fruition, the individual continues to hunger for the absolute truth and intensifies their pursuit of it.

This archetype has the ability to offer a great deal of intelligence and wisdom to the table. It is the Sage archetype’s responsibility to seek out the facts that will set us free. A wise Sage can assist us in becoming smart, in perceiving the world and ourselves in a reasonable manner, and in making course corrections based on rational evaluations of the effects of our activities and decisions, particularly when the Sage is able to escape the temptation of dogma. Doesn’t this remind you of Harry Potter?

True knowledge and enlightenment are sought by the Sage, and he is willing to go tremendous distances in search of the next great pearl of insight. The deep concern of the sages and their followers is that their hard-earned wisdom is being constructed on the sand of falsehood. Their best chance of success is to function from a position of perfect truth and to learn to perceive with clarity, distinguishing between truth and untruth without the need to roam aimlessly.

#11: The Magician Archetypes

It is common for the Magician to be charming; they sincerely believe in their points of view and wish to express them with others. People with this personality type are frequently able to see things in ways that other personality types do not, and they can use these insights to help bring transformational thoughts and ideas to the world around them.

To transform conditions, influence the public, and bring visions to life, the Magician archetype must first master the fundamental rules of science and/or metaphysics. If the Magician can avoid the temptation to use power manipulatively, it energizes the forces of good in the world.

A magician’s aim is to transform or modify someone or something in some way, rather than to ‘do magic,’ as the term suggests. Furthermore, the Magician possesses tremendous power and should be treated as such. They may also be terrified of their own abilities and the potential for the harm they can create. They appear to be attempting to transcend into a higher plane of reality as their ultimate goal.

#12: The Ruler Archetypes

The Ruler takes pleasure in being in authority as they are a charismatic leader. Their excellent awareness of what will work in a given circumstance leads them to believe they know what is best for a community or organization, and they might get unsatisfied when others do not share their viewpoints. Furthermore, even if their actions are occasionally misguided, they generally act with the best interests of others in mind.

In the Ruler archetype, we are encouraged to take control of our own lives, our fields of endeavor, and society as a whole. If the mature Ruler is able to avoid the temptation to exert control over others, he or she will create circumstances that embrace the gifts and perspectives of everyone engaged. Good examples of such an individual are Simba from the Lion King and King Arthur.

One of the Ruler’s objectives is to establish order and structure, and as a result, to create a productive society in which the Ruler’s people can live productive and reasonably pleasant lives. This is not a straightforward task because order and disorder are not far apart, and the Ruler must devote his or her entire attention to the task at hand. They bear the burden of responsibility, and as a result, they must bear full accountability – for which they require unlimited authority.

Final Word:

Here, we offer power to you to determine who you are through these archetypal characters. You choose who you are, whichever rings true to your heart and soul, that is who you are.

Which among these common archetypes do you associate yourself with most?

Comment your answers down below!

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