jungian hero archetype

February 25, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide to the Jungian Hero Archetype


The Jungian Hero Archetype is associated with the process of overcoming difficulties to attain specified goals. According to Carl Jung, the hero’s goal in myths is frequently to find a treasure, such as a golden egg, rescue a damsel, and return to the fountain of youth. Surprisingly, the Hero archetype, as prevalent as it is in popular culture, is often misunderstood.

Being a Hero is regarded as noble – a mark of manhood (“a genuine man”). A noble life is a well-lived existence. Nonetheless, the Hero archetype represents a more mature kind of child (male) psychology. That is, while it represents the pinnacle of adolescent growth, the Hero archetype is still undeveloped.

Now, what happens when society celebrates the Hero archetype? It ensures that guys are unable to reach complete adulthood. The hero’s greatest accomplishment is to defeat the behemoth of darkness: it is the long-awaited and anticipated mastery of consciousness over the unconscious. Are you ready to find out what it means to be a hero?

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

  • Finding the Hero’s Main Feat and Expected Triumph
  • What it means to embark on a Hero’s Journey
  • The Unconscious Desire of the Hero Archetype
  • Understanding the Hero Myth and Shadow Hero

What does it mean to be a Hero Archetype?

The Hero, also known as the Warrior or Crusader, can take numerous forms, including superheroes, athletes, and warriors. Their story is well-known; they are either abandoned or trained by their terrible mother archetype or own father then are set out to overcome obstacles that seem impossible. The Hero merely needs to demonstrate her value and return to her normal life.

Nevertheless, they are frequently compelled to act by external factors, whether good or negative. When the Hero has accepted his job, they become focused and will battle for only what is truly important. It is not an option to lose. The Hero will either keep trying or perish trying. He is addicted to achievement, and if one goal is achieved, he will not be pleased until the cycle begins again.

Everyone except the Hero is at peace once the Hero restores it. He frequently emerges from combat with both an incurable wound and a weapon or item that provides him an advantage over his opponents. Even though the Hero is brave, dedicated, and disciplined, he is vulnerable to his Shadow. He struggles to resist apathy, stoicism, refusing help, and, most notably, arrogance.

On the other hand, the Hero could become a vicious antagonist, discarding everything good and rational to achieve his ambitions. Although a hero typically travels down the path of righteousness to accomplish a heroic task that they long hoped for, there is also a dark ground and unconscious drama they need to face that might cause them to take a darker path.

The Significance and Purpose of the Hero Archetype

The Hero archetype, on the other hand, is present in our minds for a purpose. It plays a vital part in mobilizing the hero’s energy, willpower, and strength to break away from the Mother at the culmination of childhood and face the challenges of life. The hero enters a cave to combat a dragon in a hero myth you might know.

This dragon represents the Mother archetype, which the Hero must vanquish to return to his town as a man. The Hero archetype aims to push the youngster to his boundaries, to encourage him to dream, and to summon the bravery to conquer seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Additionally, the person can fight and potentially defeat big opponents with the Hero.

If you have a strong desire to pursue something but are afraid of taking risks, the courage of the Hero archetype can help you. Since the hero symbolizes the courageous altruism that can be found in our human behavior and within one’s true feelings, there is an expected triumph of consciousness when it comes to overcoming obstacles.

How does Psychodynamic Psychology play into this?

To adequately understand archetypes, we must first grasp the psychodynamic theory of mind, which was developed by Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud in the 1920s. When you hear the phrase psycho-dynamic, you’re referring to the concept that there are distinct aspects of the mind that don’t always operate in harmony with one another but are instead frequently at odds with one another.

According to Freud and Jung, the psyche is formed of many, concealed, and frequently antagonistic sub-personalities, rather than the single personality we all believe we have. This is imperative to consider when it comes to understanding a particular archetype and their psychological development – from a woman’s psychology to a man’s unconscious mind.

Thus, this brings us to the dark ground of this archetype, the secret doubt that plagues their human mind and affects their human life, Carl Jung called this the “Shadow hero’s journey”. An important part of a hero’s journey and a hero’s main feat would be their darker hours. It will expose one’s true feelings and vulnerabilities – everything that makes them human.

The Shadow Hero’s Journey

#1: Jung’s Idea of the Shadowy Features

Darkness is always present in archetypal heroism. But here’s the real kicker, a  genuine Jungian one. Darkness comes not only from without the self – from all the difficulties and tribulations that occur during our lives – but also from within The Self. Furthermore, this is the most powerful test of all.


#2: The Dark Side’s Corruption

Beyond all else, it is our corrupt character that must be recognized, acknowledged, and, if not overcome, at least battled against. And in today’s world of victimhood and cancel culture, this is a highly unfashionable thought. The Shadow is the hero’s evil double, rather than his antagonist. We all have that unreasonable, disagreeable, and undesirable element of our character.

#3: Our Personal and Outward Darkness

Our own personal and outward darkness must be confronted and absorbed. According to Jung, we need to be aware of the existence of the shadow since it is an integral aspect of our entire self. It is, in truth, unthinkable for it not to exist. Also, most of us appear to be completely devoid of this understanding. Because, contrary to common assumption, this cunning, concealed, and evil sub-personality is something that we all have, and it is not the sole property of the conniving authority figure.

Victims of abuse by authority figures (especially moral guardians), those who have descended into their depths (junkies and felons), and those who have lived through durations of social breakdown and moral decline when their homelike, amicable, innocuous neighbors turned out to be voracious backstabbers have a better understanding of the phenomena.

The Shadow Hero Archetype when Overcoming Obstacles

We should first confront our own ludicrousness to become whole, to become heroes. It appears that the only way to avoid the shadow is to walk into it. Other people’s shadows are beyond our grasp; they are theirs and theirs alone. To point out another’s shadow while not having transcended our own is the height of arrogance.

The first step is to recognize its presence within us, which is something most of us will never accomplish, but which we should do. Yet again, our collective and sometimes misunderstood cultures and religions have pondered this reality long before we even existed, and they have some great advice for us to contemplate – words that we, for the most part, decide to disregard.

In this ordinary world, we need to bear witness to future threats, worldly exploits, and unconscious complexes – the shadow self. When it comes to a man’s individuation, a genuine claim to self-confidence calls for facing your darker side in order to achieve the expected triumph of consciousness. This is the hero’s archetypal motif based on the long-hoped-for and expected shadowy features that give their character an edge.

The Hero is one of the 12 archetypes that have an unconscious retrospective longing where their feat is to overcome hang-ups and other hindering obstacles that they encounter or have to fight in the world.

Final Word:

The Hero Archetype not only has a genuine claim for self-confidence but also a great sense of righteousness and courage. If you believe yourself to conform with the Hero brand, your feat is to overcome all hardship life has to offer.

Which aspect of the hero archetype is most interesting to you?

Let us know through the comments down below!

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