An archetype is an original model which something is patterned or based on. This term is often used in literature, architecture and the arts to refer to something that goes back to the fundamentals of the art.

Psychologist Carl Jung described several archetypes that are based on the observation of differing but repeating patterns of thought and action and re-appear time and again. Jung believed that archetypes are models of people, behaviours, or personalities. He suggested that the psyche was composed of three components: the ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. Archetypes, according to Jung, exist in the collective unconscious and they are innate, universal and hereditary.

ArchetypeDescription
The Self– represents the whole that unifies the unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual

–  creation occurs through individuation, where various aspects of personality are brought together as one

The Shadow– consists of sex and life instincts.

–  exists as part of the unconscious mind

–  composed of repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts and shortcomings

–  perceived as the enemy, but really amoral

The Anima or Animus–  anima is a feminine image of the male psyche

–  animus is a male image in the female psyche

–  represents the true self rather than the image we present to others

–  serves as the primary source of communication with the collective unconscious

–  the part of your personality which expresses feelings of the opposite gender

The Syzygy–  the combination of the anima and animus

–  the divine couple

The Persona–  how we present ourselves to the world

–  represents all the different social masks that we wear among different groups and situations

–  may appear in dreams and take a number of different forms

The Father–  authority figure

–  stern and powerful

The Mother–  nurturing

–  comforting

The Child–  longing for innocence

–  rebirth

The Wise Old Man–  guidance

–  knowledge and wisdom

The Trickster–  deceiver and liar

–  trouble-maker

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