The A to Z Challenge – J for Jungian Archetypes

JHere’s another post for the A to Z Challenge. All through the month of April (excluding Sneak Peek Sundays), I’ll write a post for each letter of the alphabet. Follow this link to nearly 2000 other bloggers and authors.
The A to Z Challenge – participating blogs

Today’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter J — J for Jungian Archetypes.

Many years ago, while researching for my as yet unnamed, 5-book, 500,000 word, Magnum Opus, I read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces. The book discussed the journey of the archetypal heroes found in world mythologies. (One modern example of the archetypal hero is Harry Potter). Campbell’s book directed me to look into Jungian Archetypes.

What are they exactly? To begin, the origin of the word archetype comes from the Greek archétypon, which means first-molded. In essence, this is the original model of a person – a prototype which others emulate. In psychology, an archetype is a model of personality or behavior universally recognizable by all. In works of fiction, these become the personality traits for the characters.

After splitting from his one-time colleague Sigmund Freud,  Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist, Carl Jung, founded analytical psychology. It was Jung who named the personality traits we all know today – the outgoing extravert and the quiet introvert, for example. But he discovered there were more facets to human personality than just those two traits. Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts of all time, one of which was the archetype. In some respects, it was his interest in world folklore and literature spanning thousands of years, (including his study of prehistoric artworks), that led him to categorize.

Here’s what he came up with.  I tap into these traits when creating my characters for my stories.  See how many make instant connections in your mind.

I’ll start with the  ego and its four functions: Sensation, Thinking, Feeling, and Intuition. From there we have:

  • The Self: the regulating center of the psyche. The whole, unified consciousness and unconscious of a person.
  • The Shadow: the opposite of the ego image. Contains qualities the ego does not identify with but still possesses. The part of the unconscious mind consisting of instincts, repressed weaknesses, and shortcomings.
  • The Anima: the feminine image in a man’s psyche, aka, the unconscious feminine qualities that a male possesses.
  • The Animus: the masculine image in a woman’s psyche, aka the unconscious masculine qualities that a woman possesses.
  • The Persona: how we present ourselves to the world.

Within these, Jung determined the archetypes were limitless. Here are a few recurring ones:

  • The Child: or innocent, is more likely to suffer at the hands of others
  • The Hero: comes from a position of weakness, but in the face of danger or adversity will display courage and self-sacrifice for some greater good.
  • The Great Mother: the bountiful embodiment of the Earth. Refers to any mothering goddess associated with motherhood, fertility, or creation.
  • The Wise Old Man: usually a profound philosopher, who uses personal knowledge of the world to teach wisdom and sound judgment.
  • The Trickster: intentionally breaks the rules but unintentionally gets positive effects out of it.
  • The Devil: displays characteristics of pure evil. Typically self-centered and power-hungry, only interested in achieving personal goals.
  • The Scarecrow: Mysteriously knows everything about the world, yet has had no interaction with the world to gain that knowledge.
  • The Mentor: Are often imaginative people who are more intrigued by future possibilities than concerned with the here and now. A great source of inspiration to the people around them.

I write intelligent characters because I appreciate intelligence. The heroines in all of my stories are strong competent women. All of my equally sharp heroes walk through their world confident and unashamed to be tender and kind-hearted.  That’s what makes both interesting and loveable! Here’s an intriguing clip about the Anima and Animus ~

What’s your type? Take the test and find out!

Tomorrow, letter K!

Rose Anderson ~ Love Waits in Unexpected Places

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
This entry was posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The A to Z Challenge – J for Jungian Archetypes

  1. Totally bookmarking this post. Love it! Very useful, and most if it, I had no clue about!

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge Co-host

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