Models for coaching

Jungian Archetypes

Jungian Archetypes are universal, symbolic patterns believed to represent fundamental human desires, fears, and behaviours – found in myths, literature, and art across cultures.

Useful in coaching for Self-Awareness 

Jungian Archetypes

What are the Jungian Archetypes?

Jungian Archetypes are universal, innate symbols and images that originate from the collective unconscious. They represent basic human experiences, emotions, and situations that are shared by all people across cultures, religions, and time periods. The concept of these archetypes was introduced by the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung, who believed that these archetypes are essential components of the human psyche.

Brief history of Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung, born in 1875, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. He was a student of Sigmund Freud and, for a time, a close collaborator. However, they had a falling out due to disagreements on the nature of the unconscious mind. Jung believed that the unconscious was not only personal but also collective, containing universal elements shared by all human beings. This concept formed the basis for his theory of archetypes.

Jung’s work has had a profound impact on various fields, including psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, art, and religious studies. His ideas and theories continue to be studied, debated, and applied in various contexts to this day.

the 4 Cardinal Orientations of Jung’s Archetypes

Jung proposed four cardinal orientations, or core motivations, that drive our behaviour. Different personality types (or archetypes) are driven by different motivations. The four Cardinal Orientations are:

Jungian Archetypes - The 4 Cardinal Orientations
  1. Freedom – Yearn for Paradise;
  2. Ego – Leave a Mark on the World;
  3. Social – Connect to others; and
  4. Order – Provide Structure to the World.

1. Freedom – Yearn for Paradise

The Quest for Wholeness and Self-Realisation

The first cardinal orientation of Jung’s archetypes is the yearning for freedom or paradise. This orientation is deeply rooted in the human psyche and represents an innate desire for wholeness, self-realisation, and the search for meaning in life. The yearning for paradise is a driving force that propels individuals towards self-discovery, growth, and the pursuit of a higher state of consciousness.

The Role of the Hero Archetype

The hero archetype plays a central role in the quest for freedom and self-realisation. The hero’s journey is a universal pattern that can be found in the myths and stories of many cultures. This journey often involves overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, and ultimately achieving a state of wholeness or self-realisation. The hero’s journey is not only a metaphor for the individual’s search for meaning, but it also represents the collective human experience, as we are all on a quest for self-realisation and a sense of freedom.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The yearning for paradise is also closely linked to the pursuit of happiness, a fundamental human desire. Happiness, in this context, is not merely the attainment of material wealth or worldly success, but rather a state of inner peace, contentment, and self-realisation. This pursuit of happiness is deeply ingrained in the human psyche and can be seen as an essential aspect of our quest for wholeness and freedom. Achieving this state of happiness requires that we explore and integrate the various aspects of our personalities, ultimately leading to a more authentic and fulfilling life.

2. Ego – Leave a Mark on the World

The Desire for Significance and Legacy

The second cardinal orientation of Jung’s archetypes is the ego, which represents our desire to leave a mark on the world and create a lasting legacy. This drive for significance and legacy is a fundamental aspect of human nature, as we all yearn to make a difference and be remembered for our contributions. In many ways, the ego serves as a motivating force that propels us to achieve our goals, fulfil our potential, and make a lasting impact on the world around us.

The Role of the Self Archetype

The self archetype is an essential component of Jung’s theory of the ego, as it represents the totality of the individual’s personality, including both conscious and unconscious aspects. The self archetype is responsible for integrating and harmonising the various aspects of the personality, ultimately leading to a more unified and coherent sense of identity. In this context, the self archetype helps us to understand and manage our ego, allowing us to strike a balance between our desire for significance and the need for humility and self-awareness.

The Power of Personal Transformation

Leaving a mark on the world and creating a lasting legacy often requires personal transformation, as we must overcome our limitations, fears, and insecurities in order to achieve our full potential. This process of personal transformation is an essential aspect of the ego orientation, as it enables us to grow, evolve, and ultimately make a meaningful impact on the world. Through this journey of self-discovery and transformation, we can come to understand our true purpose and create a legacy that reflects our deepest values and aspirations.

3. Social – Connect to others

The Importance of Relationships and Connection

The third cardinal orientation of Jung’s archetypes is the social orientation, which represents our innate desire to connect with others and form meaningful relationships. Human beings are inherently social creatures, and our relationships with others play a crucial role in our overall well-being and happiness. The social orientation is deeply rooted in the human psyche and reflects our need for love, belonging, and connection.

The Role of the Anima and Animus Archetypes

The anima and animus archetypes play a significant role in the social orientation, as they represent the feminine and masculine aspects of the human psyche, respectively. These archetypes serve as essential components of our relationships, as they help us to understand and relate to others in a deeper and more meaningful way. By integrating and embracing the anima and animus archetypes, we can develop a more balanced and harmonious approach to our relationships, ultimately leading to greater connection and fulfilment.

The Power of Empathy and Compassion

The social orientation of Jung’s archetypes also emphasises the importance of empathy and compassion in our relationships with others. Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is a critical skill that allows us to connect with others on a deeper level and form more meaningful bonds. Compassion, the ability to feel concern for the suffering of others and a desire to alleviate their pain, is an essential aspect of our social nature, as it enables us to care for and support others in their time of need. By cultivating empathy and compassion, we can strengthen our relationships and create a more connected and caring world.

4. Order – Provide Structure to the World

The Need for Stability and Structure

The fourth cardinal orientation of Jung’s archetypes is the order orientation, which represents our innate desire to provide structure and stability to the world. Human beings have a fundamental need for order and structure, as these elements create a sense of safety, predictability, and control. The order orientation is deeply rooted in the human psyche and reflects our need to make sense of the world and create a stable and organised environment.

The Role of the Shadow Archetype

The shadow archetype plays a crucial role in the order orientation, as it represents the darker, hidden aspects of our personalities that we often deny or suppress. The shadow archetype can manifest in various ways, including destructive behaviours, negative emotions, and irrational fears. By recognising and integrating our shadow aspects, we can create a more balanced and harmonious approach to life, ultimately providing structure and stability to our internal and external worlds.

The Power of Ritual and Routine

The order orientation of Jung’s archetypes also highlights the importance of ritual and routine in creating a sense of structure and stability in our lives. Rituals and routines can serve as powerful tools for grounding and centering ourselves, helping us to navigate the complexities and uncertainties of life with greater ease and clarity. By incorporating rituals and routines into our daily lives, we can create a more ordered and structured environment, ultimately fostering a sense of balance and harmony in our lives and the world around us.

The 12 Jungian Archetypes

Jungian Archetypes

Jung identified twelve primary archetypes that represent distinct aspects of the human experience. These archetypes are not mutually exclusive, and individuals may exhibit characteristics of multiple archetypes. The twelve Jungian archetypes are: Innocent, Sage, Explorer, Outlaw, Hero, Magician, Lover, Jester, Everyman, Caregiver, Ruler, and Artist.

1. Innocent

The Innocent archetype represents purity, hope, and optimism. Innocents see the world as a place of goodness, beauty, and opportunity. They often have a childlike wonder and enthusiasm for life.

Jungian Archetypes - The Innocent

Strengths: The Innocent is trusting, optimistic, and open to new experiences. They are often able to see the positive side of things and inspire others with their hope and idealism.

Weaknesses: The Innocent can be naive, gullible, and overly trusting. They may struggle with setting boundaries and can be easily manipulated or taken advantage of.

2. Sage

The Sage archetype represents wisdom, knowledge, and intellectual pursuit. Sages are driven by a desire to understand the world and seek truth in all things.

Jungian Archetypes - The Sage

Strengths: The Sage is analytical, thoughtful, and objective. They are skilled at problem-solving and can provide valuable insight and guidance to others.

Weaknesses: The Sage can be overly analytical, detached, and dispassionate. They may struggle to connect with others emotionally and can come across as aloof or condescending.

3. Explorer

The Explorer archetype embodies a spirit of adventure, curiosity, and discovery. Explorers are driven to seek out new experiences and challenge themselves in order to grow and learn.

Jungian Archetypes - The Explorer

Strengths: The Explorer is adaptable, resilient, and resourceful. They are often courageous and willing to take risks in pursuit of their goals.

Weaknesses: The Explorer can be restless, impulsive, and prone to wanderlust. They may struggle with commitment and find it difficult to settle down or focus on long-term goals.

4. Outlaw

The Outlaw archetype represents rebelliousness, defiance, and a desire for freedom. Outlaws challenge the status quo and push boundaries in order to enact change.

Jungian Archetypes - The Outlaw

Strengths: The Outlaw is independent, fearless, and innovative. They can be powerful agents of change and are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

Weaknesses: The Outlaw can be unpredictable, destructive, and chaotic. They may alienate others with their rebellious nature and struggle to work within established systems or structures.

5. Magician

The Magician archetype represents transformation, creativity, and the ability to make things happen. Magicians are driven to understand the mysteries of the universe and harness their potential to create change.

Jungian Archetypes - The Magician

Strengths: The Magician is imaginative, resourceful, and adept at problem-solving. They are skilled at seeing the potential in situations and people and can bring about change through their creative solutions.

Weaknesses: The Magician can be manipulative, secretive, and prone to delusions of grandeur. They may struggle to accept the limits of their power and control.

6. Hero

The Hero archetype embodies strength, courage, and determination. Heroes are driven to overcome adversity, protect others, and achieve great feats.

Jungian Archetypes - The Hero

Strengths: The Hero is brave, resilient, and focused. They are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good and can inspire others with their courage and determination.

Weaknesses: The Hero can be overly competitive, arrogant, and single-minded. They may struggle to accept help from others and can become consumed by their quest for success or glory.

7. Lover

The Lover archetype embodies passion, connection, and sensuality. Lovers are driven to form deep, meaningful relationships and experience pleasure in all aspects of life.

Jungian Archetypes - The Lover

Strengths: The Lover is empathetic, nurturing, and compassionate. They are skilled at building connections and creating harmonious environments.

Weaknesses: The Lover can be overly dependent, possessive, and prone to jealousy. They may struggle with self-esteem and seek validation through relationships.

8. Jester

The Jester archetype represents humour, playfulness, and the ability to find joy in life. Jesters are driven to entertain, amuse, and bring laughter and lightness to the world.

Jungian Archetypes - The Jester

Strengths: The Jester is spontaneous, creative, and lighthearted. They can diffuse tension and bring people together through humour and play.

Weaknesses: The Jester can be frivolous, irresponsible, and insensitive. They may struggle with taking things seriously and can be dismissive of others’ emotions or concerns.

9. Everyman – characteristics, strengths and weaknesses

The Everyman archetype represents the common person, the average individual who seeks belonging and connection. The Everyman is driven to be accepted and appreciated for who they are.

Jungian Archetypes - The Everyman

Strengths: The Everyman is relatable, dependable, and genuine. They are skilled at building connections and can create a sense of community and belonging.

Weaknesses: The Everyman can be overly conformist, complacent, and lack ambition. They may struggle to stand out or assert their individuality.

10. Caregiver

The Caregiver archetype embodies nurturing, protection, and selflessness. Caregivers are driven to care for others and ensure their well-being.

Jungian Archetypes - The Caregiver

Strengths: The Caregiver is empathetic, compassionate, and supportive. They are skilled at providing comfort and reassurance to those in need.

Weaknesses: The Caregiver can be overly self-sacrificing, codependent, and prone to burnout. They may struggle to set boundaries and prioritise their own needs.

11. Ruler

The Ruler archetype represents power, authority, and control. Rulers are driven to create order, stability, and prosperity in their domain.

Jungian Archetypes - The Ruler

Strengths: The Ruler is decisive, strategic, and commanding. They are skilled at organising and managing resources to achieve their goals.

Weaknesses: The Ruler can be domineering, inflexible, and controlling. They may struggle to delegate, trust others, or adapt to change.

12. Artist

The Artist archetype embodies creativity, self-expression, and the desire to create beauty in the world. Artists are driven to express their unique perspective and share their vision with others.

Jungian Archetypes - The Artist

Strengths: The Artist is imaginative, innovative, and original. They are skilled at bringing new ideas and perspectives to life through their creations.

Weaknesses: The Artist can be overly sensitive, perfectionistic, and prone to self-doubt. They may struggle to find balance between their artistic pursuits and practical concerns.

Using the Jungian Archetypes in coaching

Jungian Archetypes can be a valuable tool in coaching, providing insight into an individual’s personality, motivations, and challenges. By understanding the archetypes that resonate with a client, coaches can help them recognise their strengths, address their weaknesses, and develop strategies for personal growth and development.

Incorporating the Jungian Archetypes into coaching sessions can help clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the patterns that shape their lives. This knowledge can empower them to make conscious choices and create positive change in their personal and professional lives.


Jungian Archetypes are universal symbols and images that represent fundamental aspects of the human experience. By understanding these archetypes and their influence on our thoughts, emotions, and actions, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Whether used in coaching, self-reflection, or creative pursuits, the Jungian Archetypes offer a powerful framework for personal growth, self-awareness, and transformation.

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