12 Archetypes: Best Jungian Archetypes of Personality

This post includes the 12 archetypes; Jungian archetypes of personality.

The term archetype means a perfect example of a specific type of person. There are 12 archetypes of personality as identified by Carl Jung. Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychoanalyst who brought the concept of archetypes into his theory of the human psyche.

Archetypes are nothing but certain types of characters of a regular person. Some say there are 5 character archetypes, while some root for eight. However, psychologist 1Carl Jung’s idea of archetypes is the most accepted classic theory.

So, in this article, we will introduce you to the 12 character types that Jung identified. To define these brand archetypes, Jung studied the myths and symbolism of various cultures.

As a result of Jung’s research, he stated that these mythic characters or the 12 archetypes reside within a person’s collective unconscious. These 12 archetypes are fairly universal, and Jung believed that each archetype has its own set of meanings, values, and personality traits.

Jung categorized these 12 archetypes into three sets of four, namely Ego, Soul, and Self. So, without any further ado, let us now check the 12 archetypes of Jung’s theory.2

Carl Jung’s Theory of 12 Archetypes

Carl Jung - What are the Archetypes?

These archetypes define our personality types or particular traits that we all possess. And all of us have one of these archetypes that dominate our personality.

The Ego Types

1. The Innocent

This archetypal character is someone who always looks for the good in everything. In simple terms, they are highly optimistic. They see the world as a wholesome place.

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Image from Shutterstock (Forrest Gump; played by Tom Hanks)

They have the desire to be free, happy, and live a simple life. They are pure at heart and fear doing things the wrong way. Their strongest suit is faith and optimism.

Their motto in life is, free to be you and me. The innocent always have a thing to please others; they want to feel a sense of belongingness.

Being naive and vulnerable can be identified as their weakness. The innocent is also usually known as the romantic, dreamer, Utopian, traditionalist, or saint.

2. The Hero

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Image from Shutterstock (Iron Man; played by Robert Downey Jr.)

The Hero is bold, courageous, and inspirational. He is the one who is known as the warrior because he knows how to fight his battles. This character is a person whom you often find in stories fighting the villains to save the day.

They are identified as someone who goes by a plan. They live by the motto: “When there’s a will, there is a  way.” And they never lose their battles because they never give up.

Being confident and mentally strong is their thing. However, they can be overly ambitious, controlling, and overconfident at times, which can count as a weakness.

The Hero’s goal is to find a way to make this world a better place. While they might suffer and fail at times along the way, they will always rise back up from the ashes.

3. The Everyman

Everyman can be recognized as someone faithful, supportive, and down-to-earth. Their main desire is to make connections with other people and feel like they belong. That is their goal too.

Their greatest fear is being left out of the crowd. They live by the motto: “All men and women are created equal.

Although being realistic and empathetic is their strong suit, their need to connect belong and blend in can make them lose themself.

The Everyman is also known as the person next door or the good neighbour.

4. The Caregiver

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Image from Shutterstock (Mother Teresa)

The Caregiver is the best of the 12 archetypes and can be found in anyone around you. They are the ones who are compassionate, generous and nurturing in nature.

Generosity and selflessness are their biggest assets, and that’s how they lead their lives. Their motto is simple: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” They constantly offer protection and care to those around them.

Their only desire is to care for others and keep others from harm. The Caregiver can be found in any form: a parent, spouse, or best friend.

The Soul Types

5. The Rebel

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Image from Shutterstock (Robin Hood)

The Rebel is the one who craves revolution and rebellion. This character type can be identified as a person who doesn’t settle for the status quo. They are someone who will do whatever it takes to bring justice.

They couldn’t care less about other people’s opinions. Their motto in life is: “Rules are made to be broken.” And to make things right, they can go to any extent, at times crossing over to the dark side, which can be identified as a weakness.

6. The Creator/Artist

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Image from Shutterstock (Pablo Picasso)

The Creator is self-sufficient, clever, and has the urge to build things with great value. They have a vision and are highly imaginative; sometimes, they can be the classic artist type.

Their motto is: “If you can imagine it, it can be done.” And they only live to create things that will leave a mark. However, in the quest to do so, they can sacrifice anything, even personal relationships.

The Creator is also known as an inventor, musician, or writer.

7. The Explorer

The Explorer is the one who seeks inspiration from exploration. He finds inspiration in the thrill of new experiences. They have a strong desire for freedom and seek to explore themselves by travelling the whole world.

Their goal is to have a more fulfilling life and to take on every experience. Their biggest fear is feeling empty or getting trapped (physically or mentally).

Their motto in life is: “Do not fence me in.” This personality type is very ambitious and is always on the run for a new journey.

They are often known as the seeker or the wanderer.

8. The Lover

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Image from Shutterstock (Romeo & Juliet)

This character is all about inspiring love, romance, and commitment. They are utterly devoted to affection and intimacy.

Their goal is to feel loved and be in loving relationships. And that is why feeling unloved or being left alone is one of their greatest fears.

This character type is the one who will do anything for love, and you can portray them as a protagonist in a great love tale with a sad ending. They are just highly in love with the feeling of “being in love and loving others.

The Self Types

9.  The Jester

The Jester is a character archetype who is all about happiness and laughter. They will laugh even at themselves.

They desire to just live in the moment and enjoy life to its fullest. Spreading joy is their basic human nature, and they live by the motto: “You only live once.”

Today they are also known as the joker because their words are often masked by humour. They do not take life too seriously because they want to have a good time.

10. The Magician

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Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

The Magician is the one who makes things turn into reality. Do not mistake them for those cute men pulling things out for their silk shirts; this character archetype can be a lot more sinister than that.

They develop a vision and seek to live by it because their motto in life is: “I make things happen.” And they are constantly transforming in the quest to make dreams come true.

They can be a bit manipulative because they are always looking for win-win solutions.

11. The Sage

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Image from Shutterstock (Oprah Winfrey)

The Sage, also known as a mentor, has a bright intellect. They seek to see the world and everything using their analytical skills.

In movies, you can find them mostly as wise older men guiding others to their path. But in reality, you can find them in your parents, friends or your teacher.

Their wisdom and intelligence is their asset. They are free thinkers with the motto: “The truth will set you free.”

The Sage character is the brightest of the 12 archetypes. They have only one goal and motivation, which is to nurture the next generation.

Well, for example, take Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars, and Albus Dumbledore- Harry Potter. 

12.  The Ruler

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Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash (Queen Victoria)

The last character of the 12 archetypes is The RulerThis character of the 12 archetypes is the one who always loves to be in control of things.

You can think of them as the typical classic leader. And you wouldn’t be surprised to know their motto, which is “Power isn’t everything, it is the only thing.”

The Ruler is one of the 12 archetypes that seeks power and lives only for it. Exercising power is their ultimate goal.

You may not find this character type wearing a literal crown, but you will always find them wearing one figuratively. Take, for example, Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada.

This character archetype 3is often more dictatorial, while some might stay on top with a little bit of benevolence.

Key Takeaways

So, these are 12 archetypes decoded by Jung. However, this isn’t the only rendition of Jung’s idea for the 12 archetypes; there are other archetypes with slightly different names but essentially with the same morals.

These Jungian archetypes have also been represented from a corporate perspective with well-known brands such as IBM, Cadbury, and Coca-Cola.

These 12 archetypes were one of Jung’s many revolutionary ideas that make up the different ways of being. So, tell us what you think is your character archetype. Comment below.

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1. How did the 12 archetypes come to origin?

Ans. Carl Jung, the renowned psychologist tried to explain the human intellect. In that process, he came to discover that across cultures and periods, there are 12 archetypes which predominantly are present in our unconsciousness making it common for everybody.

2. What is the oldest archetype?

Ans. A ‘Hero’ is the oldest archetype.

3. What archetype was Sherlock Holmes?

Ans. Sherlock Holmes was a Gothic archetype.

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  1. De Rooij, Mark, and Wouter Weeda. “Cross-validation: A method every psychologist should know.” Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science 3.2 (2020): 248-263. ↩︎
  2. Main, Roderick, and C. G. Jung. “Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal.” (2020). ↩︎
  3. Tirtaningtias, Hana, and Dwi Budi Setiawan. “Trickster Archetype as seen in Harry Potter Movies the fourth and the fifth series.” Linguistics and Literature Journal 2.1 (2021): 41-49. ↩︎

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