• Erin

What are Archetypes?

Today we have a guest post from Anne, a former licensed professional counselor and graduate of the Hayden Institute, on the topic of archetypes! Here's what she shares:

You have probably heard the word "Archetypes," but what do they really represent? Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung characterized these intriguing ideas for us.

Archetypes are universal themes, symbols and images that live in our deep unconscious, known as the collective unconscious. This is the part of our psyche that we share with, and inherit from, all of humanity that ever lived. Memories, experiences, and patterns of energy from all cultures and races are stored in this psychic DNA. These universal meanings appear in literature, art, religion, dreams, and other elements of living.

Some examples of archetypes include persons such as: the Hero, the Trickster, the Great Mother, the All Father, the Teacher, the Pope, the Lovers - some of these will be found in the Tarot, Kabbalah, Astrology, and other ancient and newer disciplines.

The Modonna iconography depicts the Mother and Child archetypes.

Archetypes are not just personalities that we would instantly recognize, but also other things, like elements - water, earth, fire, and air. If you ask someone to describe water, they might say "the ocean" or "rain", or "what I drink when I am thirsty." All might be different viewpoints, but all would be aspects of the same thing, and all would be correct. We each have innate understanding of multiple meanings, based on our experiences of these images.

Jung also noted other powerful archetypes: The Persona - the mask or outward face we present to the world. How we want others to see us: The Ego - the "I". How we see and feel about ourselves; The Shadow - what we consider undesirable or nasty qualities that we want to deny in ourselves, don't recognize, or project onto others; The Animus/Anima - the unconscious feminine side in males, and the masculine tendencies in females; and The Self - the archetype of human wholeness, growth, and the experience of a higher guidance.

Hopefully, this overview will invite you to investigate new realms of inner awareness and development through Tarot and Astrology. Enjoy.

Thank you, Anne, for sharing your wisdom with us! To learn more about archetypes and how they related to tarot and astrology, join us on third Fridays at 7p ET for our free Fall series on Jung, Tarot & Astrology, happening now through November.

In peace & love,


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