The Ultimate List of Archetypes (Over 325)by Scott Jeffrey
Archetypes are everywhere.
They are guiding, inspiring, possessing, ruling, and living through us each day.
Archetypes influence 99% of human behavior.
It’s not a question of whether archetypes are influencing your behavior; it’s a matter of degrees.
To the extent you’re aware of the archetypes operating within you is an indicator of your level of consciousness. With greater self-awareness, you’re able to navigate the emotional landscape of archetypes skillfully.
To complement my guide to archetypes, here we’ll explore a comprehensive list of archetypes so you can get to know your psyche.
Table of Contents
What is an Archetype?
Simply put, an archetype is a set pattern of behavior.
Plato referred to archetypes as Forms, which he saw as pre-existing ideal templates or blueprints.
Archetypes are what Carl Jung called “primordial images” and the “fundamental units of the human mind.”
Every character you see on television and in films represents an archetype.
Virtually every response you give to your environment—the way you behave—is an expression of an archetype too.
Almost all human behavior is guided by archetypes.
“Archetypes,” Jung wrote in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche,
“are the living system of reactions and aptitudes that determine the individual’s life in invisible ways.”
How to Create an Archetypes List
The general belief about archetypes is that there are only a select few. For example, a list of archetypes might have only 4, 6 or 12. Or, perhaps you’ll have a list of 52.
The reality is that there are thousands of archetypes. Each one possesses different behavioral patterns and subtleties.
A list of thousands of archetypes, however, won’t be very practical. As Einstein possibly said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
So first, we’ll run through a few archetype lists from popular models. Then, I’ll present a comprehensive list of archetypes for you to review.
Jungian Archetypes List
It seems appropriate to start our journey with the man who popularized the concept of archetypes.
Perhaps more than anyone else, psychiatrist Carl Jung provided us with a map of the human psyche. Through his analytical psychology, Jung classified many of the driving forces that dominate human behavior. (See my beginner’s guide to Jungian psychology here.)
Here are the primary Jungian archetypes, all of which Jung addresses in Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious:
Jung referenced many other archetypes in his work, but the above archetypes list highlights the primary ones.
Archetypes of the Masculine Psyche
Perhaps my favorite (and the most practical) model for understanding archetypes comes from neo-Jungian Robert Moore. In King Warrior Magician Lover, Moore and Gillette highlight the four primary archetypes in the masculine psyche as well as the eight bipolar shadow archetypes that go with them.
The four healthy masculine archetypes are:
The eight shadow archetypes are:
The Detached Manipulator
The Addicted Lover
The Denying “Innocent” One
The Impotent Lover
The four healthy archetypes of boyhood are:
- The Divine Child
- The Hero
- The Precocious Child
- The Oedipal Child
The eight shadow archetypes of boyhood are:
The High Chair Tyrant
The Grandstander Bully
The Know-it-all Trickster
The Momma’s Boy
The Weakling Prince
While Moore’s archetypal research focused on the masculine archetypes, his model extends to the feminine psyche as well where the King is represented by the Queen. He does say, however, that there are other variations in the feminine psyche that probably aren’t addressed in his work.
The 12 Archetypes List
The 12 Archetypes is a popular model from The Hero and the Outlaw by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson. While the book is geared toward building brands, these 12 archetypes apply to individuals as well.
The 12 Archetypes are:
Caroline Myss’s Archetype Cards
Now, we come to Myss’ Archetype Cards, a deck of 80 archetypes.
Her archetypes list includes:
Child: Eternal Boy/Girl
The Archetypes of the Enneagram
Every personality system represents a collection of archetypes. One of my favorite personality models is the Enneagram.
Within the Enneagram community, there are two versions of the model. While they are both similar, they use different names to characterize the archetypes.
One model developed by Don Riso and Russ Hudson outlines the nine personality types (or archetypes) of the Enneagram as follows:
Type 1: Reformer
Type 2: Helper
Type 3: Achiever
Type 4: Individualist
Type 5: Investigator
Type 6: Loyalist
Type 7: Enthusiast
Type 8: Challenger
Type 9: Peacemaker
The other model used by the Enneagram Worldwide and highlighted by Helen Palmer in The Enneagram describes the personality archetypes as:
Type 1: The Perfectionist
Type 2: The Giver
Type 3: The Performer
Type 4: The Romantic
Type 5: The Observer
Type 6: The Loyal Skeptic
Type 7: The Epicure
Type 8: The Protector
Type 9: The Mediator
Riso and Hudson’s Enneagram model also includes nine variations or levels of each personality type. If we add each level as its own archetype, the Enneagram actually contains a list of 81 archetypes. Plus, each type has wings and variants, which easily quadruples the number of potential archetypes.
The Greek Gods
One of the original archetypes lists is represented by the pantheon of gods and goddesses of Greek Mythology.
The list of Olympians include:
A List of Over 300 Archetypes
Finally, we arrive at the ultimate archetypes list:
High Chair Tyrant
Soldier of Fortune
Wise Old Man
Where to go from here?
As you can see, our psyche is filled with a pantheon of characters vying for our attention. It’s no wonder humans are such complex creatures.
Want to begin to make sense of it all? Start with this guide.