Here’s a simple tool you can use to identify your own primary archetypal persona influences: simply make a list of your various social roles. Parent, friend, spouse, doctor, teacher, artist, writer, etcetera; these are social roles you occupy. List your main roles (I’ll fill in mine as an example for you):
- Pet parent
- Spiritual practitioner
- Family member
- Single home owner
Next then, consider the following classes of universal persona archetype forms:
ELDER LEADER ARTIST TEACHER
LOVER IDEALIST COMMUNICATOR
WARRIOR GOLDEN CHILD HEALER
NOURISHER DESCENDER MYSTIC
Can you associate each of your ROLES with one or more of these twelve archetype figures? E.G.:
Archetype role associations
Pet parent : NOURISHER
Teacher : TEACHER
Writer : COMMUNICATOR
Spiritual : MYSTIC/ IDEALIST
Friend : NOURISHER
Family : COMMUNICATOR/ NOURISHER
Single home owner : DESCENDER
The archetypal influences you have just identified (with regard to your own list) are what I call your Archemes in LIFE PATHS. You learn how to appropriately occupy and enact a social role by drawing upon or assimilating to character traits of these collective archetypal figures. As you assume or behaviorally enact these archetypal role types, you embrace these identities on both conscious and unconscious levels at the same time. That means, once you have identified with one of these archetype personas, they are always part of you, even unconsciously while you are expressing other modes. And if you have experienced tension or emotional inhibitions with respect to any of your Role identities, this can create archetypal “shadow” traits that might dog your footsteps and interfere with your sense of self-confidence or competence.
Knowing that your archetypal influences are largely associated with your primary roles in life can help you recognize your own character strengths and weaknesses as well as your self-limiting qualities. Also thinking of your Archemes as an “ensemble cast of Allies” can help you bring together your various role-“guises” to forge and express a more unified Self.
So after identifying your Archemes, you can also look at what strengths you draw from these influences (and you can understand some of your challenges, too). How can you combine some of your strengths across these archetypal forms to pursue a major goal, one that will benefit from having “all of you” activated rather than one ‘part’ or another?
E.G. Designing life after retirement [Readers: You can consider your own Major Goal similarly]
Teacher traits: part-time teaching if needed; continuing with life maps coaching and workshops;
Communicator traits: continue with writing/ publishing;
Nourisher traits: Move closer to family, care well for pets, maintain & expand friendships;
Descender traits: Create space for solitude, contemplation
Mystic traits: Share ideas in new location, form groups, etc.;
Idealist traits: Go for it! (fulfill Life Dream, travel, beautify environs and home!)
COMBINED: “service” orientation in all areas.
In sum, as Socrates reminded us all: “KNOW THYSELF!”
I invite your insights and stories!