Male archetypes: Which ones are for me?
Male archetypes, while not personality identifications nor specific qualities, do represent consistent patterns of presentation and behavior in men. With that, for our purposes here we’ll explore male archetypes and masculine archetypes together. Masculine archetypes demonstrate common expressions of those who embody masculine energy. Everyone, regardless of gender or orientation, embodies masculine energy at some level and, if we consider the ends of the gender spectrum, the majority of men have predominantly masculine energy and the majority of women have predominantly feminine energy. Yet all beings have both energies in combination.
Our consideration here of male archetypes or masculine archetypes can be explored by and benefit anyone who wants to know these masculine aspects of themselves more deeply. You can also apply the insights and awareness here to others – your parents, children, friends, colleagues, or lovers – whenever and wherever you find expressions of, or desires for, more masculine energy. As you begin to consider these expressions of masculinity more deeply, you’ll notice that some male archetypes are more conscious or mature, while others might reflect immaturity or unconscious behavior patterns in men or masculine beings.
As such you’ll see that many of the male archetype patterns arise from a healthy expression of masculinity. At the same time, the shadow archetypes come into play when natural masculine energy has been either over inflated or underutilized, or even abandoned.
So, regardless of your gender or your predominant sexual essence energy, whether it’s masculine or feminine, you can look for the reflections of the masculine or male archetypes in your own life. You’ll also want to consider how they show up and play out in your close relationships, especially your romantic and sexual ones.
Let’s begin by answering the question, what are the male archetypes?
What are the different Male Archetypes?
In researching masculine or male archetypes you’ll find several different presentations. Here we will explore the most common and most healthy 7 male archetypes. After that we’ll introduce the most common unhealthy or shadow masculine archetypes.
The most well known and well utilized set of male archetypes were defined by Jungian Analyst Robert Moore and Dougles Gillette in their book “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine”.
Moore and Gillette identified the four adult mature masculine archetypes as:
The King: The king archetype brings forth the leadership aspects of masculinity. It holds the viewpoint of highest good for all.The king maintains honor and integrity. He stands rooted and remains centered as the whirlwinds of life surround him. In some schools of thought, the king is known as the sovereign.
The Warrior: The warrior male archetype represents the protector and champion. Deep commitment arises within the warrior. He becomes the champion against his own internal limitations. The warrior remains deeply focused even under the most dire circumstances because he can detach emotionally in order to get the job done. He also continually hones his skills and improves his abilities which means the warrior leans into his “edge” over and over again. In that, the champion aspect of the warrior quite often needs to conquer internal limitations, as much as, if not more, than it might need to defend in the external world.
It’s also important to note that the warrior archetype can often be confused with one of the shadow male archetypes because it is often assumed that the warrior moves from anger or self-centeredness. Some project the idea that the warrior wins for the sake of winning. This is not the case. As with the king, the masculine warrior always moves for the highest good and never acts from anger itself.
The Magician: The magician represents the brilliance and wisdom of the masculine. The magician aspect of masculinity has the ability to access and integrate all of the greatest, most profound, and even hidden, wisdom of the universe. The magician knows he must master his craft and is as much student as he is problem solver. The magician again doesn’t seek knowledge or wisdom for knowledge’s sake. His scholarly pursuits and sagely offerings all again arise for the highest good of all.
The Lover: The lover male archetype has the most obvious connection to its feminine energy counterpart. True Divine Masculine embodiment can’t actually happen without the innate integration of feminine energy in partnership with masculine energy. Within this connection to and union with the feminine, the lover male archetype brings forth play and joy into the world. The lover allows himself sensuous pleasure for himself and others. The masculine is restored and expanded through its capacity for play, joy, love and pleasure.
As you reflect on these first four primary masculine or male archetypes, you’ll want to take note that In the brilliance of their development, Moore and Gillette showed demonstrate that the four archetypal expressions must work together. If any one of these energies begins to dominate, or if one is forgotten or left behind, all will be weakened. The masculine will hold less potency in all aspects of life when these archetypes are not aligned and in cooperation.
Other important mature masculine archetypes
These 3 archetypes will complete the list of the most common 7 male archetypes. With the first and third of these, you’ll want to remember that these are energies and archetypes that commonly arise in all masculine beings. They are not reflections of a particular religion or spiritual endeavor. They simply reflect that as human beings we all have a spiritual aspect that unites us with that which exists beyond our own bodies or forms. That same spiritual nature within our humanness also serves as the unifying point with all of humanity, and ultimately, all that exists.
The Priest: The priest aspect of masculinity knows intimately the unity between our earth bound forms and the realms of consciousness and the mystical. It serves as the conduit between human and divine that we have the capacity to touch, feel, and embody in any, in every, moment. He often serves as a guide as one explores what might be deemed the mysterious, the profound, and the infinite.
The Sage: This energy relates deeply to the Magician archetype described above. It offers the wise and grounded expression of its wisdom in the world. He can translate between the world of consciousness and the realm of the material. He offers the “sage” advice that allows an apprentice to move toward becoming a master.
The God: While this word can potentially be triggering when identified as a male archetype, it is included here to represent the deepest human expression of Divine Masculine embodiment, just as the word Goddess points toward the fullest embodied expression of the divine feminine.
This energy represents the ultimate protector and provider within and beyond. It is the source of all goodness and points directly to the common point we have made in all of these masculine or male archetypal descriptions. Their energy serves the WHOLE of humanity. They serve not the individual but the collective. It is when we hold the highest good for all that we know true love. This is the archetype that has the capacity to bring peace on earth.
Shadow Male Archetypes
In contrast to the conscious mature masculine archetypes described above, we must also acknowledge the existence and presence of the shadow masculine archetypes within us. It is the ignorance of, and the ignoring of, these shadow male archetypes that always weaken the light and power of the above masculine expressions.
The Alpha Male: This is the masculine expression that constantly attempts to be top dog. He doesn’t consider the needs or feelings of others in the pursuit of superiority. The alpha male sits at the extreme of the masculine and feminine energy spectrums and has fully disembodied the feminine expression within.
The Dominant: Similar to the alpha male, the dominate is determined to be top dog and relies on the powers of domination and control – both externally and internally – to make sure no one can impact or threaten him. The dominant male archetype is terrified of the feminine quality of vulnerability and will do all it can to avoid ever feeling that feeling.
The Bully: The masculine bully archetype will make others feel smaller or weaker in an attempt to bolster his own inner perceptions of weakness. He tries to strengthen his own weak relationship with authentic masculinity through attempts to prove to himself he is powerful. Yet, the bully never actually feels strong or powerful within.The bullying continues or gets worse because the person isn’t grounded in the conscious masculine or feminine archetypes.
The Godfather: The godfather wants to be the ultimate provider and protector, yet he attempts to claim that status through the hurt and suffering of others who do not conform to his vision. This is the quintessential opposite of the sacred masculine who always moves for the good of all.
The Dictator: Similar to the above, the dictator male archetype does not consider others in his leadership. He is devoid of the love and compassion, as well as the commitment to good, that come through the conscious masculine archetypes combined with an inner relationship to the Divine Feminine.
The Rescuer: The rescuer archetype plays beautifully with shadow feminine archetypes that have no relationship with their inner masculine. The rescuer craves being the hero. Yet this pursuit of heroism arises again from a disconnection from an inner worthiness and power as the divine masculine. The rescuer believes that he’ll be powerful and loved if he saves the day. Yet, the one who wants to be rescued, the one who believes they need to be rescued, is also devoid of the conscious masculine energy. The rescuee doesn’t believe in their inner strength and ability, their warrior energy, to meet the pain and challenges they face, so they collapse into a feminine victim space looking for a collapsed masculine being who wants to rescue them.
How to work with the patterns you identify
As you explore these masculine and male archetypes, again whether you are predominantly masculine or feminine by nature, you will find the trustworthy and conscious active leader within. This is not to say that feminine energies and archetypes do not embody leadership qualities. The expressions of leadership simply differ. The feminine influences and leads through her beingness – her presence, her grace, her love. While the mature masculine or male archetypal energies must integrate their feminine energies to be the most powerful and effective leaders, that power also arises, at times, from the ability to disconnect from feelings as we see in the warrior archetype. Understanding the nature of men’s emotions will help in integrating the male archetypes.
Additionally, in its commitment to the highest good for all, the divine masculine and conscious male archetypes will unite for greatest vision, power, strength, clarity and accuracy in all endeavors.
“In its commitment to the highest good for all, the divine masculine will unite for greatest vision, power, strength, clarity and accuracy in all endeavors.”~Joanna Shakti
With that, you will want to get to know these masculine archetypal energies and look for how they express, or don’t, within you. If you find yourself lacking a relationship with one of these archetypes, get to know it. Look for your resistances to it or judgments against it. Work with the beliefs and stories that arise in an attempt to block or limit your divine masculine expression. These beliefs may well lead you to your relationship with the shadow male archetypes.
Lean on the conscious masculine archetypes to assist you in dissolving the unconscious shadow nature of the masculine.
Then it must be said that the most powerful masculine beings will not only admit that they can at times, and maybe even regularly, also take on the qualities of these shadow archetypal energies. That is the masculinity you can trust. Those who deny the existence of, or possibility of, these shadow masculine archetypes often live in a false sense of bravado or mistaken spiritual consciousness.
The most awakened masculine men and beings work with their shadows regularly such that these energies don’t unconsciously take over and begin to run the show, leaving one wondering why life challenges him more than seemingly necessary.
You are invited, particularly as a predominantly masculine being, to commit, through the power of the warrior archetype, to step into your greatest self expression, to live beyond your perceived limitations, and to serve the good of all. Through this commitment to highest good – and only through this commitment – will you know the greatest fulfillment and satisfaction of masculine embodiment.
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