Hi there! So, here we are. We’ve finished every one of the 12 heroic archetypes. Perhaps you have recognised yourself in there somewhere. We very rarely have one single archetype operational in our lives, by the way – we’re usually a more complex mix of several different archetypes. Often those are blended at the same stage of development – so I would expect to see someone showing characteristics of both Wizard and Sage, for example, because they are closely aligned at the same level of evolution. But if I saw (say) Ruler and Warrior together, then I might take note of that, because there’s definitely some immaturity about the way the Ruler is governing his world – based on anger and submission rather than justice, perhaps.
Anyway, in a moment I will give you a way of finding out what’s going on for you in your world. For now, though, let’s summarise the 12: as you read these, go slowly, and see which ones speak to you
The 12 heroes
The Apprenticeship – Preparation
The first part of our journey is that of preparation – we grow into who we must become, building our character and learning.
The Innocent: he seeks to remain in safety: to trust someone else to care for him. He is vulnerable and weak, yet in that vulnerability lies trust and a desire to have faith. We all begin as innocents – unable to care for ourselves, we rely on others. The gift is of trust, optimism and loyalty.
The Orphan: as the innocent steps into the world he becomes vulnerable and abandoned: the innocent must step out of safety to grow. In that abandonment comes the opportunity to learn. We step into the orphan as we begin to make a way in the world. The gift is of interdependence, empathy and realism.
The Warrior: soon the orphan learns to fight – to stand up for himself. He starts to conquer, to carve out a life that is truly his own. We become the warrior as we begin to succeed, to dominate our environment. The warrior sets boundaries, defends territory. The gift is of courage, skill and self discipline.
The Caregiver: we begin to step into the power of parenthood, the need to look after others as parents or as leaders. Here the warrior learns the power of sacrifice. The gift is of compassion and generosity.
The Quest – Journey
At this point we are ready to begin the quest of becoming real. Something calls to us and we prepare for a journey to discover what life is about
The Seeker: we begin our quest with the knowledge that there is something more – that what we have is not all there is. For some we will begin a spiritual journey, while others will seek a change in career or a new relationship. For all of us, we know that there is more beyond ourselves – mountains to be climbed, seas to be crossed. The gift is of autonomy and ambition.
The Revolutionary (Destroyer): within each of us is encoded the knowledge that to grow into what will be we must destroy that which is. We clear the ground ready to grow, ready to evolve. The gift is of humility and acceptance.
The Lover: we begin to seek unity – whether with someone or with a group or ideal. We crave connection and long to be whole. We discover passion – perhaps romance, but also passion for truth and for reality. The gift is of passion and commitment.
The Creator: out of the ashes, and out of the passion, rises the desire to build. We inherit the desire to make something new, to create where nothing has been created before. The gift is of creativity, a sense of identity and vocation.
The Return – Freedom
Eventually we become wise. All we have learnt begins to gel into a wisdom and a truth. We are still learning – and yet we know.
The Ruler: we begin to take responsibility for our lives – and for others. Not just our family, but those around us. We take decisions based on what is best for all. We have courage and compassion. The gift is of sovereignty, responsibility and competence.
The Wizard: we begin to align with the power of the universe. The seen, the tangible, the concrete ceases to have as much value as we learn that miracles and magic remain. We begin to step into our own power. We learn to heal. And we learn to name: to create our own experiences. The gift is of transformation and personal power.
The Sage: having sought truth for so long, we cease to become attached to it. We learn true detached wisdom, and can sacrifice for the greater good. The gift is of scepticism, wisdom and lack of attachment.
The Trickster: finally we return to the jester, the joker. Far from being a child, the fool embodies wisdom and embraces life fully. He has learnt to enjoy the journey for its own sake – and to hold all things lightly. The gift is of joy, freedom and liberation.
Now, maybe you have an idea of the predominant archetype that you have running in your life. Take a look at the stories that resonate for you, the characteristics that match. If you want a clearer test, then there’s a detailed test in Carol Pearson’s book ‘Awakening the Heroes Within’. Carol’s book, by the way, is a brilliant in depth exposition of this. I would suggest you take a look at her site www.carolspearson.com/.
But don’t let yourself be boxed in by this stuff. If it doesn’t feel right (after you have given it a chance to settle) then it probably isn’t right for you. Decide what you would like it to be, and then go about making that true. That’s one thing I like about this test – it allows you to step outside the box.
You know, I think that’s enough for today. Check out Carol’s site and some of the companies and famous names that have their archetypes recorded there, and see if you agree. And I will see you next time for a bit more of a wrap up.
Speak to you then!
Find out more at www.timhodgson.org
PS – If you missed any of the preceding parts of the programme – then catch up here: PREVIOUS CHAPTERS