Our Not So Perfect Selves

Have you heard of archetypes? These are personality types and the ones below were created by Caroline Myss. They depict an aspect of your personality that makes you keep doing the things you do. Being aware of them is one step to making a change within yourself.

There are over 70 archetypes. Myss states that ‘to help you understand and fulfill your life, you have been encoded with a set of 12 primary archetypes. Four of these are universal archetypes related to survival: the Child, Victim, Prostitute, and Saboteur. We all have these because they are vital to our growth and functioning as adults. The other eight are drawn from the vast storehouse of archetypes and play valuable roles that relate to our work, our relationships with individuals and society, as well as to our spirituality, finances, values, and our highest potential ‘. An example of some of these are listed below’.

  • A Partial Listing of Archetypes

    Actor                    Addict                     Anarchist                Alchemist               Artist             Avenger               Beggar                    Bully                         Bureaucrat            Caregiver     Child                    Clown                      Companion             Coward                  Craftsperson Crook                   Crone                      Damsel                     Detective               Dictator         Dilettante            Diplomat                Disciple                    Dreamer                Diva               Eternal                 M/F Evangelist      Fool                           Gala                       Gambler       God                       Goddess                  Gossip                      Healer                    Herlad
    Hermit                 Hero                        Historian                 Innovator              Judge             Knight                  Lover                       Liberator                Magician                Martyr           Masochist            Matriarch               Midas                       Monk                     Muse               Mystic                  Nature M/F             Networker              Nun                        Olympian       Patriarch             Pilgrim                    Pioneer                    Poet                        Politician       Predator              Priest                       Prince                      Princess                 Prophet         Prostitute            Provocateur           Puck                         Puppet                    Puritan         Rebel                    Redeemer               Rescuer                   Revolutionary       Robot             Saboteur              Sadist                      Sage                         Samaritan              Scholar         Scout                    Seductress              Seeker                     Seer                         Servant         Settler                  Scribe                      Shaman                  Sidekick                  Slave             Spoiler                 Storyteller              Student                   Teacher                   Thief               Tramp                  Trickster .               Tyrant                     Vampire                 Victim Visionary             Warrior                  Witch                      Wizard                    Zombie

  • For more details: https://www.myss.com/free-resources/sacred-contracts-and-your-archetypes/appendix-the-four-archetypes-of-survival/

    How often do we study ourselves in any depth? Last night sitting with friends over dinner we ended up discussing this very point. It’s only we when lose something do we think about and reflect on our loss. With promises to ourselves to make changes and not repeat the same mistakes,  we undertake courses, read books, research and find information about a variety of things and we believe we can and will make those changes.

    Unfortunately once we get back into our comfort zone, we do not continue to reflect but rather tend to revert back to our old ways. Not until an issue rears its ugly head or a warning bell rings, do we think OMG that’s what happened before. It’s only then that whatever we learnt, we start trying to do something about.

    So why do I bring this up? This is where the archetypes come forth. Myss states there are universal ones that are within all of us but you may be thinking how do these archetypes really relate to me? The Prostitute for example is one that I could imagine might offend some people, but this is about us having control over our body, mind and spirit, saying “I am not for sale.” Thus applies to not being held to ransom.

    If you are a relatively positive person being a Saboteur may not sit well either. To understand this we need to examine how it relates to the many ways in which we undermine ourselves. For example, how often do we set new plans in motion, only to end up not following through due to fears that undermine those plans. The Victim on the other hand can alert you to the possibility that you could permit yourself to be victimised or alternatively it could make you more aware of your own tendencies to victimise others.

    The last of the four universal archetypes is the Child and this one is far more complex than the others. The child could be one of seven different personality types. The Child relates specifically to nurturing that part of us that yearns to be lighthearted and innocent, expecting the wonders of tomorrow, regardless of age.It establishes our perceptions of life, safety, nurturing, loyalty and family.

    Looking at ourselves never really hurt anyone except maybe ourselves with the realisation that we are not perfect and that we do make mistakes. Maybe looking at the Myss archetypes may be of value to you.

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