Imagine life is a stage and you are the actor trying out for different character roles. Each role has light (beneficial) attributes but also has dark (adverse) qualities, however, each role provides us with lessons to be learned - this is the world of the 'archetype'. These archetypes are universal character patterns that have existed throughout time and across cultures. We all adapt and display them, but the ones we exhibit can differ.
Looking at each archetype, we see each has its own behavioral pattern made up of certain character traits: because we live in a dualistic world, these traits run along a continuum from those which are assets to those which become defects. Some refer to the aspects which are beneficial as light and those which are detrimental as shadow. This duality is ever present in our world and as such, warrants exploration. In this sense we could consider each archetype a microcosm of the universal dichotomy. When we turn our attention to and explore the archetypes, we can better identify them in ourselves and others, our own light and dark traits can be revealed to us, and we can explore the lessons each archetype (or role) has to teach us. We walk this earth, are busy living our lives and for many it doesn't cross their mind to explore their world by becoming aware of character traits and the roles we play. Few people pause to take a personal inventory. But when we do, the archetypes unmask our roles and awaken us to richer and deeper experiences. We can cut to the chase, we can see ourselves and others more clearly, we may see that which can be detrimental to our life, we can change course, we may see the lessons we are here to learn - we can become the captain of our ship - and we are no longer asleep at the wheel. We see more clearly and can live our lives more consciously. This book includes: -Easy to understand descriptions of over a hundred Jungian archetypes or roles people play. -Character traits that will be found under each archetype: beneficial and detrimental. -Suggestions and examples given how to better identify the archetypes in yourself and others. -Psychological, thoughtful questions posed to explore what lessons an archetype might be trying to teach you. -Character Trait Continuum provided for the reader to explore where he falls on the continuum. My goal in writing this book is to provide a description of many (not all) of these archetypes in the simplest of terms for those who have never been able to identify them or the insights they offer. I have followed each rudimentary description with a set of provoking questions you might ask yourself. My hope is that, in doing so, the world of the archetype will awaken within you and you will see them within yourself and others, you may become aware of what they are trying to get you to see or learn, and you will be able to make wiser choices and lead a more conscious, insightful, fulfilling life. This is not a book to read through in one sitting as little will be gained in doing that. I recommend reading no more than a few archetypes at a time and then giving each archetype's character traits, description and accompanying questions thoughtful exploration. At the end of this book I have included a Character Trait Continuum: a long list of character traits which lists the light trait to the left and its opposing trait/s to the right, in hopes it will be equally beneficial and insightful to explore where you feel you fall along the continuum. I hope you enjoy your exploration of the world of the archetypes, and it is my sincere wish that it may expand your present perspective and enhance your life. Janet Rodriguez, MFT, PsyD is a licensed psychotherapist who resides in Laguna Niguel, California. She has a small, limited private practice aimed at serving psychological well-being and spiritual development. She is interested in and embraces religious studies, multicultural traditions and beliefs, across all cultures.