Appendix: The Four Archetypes of Survival - Caroline Myss (2023)

The child, the victim, the whore, and the saboteur are deeply involved in their most pressing survival challenges. Each represents different issues, fears, and vulnerabilities that you must face and overcome as part of your Sacred Contract. As you do this, see these four archetypes as your most trusted allies, who can represent both spiritual and material forces. They can become your guardians and maintain your integrity by refusing to trade you with it in the name of survival. Keep in mind that like all archetypes, their energies are essentially neutral, despite the negative connotations of their names. (While the child itself sounds positive, variants like the wounded, needy, or orphaned have a similarly negative hue.)

The outline of your Sacred Contract may have been agreed before you were born, but how you respond to the challenges that come your way and how you choose to interact with the people you have contracts with is entirely up to you. When your decisions are made unconsciously and you act defensively and fearfully, you may not learn and grow as you should. The more consciously you remain aware of the archetypal patterns that influence your behavior, the more likely your decisions and lessons will be positive. Now let's take a quick look at each of the four survival archetypes and see how you can learn from them.

the child

The mature personality of the Child archetype nurtures that part of us that longs to be cheerful, innocent, and looks forward to the wonders of tomorrow, regardless of age. This part of our nature contributes greatly to our ability to have fun in our lives while balancing the seriousness of adult responsibility. A balanced child is a joy to be with because the energy that emanates from this part of our personality is positively contagious and brings out the best in others and in ourselves.

The child also determines our ideas about life, security, education, loyalty and family. Its many aspects include the wounded child, the abandoned or orphaned child, the dependent child, the innocent child, the natural child, and the divine child. These energies can arise in response to different situations you find yourself in, but the core issue of all child archetypes is dependency versus responsibility: when to take responsibility, when to be healthily dependent, when to oppose the group, and when to embrace community life. Each of the variants of the child archetype is characterized by specific tendencies, including dark tendencies.

injured child

The wounded child archetype contains memories of abuse, neglect, and other traumas we suffered in childhood. This is the childhood pattern that most people identify with, largely because it has become the focus of therapy since the 1960s. Many people, for example, make the relationship with their parents who raised their wounded child for their own sake responsible for subsequent dysfunctional relationships. On the positive side, the wounded child's painful experiences often inspire a deep compassion and desire to help other wounded children. From a spiritual perspective, a wounded childhood paves the way to learning forgiveness.

The shadow aspect can manifest itself in an ongoing sense of self-pity, a tendency to blame our parents for current shortcomings and resist moving forward through forgiveness. It can also make us turn to parents in any difficult situation instead of relying on our own ingenuity.

(Video) Four Archetypes of Survival Tarot Spread


From little orphan Annie to Cinderella, the orphan in the best-known children's stories reflects the lives of people who are born to feel that they are not part of the family, including the family psyche or tribal spirit. However, since orphans are not allowed to join the family circle, they have to develop independence at an early stage. The lack of family influences, attitudes, and traditions inspires or forces the orphan to construct an inner reality based on judgments and personal experiences.

The shadow aspect manifests when orphans never recover from feelings of abandonment and the scar tissue of familial rejection stifles their maturation, often leading them to seek surrogate family structures where they can experience tribal unity. Therapeutic support groups become shadow tribes or families for an orphan who knows deep down that healing these wounds requires transition into adulthood. Therefore, building mature relationships remains a challenge.

Magical/Innocent Child

Seeing the potential for sacred beauty in all things, the Magical Child embodies wisdom and courage in the face of difficult circumstances. An example is Anne Frank, who wrote in her diary that despite all the horrors for her family when she was hiding from the Nazis in an attic, she still believed that humanity was basically good. This archetype is also endowed with imagination and the belief that anything is possible.

The dark energy of the magical child manifests itself as the lack of the possibility of miracles and the transmutation of evil into good. Pessimistic and depressive attitudes, particularly when exploring dreams, often emerge in a wounded magical child whose dreams were "once" considered stupid by cynical adults. The shadow can also manifest as a belief that energy and action are unnecessary, allowing the person to withdraw into fantasy.

child of nature

This archetype inspires a deep and intimate connection with natural forces and has a special affinity for animal friendships. While the child of nature has emotional and tender qualities, they can also have an inner toughness and resilience—the resilience of nature itself. Children of nature can develop advanced communication skills with animals, and in stories that reflect this archetype, an animal often comes to the rescue his child companion. Many veterinarians and animal rights activists resonate with this archetype because they feel a conscious relationship with animals from an early age. Other adults describe communicating with nature spirits and learning to work in harmony with them to maintain the order of nature.

The dark aspect of the nature child is manifested in a tendency to abuse animals, people, and the environment.

(Video) The Saboteur Archetype - Cultivating Self-Worth to Grow

However, a love of animals is not enough to qualify for this archetype. A lifelong pattern of an intimate and loving relationship with animals, as your psyche and spirit require these bonds as a crucial part of your own well-being, is your best guide.

Eternal Boy/Girl

This archetype guides us to remain eternally young in body, mind and spirit and not to let old age stop us from enjoying life. The shadow of the Eternal Child often manifests as an inability to grow up and take on the responsible adult life. Like Peter Pan, Eternal Boy resists the end of a life cycle in which he is free to live outside the confines of conventional adulthood. The Puella Eternis hue can manifest in women as extreme dependence on those in charge of their physical security. It is neither reliable nor can it accept the aging process. While few people revel at the end of their adolescence, the eternal child is sometimes left floundering and groundless between life stages, having failed to lay a foundation for a functioning adult life.

dependent child

The needy or dependent child carries a heavy feeling that nothing is enough, and is always trying to replace something that was lost in childhood—although exactly that is never clear. Like the wounded child, this leads to bouts of depression, only worse. The dependent child tends to focus on their own needs and is often unable to recognize the needs of others. As with all seemingly negative archetypes, you can learn to recognize their origins and use them as a guide to warn you when you are at risk of falling into needy and self-centered attitudes and behaviors.

divine child

The divine child is closely related to both the innocent child and the magical child, but differs from them in his redeeming mission. It is associated with innocence, purity, and redemption, divine qualities that indicate the child enjoys a special union with the divine itself. Few people, however, tend to choose the divine child as their dominant child archetype because they have difficulty realizing that they could live in divine innocence constantly. And yet, Divinity is also a reference point of your inner spirit that you can lean on when you are in a conscious process of selection. You could also assume that all divinity cannot have a shadow aspect, but that's not realistic. The shadow of this archetype manifests as an inability to resist negative forces. Even mythical gods and most spiritual teachers - including Jesus, who is the model of the Divine Child for the Christian tradition - simultaneously expressed anger and divine strength when confronting those who claimed to represent heaven while condemning injustice, arrogance, or displayed other negative qualities (think of Jesus' anger against the money changers in the temple). Assess your commitment to this archetype by asking if you see life through the eyes of a benevolent and trusting god/goddess, or if you initially respond more with a fear of hurt or a desire to hurt others first.

The victim

Don't let the name of this archetype fool you. If properly identified, the victim may alert you to the possibility of being bullied either through passivity or through inappropriate actions. It can also help you recognize your own tendency to bully others for personal gain. However, we need to develop this clarity of perception, and that means learning the nature and intensity of the sacrifice within us.

In their shadow manifestation, the victim is saying that you are always being taken advantage of and it is never your fault. Sometimes we want to play the victim because of the positive feedback we receive in the form of sympathy or pity. Our goal is always to learn to recognize these inappropriate attitudes in ourselves or others and to act accordingly. We are not made to be victims in life, but to learn to deal with challenges and overcome our fears.

(Video) Greater Empowerment Happens Through the Recognition of Archetypes | The Victim

As you connect with your own inner victim, ask yourself:

  • Am I blaming others for the circumstances of my life?
  • Am I spending time in the pit of self-pity?
  • Do I envy others who always seem to get what they want out of life?
  • Do I feel bullied by others when things don't go the way I want them to?
  • Do I often feel more powerless than powerful?

the saboteur

This can be the most difficult archetype to understand, as its name is associated with betrayal. However, the purpose of this archetype is not to sabotage you, but to help you learn the many ways in which you undermine yourself. How often do you put new plans into action, only to end up getting in your own way as fear undermines those optimistic plans. Or you start a new relationship and then destroy it because you start imagining a painful outcome. You start a working relationship with someone else and once again find yourself in a power struggle that could be resolved peacefully—but you fall into the same destructive pattern because you fear the other person.

The Saboteur's fears and issues are all related to low self-esteem that causes you to make decisions that block your own empowerment and success. As with the victim and the whore, you must take on this powerful archetype we all have and make an ally out of it. In doing so, you will find that it draws your attention to situations where you are at risk of being sabotaged or sabotaging yourself. Once you become familiar with the Saboteur, you'll learn to heed and heed these warnings and save yourself the excruciating pain of making the same mistakes over and over again. Ignore it and the shadow saboteur will manifest itself in the form of self-destructive behavior or a desire to undermine others.

To learn how to become aware of the inner saboteur, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What fears have the most authority over me? List three.
  • What happens when I'm overcome by fear? Does it keep me silent?
  • Do I allow others to speak for me?
  • Do I agree to some things out of fear that I might otherwise disagree?
  • Have I let creative opportunities pass me by?
  • How aware am I at the moment that I am sabotaging myself?
  • Can I see the saboteur in others?
  • Could I offer advice to others on defying the sapper? If yes, what would it be?

To the prostitute

None of us think positively of the term "whore," yet we learn from this archetype the great gift of never having to compromise our mind, body, or spirit ever again. By now you may have reached the point where the whore has become a mature part of you, surrounding you with a powerful vibrational field that says, "Not for sale."

The whore archetype includes lessons in selling or trading one's integrity or spirit for fear of physical survival or financial gain. It activates the seductive and controlling aspects of the unconscious, enabling you to buy another person's stock as well as selling your own power. Prostitution must be understood as selling or alienating your talents, ideas and any other expression of self. The core learning of prostitutes relates to the need to generate and refine self-esteem and self-respect.

(Video) The Power of The Saboteur

We prostitute ourselves when we sell our body or mind for money, or when we compromise our morals and ethics for financial gain. This can be staying in a marriage or a job that puts our well-being at risk for reasons of financial security.

As you identify this archetype, ask yourself:

  • Have I ever sold myself to people or organizations I didn't really believe in?
  • Have I ever stayed in a situation that offered me financial protection because I wanted financial security?
  • Have I ever enabled another person to compromise themselves to gain power over that person?
  • Have I "bought" another person's loyalty, support, or even silence to do what I want?

From another perspective:

  • Have I ever agreed to help someone weakened by their whore archetype?
  • Do I judge others because they constantly compromise?
  • Do I think they are weak and I am a better person?

And from another perspective:

  • Have I ever felt like I was being dragged into a situation where I needed to sell my ethics, but then felt strong enough to say "no"?

Once you've answered these questions, you can determine the rest of the 12 archetypes that make up your personal support team.


What is the wounded child archetype? ›

The Wounded Child – is wounded from abuse, neglect or other traumas suffered in childhood. This archetype, as a child and as an adult, can often have a deep sense of compassion, understanding and sense the wounds of others because she was wounded herself.

What are the 7 inner child archetypes? ›

According to Myss, its presence ranges from "childish to childlike longing for the innocent, regardless of age" and comprises sub-archetypes: "wounded child", "abandoned or orphan child", "dependent child", "magical/innocent child", "nature child", "divine child", and "eternal child".

What is the divine child archetype? ›

The divine child appears when least expected, new potential born from the womb of the unconscious. Helpless and blessed and against all reason, the divine child represents the creative union of opposites that births a new beginning.

What are the 4 archetypes of a woman? ›

All women have different modes of expression, but each woman carries the universal expressions of four main archetypes embodying the feminine essence: The Maiden, The Wild Woman, The Nurturer, and The Wise Woman.

What are the 4 archetypes of leadership? ›

Four Leader Archetypes
  • The Warrior. Action. Learning and Leading by doing. ...
  • The Teacher. Knowledge. Learning and Leading by analysis and expertise. ...
  • The Nurturer. Feeling. Learning and Leading by empathy. ...
  • The Visionary. Vision. Learning and leading by intuitive listening, gut sense and creativity.
30 Nov 2018

What are the 12 main archetypes? ›

There are twelve brand archetypes: The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage. Let's take a look at a few examples: The Innocent: Exhibits happiness, goodness, optimism, safety, romance, and youth.

What are the 5 female archetypes? ›

The seven female archetypes are the innocent (sometimes referred to as the maiden), the caregiver (sometimes known as the mother), the sage, the huntress, the mystic, the queen and the lover.

Are there 4 or 12 archetypes? ›

Carl Jung proposed 12 character archetypes as part of his archetypal theory – but he also said there could be a limitless amount. In this next article, we break down some character archetypes that are rooted in Jungian theory.

What archetype is Jesus? ›

We can believe in Jesus as the historical expression of the ultimate archetype, the divine hero. We can believe that his embodiment of that archetype is a paradigm for our own humanity. We can believe that Christianity is a way of living, rather than a way of believing.

What are the 3 main archetypes? ›

Archetypes are in many ways enduring, but their visual representation evolves over time. Consider three of the most common archetypes: the Caregiver, the Creator and the Explorer.

What are 5 examples of archetypes? ›

Character archetypes
  • The hero. The hero in a story can be male or female. ...
  • The mother figure. In literature, the mother figure is the character who provides either mental or physical protection or nurturing for other characters. ...
  • The innocent. ...
  • The mentor. ...
  • The sidekick. ...
  • The scapegoat. ...
  • The villain. ...
  • The journey.
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What is the dark mother archetype? ›

As an archetype, the Dark Mother represents life, death, earth and sexuality, and deep transformational energy. She has been associated with nurturing, birthing, caring for children, the sick, the elderly, and the dying.

What archetype is Bella Swan? ›

Bella Swan from Twilight is often hailed as the archetype of all Mary Sues. She is described to look much like the author, Stephanie Meyer. Her only significant flaws are being clumsy (which everyone finds cute) and brooding (which draws her significant love interests in more).

Can you have 4 archetypes? ›

You can equip up to 3 Archetypes, depending on how you decide to allocate your Skill Points.”

What are the 4 masculine archetypes? ›

According to Moore, masculine psychology is made up of four major archetypes: King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover. In order for a man to achieve mature masculine strength and energy, he must be in touch with all four.

What are the four major archetypes according to Jung? ›

Carl Jung identified four main archetypes—the persona, the shadow, the anima or animus and the self.

What are the 4 C's of leadership? ›

A long time ago, I was inculcated with leadership principles called the “4 C's” -- competency, commitment, courage, and candor --which I still argue are the right basic leader values from initial leadership roles to senior positions of authority.

What are the 4 essential roles of leadership? ›

The 4 Roles of Essential Roles of Leadership
  • Inspire Trust. Be the credible leader others choose to follow—one with both character and competence.
  • Create Vision. Clearly define where your team is going and how they are going to get there.
  • Execute Strategy. ...
  • Coach Potential.

What are the 4 mindset for effective leadership? ›

According to recent studies, great leaders tend to exhibit the following four traits: people-centrism, purpose-centrism, learning-centrism, and versatility. Here is a summary of these characteristics as well as some ideas on how you can make mindset shifts to apply them to improve your own leadership abilities.

What are the 7 character archetypes? ›

The Archetypes
  • Hero. A hero willingly sacrifices their needs for others. ...
  • Mentor. A teacher or trainer who aids the hero by teaching and protecting them. ...
  • Threshold Guardian. A character who serves to keep the unworthy from entering. ...
  • Herald. ...
  • Shadow. ...
  • Trickster. ...
  • Shapeshifter.
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What are archetypes and its types? ›

What is an Archetype? An archetype (ARK-uh-type) is an idea, symbol, pattern, or character-type, in a story. It's any story element that appears again and again in stories from cultures around the world and symbolizes something universal in the human experience. Archetypes are always somewhat in question.

What are the 13 goddess archetypes? ›

There are 13 seduction archetypes; the siren, the sophisticate, the boss, the bohemian, the coquette, the goddess, the enigma, the sensualist, the lady, the diva, the empress, the ingenue and the gamine.

What are the 6 archetypes? ›

Pearson clearly defines six heroic archetypes—the Innocent, the Orphan, the Wanderer, the Warrior, the Altruist, and the Magician—and shows how we can use these powerful guides to discover our own hidden gifts, solve difficult problems, and transform our lives with rich sources of inner strength.

What is dark feminine energy? ›

What is dark feminine energy? The dark feminine is one-half of the divine feminine. She is not the negative, shadow aspect of the feminine but rather the dark, fiery, transformational aspect of womanhood. The birth, death, and rebirth cycle is at the center of our story as women and at the center of mother earth.

What do the archetypes represent? ›

Archetypes symbolize basic human motivations, values, and personalities. Jung believed that each archetype played a role in personality, but felt that most people were dominated by one specific archetype.

What are Carl Jung's 4 theories of consciousness? ›

4 Carl Jung Theories Explained: Persona, Shadow, Anima/Animus, The Self.

How many archetypes does a person have? ›

Jung used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He identified 12 universal, mythic characters archetypes reside within our collective unconscious. Jung defined twelve primary types that represent the range of basic human motivations.

What are archetypes in spirituality? ›

Archetypes are universal patterns of energy that reflect our collective human experience, transcending time, place, and even language. Appearing in many different forms—from the most heroic faces of our humanity to the darkest and more fearful—archetypes allow us to express and understand the storylines of our lives.

What archetype is Harry Potter? ›

Harry Potter is, himself, a classic archetypal hero, and understanding his archetypal forebears will explain much of his appeal to young readers who are excited by the pleasures and perils of heroism better than older people (Schafer 160).

Is mother Mary an archetype? ›

The Virgin Mary is arguably the archetype of the virtuous woman and even the divine feminine on earth, but we know very little about her. She is remembered in Christianity in a variety of ways including with cathedrals built in her honor.

What are the best archetypes? ›

Best archetype in Bloodhunt tier list
  • Vandal (Brujah)
  • Brute (Brujah)
  • Siren (Toreador)
  • Enforcer (Ventrue)
  • Prowler (Nosferatu)
  • Saboteur (Nosferatu)
  • Muse (Toreador)
5 May 2022

What is the most powerful archetype? ›

The magician is the most powerful archetype according to the theories of Carl Jung. They're the kind of people who promote the advancement of the world thanks to their knowledge and ability to advise and guide others.

What are archetypes in real life? ›

Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions. Although there are many different archetypes, Jung defined twelve primary types that symbolize basic human motivations. Each type has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits.

What are the different archetypes Caroline Myss? ›

Within the pages of this book, Myss writes about ten primary archetypes that have emerged in today's society: the Caregiver, the Artist/Creative, the Fashionista, the Intellectual, the Rebel, the Queen/Executive, the Advocate, the Visionary, the Athlete, and the Spiritual Seeker.

What are the main archetypes? ›

Carl Jung identified four main archetypes—the persona, the shadow, the anima or animus and the self. These are a result of collective, shared ancestral memories that may persist in art, literature and religion but aren't obvious to the eye. These recurring themes help us understand the Jungian archetypes.

What are the 12 types of archetypes? ›

There are twelve brand archetypes: The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage. Let's take a look at a few examples: The Innocent: Exhibits happiness, goodness, optimism, safety, romance, and youth.

What are the 12 story archetypes? ›

12 Archetypal Characters to Use in Your Writing
  • The Lover. The romantic lead who's guided by the heart. ...
  • The Hero. The protagonist who rises to meet a challenge and saves the day. ...
  • The Magician. ...
  • The Outlaw. ...
  • The Explorer. ...
  • The Sage. ...
  • The Innocent. ...
  • The Creator.
30 Aug 2021

What are the 4 stages of Jungian analysis? ›

Jung described the process of transformation as being a four step process that includes Confession, Elucidation, Education and Transformation. These four steps are described by him in his paper Problems of modern psychotherapy which is featured in Volume 16 as well as his book Modern man in search of a soul.

What is archetype and types? ›

Archetype: Generally, the original model from which something is developed or made; in literary criticism, those images, figures, character types, settings, and story patterns that, according to the Swiss analytical psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, are universally shared by people across cultures.


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