In a recent conversation with a dear friend and ally, I received the transmission of a rich tapestry of information on the four primary masculine archetypes. I found the information so immediately helpful that I want to share it with you all. It has great relevance to life work and to work in the healing arts. So often, it is simply a matter of providing a key insight to help a person shift out of a negative pattern, and into a positive one. And although these archetypes have been identified as masculine, I believe women too will recognize their presence and relevance to their own walk through life, both as women, and in their dealings with men. I’m going to present this dense and provocative material bit by bit, so stayed tuned. In this article I’ll give a brief overview, and then a deeper dive into The Lover archetype.

For those of you who have a background in archetypal studies, the work I present here is rooted in Jungian archetypes, but I did not draw my own sourcing for this article from Jung directly, and so I leave the relationship with his work up for more scholarly opinions. But beyond the qualifications of the sourcing, what I’m most interested in here is to explore the practical application of these ideas to life and practice. And so… with that said… off we go.

There are four primary masculine archetypes, the Lover, Warrior, Magician and King. Each of these archetypes has a fully mature expression in the world. The Lover is devoted to truth, beauty and love. The Lover is youthful, and innocent and romantic, sometimes naive, and honest to a fault. The Warrior is devoted to duty, honor, service and “getting the job done.” The Warrior answers the question “Whom do I serve?” and then devotes himself/herself to the required tasks of that service. The Magician is devoted to transformation, growth, wisdom and the knowledge that brings about positive, even magical outcomes to challenging situations. Finally the King is devoted to the realm, to order, sustain alignment with truth, and uphold the common, cherished values that are essential to life in the realm.

To see each of these in a deeper and broader context, the power tool that we use is the existence of pairs of Shadow archetypes that accompany each of the mature expressions. The thing about it is, that many of us live in a world run by the shadow archetypes more than the mature archetypes, and as such we may wonder why life often feels chaotic or not moving forward in the desired direction. I’m going to explore these shadow archetypes with you and invite you to reflect where and when these shadowy figures have gotten their hands on the wheel, and how you might go about wresting the wheel back from them and setting your life on a course more in alignment with a more mature and effective course of action in the world.

Let’s start with a brief exploration of the Shadow Lovers. These manifest as either the Mama’s Boy (Daddy’s Little Girl), or the Addict.

For a Mama’s boy, or Daddy’s girl, this shadow is forever jumping through hoops to attempt to please, appease or rescue, or be rescued by “Mama.” A Mama’s boy is lost in being able to express their own truth and love freely and generously. Rather, their expression of love is always falling into the trap of appeasement, going along to get along and not making waves. As a result the Lover here has become but a shadow of its true self, hiding away who one truly is inside.

The Addict has many of the same attributes of the Mama’s Boy in terms of the sense of a false self, but in this case the goal of the addict is simply to avoid pain at all costs.  Consequently would be objects of affection are used as a kind of “fix.” There is no doubt that the Junkie loves the needle, and is driven by the substance to consume it, to reach the desired state of consciousness. For the shadow archetype of Addict, the driving mechanism toward connection and intimacy is the search for the euphoric high and the easing/forgetting/avoiding pain, instead of a true and honest resolution of painful experiences. Also, being dreamily lost in pursuit of an elusive, ultimately unobtainable Shangri-La through means that could only be described as “short cuts,” the Addict is sadly driven forward with no real commitment to deepen and grow.

I invite you consider this, have you been living from an immature Lover point of view? If so, you may notice a feeling that you are forever playing the victim. In order to break this cycle, the only thing you can do is call out the shadows, for what they are, just that… Shadow motivations that are lost in fantasy! When you see your Mama’s boy or your Addict dropping into the drivers seat, call them out! Say to them “Hey, you aren’t eligible to drive. Get out from behind that wheel!” Give them a seat in the back seat, and let then them know a few comments could be welcome, but no more will they be allowed to control the ship. This requires a commitment to conscious awareness, essential in the formation and growth of a mature adult approach to life.

Keep alert for the next time you may fall in to Mama’s Boy or Addict Shadow archetypes, and rededicate your choices to express a mature Lover in all your relations. Devoted to Truth, Beauty and Love, the mature, golden Lover brings great healing to a deserving world. May you find and realize this deep love in all that you do, and with all whom you meet.

Stay tuned for Four Archetypes – Part 2, The Warrior and its Shadows! 

Until next time, go with Qi,

To live a life in the Healing Arts is a great honor and privilege. This August, I am celebrating my 30 year anniversary of  the start of my career as a Shiatsu Therapist. Three decades of practice has been deeply fulfilling, and I’m excited to celebrate this landmark with Three different offerings of my signature Pathways of Qi course in three different locations. I do hope that you can join me for one or all of these workshops, soaking up inspiration from the Healing Wisdom traditions of the world.

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