Discovering Your Archetypal Allies: Exercise and Assessment

Archetypes can be seen as inner allies, because when we live their stories, we develop capacities that help us become more successful and fulfilled.

The PMAI is a tested, scientifically researched instrument designed to give you a personalized profile of the archetypes active in you. Since the link will take you off this website, you will need to remember to return here for additional information, although the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), to whose site you will be taken, also will provide you with archetypal descriptions. Or, you if you want to begin more simply, try the following Preliminary Assessment Exercise.

Directions: To get ready to do this exercise, you will need to print out or copy these directions and the chart below. Then, looking over the chart, circle all of the capacities in the first column that you currently demonstrate through your attitudes and behaviors. You also can see in the middle column what fears might be motivating your growth. Circle all that apply. Exploring the final column, put a star by the three archetypal names that leap out as being most like you. Then scan the first two columns, observing what you marked, and consider whether another archetype or two that you had not starred might be very active in your life.

Click on the archetypal names you have selected to read more about them, and then create a hypothesis for yourself about what archetypes currently are your allies. You may want to check this against your PMAI results now or at some later point.

Capacities Fear Archetype
Trust, optimism, faith, loyalty Bad things happening Idealist/Innocent
Knowing how to fit in, resilience, realism Exploitation, abandonment Realist/Everyperson/ Regular Guy/Gal
Goal-orientation, physical courage, persistence Weakness, giving up Warrior
Compassion, generosity, concern for others Selfishness, doing harm Caregiver
Autonomy, exploration, adventurousness Emptiness, loss of identity Explorer/Seeker
Passion, commitment, love of beauty Isolation, loss of love Lover
Ease with radical change, ability to shake things up Oppression, confinement Revolutionary/Outlaw/Destroyer
Imagination, creativity, aesthetic sense Feeling stuck, ordinariness Creator
Responsibility, management ability Chaos, losing control Ruler
Transformational power, charisma Manipulation, hubris Magician
Wisdom, objectivity, curiosity Deception, ignorance Sage
Joy, freedom, humor, enjoyment Boredom, routine work Jester

If you also are interested in informally analyzing a team or organization (or even your family), you can use the same strategy, except instead of thinking about your capacities and fears, think about theirs.

To learn to use knowledge of your dominant archetypes, check out the 12 archetype descriptions, read Awakening the Heroes Within, and, ideally after taking the PMAI, work through the analyses in What Story Are You Living? Since different archetypes may be active in your life over the course of your lifetime, you also may enjoy reading about the Greek gods and goddesses in Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within that illustrate in story form a progression through different archetypes that assist with life challenges. In this story,

  • Zeus moves from expressing the Realist, to the Warrior, to the Ruler archetype;
  • Demeter from expressing the Caregiver, to Seeker, to Sage;
  • Persephone from Idealist, to Lover, to Magician; and
  • Dionysus from Revolutionary, to Jester, to Creator.

In their interactions within the plotline, they show how gaining some access to the capacities of the other archetypes helps them move from expressing a lower level of any archetype to its more developed form.