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It’s always easier to follow a trail than to blaze your own. Unfortunately, it can be hard to know which trail to follow – especially with something like animism when so much is ambiguous. Is “history” real? Do our ancestors’ traditions make sense for today? Is the voice of intuition speaking true? There are so many unknowns.

Fortunately, humans have something infallible to fall back on. The archetypes.

What Are Archetypes?

The word archetype means the original pattern or prototype. They are ideas that are recognized in every human culture throughout time. Although each culture has a different name for things like Warrior and Mother, we all understand what those things mean. And those meanings are the same from place to place. There are stories that show us the healthy expression of these energies and stories that show us what the Shadow side looks like.

If you didn’t grow up with healthy parents, you may not have an example of what a healthy man looks like. You may not have a healthy relationship with love, care taking, or providing. So you have to look elsewhere.

When you need a guide with human issues or relationships, look to the Archetypes. You’ll see examples of them in stories, the people all around you, and within yourself. You will notice that one of them is very strong within you. The rest come and go. When you learn to use the appropriate energy at the right time, your struggles will become easier.

When things start becoming muddled or confusing, clean your lens. Allow the archetypes to help you self correct.

Which Archetypes?

Some say there are hundreds or even thousands of archetypes. We will only concern ourselves with the major ones. They are: the Child (Innocent), Sage, Explorer (Adventurer), Outlaw (Rebel), Magician, Hero, Lover, Fool (Jester), Everyman, Caregiver (Mother), Ruler (King), Creator, Healer, Teacher, and Warrior.

Note: some have more than one common name to express the same idea.