Masculinity comes in different shapes and forms, despite societal labels and conditions. Do you feel more brave and adventurous? Or rather artistic and passionate?
These can all be masculine traits that are part of different male archetypes. And even if it sounds like an esoteric concept that’s only reserved for philosophers and scholars, they can actually teach you how to step into your greatest masculine power.
Embracing your inner archetypes can help you become the best version of yourself so that you can live your most extraordinary life. Get ready to welcome the wisdom that may arise from within.
What Are the Male Archetypes?
In essence, male archetypes are universal, symbolic patterns of behavior that are often associated with masculinity. They’re like templates that can help us understand and navigate the complexities of our inner world.
Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that just a fancy way of saying ‘stereotypes’?” Well, not quite. Unlike stereotypes, which are culturally based and malleable over time, archetypes are universal and timeless.
They’re not just arbitrary social constructs but rather deeply ingrained patterns that have been passed down through generations, along with several female archetypes.
Carl Jung’s archetype model
Carl Jung, a famous psychoanalytic theorist, focused on studying the collective unconscious. He originally discovered four main archetype models for both men and women: persona, anima/animus, the shadow, and the self.
According to him, an archetype is “an innate pattern of thought and behavior that strives for realization within an individual environment.”
Through his studies of many cultures and ancient stories, more archetypal images emerged. Their names differ in region and historical aspects, but they share similar characteristics.
So how many male archetypes are out there in the collective unconscious? There is no established number for how many different male archetypes Jung found. However, other Jungian analysts and experts in the field have drawn the conclusion that there may be around four.
The 4 Different Male Archetypes
The male archetype list goes like this:
- The Lover
- The Warrior
- The Magician
- The King
Jungian psychologist, Robert L. Moore, identified these archetypes that describe the ways men express themselves through their behavior and attitudes. What’s more, he highlighted that they are deeply hidden within our collective unconscious.
1. The Lover
Key characteristics: Sensual, passionate, and magnetic, the Lover archetype is full of life force and creative energy. His magnetic charisma easily and instantly sparks connections with others.
This archetype is in touch with his sexual energy and flows through life with grace, playfulness, and ease.
Mythological representations: The Greek god Dionysus may be the most salient example of this archetype’s representation.
Modern representations: Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby, Joey from Friends, or Tim Storey, trainer of Mindvalley’s Magical Living Quest.
|Light Side||Shadow Side|
|Passionate and creative||Prone to addictions and overindulging|
|Social and charismatic||Gets easily bored|
|Connected with his body and sexuality||Life might feel sterile and flat because of overstimulation of the senses|
2. The Warrior
Key characteristics: Mission-driven, disciplined, and decisive, the Warrior man lets no one hold him back from achieving his purpose. He’s loyal and fiercely protective of those he cares about.
This archetype is defined by strength, courage, and the power to take action.
Mythological representations: Ares, the Greek god of war and courage.
Modern representations: William Wallace from Braveheart, General Maximus from Gladiator, and Juan Pablo Barahona, trainer of Mindvalley’s Ultra Presence Quest.
|Light Side||Shadow Side|
|Brave and strong||Sadistic behaviors or tendencies|
|Protective and faithful||Masochistic behaviors or tendencies|
3. The Magician
Key characteristics: Full of secrets and mysteries, the Magician archetype is naturally creative, intuitive, and hungry for knowledge. Magicians are deeply attuned to the mysteries of the Universe and are able to see things that others can’t.
They are overly imaginative, wise, and often masters of technological evolution.
Mythological representations: The Germanic god Odin, a symbol of healing and wisdom.
Modern representations: Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, Dumbledore from Harry Potter, and spiritual teacher Sadhguru, trainer of Mindvalley’s A Yogi’s Guide to Joy Quest.
|Light Side||Shadow Side|
|Wise and intuitive||Manipulating behaviors|
|Passionate about learning and evolution||Fears responsibilities|
|Connected with universal wisdom||Prone to overthinking and passiveness|
4. The King
Key characteristics: Confident and centered at all times, the King archetype embodies strength and leadership. He leads by example, with great order and authority while emanating trust and inspiration.
This archetype is usually the type of man who leaves a legacy for many generations ahead.
Mythological representations: The Greek god Zeus, who rules as king of all gods on Mount Olympus.
Modern representations: King Arthur, Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather, or Monty Moran, trainer of The Transformational Leader Quest.
|Light Side||Shadow Side|
|Confident and strong||Overly controlling|
|Great leadership skills||May find it difficult to connect deeply with others|
|Inspiring and protective||Ruthless and merciless|
Reading through the archetypes might spark your intuition to see which one resonates with you the most. But if you want more clarity on how to find out what your archetype is, you can also take a male archetype quiz.
How to Fully Embody Your Male Archetype
Embodying your dominant male archetype isn’t just about understanding the characteristics and strengths of each type. It’s about putting that knowledge into practice and living as the best version of yourself. And you’d be surprised to discover that you may resonate with more than one archetypal expression.
For example, you can learn to embody the King when your leadership skills are asked for. Or you might wear the Warrior cape to tap into strength and courage to overcome challenges.
In fact, research shows that identifying with multiple archetypes can lead to higher levels of well-being and life satisfaction. So here are a few tips from Mindvalley male experts on how to fully enjoy the power of masculinity:
1. Learn the fundamentals of presence
“Every layer of your being is in coherence with the full presence,” explains Juan Pablo Barahona, trainer of Mindvalley’s Ultra Presence Quest. And the first step to embodying presence in your mind, body, and spirit is to cultivate the art of observation.
Think about it, even the moment you spot that you’re not present, you create space for awareness. And with this awareness, you’re open to connecting to the wisdom within, leading you to your true desires and innate archetypal qualities.
Juan Pablo Barahona’s tip: Notice your thoughts and emotions throughout the day without identifying with them; remember to recognize yourself as “the observer.”
This way, you’ll connect with your higher self and become a channel of manifestation through your capacity to observe and remain present. And while doing so, reflect and write down:
- Thoughts that come into your mind throughout the day,
- Situations in your life where you need to be more present, and
- Emotions that predominate in your life.
You can simply start inviting more awareness into your life by observing your body, your posture, the way you walk, and your breath for the rest of the day. Just see what comes up for you, and when you catch yourself on autopilot.
2. Activate the magic of your nervous system
The nervous system is the key component of your body and mind that holds your ability to embody more presence and, therefore, activate your masculinity, as JuanPa highlights in his Quest.
Those inner wires, which are the neural circuits of your nervous system, store everything you’ve been experiencing in your life, from past traumatic moments to negative or limiting beliefs.
However, the magic of the nervous system means that you’re able to rewire old patterns and unhealthy beliefs that keep you unaware of the gifts that life has available to you.
When you are present and balance your nervous system, you create optimal energy and reach a state of flow, connectedness, and openness.
Juan Pablo Barahona’s tip: Start writing down any negative patterns that you are identifying. Remember that awareness is the first step to creating impactful change in your life.
Your beliefs are stored in your nervous system. And by regulating it, you can slowly shift into new perspectives. Yoga, meditation, and breathwork are a few exercises that help you do just that.
3. Focus on the six pillars of masculinity
Part of becoming a purposeful man, says Stefanos Sifandos, trainer of Mindvalley’s Coaching Men Quest, is feeling whole in your body. When you believe you are whole, you are not as confused and don’t make choices based on your fragmented self.
As multidimensional beings, men have many purposes. But in order to create space for the new, you need to build a strong foundation for the aspects of yourself that you’d like to invite in.
Stefanos Sifandos’ tip: When beginning your journey to the best version of yourself, consider the six pillars of masculinity:
Before you start getting super focused on what really matters to you, you must first clear the clutter of the past. Some practices that Stefanos recommends are inner child work, somatic exercises, and trauma-release therapy.
4. Open your heart
If you were brought up in a typical household, chances are, you weren’t taught to express and share your vulnerabilities safely. However, according to Stefanos, there are many benefits of a man opening his heart, such as:
- Increased self-worth
- Increased self-confidence
- Connecting to his passions
- Improved relationships
- More efficient communication
- Willingness and ability to be present with his children and family
- Healing his mother and father wounds
- More open to forgiveness
Stefanos Sifandos’ tip: Try out the following exercise to get in touch with your inner child:
- Start writing with your non-dominant hand to access the part of your brain that’s connected to the little you.
- Reflect back to a time when you started closing down your heart and see what comes up.
- Imagine yourself as a small child, freely sharing to your current version of yourself, and listening to what he has to say.
This exercise can stir up a lot of emotion in some men, especially when they are programmed to shut down their hearts and emotions. However, just let yourself be vulnerable for a few moments and see what comes up for you.
Connect to the Masculine Wisdom Within
The male archetypes act out as sacred parts of your psyche that can guide you to the best version of your life. They teach you how to be a powerful man, a wise one, a protective father, or an enthusiastic lover.
And your main archetype may teach you what you should pursue, put your focus on, or nurture more of. For all this inner wisdom to be unlocked, you must fully immerse yourself in self-exploration.
With some guidance along the way, you can have a journey full of powerful epiphanies and surprises. You will learn how to discover your most authentic masculine self through:
- Ultra Presence Quest with Juan Pablo Barahona
- Coaching Men Quest with Stefanos Sifandos
And by unlocking your free access, you can sample classes from these transformational programs and many others to see for yourself how this wisdom may change your life.
You might just realize along the way that you don’t have to go anywhere else to connect to the best version of your masculinity, but within. So don’t be afraid to take the next step.