Archetypes as Guides to Character Development


Many systems exist as ways to organize and classify types of human behavior.  Astrology is perhaps one of the most ancient. Due to its revival in modern times, the twelve signs of the zodiac are familiar to most people on a rudimentary level. Following is a brief description of each of the Sun signs. Later we will examine each sign in more depth. The Archetypes listed are from The Inner Sky by Steven Forest.

ARIES glyphARIES The Ram

Element: FIRE

Mode: Cardinal

Ruling Planet: MARS

Archetypes: The Warrior, The Pioneer, The Daredevil, The Survivor

TAURUS glyphTAURUS The Bull

Element: EARTH

Mode: Fixed

Ruling Planet: VENUS

Archetypes: The Earth Spirit, The Musician, The Silent one

GEMINI glyphGEMINI The Twins

Element: AIR

Mode: Mutable

Ruling Planet: MERCURY

Archetypes: The Witness, The Teacher, The Storyteller; The Journalist

CANCER glyphCANCER The Crab

Element: WATER

Mode: Cardinal

Ruling Planet: THE MOON

Archetypes: The Mother, The healer, The Invisible Man (Woman)

LEO glyphLEO The Lion

Element: FIRE

Mode: Fixed

Ruling Planet: THE SUN

Archetypes: The King (or Queen), The Performer, The Child, The Clown

VIRGO glyphVIRGO The Virgin

Element: EARTH

Mode: Mutable

Ruling Planet: MERCURY

Archetypes: The Servant, The Martyr, The Perfectionist, The Analyst

LIBRA glyphLIBRA The Scales

Element: AIR

Mode:Cardinal

Ruling Planet: VENUS

Archetypes: The Lover, The Artist, The Peacemaker

SCORPIO glyphSCORPIO The Scorpion

Element: WATER

Mode:Fixed

Ruling Planet: PLUTO

Archetypes: The Detective, The Sorcerer, The Hypnotist

SAGITTARIUS glyphSAGITTARIUS The Archer

Element: FIRE

Mode: Mutable

Ruling Planet: JUPITER

Archetypes: The Gypsy, The Student, The Philosopher

CAPRICORN glyphCAPRICORN The Goat

Element: EARTH

Mode:Cardinal

Ruling Planet: SATURN

Archetypes: The Hermit, The Father, The Prime Minister

AQUARIUS glyphAQUARIUS The Water Bearer

Element: AIR

Mode: Fixed

Ruling planet: URANUS

Archetypes: The Genius, The Revolutionary, The Truth-Sayer, The Scientist, The Exile

PISCES glyphPISCES The Fishes

Element: WATER

Mode: Mutable

Ruling Planet: NEPTUNE

Archetypes: The Mystic, The Dreamer, The Poet, The Face Dancer


For an enlightening and entertaining look at each of the twelve signs, I recommend Linda Goodman’s SUN SIGNS. In addition, you may also enjoy her book on how the signs relate to one another: Linda Goodman’s LOVE SIGNS.


Another fascinating system for analyzing personality types is called The Enneagram.

The Nine Enneagram Type Descriptions

Click on any of the titles below to read detailed descriptions about each of the nine Enneagram types.

1 THE REFORMER

The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

2 THE HELPER

The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

3 THE ACHIEVER

The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

4 THE INDIVIDUALIST

The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental

5 THE INVESTIGATOR

The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

6 THE LOYALIST

The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

7 THE ENTHUSIAST

The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

8 THE CHALLENGER

The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

9 THE PEACEMAKER

The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

From <https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions/>


Other Archetypes of interest are derived from The Hero’s Journey and include:

The Wanderer, The Warrior, The Martyr, The Magician

In addition, the ancient art of divination known as the TAROT delineates twenty-two major archetypes called the MAJOR ARCANA. The MINOR ARCANA includes the four suits: THE SUIT OF CUPS, THE SUIT OF WANDS, THE SUIT OF SWORDS, and THE SUIT OF PENTACLES. Each suit contains Numbered Cards and Court Cards which further describe archetypal energies.