Archetype Workshop
Lists of Archetypes, Myths, and Themes


Rollo May, one of the founders of the Humanist Movement in psychology, said that our myths are "like the beams in a house: not exposed to outside view, they are the structure which holds the house together so people can live in it." (The Cry for Myth)

Archetypes in the Tarot Deck

The archetypes in a tarot deck are called the Major Arcana. They are:
0 - The Fool
1 - The Magician
2 - The High Priestess
3 - The Empress
4 - The Emperor
5 - The Heirophant
6 - The Lovers
7 - The Chariot
8 - Strength
9 - The Hermit
10 - Wheel of Fortune
11 - Justice
12 - The Hanged Man
13 - Death
14 - Temperance
15 - The Devil
16 - The Tower
17 - The Star
18 - The Moon
19 - The Sun
20 - Judgement
21 - The World

There are fifty-six additional cards called the minor arcana, which represent additional themes and archetypes. To read an in-depth analysis of the tarot deck, go here.





Carl Jung's Classic Archetypes

Dr. Carl Jung, the father of modern psychology, identified the archetypes of the mother, mana, shadow, persona, anima, and animus. There are many, many more archetypes. For a brief description of Carl Jung and his work with archetypes, go here: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html





Parabola Journal Themes

Following is another list of archetypes and themes, drawn from the list of Parabola journal issues:

the hero
magic
initiation
rites of passage
death
creation
cosmology
relationship
sacred space
sacrifice
transformation
inner alchemy
androgyny
the trickster
sacred dance
the child
storytelling
education
music
silence
the shadow
obstacles
woman
earth
spirit
the goddess
progress
the mask
demons
sleep
dreams
sin
ceremonies
holy war
guilt
animals
mantras
theft
pilgrimage
food
wholeness
exile
the body
the witness
memory
sadness
mirrors
the hermit
addiction
forgiveness
sense of humor
creativity
renewal
questions
the mountain
the disciple
tradition
tree of life
triad
time
attention
liberation
hospitality
money
the hunter
craft
community
solitude
power
energy
crossroads
the city
calling
twins
clothing
writing
hidden treasure
the stranger
language
Eros
prophecy
the soul
peace
play
work
ways of knowing
conscience
consciousness

If you would like to read stories on each of these themes, link to Parabola a journal of myth, tradition, and the search for meaning. The back issues of these archetypal themes above are available through their "back issues" catalog.





Practical Exercise

Surrealist.org has an assignment for you. Pick the most meaningful archetypes and archetypal themes from these lists, then take out your pencil and jot down the ones you feel play a big part in your life.

Write a few sentences about each theme you have chosen. Think about how they influence your everyday life and thoughts.

Think of a story to illustrate each theme on your list. Draw stories from your life history, the news, books, movies or dreams.

If you are unhappy about some aspect of your current reality, where you are in life right now; where society is right now, etc., then concentrate on this step. Go back to the list of themes and choose one. Pick the one that you like the most and think about it. Write down a few sentences on why you like the theme and what the highest manifestation of that theme would be in your life right now.

Think of ways to integrate this new archetypal theme and explore it in your everyday activities. This is your life, your world, and you are the author of your own life script.





"There can be no stronger proof of the impoverishment of our contemporary culture than the popular—though profoundly mistaken—definition of myth as falsehood."
- Rollo May, The Cry for Myth





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