Describing the Twelve Ego Archetypes

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To complete the series of three articles about the ego archetypes, let’s make a short summary of the main features of each, only as a guideline of the more prominent sub-personalities that surface when one of these archetypes takes control of our life. If you haven’t seen the first two articles of these series, here is the Test and the instructions to take it:

Innocent. The Innocent helps to shape our image, it is the mask that we wear to the world, our outer personality and social role. Although this image lacks depth and complexity, it provides us and the rest of the world with a sense of who we are and what can be expected from us. It is the question that we ask to every child: what do you want to be when you’re grown up? As adults, we identify ourselves with the jobs we perform, and our lifestyle. The innocent within us wants to belong to the world and to be loved. He wants to be part of something, to find his place in the world, to feel recognized, sometimes in a good way, some times in a bad way.

Orphan. The Orphan is the cynic, the personality dictating which of our qualities must be sacrificed or hidden, in order to play the role of the innocent, to be accepted. It is the part of our personality that learns to recognize and to avoid situations that may hurt us. He tries to protect us from feeling abandoned, hurt or victims. To this end, he uses tricks and knowledge that consciously we may not even be aware of, and for this reason it becomes a valuable ally to defend our well-being no matter what, sometimes rejecting the possibility of new experiences for fear of being hurt in the process.

Hero. The ego wants its needs to be fulfilled, and it is also concerned on “how” they are going to be fulfilled. Our inner Hero assists us with this task. When the Hero is strictly acting in terms of our own personal interest, it is helping our ego to develop, by yielding the sword to fight any threats to our physical survival and integrity.

Caregiver. This sub-facet of us develops a moral sense of responsibility with regard to the care and well-being of others. He worries about how others are, additionally about how we are, and not only about the people, but for the well-being of the humankind. He has the ability to sacrifice himself for the common greater good for many people.

Seeker. This sub-character seeks illumination and inner transformation but, at first, it is very controlled by our ego’s thoughts. The seeker thinks that everything is about being better, about getting more, being successful, and about perfection. The path of the seeker requires courage to break the barriers of the unknown in order to search himself and explore himself.

Destroyer. This sub-personality opens the gate for the repressed Orphan. It senses the trove in the cave but can’t see it. It is the rebel without a cause, because under the influence of the ego only material things matter, so it destroys anything inconvenient or beyond understanding, as a way to protect himself from possible threats.

Lover. The lover wants to unify things, it is the symbol of the sacred union with the higher self, with the love, with the universe. Influenced by the ego, seeks this love in the outer world, sometimes neglecting self-love, inner love. The lover dreams with a better world, someday, somewhere.

Creator. The creator helps us to awaken the seed of our true identity, our deepest self. It creates many projects and ideas, it is strong enough to launch new things without interruption, but sometimes its energy is stretched too much, and this becomes more a burden and a source of dissatisfaction. The creator is our power and initiative to bring out the best of ourselves and to make it real.

Ruler. The ruler is associated with creating order and to uphold the rules. Its main role is to organize, pacify and to harmonize the surroundings. This ego sub-character is a King Arthur of the Rounded Table, always in charge and making sure that everything is in perfect order and state.

Magician. The Magician is the element in continuous transformation, and the cure for our inner self when things become too rigid. It acts as an agent of regeneration and renovation for himself and for others. It is the part of our character capable of integrating the dark part of the Orphan and to transform it into useful energy.

Sage. The Sage is the part of our psyche that may be found during meditative states with our inner self. It observes our thoughts and feelings, but he does not identify himself with them, therefore, the Sage helps us to see what really matters in our life, and to transcend the little things that distract us from our inner, purer self. When we stop confronting the truth, is when we can be free.

Jester. The Jester is the element in our character representing the multiplicity of consciousness. Like the Jester in the court, he mocks the king and everyone around him, stripping power off him, and making things to lose their rigid sense. The Jester shows us that, most of the time, we are only expressing one of our facets, or masks, from the list of archetypes, but almost never our true self. The Jester is then the scout for the true self, teaching us to mock ourselves, to not take everything excessively serious, then showing the way where to really find ourselves.

As you can see, we are many personalities at the same time, we have many masks (more than these explained above in general). If we are capable of recognizing them when they are usurping our true personality, this will allow us to unmask and to put our Ego in its place, denying control of what we are and what we do. Our ego is in reality a management program of our psyche, taking a thousand different faces, but it is not our true self. Don’t get confused and learn to recognize it, then you will discover the façade falling altogether showing things from a different perspective.

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