US Elections-Candidate Archetypes

by Vivian Hadleigh on June 16, 2016

Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

Emotional Maturity and the US Elections

High Polish Tatra mountainsThis discussion isn’t intended to recommend any candidates, but rather to equip you to make good choices when you vote in November. I think the archetypes expressed by the various candidates—both women and men—are very clear, as are the dangers and the possibilities inherent in them.

What is an archetype? According to Jungian psychology, it is “… a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.” –

 ~ * ~

Let’s get one thing straight at the outset. You can’t bully, plead, cajole, threaten, make rules, punish, clean up after, or in any other way  manipulate an immature person into behaving like a grownup. It didn’t work for their parents, and it won’t work for you, no matter what your relationship.

Maturity has to happen from the inside out. It cannot be forced or directed, but it can be inspired. Let’s define a mature person of either sex as someone who is inwardly secure and outwardly responsible.

In their ground-breaking book about masculine archetypes King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette theorize that modern men have trouble achieving maturity because the old rites of passage, the events which defined the requirements of the next level, have been lost. That we have so lost touch with mature masculine archetypes that we no longer have the capacity to even imagine how mature masculine energy could and should behave. Witness politics and Wall Street.

You’ll find the Moore and Gillette archetypes summarized briefly below, along with an additional archetype, the Shepherd, whom I have encountered many times.

What you can do to improve this situation is re-learn how the mature masculine functions, and start expecting mature behavior in both your personal and professional (and political!) relationships.

And while there isn’t as helpful a book about feminine archetypes, exploring and understanding these mature masculine archetypes will help you imagine what kind of mature feminine energy would balance and match them. Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Goddesses in Every Woman is a great place to start your journey.

Another reason it’s important for you to know a bit about the major masculine archetypes is because you might be surprised to find that what you had labeled as immature is actually healthy… just not what you want or need in a relationship, a business situationor a political leader.

And, by the way, a mature man often exhibits more than one archetype at the same time.

Masculine archetypes

The King – The two primary functions of the King archetype are ordering or organization, and fertility or blessing. He is the Father in both physical and social terms. The immature King can be a tyrant or weakling, using whichever method will achieve his aim of total domination. The mature King, like the legendary King Arthur, sees to the well-being of the corporation or community by creating laws, policies, maps and other structures which bring order, and he leads by his example.

The Warrior – This archetype has been driven underground in today’s world, giving plenty of room to its shadow expressions of abuser, bully, coward and terrorist. The mature Warrior is action-oriented, decisive, highly controlled, and motivated by devotion to a cause or ideal. The positive Warrior is still a destroyer, but before he acts, he steps back to be sure that his act of destruction will serve the greater good. The Warrior in combination with other archetypes confers both strength and depth.

The Magician – Moore and Gillette identify the Magician as both a theoretician and a master of technology. Anything which requires special training is the province of the Magician, whether it’s high finance or quantum physics, shamanism or psychoanalysis. The immature Magician appears as a know-it-all, practical joker or manipulator. Detached and thoughtful, the mature Magician understands and masters the use of raw power, and in his maturity tames that power for the benefit of others.

The Lover – The Lover is about the sensual, in terms of both sexual expression and sensitivity to the beauty and delight of all aspects of the physical world, from Nature to art to eroticism. The Lover is often powerfully empathic and even psychic, and he sees and experiences the world through an artist’s sensibilities. An immature Lover can be impotent or a sex addict, a Mama’s boy, or all dreams and no action.

The Shepherd – This archetype was not discussed in Moore and Gillette’s book, but I’ve met him many times. An immature Shepherd could be a Mama’s boy, or one who gives away his power to buy love and approval. A mature Shepherd can be a father, minister, CEO or physician, but in any guise he is personally concerned with the well-being of each individual in his flock, even more than that of the collective.

Bringing them into being

What can you do to assist in a rebirth of the mature masculine? Now you know a bit about what mature archetypes look like, and how they operate, the most important thing you can do is to act as though these mature expressions of archetypal energy, and their feminine counterparts, can and should be a part of your everyday reality.

You can also elicit their mature expression in individuals you know or work with by recognizing the immature version and, through discussion, work assignments, joint projects and other co-creative actions, give the mature archetype hidden beneath the bad behavior a chance to express itself, and then reward it when it does. You’ll be healing our world every time you encourage and strengthen the mature expression of these vital archetypal energies!

Slightly revised from the version originally published on, and reprinted with permission.

© 2008-2011 Outlook Amusements, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Comment

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Previous post: