I went to a men’s workshop on the weekend called Isle of Men with 160 of my brothers who are interested in becoming better men for themselves, their partners, their children their lovers, their parents, their siblings, in fact, everybody in their lives. There are strict confidentiality clauses that mean we cannot mention who is there without their direct permission, so today I am writing about what we looked deeply into, the four male archetypes of Warrior, Lover, Magician and King but specifically The Magician as what I discovered about myself rocked my soul.
Carl Jung understood archetypes as universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. They have inherited potentials which are actualised when they enter consciousness as images or manifest in behaviour on interaction with the outside world. They are autonomous and hidden forms which are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given particular expression by individuals and their cultures. In Jungian psychology, archetypes are highly developed elements of the collective unconscious. The existence of archetypes can only be inferred indirectly from stories, art, myths, religions, or dreams.
Before we move on, let’s be clear about something. Archetypes aren’t personality types. Jung didn’t think you could classify a person as a specific archetype. A man can’t take a test to tell him that he’s a “Shadow.” Instead, the archetypes are simply patterns of behaviour and thought, or “energies” that can be found in all people in varying degrees.
I am in a program called Warriors of Love so had some understanding of the psyche of the warrior archetype and have been on a journey recently with my lover archetype over the last year so was grateful for the insights I received, but when we got to the magician archetype the skill of the facilitator to use stories, art and myths was so much next level it shook me out of my hubris as to what is possible in one’s creative life.
The Magician archetype is summed up by Robert L. Moore,
Moore is probably most widely known as the senior author, with Douglas Gillette, of a series of five books on the in-depth structure of the male psyche, drawing on the account of the archetypal level of the human psyche developed by C. G. Jung.
- King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine is an introductory overview of four key sources of energy at the archetypal level of the human psyche.
- The King Within: Accessing the King in the Male Psyche centres on the most important and most difficult source of energy for men to access.
- The Warrior Within: Accessing the Knight in the Male Psyche centres on the source of energy that boys and men usually learn how to access relatively early in life, but it takes time and effort to learn how to access the optimally mature form of this source of energy in the human psyche.
- The Magician Within: Accessing the Shaman in the Male Psyche centers on another form of energy that boys and men usually learn how to access at a relatively early age, but, once again, it takes time and effort to learn how to access the optimally mature form of this source of energy in the human psyche.
- The Lover Within: Accessing the Lover in the Male Psyche centres on a very tricky source of energy in the human psyche.
as “All knowledge that takes special training to acquire is the province of the Magician energy. Whether you are an apprentice training to become a master electrician and unravelling the mysteries of high voltage; or a medical student, grinding away night and day, studying the secrets of the human body and using available technologies to help your patients; or a would-be stockbroker or a student of high finance; or a trainee in one of the psychoanalytic schools, you are in exactly the same position as the apprentice shaman or witch doctor in tribal societies. You are spending large amounts of time, energy, and money in order to be initiated into rarefied realms of secret power. You are undergoing an ordeal testing your capacities to become a master of this power. And, as is true in all initiations, there is no guarantee of success.”
It is in the last words of his description “there is no guarantee of success” that shook my soul so greatly. He weaved his magic on the crowd, reading and changing the content of his presentation as to what he felt would empower the gathered men moment to moment. I had forgotten I used to have this ability too.
So what has been spoken about the magician archetype over the centuries? Here are some of the most powerful things I could find:
1. What is in the Magician toolbox you are given at the beginning of your training, an ample sprinkling of pixie dust.
2. Envy and Competition, the two great destroyers of a child’s inner creativity: Jealous Guy.
3. Definition of righteousness
There are two main roles that the energy of the Magician flow through—the initiate and the initiator. Or in other words, the mentee and the mentor.
As we just discussed, Magician energy drives us to obtain hidden knowledge. But contrary to the popular adage about professional magicians—that they never reveal their tricks—a man truly animated by the mature Magician archetype is eager to turn around and share what he has learned with others. He desires to elevate the serious and earnest seeker to his level.
This is why the lack of magician energy in modern culture is really at the heart of the issues many men are having today. There is a lack of mature men who have made a rite-of-passage themselves available to initiate other men into the “secret knowledge” of manhood. Dads and granddads, uncles and cousins, used to teach their sons and other young men how to act, dress, and behave like a man. But a lot of men have grown up without such a mentor these days and thus feel lost, directionless, and adrift. Its time we stopped this.
Today’s playlist is all masculine. We begin with one of my all-time favourite tunes by Donny Hathaway. Then two of the four rock bands, Thin Lizzy and Big Country. Flosstradamus provides a rap tune next, then some magic from Pilot. The penultimate tune is by Axel Rudi Pell and we finish with Tears for Fears: Gandalf and Yoda Go Out On a Coffee Date.
On Sunday I saw what the possibility of Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included being the major theme can provide. Until next time we meet, my dear friends. If you enjoyed this, don’t forget to sign up to receive an email reminder when each blog is written.