The Hero Archetype

    The Hero archetype uses two paths. The first of these is mythology. The life and death of mythological heroes is an example of the inner struggle with lower instincts that is given by the birth in a material body. If a person, longing for moral revival, falls to the instinctual sphere of his own existence, and if he sees the monstrosity of his negative realities long concealed by an artificial personality, he will need to find the courage of the fearless hero to overcome the power of evil qualities and inclinations with which he has nearly merged after many years of coexisting with the mask of personality.  If the hero exposes his animal instincts to the light of the world, even the most terrifying dragon will be a cuddly little lap dog against them. The inner spiritual process of each person is in a certain phase analogous to the mythology of mankind, which is a divine gift in countless variations for all inward-looking people.  Mythology's existence thus paved a path for man to the foundation of humanity’s collective unconscious, and he can draw strength and understanding from this foundation for his arduous spiritual journey. 

    The second path of the Hero archetype is psychology. In this part of the archetype the mythological elements completely disappeared, though the essence of the hero remained. Once man enters the stream of the archetype, he is bound to go through the subsequent scheme:

  1. Birth of the hero (abandoning the Puer – Divine Child archetype)
  2. Overcoming fear
  3. Longing for a meaningful life
  4. Finding intuition
  5. The hero as a guide through other archetypes of the Circle of the Renewal Process
  6. Hero and dictator
  7. Hero and lynch
  8. Finding compassion
  9. Death or voluntary submission as departure from previous existence
  10. Entrance to new life (rebirth from the ashes of the past as the mythical Phoenix) and finding the ideal world or ideal existential state (entrance to the Circle of Being)


If a person has not mastered a given point of the scenario, he will continue to return to it, especially in dreams. The complexity of the Hero archetype (despite the division into a mythological and psychological part) emphasizes the intertwining of the archetype with all archetypes of the Circle of the Renewal Process, in which the hero helps to advance through the individual processes.

The hero is an irreplaceable guide in these archetypes:

  1. Themes of the Apocalypse
  2. Treasure
  3. Shadow
  4. Anima – Animus
  5. Wise Old Man
  6. Attentiveness
  7. UFO – Initiation Ceremonies
  8. BPM (Basic Perinatal Matrix)
  9. Future and Past Visions
  10. Active Imagination
  11. Alchemist

    The hero, on whom we impress the seal of our daily experience, has in the unconscious one immense advantage that makes him invincible. He has infinite lives, no death can stop him, no bars can imprison him, no distance can separate him and he seems to be infinitely strong. Yet we know that Greek mythology also had an "invincible" hero named Achilles. He was the son of the sea goddess Thetis, who out of her love for him submerged his entire body, except the heel that she was holding, in the river Styx. Achilles' body was covered with an invisible armor, and thus the Greek hero with thoroughly human qualities, and much arrogance to boot, became nearly invincible. It is perhaps due to his human qualities that he became, not only in the Greeks' eyes, the most magnificent figure in all of Greek mythology. Yet this hero, whom I would call "outer" (facing the world), had one vulnerable place – the heel. Our inner hero also has a similarly vulnerable place. The figure of heroic Achilles advises us to understand this negative quality as arrogance, and others can then be derived from it: pride, superiority, superciliousness. These are traits that can stop the inner hero from walking the paths of the unconscious. Much attention will have to be placed on these traits, since the evil that the hero opposes is not stupid; evil unscrupulously exploits the "Achilles heel" of everyone, even of the intrepid inner hero.

    Not every hero in our dreams is linked to the archetype of the Hero. We can only differentiate them by the tasks that the hero performs. If this task is moral improvement, then the hero certainly belongs to the same archetype. If, however, it is merely an action hero through which man feeds his consciousness in everyday life, then it is just an empty and soulless shell of a hero without content or goals. Such a hero belongs to the archetype of the Persona or to the Shadow archetype, even if he seemingly acts in the interest of good. Nevertheless, he is constantly in the clutches of the personality, or as an unconscious evil it repays with evil.


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