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)
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:
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.
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 alternative analysis of the tarot deck, go here.
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