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DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


A term central to Jungian psychology, which derives from the Greek arche , meaning “primal,” and typos , meaning “imprint, stamp, pattern.” The tendency to apprehend and experience life in a fashion conditioned by the past history of (wo)mankind J ung terms archetypal, and archetypes are the “ a priori , inborn forms of ‘intuition’” ( Collected Works , Vol. 8, p. 133). Nevertheless, archetypes are unconscious and exist only in potentia ; they must be beckoned forth by circumstance, and different ones operate in different lives. Perhaps the phrase “ a priori categories of possible functioning” best captures the Jungian essence of the term ( Collected Works , Vol. 16, p. 34). The archetypes are experienced as emotions as well as images (often in dreams), and their effect is especially salient in typical and significant milestones such as birth and death, triumph over natural obstacles, transitional stages of life like adolescence, extreme danger, or awe-inspiring experiences. As a result of his study of dreams, mythologies, legends, religions, and alchemy, Jung came to classify two broad categories of archetypes. First, there are the personifying archetypes , which take on a human-like identity when they function in the psyche. For example, the anima in man and its counterpart in woman, the animus , are convenient designations for any number of interpersonal situations between ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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