The path to marrying passion and compassion is fraught with pitfalls. When we stumble into our shadow it is harder to see where we are going. Yet, no matter how deep the darkness, we will always be able to find our way back.

The Divine Masculine stirs up and loves the world. Throwing the spear of passion–to better understand the world we live in–is a part of spirit unfolding in form. Yet there was a time when spirit found itself amongst sabre-toothed tigers and quickly realized that mastery of the world was practical. However, the time has come for us to grow up, to embody the Divine Masculine with balance. The age we have just entered will primarily be defined by this shift.

For a man, embracing the masculine archetypes–and understanding their shadow–requires they expand their understanding of them. Men who consciously integrate all the aspects of the Divine Masculine will experience higher levels of awareness and spiritual states of being. Their life will be more satisfying. Given that the Divine Masculine is not limited to gender, women are equally served by such contemplation and integrating this wisdom into their psyche.


The God archetype is the transcendent aspect of self. Its emphasis is acceptance and unconditional love, regardless of race, gender and sexual expression. While expressing the God archetype we intuitively know what Oneness is, and that everyone is traveling a co-creative road of experience–we radiate unconditional love to all in our sphere of presence. Not only is there spiritual balance, but we find our experiences inspired with mystical connections and unexpected inspiration.

As the God archetype we fully embody spirit; each thought impressing a loving and constructive seed upon that part of the Divine that creates (the Law). The ego’s attachment to the ownership of ideas is released for the greater good.

A man in the fullness of the God archetype shows up as unconditionally loving, inclusive, open, welcoming, heart-centered, spiritually focused, supportive and inspirational.  The shadow aspects of the God archetype are the Spiritual Egotist and the False Prophet. His immature boy version is the Self-proclaimed Mystic who tells you their path to enlightenment is the only one worth taking.


Where the God archetype expresses thought-forms and ideas, the King actively cultivates their growth and manifestation. They are the steward of benevolence and fertility, the fulcrum of order and blessing. Strength and balance are the crown and miter of his kingdom, his rule transcending self-serving interests and attachments. The King combines strength and poise with wisdom and right-thinking.

A man in the fullness of the King archetype shows up as supportive and nurturing of the well-being of those in his sphere of presence. He is a stabilizing and calming influence in all circumstances. His strength and balance bring comfort and inspiration. He is an agent of the Divine embodying reverence for life. He is compassionately present, and is associated with authority, order, law and direction.

The King archetype has two shadow aspects identified as the Tyrant[1] and the Weakling. The immature boy version of the King is the Divine Child that becomes lost in the spiritual, or the Imbalanced Tyrant that denies responsibility from atop his high throne, raging like a weakling prince.


The Magician, or Sage, archetype is an important aspect of expression for the human race. Closely aligned with the Priest archetype, the Magician is full of consciousness, growth and transformation of soul purpose, or dharma. Such a man has tempered and integrated the ego in service of his higher self. With an emphasis on right-thinking the Magician has learned how to detach from the flow of life, and engages through wisdom and inspired action. His third-eye of insight is powerful, and he fertilizes conversations with wise counsel that is seeded in ultimate possibility.

The Magician knows that supporting the wisdom of others is as meaningful as his own communion with spirit and grounded connection with the Earth. In his presence we feel confidence, knowing that life can be transcended with wisdom and grace.

The Magician archetype has two aspects identified as the Manipulator or the Denying Innocent. His immature boy version is the Precocious Child that descends into the Know-it-all Trickster or the Innocent Child that plays dumb.


Where the Magician has an outward focus of service, the Priest archetype works primarily within. Possibly the least understood and supported in our culture, this archetype emphasizes spiritual insight, connecting hidden knowledge to the betterment of those around him. As a facilitator and mediator, he works closely with the King and Magician archetypes to impress intention upon the creative medium of spirit.

A man expressing the fullness of the Priest archetype is the master of both the spiritual and material realities. He accesses the spiritual storehouses of truth and infinite knowledge, yet remains detached from the river of storms that meanders through the experience of life.

His shadow sides include the Proselytizer and the Anti-Christ (one who uses the creative law in a harmful or destructive way). His immature boy version is the Righteous Fundamentalist–that seeks to destroy anything not in alignment with his limited understanding of the truth–or the Intellectual Seeker that operates solely from the head.


The Lover archetype is perhaps the most misunderstood and yet familiar primal energy. Sensual yet engaging, erotic yet deep, the Lover is the exquisite balance between spirit and sex, life and ecstatic being. He appreciates goodness, truth and beauty in all its forms, and is the embodiment of play without shame.

The man expressing the fullness of the Lover archetype is sensual, open, and available in body, mind, emotion and soul. He relishes connections that empower his sense of unfolding into being, and is detached from desire of personal gain.

His shadow sides include the Addicted Lover and the Impotent Lover. His immature boy self is the Oedipal Child that can descend into mama’s boy or the dreamer.


The Warrior archetype is the activist and courageous campaigner. Devotion and persistence exemplify their calling, and yet they are invariably exploited by society. The past age and its emphasis on a dominant patriarchal playing of power reveres the disciplined leader and protector.

A man that embodies the Warrior archetype is decisive and humble. He has the courage to serve the greater good, even at personal cost. With a healthy pragmatism he supports the ideal in established systems and forms. He has found a balance of warmth and compassion whilst under fire, and understands that attachment to outcomes can undo any of his labours.

The Warrior archetype has two shadow aspects identified as the Sadist and the Masochist. The immature boy version is the Self-serving Hero that craves recognition, or the Brute that wants to bully those around him.

Contemplating Shadow

In studying these archetypes–along with their negative and shadow aspects–I’ve come to realize I’ve experienced them all at one point or another. As you contemplate these archetypes and their shadows consider the following questions:

  1. Which archetypes and their shadows resonate with you? Why?
  2. What have you learned about yourself in contemplating the shadow qualities you recognize?
  3. How might you deepen your understanding of the other archetypes and develop them in your life?

[1] Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette developed the shadow attributes for the King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover archetypes.

Carmien's purpose is to inspire people to awaken to their spiritual magnificence. His primary passion is the pursuit of spirituality, and he does that through extensive practice, study, song writing, developing the spiritual vehicle at, and working rigorously toward receiving his Ministerial designation with the Centres for Spiritual Living. You can follow @KnowTheFlow on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook. He is also preparing to publish his first book titled, Know the Flow: 180 Blogs to Spiritual Awakening in the fall of 2013.

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Comment by Omtimes Media on August 18, 2013 at 11:07pm

Comment by Carmien Owen on August 3, 2013 at 2:03am

That sounds like a great title to me :)

Comment by Omtimes Media on August 2, 2013 at 10:14pm

 May I change the title to : The Archetypes of the masculine shadow?

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