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My Archetypal Wheel

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

Writing a screenplay can certainly feel like running a marathon, and basically, it is exactly that, with one major difference: while writing your script you can take a break, listen to some music or meditate, or stretch your sore muscles and you won’t lose because of that. On the contrary, the law of polarity asks us to have fun along the way. Being intuitive also means asking questions and having the answers when not expected.

Since the last post, I have been researching the wheel of 12 archetypes further and I have come to some interesting conclusions. Those archetypal wheels I found on the internet, that obviously both were inspired by the Jungian archetypes and Awakening the heroes within, are actually inaccurate, at least they don’t work one hundred percent on any meaningful level. Why do I think that?


Well, first of all, the 12 archetypes obviously come from the zodiac wheel. Where else would they come from?

If you are not into astrology, no big deal, it is enough to understand that mathematics and archetypal meanings should work together in order for astrology to work. And also archetypal meanings even though they may appear in different shapes should be recognized several times in order to become archetypes.

Imagine four glass circles or four different colored layers and let’s say each of them has 12 holes, but sometimes the holes are in different places and other times in the same. Imagine you want to arrange these four circles in a way so that you can see through all of them at the same time, while holes all line up with each other… Of course, if you manage to do that, what you can see now is different from what you can see through just one of them.

It is the same in storytelling, isn’t it?

You have to find patterns but then again you have to interpret them in a new way.

So, you probably figured, this post is just for geeks or those who like to play with patterns, but I also can’t imagine a storyteller who would not love patterns. In other words, this has nothing to do with storytelling and at the same time has everything to do with it.

Let’s dive in.

Carol S. Pearson explains in her book Awakening the heroes within, that “according to Jung, the number four and the shape of the mandala are associated both with wholeness and with the discovery of the Self.”

Even though I think she has actually never made any archetypal wheel (other people have done it according to her research), she also doesn’t have more than one “colored glass layer” to put in the research. Second thing: the reason behind why she put some of the archetypes in the Ego, Soul or Self sections sometimes seems rather random. So even this one layer doesn’t really correlate with anything we know.

What I would like to do here for fun is to add some layers to those 12 archetypes (we wrote about them before) and to put archetypes in sections I think the new wheel suggests.


  • Two polarities:

feminine and masculine

  • Four astrological elements (4x3 =12):

Fire (BIRTH, inspiration, masculine), me and the world

Earth (MANIFESTATION, fertile, feminine), me and others

Air (STRUCTURE, spirit, communication, connection, masculine), we are the world

Water (DEATH-rebirth, emotion, intuition, feminine), Beyond this world – paradise

  • Three astrological modalities (3x4):

"each of the four elements manifests in three modalities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. As each modality comprehends four signs, these are also known as Quadruplicities. They are occasionally referred to as crosses because each modality forms a cross when drawn across the zodiac":

Cardinal (pushes)

Fixed (sustains)

Mutual (adapts)

  • Three layers of the psyche (3x4):

Ego: understands liner time and dies.

Soul: has no linear measure of time – never dies.

Self: union of Ego and Soul, birth of the Self in an essential, unique way – individuation.

This layer is also important for us because soon we are going to dive into Hero’s or Writer's Journey (Joseph Campbell or Christopher Vogler) and this is the basic concept of it:

“The three stages of the hero’s journey—preparation, journey, return—parallel exactly the stages of human psychological development: we first develop the Ego, then encounter the Soul, and finally give birth to a unique sense of Self. The journey of the Ego teaches us how to be safe and successful in the world; the journey of the Soul helps us to become real and authentic as we encounter the deepest mysteries of life; and the journey of the Self shows us the way to find and express our authenticity, power, and freedom.”


Still with me? Now let’s go back to the wheels.

When we see these kinds of wheels we think they suggest that archetypes and the development of the psyche through stages of our existence should somehow have a meaning. If astrology does have a meaning, and I think it does, and if archetypes of the hero’s journey are borrowed from the astrology, then those wheels should also have a meaning. Right?

Can we arrange the wheel in such a way so that it works with all four layers at once? It’s a little bit like playing with a Rubik’s cube, but it’s worth trying. So I played and played and played… and I think I did it! I put them all together. I have adapted the previous wheel and made my own new one. By the way, I couldn’t find anyone who has done it this way. If you know someone please let me know.

So, here it is:

(Click to see it)

As you can see every plane contains archetypes of its own element, which means that automatically all the archetypes have equally represented qualities. That’s not at all revolutionary or special in astrology, but it means something totally different for the layers of the psyche when we play with archetypes.

I also think it’s really interesting that this wheel also starts with Hero and ends with Innocent (the beginning and the end are the same as in the astrological chart – but all other archetypes have different placements).

For me, the question is what this wheel actually means for the development of the psyche, especially because it is not liner – it is somehow spiral.

I have the feeling that this wheel is developing along the way (archetypes build upon each other, since they are astrologically in order), while the others are just gathering archetypes with similar qualities. But this is whole another research.


And now back to Ego, Soul, Self:

Carol S. Pearson puts those twelve archetypes in three different sections according to her understanding of the archetypes, while I also take in consideration all astrological layers. To explain in details how this wheel now works, I would really have to write a book. Here at least you can see the differences between Carol S. Pearson’s chart (C.P.) and my chart (A.L.):

EGO (the beginning of the journey) – (in astrology CARDINAL): I call it plane of Insecurity ruled by men. (!)

(C.P.) Warrior (Fire), Caregiver (Water), Orphan (Air), Innocent (Water)

(A.L.) Warrior (Fire), Caregiver (Water), Orphan (Air), *Ruler (Earth)

*For example, here, the question is why Innocent (Pisces) is Ego? C.P. says: “ The Innocent helps establish the persona—the mask we wear in the world, our personality, our social role. The pressure to have a persona starts early with the question, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Why would that be the Innocent? If we look closer, this is exactly the Ruler – our projection in the world and our social role… (this is Capricorn).

SOUL (the journey) – (in astrology FIXED): for me this is the plane of Creation where the archetypes have characteristics of the Creator (!)

(C.P) Lover (Earth), Creator (Fire), Destroyer (Water), Seeker (Fire),

(A.L) Lover (Earth), Creator (Fire), Destroyer (Water),*Magician (Air),

SELF (coming home or establishing one) – (in astrology MUTUAL): I like to think of it as the plane of Co-Creation.

(C.P) Fool (Air), Sage (Earth), Magician (Air), Ruler (Earth)

(A.L.) Fool (Air), Sage (Earth), *Explorer (Fire), *Innocent (Water)

So, with this hypothesis I presented the theoretical framework of my research. From here it would be interesting to explore following themes:

The development of an archetype within an element.

The development of the psyche in the wheel; that could be a different hero’s journey?

Different development of the psyche in different element.

The highest octave of the element through archetypes.

All that can lead to additional or true meanings of the archetypes.


Conclusion: Awakening the heroes within by Carol S. Pearson is a great book, but we can surely add some layers to it and maybe find some more accurate meanings. As we develop, our understanding of the archetypes is developing as well. It would be quite boring to live in the world where everything is perfect and done.

And also maybe I’m wrong, but with archetypes who can be the judge??

As I said, maybe this is a whole new book to be!

Interesting stuff, don’t you think?

If you have any thoughts or objections on this subject please feel free to share.


HOMEWORK: Let’s say you figured out who your protagonist is by archetype. Now you can add elements, qualities and planes to his/her character. See if that maybe opens up something you never thought of before.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT NEXT: Why Quantum theory – duality is important also for storytellers; The hero’s journey (introduction of the 3 acts structure); Virgin Structure of Independence; Protagonist and the Exposition...

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