King Warrior Magician Lover

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King Warrior Magician Lover.jpg
Author Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette
Language English
Publisher HarperSanFrancisco
Publication Date 1990
ISBN 0062505971

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine is a 1990 book by Jungian psychologist Robert Moore and mythologist Douglas Gillette. In this work, and the books that follow, the authors outline the four archetypes that power the mature masculine psyche: the King, the Warrior, the Magician, and the Lover.

This book was followed by The King Within, The Warrior Within, The Magician Within, and The Lover Within to discuss each of the mature archetypes in detail along with their bipolar shadows. However, of the series, it is the only book that also describes the boyhood archetypes in any detail.

To the authors the world through most of history, including the patriarchy is the product of the ascendance of immature, boyhood archetypes. They argue that because of this, patriarchy is as disempowering for the majority of men (who are not at the top) as it is for women.[1]

Social Context of Masculinity[edit]

The authors claim that society's hostility toward masculinity is a reaction to the destruction of the immature masculine that has dominated society for the last 2,000 years. The domination of puerarchy, the 'rule of boys' has repressed the expression of both masculine and feminine maturity. The authors are therefore highly critical of modern feminism as an angry outburst from 'girls' who are no more mature and have little better to offer than the order they are trying to replace.

Industrialization in particular is singled out as a cause of immaturity, because fathers leave the home and provide little spiritual nourishment to their sons, who are left in the hands of women all day. Unlike tribal societies, who had formal processes for removing boys from the world of women and initiating them into the world of men, modern societies do nothing at all and as a result boys are kept in an infantile state.

The remedy the authors propose is to reinvigorate the initiatory processes, while acknowledging that much of the work will have to be done by men on their own. As a starting point, they recommend four psychological techniques: active imagination dialogue, invocation, admiring men, and acting "as if".

Structure of the Archetypes[edit]

Both the boyhood and the manhood archetypes are structured as pyramids, with the manhood pyramid "built over" the boyhood pyramid. The boyhood archetypes, however, are never actually lost, and can still be accessed for their energies and qualities.

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The Divine Child and the King[edit]

King Model.jpg

The King in His Fullness is serves two primary functions: to create order in the world and bring it into being through his creative and generative capabilities, and to recognize and bless the good in those around him, especially younger men. A lack of admiration by older men is attributed to an inability on the part of younger men to "get it together."

The King becomes a Tyrant when a mortal man identifies entirely with the king energy and is unable to function outside of it. Then, he usurps rulership from the rightful owners.

The King becomes a Weakling when he completely disassociates from the king energy and attributes it to somebody else, notably a Tyrant.

The King's boyhood counterpart is the Divine Child. This immature archetype has the energy and creativity of new life, but has not yet matured into someone who can put it to use.

The Divine Child's active shadow is the High Chair Tyrant, who demands everything of everyone while rejecting the very love and nourishment he needs.

The passive shadow of the Divine Child is the Weakling Prince who, like the weakling, has no zest for life.

The Hero and the Warrior[edit]

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The Warrior in His Fullness is the archetype of frontal, head-on confrontation, and a destroyer of old structures. However, the Warrior is only a destroyer to the extent needed to make way for the new. His battles may be either external or internal.

When the Warrior embraces destruction as an end in itself, he becomes a cruel Sadist.

When a man disowns his Warrior energy entirely, he becomes a Masochist who will tolerate anything from anyone and always give in.

The Warrior's boyhood counterpart is the Hero. The Hero is the culmination of the maturing boy, and is the gateway to the mature masculine. However, the Hero fights for his own glory instead of a transcendent cause, and he does not know his own limits. He endangers himself and others in his glory-seeking. However, his inevitable confrontation with his own limits is what will finally either kill him or propel him into maturity. The death of the Hero is the birth of the Warrior.

The Hero's active shadow is the Grandstander Bully, physically and psychologically dominates others.

The passive shadow of the Hero is the Coward who refuses to participate in life or ever assert himself.

The Precocious Child and the Magician[edit]

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The Magician in His Fullness is the archetype of mastery of secret forces, internal and external, that power the mind and the forces of nature. As the master of psychological processes, he initiates others into maturity. As the master of technology, he harnesses the power of nature for the good of mankind.

When the Magician loses his sense of connectedness to others he becomes a Detached Manipulator, working only for his own profit.

When a man disowns his Magician energy entirely, he becomes a Denying 'Innocent' One, who passive-aggressively acts out his hostile intent over those who have "power" over him while hiding behind his 'incapacity' to think and act.

The Magician's boyhood counterpart is the Precocious Child, who loves to learn and is always asking 'Why?'

The Precocious Child's active shadow is the Know-It-All Trickster who plays hurtful practical jokes on others and lords his intelligence over others.

The passive shadow of the Precocious Child is the Dummy who, like the 'Innocent' One withholds his own cleverness and comes across as a dunce out of a sense of distance and superiority.

The Oedipal Child and the Lover[edit]

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The Lover in His Fullness is the archetype of connectedness, mystical or spiritual experience, sensuality, and deep relationship.

When the Lover embraces his love without boundaries, he becomes an Addicted Lover. This can be a love of women, food, drugs, drink, or any other sensual obsession.

When a man disconnects from his Lover energy entirely, he becomes an Impotent Lover, unable to summon any passion for life.

The Lover's boyhood counterpart is the Oedipal Child: warm, related, and affectionate.

The Oedipal Child's active shadow is the Mama's Boy, whose incestuous impulses are more a match for what Freud called the Oedipus Complex.

The passive shadow of the Oedipal Child is the Dreamer who has much the same impulses as the Mama's Boy, but without even the energy to pursue "Mother."

The way forward[edit]

It can be said that life's perhaps most fundamental dynamic is the attempt to move from a lower form of experience and consciousness to a higher (or deeper) level of consciousness, from a diffuse identity to a more consolidated and structured identity. All of human life at least attempts to move forward along these lines. We seek initiation into adulthood, into adult responsibilities and duties toward ourselves and others, into adult joys and adult rights, and into adult spirituality.[2]
It may be that there never has been a time when the archetypes of the mature masculine (or the mature feminine) were dominant in human life. It seems that we as a species live under the curse of infantilism—and maybe always have. Thus, patriarchy is really "puerarchy" (i.e., the rule of boys)...[3]
If ours is an age of individualism in the deepest as well as in the most shallow sense, then let us be individuals! Let us nurture and welcome great individuals—individual men who will, with the benevolence of ancient kings, the courage and decisiveness of ancient warriors, and wisdom of magicians, and the passion of lovers, move energetically to take up the challenge of saving a world that has been cast down before us.[4]


  1. p. xvi
  2. p. 5
  3. p. 143
  4. pp. 144-5