What is an Archetype?

An archetype is a prototype, an abstract concept that underlies many similar objects or phenomena. It helps us to correlate visible reality and decipher what is happening.

Imagine a mental image of a cat. A cat is a furry, purring creature with whiskers and a tail. Knowing the archetype of a cat, we can determine: 🐈‍⬛ – this is a cat, 🌵 – this is not a cat.

There are more abstract concepts like Love, Justice, Good, Evil. They aren’t as straightforward as objects. Each person defines these archetypes independently based on the situation and their level of development. Entire wars are fought over some of their definitions.


Archetypes exist on the abstract level of the Subtle plane and manifest on the Physical plane as actions, deeds, behaviours, events, works of art, etc. In other words, the archetype resides in the collective unconscious: it’s outside an individual’s psyche, yet accessible for perception.

The key point is that the archetype manifests itself in the form of various similar objects, each of which is unique, while the archetype remains universal.

👉 Poets throughout the ages celebrate the archetype of Love in their poems, each in their own manner.

👉 Fashion designers, artists, interior decorators, cosmetic producers, and florists work under the archetype of Beauty, each of them in their own professional field.

👉 18th-century French revolutionaries and modern left-wing activists embody the archetypes of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.


When we’re connected to an archetype, we perceive reality as if through its eyes and act in its style.

👉 A person with a pronounced Yin archetype is sluggish and passive, speaks furtively, with indirect hints, avoids direct eye contact, remains silent for long, speaks softly, and walks stooped.

👉 A Yang-oriented person is active, tense, maintains direct eye contact, addresses others by name, speaks commandingly, often makes it personal, and has brisk, distinct movements.

Typically, a person is born with a set of predefined archetypes, which is difficult to change. However, the level of archetype manifestation can be altered, shifting from low to higher vibrations.

👉 The Mars archetype: at a low level, manifests as aggression and violence, while at a high level, it embodies constructive action.

👉 The archetype of Creation: at a low level, it can result in unmotivated behaviour, rudeness, an inability to finish tasks, whereas at a high level, it represents creativity, immediate perception, and foresight.

Supreme Archetypes

The most abstract concepts are known as supreme archetypes. They correspond to philosophical categories such as whole and part, influence and adaptation, symbol and content, creation, realization, dissolution, and so on.

They are so abstract that they underlie our psyche. Thus, their manifestations can be observed in various life situations.

👉 The supreme archetype of Dissolution manifests all the time when a certain process is going to an end, in criticism, rituals, a philosophical approach to situations, reference to law and rules, old worn-out clothing, destructive behaviour, conclusion and summation, moralising, “above the situation” stance, death, and more.

In Astrology

A natal chart can be regarded as a map of archetypes. Zodiac signs and planets are high-level abstract archetypes. Each signifies a wide range of meanings, further refined within a context.

👉 Venus: beauty, love, emotions, relationships, value, aesthetics, culture, art, social roles.

👉 Moon: nurturing, needs, rest, body, subconsciousness, emotions, variability, adaptability, family, nation, desires, indirect attention.

A natal chart allows us to determine which archetypes and in what proportions are present in a person. And most importantly, what to do with that knowledge. It can describe a person’s inner structure and the overarching rhythms of their destiny.