The Warrior Archetype in Men

An Image of the Warrior Archetype

The Warrior in his fullness, the mature Warrior, creates order, sets boundaries, and goes out into the world and gets things done on the orders of the King. The mature Warrior often has these qualities:

  • He knows his job is to take action in the world in service to the King. He needs the orders of a good and just King to bring him to his full expression.
  • He sets boundaries, knowing where I stop and you begin. He knows how to set a boundary and the difference between “yes” and “no”. He knows what he would die for, defend to the death.
  • He tends to see things in black or white. His may be a binary world. Clarity is everything. That way he knows with certainty what needs to be done.
  • He may act without feeling to get things done. Examples of this include fire fighters going in to a burning building to save people: this is true Warrior energy. Take action first, feel the feelings later (maybe).
  • The principles of the Warrior are action, service, loyalty and justice.
  • A mature principled Warrior will not follow an unjust or tyrannical King.
  • He needs a cause to believe in and fight for. That might be something he believes in on a personal level, or it might be the King’s mission of service in the world. He is about action.
  • He believes in the motto: “Protect and Serve.”
  • When boundaries are crossed, he reacts with anger and goes on the offensive (or defensive). Another expression of his energy is the male energy he takes into the world to get things done. Yet another is assertiveness.
  • He takes care of himself, so he can take care of his tribe, the people who live with him in the Kingdom, and the possessions and lands of the Kingdom.
  • Additional expressions for the Warrior in his fullness, the mature Warrior, include: brave, committed, willful, and not swayed by fear. He may be afraid but he can still be confrontational and confident.

The emotional wound here is “I don’t exist” or some variation of that, such as a conditional existence: “I don’t exist unless I am approved of by…. (e.g.) mother / father / everyone” or “I don’t have a right to exist as I am.”  This takes many forms, including “I don’t have a right to stand up for myself.” “I can’t be angry because it’s dangerous.” And so on.

This archetype is all about identity, having an independent spiritual and physical existence in the world, a separate-from-others sense of presence in the world, and the ability to make an impact on the world and on others. This is an identity wound which can develop around the age of 2 years.

When a child starts to separate from his parents (i.e. see himself as a separate being with an independent existence) which generally happens between the age of 12 months and 2 years, he needs to be reinforced with a sense of himself as an independent being in the world with innate value and a real ability to impact the world and the people in it.

He also needs affirmation in his right to exist, to occupy the space he is in. If his expression of self is not accepted by the parents, or made conditional, his developing Warrior energy may be crushed, and his sense of having a right to exist on his own terms may be inhibited. Being repeatedly told things like “We don’t like you when you’re angry” or “You’re only here because we let you…. ” will give him a conditional sense of existence. The same is true if his anger, sadness or some other aspect of him is not accepted. Acceptance alone is not enough, though – his parents also need to model good boundaries so he can learn how a Warrior contains his anger.

Sometimes a child who lives with a model of violent rage, especially from his father, during childhood will put his anger into shadow and become a “very nice” person to be around. You can somehow sense the absence of anger and assertiveness, which has gone into shadow.

The shadow Warrior in his inflated form looks something like this:

  • A nickname for the shadow Warrior is the Mercenary Warrior. He may go rogue, and create chaos by running the Kingdom in the absence of strong King who issues clear orders.
  • The shadow Warrior desires power. He may be unfeeling and cruel – a bully.
  • The feeling of the shadow Warrior is anger to the point of rage.
  • The shadow Warrior runs over people, places or things to get it done now and in his way.
  • The shadow Warrior may seek to win twice: he keeps his agenda hidden while he tricks you into teaming up with him, and then, after you’ve served his purpose he may kill, disown, vilify or discard you, or perhaps damage your reputation in the eyes of others. His allegiance is to the one who can best serve him in the moment.
  • The shadow Warrior believes you are not tough enough, because no one is tough enough. Pain and suffering are fine.
  • The shadow Warrior misuses boundaries for his own control needs, not for the group.
  • A shadow warrior maybe violent against people in his rage. He may use verbal abuse as a form of attack.

The shadow Warrior in his deflated form looks something like this:

 A shadow Warrior may beat himself up, and be very conciliatory to you because he is full of fear.

  • He may be violent against objects in his rage.
  • He may engage in passive-aggressive behavior.
  • He may be a coward.

The shadow Warrior archetype may create chaos.

  • Additional descriptive words for the Shadow include: controlling, forceful, intimidating, loyal only to himself, raging, using language like “you make me angry” and “it’s your fault”, argumentative, sabotaging, and destructive.

Gold or Shadow?

I know my mature “Golden” Warrior is supporting me when I’m feeling powerful, knowing the importance of time and timing. I know he is working for me when I am serving and protecting myself, my tribe and my Kingdom. I know my Shadow Warrior is at work when I self-sabotage, or I feel irritable, aggravated and controlling. I know my shadow is active when I need everything done immediately and done my way, or when I feel an urge to object to everything that others suggest or want.