Four Archetypes of Masculine Maturity: The Magician

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.” — Muhammad Ali

This is the second segment of the four-part series titled the “Four Archetypes of Masculine Maturity” which uses Jungian psychology to develop men into their maximum potential. If you’re unfamiliar with Carl Jung, I urge you to take a quick Google search to learn more about him. He’s one of the most influential modern psychologists in our time and his findings have influenced these four archetypes as well as the more known “Myers-Briggs Personality Tests.”

The Magician

Most boys go through a “magic phase” where they are obsessed with magic. There are few things more thrilling than watching the amazement on the faces of your family and friends as you utilize a sleight of hand with card flourishes. Alas, most of us outgrow that phase at a certain point of time. Our fascination with the art however, often remains. But why is that? The masculine attraction to magic is rooted in what the abilities of the magician represent: the mastery of a knowledge that is then utilized to manipulate and control elements to produce a desired outcome. This yearning to harness, possess, and control this power is the foundation of the Magician archetype. It is an energy that every man should seek in his life.

A man who embodies the Magician archetype is one who pursued secret and hidden knowledge of all kinds. Sounds silly at first, doesn’t it? It is important to note that this doesn’t mean a man is in pursuit of witchcraft and black magic. It is simply knowledge that is not immediately apparent. It is knowledge that can be learned in degrees, like martial arts, that takes great effort and consistency to master. Due to this, the average man does not have immediate access to this knowledge. Common careers that embody this archetype are plumbers, electricians, and doctors. Any career where there are several levels to obtain and benchmarks to hit to earn your next spot up on the ladder. While you go about your daily duties within your career field, take a moment to think: “Am I doing something that could be considered completely obscure or shrouded in mystery to others?” If your answer is yes, continue pursuing that knowledge and building your expertise. If your answer is no, it might be time for a career change.

There is a quote from the accomplished science fiction writer, Arthur Clarke that states “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” The Magician indeed harnesses a certain level of mastery over technology. A man should take interest in how the world works. In doing so, a man can begin harnessing the laws, energies, and forces and manipulate them into practical systems and tools. Your local auto mechanic, ever interested in tinkering under the hood, harnesses the Magician energy. Elon Musk, forever an inventor, also harnesses the Magician energy. Thomas Edison was also called “The Wizard of Menlo Park” during his lifetime due to his mastery over the technology of his age. But fear not if you are not an inventor at heart. One does not need to create the newest smartphone that rivals the iPhone to harness the Magician’s energy. We simply need to create while letting our imaginations and dreams take lead.

In the next article, we will explore the Warrior archetype. The Warrior is the archetype of action; however, the Magician archetype directs the Warrior where and when to go. Think about the last time you had to make a tough decision. During the brainstorming process, you had to look at your own introspection. The reflection and meditation were both fueled by the Magician’s energy. As a man becomes more experienced and wiser, his gut feelings and spontaneous decisions become more accurate and beneficial. This is the fullness of the Magician.

In contemporary society, there is an expectation that all knowledge is to be known and available to every individual. Naturally, the internet is a seemingly endless wealth of information. However, this does not mean that all information is up for grabs. If you’re working on a project and are interrupted by someone who knows very little about the topic you are working on, it is natural to keep the information brief to not completely lose them. This is a sign of compassion towards them. If you instead told them that the information is simply too advanced for them to comprehend, then they are likely to get deeply offended. The greatest teachers throughout history understood that knowledge and truths must be taught “precept upon precept” or a little bit at a time. Concepts build upon another and to lay everything out bare will surely fail to make your student understand. Think of the Jiu-Jitsu sensei who strategically and methodically trains his students in a manner to build them up from white belt to black belt. If he simply taught them everything all at once, they would surely fail to grasp this information. A Magician uses careful reticent and patience when learning new information and understands the reason why behind the approach.

The Magician is an Alchemist of Life. Now the first thing many of you will think of when reading “Alchemist of Life” is “What does turning a base element into gold have to do with becoming a better man?” Well, it doesn’t honestly. But the process of taking one thing and turning it into another does. The Magician inspires a man to take a disappointing or gloomy situation and turn it into an opportunity to grow, learn, and ultimately become a better man. Doing this requires a man to be in full control of his emotions and not let a setback enrage him into doing something foolish and rash. If you’ve ever spoken to one of your friends who used a simple metaphor to resolve your doubts, the Magician energy was at work. The Magician’s energy will allow a man to meditate on his options and choose the best path forward.

Shadows of the Magician

As with all the archetypes of masculine maturity, character traits can run astray and lead to negative consequences. An ill-developed archetype is called a “shadow.” The two shadows of the Magician archetype are The Detached Manipulator and The Innocent One.

The Detached Manipulator

While a Magician in his fullness desires to share his knowledge bit by bit with those around him to bring them up to his level of expertise, the Detached Manipulator instead only feeds information in bits and pieces to feed his pride and bank account. He does not truly care about those around him, he simply wants them to lift him up onto a pedestal. An example of this is a ripped gym rat creating a program guaranteeing his followers will look just like him if they subscribe to his program while giving them only the absolute minimum effort required to maintain their attention. Then when they fail to meet the mark, the Detached Manipulator will instead blame them rather than being honest with his clients. Another example is when men act as if nobody else can become just like them because they are unique and untouchable. While controlled pride is okay in some circumstances, the Detached Manipulator will use pride as a tool of toxicity. Wall Street bankers and media pundits both career fields full of Detached Manipulators who are experts in getting a following in sharing some of their story but being very careful not to share all of it. A final aspect to review is the man who cynically detaches himself from others. These are the men who are unable to commit to anything, have little passion, and enjoys very few pleasures in life. The men, too, harness the Detached Manipulator’s energy.

The Innocent One

The Innocent One is a man who desires all the power, glory, and status that comes along with harnessing the Magician archetype but is unwilling to put in the work or assume the responsibilities that the status requires. The see a man doing something cool, and they immediately decide that they too want to do it. These are men who go headfirst into new hobbies or passions, but soon quit after the easy part has been completed. A man harnessing the energy of The Innocent One wants to have the skillset of a UFC fighter but quits working out as soon as it gets hard. But wait, there’s more! Because the Innocent One wants something that he will never have due to his own laziness, he also wants to stop everybody around him from achieving that goal too. He will become a stumbling block towards others out of pure spite and envy. President Theodore Roosevelt despised this type of man and was quoted as calling them “one of those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat.” It is also likely that Roosevelt was referring to these types of men in his famous “Man in the Arena” speech.

Developing This Archetype

The most straightforward way to developing this archetype is by creating more while consuming less. Additionally, powering up those around you in the process. The Magician is not a selfish archetype. In fact, it is one of compassion as it knows to feed information in tidbits to others to better understand the wisdom shared. Take time to meditate. No, this doesn’t have to be on a yoga mat with Zen music playing in the background, although it is beneficial. Allow yourself to meditate upon verbal responses or decisions to be made prior to making them. You will find yourself providing more educated and well-thought-out responses rather than simply wanting to be heard. If you don’t currently have a mentor, I cannot recommend enough for you to get one. Also allow yourself to be a mentor to others. This can be a financial mentor, a mentor that helps you through fatherhood, a fitness mentor, or simply a life mentor. Every man is capable of being a mentor and every man should be humble enough to ask another man to mentor them in certain aspects of their life. Above all, you need to make room in your schedule for you to have sacred time to yourself. Maybe this is every single day, or maybe this is once a week. Regardless, a man must have time to himself and his thoughts. It is during this sacred space that you develop yourself and the Magician’s energy is harnessed and improved upon. Allow yourself to be creative. Brainstorm anything and everything. Work with your hands and build something. Read a book. Write a book. Draw. Listen to music. Just do something. This will eventually become one of the best parts of your day or week that you will always look forward to.

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Kody Taylor

Kody Taylor

Martial Arts Instructor, Creative Writing Major, and US Army Soldier