Rigid role conceptions about masculine and feminine can act as a hindrance to expressing one’s Xidentity. Deep convictions of the family involved, as well as of their environment may lie at the foundation of this. Archetypes are useful in making these thinking and behavioural patterns more explicit. They provide some handles to seeing the direction in which a change can be found, and helping to bring it about.
The approach is based on Jungian concepts of Animus and Anima, and on the work of Moore and Gillette. They put forward that the male psyche is built up of four essential aspects, archetypes. These four aspects (King, Warrior, Magician and Lover – also the title of their book -) can assume different guises, depending on the personal development of a specific person. The four named archetypes represent the form the truly mature man assumes. However, each archetype has two dysfunctional shadow forms – an active and a passive shadow pole – that can effectively block the expression of excellence. Please note that a woman can identify with male archetypes too.
Although there is various literature on characteristic female archetypes, I could not be satisfied with the ones proposed. Thanks to discussions with my colleague Amanda Bouman, I was able to come up with – in my opinion more complementary– female counterparts of the male archetypes and choose names for them: Director, Protectress, Nurturer and Hostess. Please note that a man can identify with female archetypes too.
The practical use of this facet of Xidentity is to identify shadow poles and mature archetypes that fit significantly and give extra insight into strengths and possible areas of development.
Secondly, XIPs will find it practical to limit themselves to one or two archetypal aspects that are most recognisable for them and that seem attractive for them to focus extra attention on.
The resulting extensive model can be found in my book.