The Justice Family of Archetypes

This month we will continue our exploration of archetypes – the language of the Unconscious mind – by looking at the Justice Family, in particular the Judge, the Advocate or Environmentalist, the Mediator, the Detective, the Liberator and the Avenger.

The Judge archetype loves justice and, in its light aspect, has high standards of ethics, morality and compassion. In its shadow aspect, however, the Judge can become over-critical and merciless and s/he can also have a hidden agenda. Examples of the Judge archetype are Dominic Guard in The Go-Between, Spencer Tracy in Judgement at Nuremburg and for the shadow aspect – John Forsythe in And Justice for All.

The Advocate or Environmentalist loves to champion human rights and/or animal/nature rights and is dedicated to inspiring others to empower themselves. However, the shadow aspect can cause them to back a negative cause or to support one for personal gain. Popular examples of this archetype are the fairy tale Puss in Boots, Julia Roberts in Erin Brokovitch and the shadow aspect from Robert Duvall in The Godfather.

The Mediator, on the other hand, finds peaceful solutions for antagonistic groups, individuals or warring parties. They can see both sides of an argument, are patient and skilled with an ability to read people and situations. In the shadow aspect they can have ulterior motives and hidden agendas and even use both sides for personal gain such as double agents. Examples of the Mediator archetype are The Ambassadors by Henry James and, once again, Dominic Guard in The Go-Between.

The Detective is able to seek out knowledge and information and has great powers of observation along with a highly evolved intuition. The shadow aspect is voyeurism, falsifying information and/or selling out to the highest bidder. Examples of the Detective archetype are plentiful: Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s novels, Richard Burton in The Spy who Came in from the Cold, Kathleen Turner in V.I. Warshawski, James Bond and Charlie Chan.

The Liberator is a rather different archetype. S/he frees others from tyranny, from political control or negative thought patterns and beliefs. In the shadow aspect Liberators free us from one tyrant only to impose their own tyranny afterwards. Examples of the Liberator archetype from history are Joan of Arc, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela. In film there is Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek. Tom Selleck in In and Out and Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc. Herman Hesse’s Siddharta (one of my favourite novels) is also a portrayal of the Liberator archetype.

Finally, the Avenger archetype balances the scales of justice. Avengers can be lawyers who work for the disadvantaged, animal rights activists or people who avenge on a more global scale. In the shadow aspect they can resort to violence, terrorism, eco-terrorism and self-destruction. They can also become obsessed by the need for revenge. Once again Joan of Arc is an example. Other examples are the old television show The Avengers, Ingrid Bergman in The Visit, Jane Fonda in Cat Ballou and, in the shadow, Al Pacino in The Godfather.

These are only a small example of possible archetypes within the Justice Family. If you want a deeper understanding that these newsletters can give you, or you can’t wait for the next instalments, then I run workshops on archetypes as well as private sessions in person or on Skype and would be delighted to work with you personally.

Meanwhile, keep observing the behaviour of yourself and those around you. Next month we will be looking at the Creativity Family of archetypes. Perhaps you might like to begin to make a list of archetypes that you particularly resonate with. Remember, we are looking for your personal eight to join the shared archetypes of Child, Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute.

In the meantime, have a lovely June!

Love Laurelle