The 4 Facets of Man:

The Masculinity Archetypes

Neal Conlon

When I first decided that I wanted to be a speaker on big stages, I spoke in small groups of 25 and that felt easy.

Within a few years, it was groups of 5,000 and that is a completely different experience. I remember being so nervous about walking out on a stage in front of a huge audience and someone came up to me and saw that I was clearly nervous and said to me: "who is a speaker that you admire on stage? think about how they carry themselves and walk out there and nail it." And I did. 

I share that story with you as it relates to giving you permission to decide to show up every day as you wish to be received. Throughout my men’s work, I have spoken to thousands of men and these commonalities bubble up to the surface of the research.

Alison Armstrong and Carl Jung and many others have subscribed to a modality and an example of the archetypes of the man. There are pros and cons to each archetype and they all serve us well when we are aware of them.

Picture of a Sioux Warrior, otherwise known as brave. Every culture has its own martial tradition and mythology.

Summon Your Own Warrior

The Four Archetypes of Mature Masculinity

  • The Warrior: Probably the most controversial archetype in today’s world. When hearing the word “warrior”, one may think about uncalled-for violence or savagery. However, the Warrior archetype is not about embracing war or senseless conflict, it’s about embracing bravery, competitiveness, and vigorous initiative. The Warrior archetype moves men into action to toughen up and press forward to achieve their goals with PURPOSE.

The Magician energy is embodied by both the master and the apprentice.

  • The Magician: The more mystic of the archetypes, the Magician archetype is that of the “knower”. The Magician holds sacred or secret knowledge that sets him apart from others and takes part in rituals that bestow this knowledge to others – either as a mentor or apprentice. When you study to become an engineer, doctor, or accountant or tinker with your tools to make the most out of them, you’re accessing your inner Magician. The relationships I try to build in my programs, where men gather and learn from one another, constantly shifting between mentors and apprentices, feed on this archetype.
  • The Lover: The Lover is the most sensual of the masculine archetypes, and I’m not referring only to sex and romance (but they will factor into the equation). The Lover opens a man’s senses and sensibilities to the many experiences of life. The Lover is an idealist and an enjoyer of life’s many pleasures. The passion of the Lover fuels our every endeavor: from the most basic, physical ones, to our most elevated and meaningful desires.

“Poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for”, says Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) in the amazing Dead Poets Society (1989). Can't get any more Lover-y than that!

  • The King: The King is the ruler and most important of all the archetypes, he is, after all, the pivot by which all the other archetypes act. The King is the center of a man, the bringer of order, and the ultimate authority of his own life. My ultimate objective when working with other men is to help them take control of their own lives in a healthy way and in harmony with what they value and want to become.

The sovereign King has to rule wisely and benevolently over a man's other archetypes... and his own life.

Which archetype are you operating from?

Every man can connect with their four Archetypes. When you cannot connect with one, what I have experienced is that there is an obstacle that one archetype is putting up to keep the focus on them. Usually, a trauma that happened at a certain stage of life needs to be cleared.

When I behave in a certain way that is out of my routine, I often ask myself “Which archetype am I operating from right now?”


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About Neal

Neal Conlon is an entrepreneur with a focus on growth hacking, leveraging data, and purposely inspiring others to not let the obstacles in a rapidly changing world of tech limit their opportunities. In the last few years, he has pivoted his focus to learning how he can share his years of self-development to empower others to get better, quicker, faster, and to master themselves and the skills to be successful.