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The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,275 ratings  ·  86 reviews
In this newly revised edition of the bestselling classic The Hero Within, Carol S. Pearson gives us a unique vocabulary to explore the link between ancient archetypes and our contemporary lives.

Works like Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces have introduced readers to the significance of myth and archetype in our lives. Carol Pearson's bestselling The Hero With

Paperback, Revised & Expanded, 338 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by HarperOne (first published 1986)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, identity
I found this book to be pretty profound - not just blow your mind - novel thinking type of profound, but "Holy crap this is deep stuff, and it seems like it could really be true be really true. It isn't empty intellectual exercise. It is based on Jung's archetypes, and I love Jung, but Pearson puts his ideas into everyday language and makes them more accessible. The archetypes are like a catalogue of possible personalities one can have. It is a way of conceiving of the world. It is like a road m ...more
K.M. Weiland
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent and thought-provoking.
Roy Madrid
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Love the ideas and framwork presented here to recognize, organize, and actualize personal growth. Gets off to a slow start, but gradually you you start to identify with each archetype presented until finally you realize where your journey should take you next.
I recommend the extended edition that includes exercises to work towards the experience and integration of each step asking the way.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about Jungian psychology. It talks about the stories we tell ourselves in our lives, and how to shift that internal narrative.

These stories generally fall into six archetypes: orphan, innocent, magician, wanderer, warrior, and altruist. The type of story shifts over time and is partly culturally constructed (this is the third edition, and the author talks about the changes briefly). The idea is that we think of ourselves as heroes in our stories. The type of hero differs, but we c
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
The author has a progressive agenda and is not subtle about it. I have no problem reading opposing viewpoints, but in a book that is about Jungian archetypes one can only handle so many references to unconscious racial biases, feminism, environmentalism, and evil white men. Every page is dripping with it.
"Women, minority men, and the working class all have been culturally define as inferior and, as such, their role is to serve. To the degree that these groups have internalized such ideas, much o
Apr 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
An enlightening read for personal growth. The Hero Within goes over six hero archetypes that we all live/have lived by, the innocent, orphan, martyr, wanderer, warrior, and magician, and how the progression happens between them, and the (potentialy) 'good and the bad', among other things. I found myself to be primarily magician with a mix of wanderer and martyr with a little warrior and hints of orphan. ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the kind of book that proves to be incredibly useful when read during moments of crisis.
Jeffrey Howard
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first 50 pages of this book stirred within me a new hope for navigating life. Pearson introduces us to 6 archetypes--in the tradition of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell--that have universal staying power. These archetypes are constantly at play in our daily lives, transcending cultures, religions, science, and any other dogmas. By familiarizing ourselves with these 6 archetypes we find contextualized truths that shape to individual temperaments and circumstances. Ignoring the power of these ar ...more
Andrew Tomlinson
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Her marxist-lite approach undermines the entire book, best stick with Jung for now...

Although her perceptions of the mentioned archetypes are largely correct, I can't help but get very tired of her feminist, anti white male stance.. So tired I couldn't take her seriously after the first 60 pages.

From someone writing a book on psychological archetypes, I'd expect a more balanced and less Marxism-lite ideology suffusing almost every page.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting read about how we as humans develop. We go through archetypes and we don't even know it! Some bits of advice/info were a bit out there for me, but for the most part it was an enlightening read on archetypes and life. Learning more about archetypes, really helps you understand more about life. Oh, and I took the quiz at the end and it looks like I'm a Warrior/Magician hybrid. ...more
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Hero Within is a fascinating book. The orphan and warrior were my two that I really looked too as a actor. They use myths and legends to get the point across. Excellent for your self esteem. This uplifting book tackles issues of your childhood and how you were raised. Find your inner hero and read this book!
Sep 26, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is great for writers! It is fantastic when read about our stories--the ones we write and the ones we tell ourselves about our lives.

But as a psychology book... Read Non Violent Communication and everything by Nathaniel Branden instead.
Cathy Proses
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Explains people without pigeon-holeing.
David Hollingsworth
"The Hero Within" is an interesting fusion of Jungian archetypal psychology, New Age belief in the universe, and self-help, with a special attention to how all of those things have a gendered way of applying to people thanks to how we've been socialized. To be straightforward, this book is different from what I expected. I expected it to be less self-help and more an analysis of the stories we tell ourselves that might benefit me as a fiction writer.

Honestly, I've never really liked self-help bo
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it

"The belief that we have to compromise critical parts of ourselves to fit in makes visible and real to us both our need for love and our equally strong need to explore who we are. The tension between these incredibly strong and apparently conflicting impulses leads us first to give up important pieces of ourselves in order to fit in, and in that way to learn how much love and belonging means to us, and finally, radically, to choose ourselves and our journeys as even more important to us than car
Natalia Tolstopyat
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Feeling stuck and lost? Don't know what to do with your life? Don't enjoy your personal progress? Carol S. Pearson, PhD is here to help you. Her book the hero within is a marriage of psychoanalysis and myth scholarship. There she describes six archetypes or stages of human development. According to Pearson, understanding the archetypes and their "quests" should help people to have a balanced and happy life. By quests she means the storylines that people follow, plots that are somewhat typical in ...more
Sharyn Campbell
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sharyn by: Gloria Coelho of Caritas Consciousness Project
I read the 1989 edition, concerned it would seem dated. Not at all. I took the Self Test at the end, and I look forward to exploring the exercises for the archetypes that are very active in my life presently. This appears in Chapter 7 and could have been written for today: "If you read the newspapers [okay, so that dates this passage], it may appear to you that little is changing -- or that things are getting worse, not better. Indeed, in times of massive social transformation like this one, thi ...more
MiCaela Chagnon
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self, lifestyle
I stopped reading this book fairly quickly after I started; not because I didn't enjoy it but because life is often chaotic and I was attempting to navigate through many things. I recently found it as I was researching for my blog and I got so excited! This is book is everything that I want to teach the world, the very kind of thing I'm hoping to get across in my blog. I could identify with the voice of the author as well as the archetypes she describes, in innumberable ways.

I stumbled upon thi
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating stuff. I like how the archetypes all exist in all of us to some extent or other, and that our dominant archetypes at any point in time are determined by our upbringing, the people around us, and our circumstances. It's far more complex than what I expected (more like a Buzzfeed quiz of 'which archetype are you?")

I also like that we need to pull up different archetypes within us depending on the situation, and that the traits we dislike in others may sometimes speak to the archetypes
Mathew Vondersaar
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
TLDR: Gave me an interesting lens to view life, people, and progress. Written by a feminist religious psychologist, themes of that nature arose in as a bit of a welcome surprise. Too self-help and motivational for my taste, as I picked it up looking for a book on psychology and was only somewhat disappointed.

However, the last "stage" and largely most important steps are all related to spirituality, with a massive swath of Cristian examples. Other religions are used, but by far and above capital
Erin Moxam
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I am a huge fan of Joseph Campbell, so when I saw this book I picked it up right away. This was a really excellent read, an extremely interesting examination of some of the archetypes that play roles in our lives. I liked how this book was broken up and enjoyed the writing style. Sometimes I get bogged down in the drudgery of nonfiction, but I flew through this book. Very much in the Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell school, this book looks at both the good and bad sides of some familiar archetypes ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book

This book was mentioned many times on a YouTuber (like stories of old), I really like the book. I would say my two strong archetypes I see now are the Innocent and The Magicians but I see the author is telling we all have these archetypes and we got find every way to balanced them. Later on I will try the exercise
Rasmus Rygh
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
It's a great book for anyone interested in anything Jungian, and probably for anyone looking for ways to work on him/herself. You'll get introduced to some major archetypes that govern your life, and start to form a relationship with them, since you'll begin your journey by naming.

It's a treasure throve of exercises too, and can even be read as a therapeutic analysis of yourself.
Jacob Coldwell
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book to understand diversity in people

This book breaks down people’s perspective that are attached with an archetype. It breaks out from minute details to look at people’s strengths and weaknesses as a whole. These are not viewed as judgement but as areas for growth or developing strength. It’s a treasure of clarity and simplicity.
Ms. Stephens
Not hugely readable... that and/or I just wasn't all that interested. Maybe useful for more careful study, or for study with a therapist... not so much for independent study. I read the beginning, then found myself skimming and skipping through the rest. ...more
Anthony Korolev
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. Astonishingly deep and insightful reading. To get to the core of the ideas of archetypes in a way it is presented by Carol Pearson is a journey itself. And for me it was extremely valuable one.

Really interesting interpretation of life and its challenges!
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Provides good insight into the paths we walk and continue to travel in. The author helps us see where certain behaviour and thought patterns come from within the archetype framework so we can see the way through.
Ashley Doutt
Jun 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shekhar Ruparelia
May 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
Disappointed with this book. I had to let go of it little less than halfway. Generalisations, dated examples and a lifestyles from a different era. I did find some useful ideas, but they were too far and few in between.

A slightly lengthier review on my blog: https://adventuresofatraveller.wordpr...
Arturius escalante
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading now... 😜😁
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Carol S. Pearson, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized scholar and well-known author of numerous books, among them the bestselling The Hero Within, Awakening the Heroes Within, The Hero and the Outlaw, and Magic at Work. Her new book, Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within, was published in October 2015.

Dr. Pearson previous book, The Transforming Leader, is an edited collection of cutt

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