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King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  6,561 ratings  ·  561 reviews
The corporate "yes man," the wife-beater, the hot-shot male junior executive and the emotionally distant father are all boys pretending to be men, observe the authors of this liberating guide to self-transformation. Writing within a Jungian framework, they perceive symptoms of "Boycaps per book psychology" all around us--in men's abusive behaviors, passivity and inability ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 16th 1991 by HarperOne (first published 1990)
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Paul Larke The idea is not to focus solely on one archetype. Mature masculinity, in the author's view, is created by an integration of all four archetypes. This …moreThe idea is not to focus solely on one archetype. Mature masculinity, in the author's view, is created by an integration of all four archetypes. This is displayed in the pyramid with the four sides corresponding to each archetype. If one side is weak the whole pyramid will collapse. Readers are encouraged to explore their weaknesses in all four archetypes and to work on strengthening these personality traits where weakness is found. (less)
Dan The power of the archetypes, how they connect to our most essential psychology, and how they have been used across millennia. And the crisis of mascul…moreThe power of the archetypes, how they connect to our most essential psychology, and how they have been used across millennia. And the crisis of masculinity in the West today, and what we can do to access the mature masculine archetypes in our world today.(less)

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N Perrin
The book Jordan Peterson tried to write.
Laura Oliva
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-research
I really loved this book.

First, as a disclaimer, I have found Jungian psychology fascinating since I first discovered Clarissa Pinkola-Estes's book "Women Who Run With The Wolves", back in high school. I found the idea of understanding the human condition via the archetypes found in the myths we all share very compelling, and much more helpful than "traditional" psychological analysis.

Thus disclaim-ed, this book was very helpful for me as a woman writer interested in creating believable heroes.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
Showing its age, this one.

This appeared at the end too, pretty much out of left field, and made me do a legitimate double-take:

"In this book we have been concerned about helping men to take responsibility for the destructiveness of immature forms of masculinity. At the same time, it is clear that the world is overpopulated with not only immature men but also tyrannical and abusive little girls pretending to be women. It is time for men--particularly the men of Western civilization--to stop acc
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
Eh, I'm not the biggest fan of this book. The authors argue that in today's society, there is a crisis of masculinity because we have gotten away from ancient traditions centered around the four archetypes that make up the book title. However, their evidence is shaky at best. They describe these archetypes and their historical/cultural background well. But they don't offer many reasons why we should necessarily be following these archetypes beyond the fact that they're old and they generally sou ...more
Mihai Rosca
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: have-audio
This is probably going to be my longest review of any book since I've decided to include my notes on the lecture in here. For such a short book (or so it felt), the amount of notes I took seems disproportionate.

I picked this up again after I started working with Mindworks by Gary van Warmerdam. I wanted to identify some of the main archetypes having their way in my psyche and I remembered that KWML by Moore and Gillette was one good book about Young's personality archetypes.

Long story short, th
Jef Sneider
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This is a book about men. It is also a book for men. Women can read it but it might make them angry. It makes some women angry just to hear about it, so be careful when you tell a woman that you are reading book about men and the masculine psyche.

Taken from work done by Carl C. Jung on the collective unconscious and subconscious archetypes, the two authors focus on men and four specific archetypes important to the development of the mature man. Published in 1990, the authors use psychoanalytic j
Benjamin Espen
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Based on a recommendation from the Art of Manliness, I bought King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine from Bookmans. I couldn't find it at my local new bookstores, but you can find it online new or used. Since I bought it used, it took me forever to find the tiny "Men's issues" section. It was only one shelf in a rather large bookstore, but I finally found it tucked underneath the sexual self-help books. It was worth the effort.

The four archetypes sho
May 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: self-help
With the exception of its reiterations of the most commonly accepted and observed realities that contemporary men face, this book is largely just one unsupported assertion after another. Because its premises are assumed to be true and never argued for, I don't even know how anyone would critically evaluate the information except as to whether they find it personally appealing or not. I had to spit out the Kool-Aid. ...more
Jun 06, 2021 rated it liked it

“Often, conducting a dialogue with inner “opponents”—usually forms of the immature masculine energies—will defuse much of their power. What they—like all children—really want is to be noticed, honored, and taken seriously. And they have a right to be. Once they are honored, and their feelings validated, they no longer need to act out through our lives.”

Jungian psychology has interested me for a long time, and I've had this book in my TBR for a long while, and I'm glad I've finally come around t
A problem identified and addressed in this book, that boys now are growing into big boys instead of Men, is addressed on the detailed individual level more than the social level, even though the book acknowledges that the transition from boy to Man when executed correctly does not occur without help from elders. Most of the book is devoted to the four archetypes with lots of examples of how they appear in Men (a healthy state) and how their malignant forms appear in old boys. An introspective, r ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I think this is counts as a "self-help" book. But it's terrible because the writer suffers gravely from a generational misreading of C.G. Jung. The author claim that the 4 masculine archetypes (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover) are embodied in every man, & that each has its own shadow. The problem is that they identity the shadow of the king/warrior with the "patriarchy". I often think that although Jung was a little bit arrogant at times, he really saw the archetypes stretching back over millenni ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm so glad that I dove into this book. The YouTube channel 'Like Stories of Old' refers to this book in several video essays, which initially got me excited about the concepts proposed in it. I was so excited, in fact, that I didn't think twice about ordering 1-day shipping when I got it on amazon!

With my strong love of mythology and philosophy, there was a lot of material covered in this book that connected with me deeply and instantly. I've had a rough understanding of Jungian psychology for
K.M. Weiland
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good stuff and undoubtedly formative in its day, but it felt a bit lightweight and repetitive in light of other works I've read recently (most of which drew upon this one). ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, even though it is ostensibly written for men. I read it because as an aspiring writer I wanted to understand a little more about male psychology, so I could hopefully create decent, realistic characters. The authors do emphasize that women do have paralell archetypes, so I did learn some things that I can use for myself.

It's a good introduction; not very deep. It's very approachable and accessible to the average reader. I would have liked a little more in depth, but I can ac
Marcus Follin
Aug 30, 2021 rated it liked it
The authors are correct in the sense that masculinity is lacking in the modern world. The book also contains some interesting perspectives.

However, between the constant Star Wars (and other popular culture references) and factually incorrect statements (such as the claim that SS soldiers were required to torture puppies – in the country with one of the strictest animal welfare laws at the time) I cannot recommend this book.

It also does not contain much in terms of practical advice for men.
Sep 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In my all time favorites !
Eddie Carroll
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
similar to any tom clancy novel one can find in a decrepit airport magazine store or hazily lit value village this book contains an immense amount of truth bombs and life hacks. great introduction to jungian psychology and the concept of archetypes. now when i read my tom clancy books i have a fuller appreciation for fully integrated king energy of the rugged handsome protagonists. i think after tackling this book i feel that i'm ready to approach modern literary epics such as ben shapiro's "tru ...more
Bastard Travel
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Jungian archetypes as applied to masculine gender roles, the way we internalize them, and the behaviors they force. Think of it as Eeveelutions. Everybody starts as the "Divine Child", from which, depending on our environment and natural predilections, we might veer toward the nascent, and eventually the full roles of Warrior, Magician, or Lover. Fire stone, water stone, thunder stone. Ideally, a self-actualized dude will embody all three in the form of the King archetype. That's where the analo ...more
Avery Jenkins
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent exploration of the male psyche from a Jungian perspective. If one has done much interior exploration, such as that through the Mankind Project NWTA, some of these archetypes will be (sometimes uncomfortably) familiar.

I was happily surprised by the last chapter, which concisely described ways of utilizing the books insights, as well as an uplifting invocation of what it means to be a man. In these days in which men are constantly being degraded, it is quite refreshing to be reminded
May 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Carl Jung, C. S. Lewis and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender says: 'This is a joke, right?'

Well, it feels like it. The theme could be interesting enough, and it contains a few useful points. However, I felt bored through most of the book, and the lack of references for the defined archetypes and the symbolism adds a quasi-religious look to it. Or maybe it's just me.
Amir Hossein Fassihi
This book categorizes the four main archetypes of the masculine psyche very well with full descriptions about their shadow types. Very much to the point and concise.
The book ends with a few practices to identifying and strengthening the archetypes which I found very interesting.
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
really interesting look at some cultural archetypes of masculinity...a quick read, too.
Mario Tomic
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful writing on masculine energy and how it shapes our lives. This is a book every man should read at least once.
Michael Dober
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover is a non-fiction combination of self-help book and psychology book on four male archetypes, where the book gets it’s name, and how to access them. I found it very interesting as well as useful in my day to day life. It shatters the modern idea of a stereotypical masculine, replacing it with one of a well balanced, kind, caring, intelligent, and courageous man. While reading this book, it is easy to find oneself soul-searching and recognizing previously unknown stre ...more
John de' Medici
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Well, that was Fun!
Nothing like being told, and shown categorically that you're still a boy, with a lot of growing up to do.

This little gem I found, is quite useful, its message clear and resound, its observations haunting, its plea noble, especially with the current bombardment of noises of what it means to be a man, and when that's not enough - a 'real man'.

Dee Vee
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book taught me more about how I think than any other psychological text. its an operation manual for the masculine psyche. Metaphorical, mythical and historical its so damn insightful I have re-read it twice and look forward to reading it again.
Yohanes Saputra
Aug 08, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
This book is a proposed solution to the masculine problem of initiation (and it is a problem). Men, before in a modernized world where they lived in tribes, lived their life having initiation to pass from boyhood to manhood; and this was mostly beatings and tests, some includes the solitary abandonment in a forest that he had to endure while ants were "eating" him. Compare that to the modern world, men now live their life mostly without initiation. Yes, some may have lived through initiation, li ...more
Jun 25, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is like if you kept all the good stuff from Jordan Peterson (Jungian psychoanalysis, anecdotes from therapeutic experience, self-help advice) without all the cultural and political grievances. The authors are experienced Jungian psychoanalysts and have made a great, short, accessible book explaining male Jungian archetypes and why they matter. Ours is not a society with real initiation ceremonies, and the authors stress the importance of having some sort of demarcation, some sort of trial o ...more
This is a book I do not think I would have ever picked up on my own. I am grateful to Literati's Myth & Meaning Book Club for selecting this title. It was a challenge to read not because it is not a good book, but because it illuminated several aspects of my personal psychology that need work. I think most people, if they read this without prejudice, may recognize areas of improvement in themselves.
The authors separate the male psychology into the Immature Boy and the Mature Man and within thos
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fascinating deep-dive into the psycho-spiritual development of a man, and the pitfalls in the path. This book does an excellent job of surveying the full scope of boyhood and manhood archetypes, and gives a necessary dissection of the shadow states that arise in these forms that create fundamentally damaged and damaging men.
The information at the end of the volume, on accessing the positive forms and how to begin the process of self-initiation feels rather abrupt and perfunctory. I suspect thi
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Robert L. Moore (August 13, 1942 - June 18, 2016) was an American Jungian analyst and consultant in private practice in Chicago, Illinois. He was the Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Spirituality at the Chicago Theological Seminary; a training analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago; and director of research for the Institute for the Science of Psychoanalysis ...more

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“This is the man who thinks too much, who stands back from his life and never lives it. He is caught in a web of pros and cons about his decisions and lost in a labyrinth of reflective meanderings from which he cannot extricate himself. He is afraid to live, to ‘leap into battle.’ He can only sit on his rock and think. The years pass. He wonders where the time has gone. And he ends by regretting a life of sterility. He is a voyeur, an armchair adventurer. In the world of academia, he is a hairsplitter. In the fear of making the wrong decision, he makes none. In his fear of living, he also cannot participate in the joy and pleasure that other people experience in their lived lives. If he is withholding from others, and not sharing what he knows, he eventually feels isolated and lonely. To the extent that he has hurt others with his knowledge and technology—in whatever field and in whatever way—by cutting himself off from living relatedness with other human beings, he has cut off his own soul.” Refering the the dark magician energy.” 40 likes
“the positive Warrior energy destroys only what needs to be destroyed in order for something new and fresh, more alive and more virtuous to appear.” 23 likes
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