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

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,720 ratings  ·  284 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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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…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)
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)

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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.
jessi lee
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people thinking about their own masculinity, maybe
i've been trying to read this book generously & not be dismissive about it because of its gender essentialism, heterosexism, & complete endorsement of the gender binary. not that those things aren't major problems.

but it seems like this book does fill a need, and that it acts as almost a checklist guide that folks struggling with enacting their masculinity can use to try to move into a kinder, stronger place. i like the way that it's broken down into four different areas (archetypes)
Nathaniel Perrin
The book Jordan Peterson tried to write.
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
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
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, ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...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
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
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.
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
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
really interesting look at some cultural archetypes of masculinity...a quick read, too.
Amedine Amedine
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it

This review is with 2 languages English and Arabic

هذه المراجعة بلغتين الانجليزية والعربية

It cannot be a mystery to us from the title of this book that it really tells the story of masculine humanity in four words. As this book tries to unravel using logic analyses and brief history statistics and legends. As it seeks to identify the energy of the masculine for what it is, and as you read with an observing eye the theories and aspects and the titles of the shadows of the ego or the self as a
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 ...more
James Forbes
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.
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.
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
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'.

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.
Mick Dods
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Definitely got some food for thought from this. Much work still to be done.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked this book, but I like Jungian psychology and find archetypes really interesting and useful. But holy moly does it need an update. It probably needed one after 9/11 and it certainly needs one in 2018. However, if you are interested in becoming a better man or men becoming better, it’s still really good.
Jonathan Johnson
The greatest

One of the best books I’ve ever read and should be required reading for every man; please purchase this book
Shane Haberkorn
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An essential read for men especially in these days when the “toxic” and immature masculine is what predominantly presents itself in our society. There is a need to revisit the archetypes which once guided our societies but are now replaced with confusion and a lack of boundaries.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A big portion of the book struck me as somewhat shallow. Although identifying many interesting elements of the male archetypes, large portions of the book was unable to penetrate something much deeper and was stuck at a level that sometimes felt childish. It felt like reading "popular science", but the book lacked the clarity required for this way of presenting material. It was not until the conclusion chapter that I really felt they were on to something. When all the clumsy explaining of the ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Starts off pretty well. If they hadn't delved into new-age-y conclusions and strange examples using quantum physics the book might've kept my full attention and respect throughout.

However I'm glad I read it, because as a vague map for finding at least some minuscule sort of structure to characterize the phases many men go through in life this book actually does a great job. If we take it with a truck load of salt it's sort of helpful for self-analyzing where one is at in life and what he should
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: coaching, psychology
This book is not just for fans of thing Jungian. It is a valuable and very accessible exploration of male psychology (although much that is said would apply equally to women). I have used this with many clients in the consulting business and almost without exception they have found it both useful and enlightening.
We all have four energies or aspects, according to Moor, our King, Warrior, Magician and Lover tendencies. We often operate within these four quadrants by excess (the bully - too much
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book immensely.

The book takes a look at the 4 main masculine archetypes and how they manifest in the male psyche. One of the main arguments in the book is that in the modern world we have shunned rituals and ceremonies that traditionally 'killed' the boyhood and gave 'birth' to manhood. As a result we now have a shortage of the mature masculine psyche and have too many men who act like boys.

I found a lot of value in learning about the archetypes (their positive and negative
Steve Kruppa
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. I normally would not read this type of book, but it did peak my interest. I really felt that in reading this how challenging it is for young men to define their masculinity in a productive way in today’s society. Young men today have very few mature role models that show the positive side of masculinity. The four archetypes (King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover) of the male psyche are represented in their positive and negative aspects. It also forced me as a man to take a look at ...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.” 21 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.” 15 likes
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