King Warrior Magician Lover is a fairly old book (published in 1990) but I’ve intended to read it for some time now after hearing it mentioned more than once. I’m glad I finally got around to it.
This work delves into the four primary masculine archetypes (or masculine energies) that are naturally ingrained in us all, not just men. Each archetype represents a certain set of characteristics that, when all working together harmoniously form a healthy psyche.
The main theories and concepts presented are based on the work of Carl Jung, and they’ve been re-worked into a book for the masses collaboratively by two authors with interesting backgrounds, a psychologist and a mythologist.
Main Points I Took Away From This Work
- The definition between “boy psychology” and “man psychology”
- The argument that most men today have not truly matured, and they are still operating from their immature (and thus destructive) “boy psychology” mindset
- The lack of cultural supports in modern society that served to enable men to undergo the necessary mental and spiritual transformations from boys to men (these supports were historically present in most primal societies, e.g. rites of passage)
- The function of each archetype, its importance for the male psyche, and how it interacts with the other archetypes to form a balanced and harmonious individual
- How to access the male archetypes in order to resolve inner conflicts, and how to call on certain archetypes to strengthen the psyche
Is This Book For You?
This book is definitely for you if you have ever been interested in the work of Carl Jung, as many of the concepts are quite abstract and they center around a lot of symbolism and metaphors. If you are man that is looking to become more balanced and strengthen your mentality, this is a reliable work to refer to.
It will give you a comprehensive overall picture of how your mind operates, clues as to what qualities you may be lacking, what ones are your strengths, and methods on how balance them out.
If you are a woman, if you are interested in understanding the way men think and the source of their motives, this book will give you thorough explanation of the subject matter. I myself have a son, so I read it so that I could have a basic understanding of the emotional and spiritual challenges he will be facing as he grows.
Also, this book is really useful if you just want to understand men in general, and not just men, because a lot of the concepts apply to women as well. I found myself relating to the Lover and Magician archetypes quite strongly.
Unfortunately, this book was on the dry side. It can sometimes read like a text book, that’s really my only con about it.
If you are serious about learning how the male psyche works, make sure that you are in a quiet area with no distractions so that you can focus. Often times I found myself re-reading the same paragraph and not absorbing it when I was trying to read in a hectic environment.
I’d say this book requires a medium level of focus; it’s not a light read like a novel, but not hardcore like Ulysses either.
I’d rate this book a solid 8/10. If the writing style wasn’t so dry it would be a 10. However, once you get past that, and you are able to focus on the information (which is the whole point of why you’re reading the book) it’s actually quite fascinating.
The authors went into great detail about each archetype, and they gave everyday examples of them. For instance, a modern day example of the Lover archetype is an artist, or a CEO would be the King archetype.
However, you are not just the one archetype–usually one will dominate your character, and you need all of them to be whole. If one becomes too dominant it can destroy your psyche, and potentially your life.
King Warrior Magician Lover also touches on the dark sides of each archetype, and gives examples of how they can manifest in individuals. The funny thing is I actually knew a lot of the “examples” they provided in person. It was really neat to apply this theory to my everyday life, and have a much deeper understanding of why people do what they do.
The last section especially intrigued me, because they provided mental exercises that you could try to directly access these energies. It kind of seemed voodoo-like, but many therapists have implemented these methods with their patients with great successes.
I plan to actually try one of these exercises and see how it goes (I’ll provide an update at the bottom of this post on this). I actually think I could get results out of it, and at the least it will be very interesting.
Overall, this was a great read. I could say a lot more about this book but that is the general gist of it. I hope that you give it a chance and explore the depths of the male psyche as well.