One of the infinite reasons I love taking adventures with archetypes? They are a glorious internal GPS. They give clear directions on getting from our unconscious to our conscious mind. And when we arrive at our destination, an awesome “aha!” about ourselves and our place in the world awaits.

And so, the “winners” for archetypes that begin with “I” are:


Possibly, the first Idol archetype can be traced to the story of Moses and the Golden Calf. Flash forward thousands of years and a million archetypes later and we evolve to American Idol. If you are an Idol, your archetypal families may be Creative and Royal. You have large doses of talent, and diva. Wherever you go, you’re on center stage. And the archetypes that blend to make up your archetypal pattern determine what kind of style you bring to it. Nicki Minaj and Maria Carey are two undisputed American music idols who have become show judges, but their archetypal patterns differ. Nicki’s makeup includes Creative/Performer, Queen, and Rebel. Mariah’s includes the Creative/Performer, Queen, and Caregiver. Possibly it is Maria’s final archetype that accounts for her gentle praise, in contrast to Nicki’s fire.


The famous inventor Thomas Edison said, “to invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” And if you are an Inventor, you’ve got plenty of both. To you, necessity is the mother of all invention. And everywhere you go you see necessity. Perhaps you invent a trap to catch an elusive mouse in your kitchen, where the late Steve Jobs invented “the mouse” itself and all the Mac that goes with it. Your psychic connection from birth is to the Visionary and Intellectual families. Your mind is a curiosity machine looking to turn problems into new physical solutions.


If this is you, your mind is your haven. And you love to learn. The great Albert Einstein said, “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” And no one can say you can’t be both. (Look at Einstein!) Or that to be an Intellectual means you are a full-time philosopher or wear wire-rimmed glasses and have your face in a textbook. Intellectuals come in all shapes and sizes from the Intellectual + Creative + Queen (Martha Stewart) to the Intellectual + Creative + Caregiver (Lee Woodruff). The Intellectual is a primary archetypal family. And your primary challenge is to not overthink! Does this sound like you?


From Ellis Island immigrants who came here with no shoes to star-studded Academy Award nominee Salma Hayek and winner Charleze Theron: both left their country for a foreign land. All Immigrants’ roots are in the Visionary and Rebel families. They’re driven by a vision of a better life for themselves and their families and compelled by their nature to seek justice and break through barriers. If you yourself are not an Immigrant, likely someone in your lineage paved the way for you to live where you do today.

As best-selling author Carolyn Myss teaches us in her book Archetypes: Who Are You? “To know the truth about yourself requires traveling to your interior on the power of your archetypes.” What more adventurous journey could there be?

With grace and gratitude,

Cristina Carlino is the founder of Archetypes, Inc. Each week she will reveal a new letter of the Alphabet of Archetypes. Stop back often to discover aspects of yourself you didn’t know existed.