history of our archetypal nature

“The concept of the archetype, which is an indispensable correlate of the idea of the collective unconscious, indicates the existence of definite forms in the psyche which seem to be present always and everywhere; collective, universal, and impersonal." – C. G. JUNG



C. G. Jung

The story behind Archetypal Nature begins with Carl Gustav Jung.  Born in 1875 in Basel, Switerzland, C. G. Jung was a medical doctor and psychiatrist who became a colleague, close confidant and heir apparent to Sigmund Freud. Along with Freud, he opened up research into the unconscious and his work led to the popularization of interest in dreams and archetypes. His correspondence with Bill W. contributed directly to the inclusion of the spiritual principle in A.A. and other 12 -step programs.  He gave us the psychological type categories that led to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and coined the terms introvert and extravert. He also coined the terms 'synchronicity' and 'collective unconscious'–giving us a term for the deeper layer of the psyche that transcends the personal. After developing their ideas on Psychological Type, Jung and Toni Wolff observed the presence of another type of natural dichotomy in the psyche, which they referred to as 'archetype.' While Jung observed the broad presence of archetypes as the primordial, structural forms of the psyche, Wolff's observations pointed out four specific archetypal structures through which women found identity and fulfillment. 

Tad & Noreen Guzie

Of all of the modern authors on archetype, our system draws its greatest influence from the work of Tad & Noreen Guzie. Their book About Men & Women contains unique and fundamental insights into the nature of the workings of archetype in our lives. Tad & Noreen worked with thousands of individuals leading workshops on Personality Type and Archetype. Their work reinforced two important conclusions that Toni Wolff (and many Jungians since) first observed. First, that most people find identity and fulfillment through one or two archetypes throughout their lifetime. Rather than moving through stages (as many writers on archetype propose), Tad and Noreen saw in the lives of those they worked with that one or two archetypal stories provided them with their deepest sense of satisfaction and formed the basis of how they saw themselves.


Antonia "Toni" Wolff (1883-1953)


Archetypal Nature traces its roots most directly to the deep psychological insight of Antonia "Toni" Wolff. Early in her life, she had been a patient of Jung's and later became one of the most respected of the early Jungian analysts. She was president of the Zurich Psychological Club from 1916 to 1945. In 1948, she gave a lecture entitled Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche that described the essential dichotomies that we carry forward in our work today (read it here). Toni assisted Jung throughout his 'Confrontation with the Unconscious' period that produced the images that we can see today in the Red Book

A brief history of the lineage of Archetypal Nature and its origination in the insights of Antonia "Toni" Wolff.

Gary's discovery of the Guzies' work came through a workshop by Linda Leier and Rita Priestly. For Gary’s bio please see our About page. Gary has previously offered workshops on this material with Dr. KD Farris.


Other writers who have influenced our understanding of the Archetypal Nature system include: Robert L. Moore and Douglas Gillette, Edward Whitmont, Ann Belford Ulanov, Linda Leonard, Irene Claremont de Castillo, Barbara Koltuv, Nor Hall and Marie-Louise von Franz. We also enjoyed the recent book Four Eternal Women

We’re also pleased to observe a general similarity between Archetypal Nature and traditional Tibetan Buddha families system.