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Understanding the Sage Archetype

Understanding the Sage ArchetypeUpdated on October 26, 2020 | Published on March 28, 2020
Reviewed by Rebecca Deltoro, BS (Psychology), Psychologist (Provisional)

sage archetype

The human brain is a storehouse of marvels. To unravel this haven of marvels some psychologists have dedicated their entire lives. One such famous psychiatrist and psychoanalyst was Carl Gustav Jung. From his understanding of the subconscious, he was able to divide human personalities into 12 archetypes. The Sage Archetype is one of them.

Sage Archetype Definition


The Sage archetype is the seeker of knowledge. Therefore, this personality type regards life experiences as a means of learning. To them, wisdom, truth, and power are representative of the Sage archetype.

According to Carl Jung, the innate spiritual part of a person’s personality is reflected in his thoughts, actions, and ambitions. Sage archetype’s ultimate ambition is to dedicate his life to the pursuit of knowledge. The people having this personality seek the truth. They hold the belief that the truth will lead them to freedom.

The Sage personality is comparable to that of an explorer. But, the only difference is while the explorer has his quests outside, the sage archetype’s explorations take place inside.

For the sage archetype, there is always something more to learn. While they try to understand the world with the help of more knowledge, they lack the will to take action on it. In modern literature, the Sage archetype often takes the form of a teacher. He serves as a mentor to the hero. In his infinite wisdom, the Sage archetype enlightens the hero to choose the right path. But the final decision is left to the hero.

The representation of the sage archetype can be seen in modern films. For instance, Dumbledore in Harry Potter and Yoda in Star Wars are examples of the sage archetype. These characters have immense wisdom and support the main character in his conquests.

Jung’s archetypes aren’t generally regarded as scientifically sound in modern psychology.

The Dark Side of the Sage Archetype


Like most things in life, the sage archetype also has a dark side. The people with this personality type are rigid in their opinion and outlook. They see the world in a specific way and are not open to other perspectives.

The sage personality strives for excellence in things. Thus, these people are perfectionists. Also, because of their perfectionism, they are often paralyzed by a situation. They will be stuck in a situation until they refine it to perfection.

People who resonate with this personality are rarely open to new experiences. They are critical of others and do not agree with ideas that are different from theirs.

The sage archetype has immense knowledge. Thus, knowledge is their true source of power. Since they give utmost importance to the knowledge they look down upon others who lack it. They regard people lacking knowledge as inferior to them.

In their good days, the sage archetype can lend an ear to what others have to say. They will guide and share their wisdom. In good days, they will be articulate individuals.

However, in sage’s bad days, he will be one of the coldest and arrogant individuals one can come across. They will be entirely absorbed in their world. Also, they will cut off themselves from others.

Understanding the Sage Archetype
Understanding the Sage Archetype

The Man Behind the Archetypes


From childhood, Carl Jung was interested in the human psyche. As a boy, he often passed his time observing the behaviors and personalities of others. Carl’s interest was further ignited when he read books of psychology.

Later, he collaborated with Sigmund Freud and developed theories on human behaviors. The popular Swiss Scientist differed from Sigmund on the grounds of human sexuality. Freud based most of his theories of neurosis on sexual bases. On the contrary, Carl Jung’s theories considered sexuality as a type of psychic energy.

Carl Jung’s work was greatly influenced by religion, spirituality, and literature. He was the one who came up with the concept of introversion and extroversion. Besides his theories on the collective unconscious, he proposed 12 archetypes of humans.

The word ‘archetype’ has a Greek origin. It comes from the root word ‘archein.’ Thus, the word archetype means ‘the original type’ or ‘the original pattern’. It is used to give a particular example of something or to denote a specific personality.

The Sage Archetype’s Life Purpose


The life purpose of the Sage archetype is seeking the truth. They want to get answers to their questions. Thus, this personality type wanders everywhere in search of knowledge. They like to follow what they believe is the truth and do not bend the rules for their comfort.

The sage wants to uncover the mysteries of the universe. He constantly strives to know more about the unknown. Whatever he learns he tries to share it with others. To a sage archetype, knowledge is the light that can end suffering. Furthermore, they regard knowledge as a destroyer of fear and helplessness.


Sage Archetype’s Characteristics

Desire

Desire
Desire

The sage wants to uncover the truth.

Goal

Goal
Goal

The goal is to understand the world with the help of knowledge and analysis.

Strategy

Strategy
Strategy

The sage’s strategy is to seek the truth by looking for sources of information.

Motto

Motto
Motto

The truth will set one free.

Fear

Fear

The greatest fear of the sage personality is to seem ignorant. This personality type takes pride in knowing the truth, they fear being misled by others.

Challenges

Challenges
Challenges

The sage personality faces several challenges. The first challenge is accepting that everyone is different. Furthermore, a person doesn’t become inferior if he/she lacks knowledge. They have to accept that not everyone has an equal passion for knowledge as them.

The second challenge for the sage is practicing humility. Since they have immense knowledge of things they regard themselves as superior.

Lastly, the biggest challenge of the sage is taking action. The sage archetype needs to come out of the comfort zone of their inner world. They need to put their knowledge to practical use.

Achilles Heel

Achilles Heel
Achilles Heel

Failing to take action is the Achilles heel of this personality type. This type of person possesses a lot of information about the world. But, they are not motivated to take action.


Different Areas of Sage Archetype’s Life

Wealth

Wealth
Wealth

People having sage archetype are usually masters of different skills. They can use their skills to remain afloat in the worst of situations. These people never have to worry about money. The sage people are sensible who know how to manage their finances.

But, the sage archetypes also do not enjoy super riches. This is because they rarely put their knowledge to use. The sage needs to realize that knowledge goes beyond books. There is a whole lot to be discovered when skills are applied in the real world.

Health

Health
Health

The sage archetype has an interest in learning. They are in continuous pursuit of expanding their knowledge. Stimulating the mind seems more satisfying to the sage than exerting themselves physically. Since physical activity takes a back seat, the sage people are usually lacking in good health.

Having balance in life is needed for this personality type. The sage needs to take care of his health. Exercise must be a part of the sage’s daily routine to maintain good health.

Besides physical health, the emotional well-being of the sage also depends on their acquired wisdom. Thus, the sage personality needs some quiet time. Meditation and spiritual guidance can help the sage in discovering his true self.

Love

Love

In love, the sage craves predictability. Being comfortable with the romantic partner is the number 1 priority for sages. They value stability and commitment in a relationship. These two factors are required in a relationship for the sage to feel satisfied.

When it comes to attracting a romantic partner, the sage resorts to his strength i.e. knowledge. Yet, it will be beneficial for the sage to learn some social nuances to thrive in partnerships.
Thoughtfulness and intelligence will be appreciated by the sage in their partners.

Different Stages of the Sage Archetype Personality


1st stage: The sage is confused in the first stage. He has some questions and wants to find out their answers.

2nd stage: In the 2nd stage, the sage starts his journey of finding the truth. Here, he will seek the help of experts to get the truth.

3rd stage: When he discovers the truth, the sage starts to analyze different aspects of it. At this stage, he uses his creativity to explore the depths of the answer. After a thorough understanding, he becomes an expert.

4th stage: At the 4th stage, the sage achieves the status of master in his field.

5th stage: In a bad situation, the sage will become extra-rigid and dogmatic.

The Sage Brand Archetype


Carl Jung’s 12 archetypes are used beyond just deciphering human behavior. The archetypes are used today by brands to construct a distinct brand personality. Brand personalities are essential for effective marketing communication.

Brand personality is how brands present themselves to the world. It is the way they cater to the needs of their customers and how they communicate with them. Distinct personality helps a brand in forging emotional bonds with their customers.

Voice: Authoritative, researched, intelligent, and decisive.

Brand Culture: promotes analytical thinking and appreciation of quality

Experience: Prompt in resolving issues and giving customers a taste of excellence.

Brand Strategy: Showcasing diligence, objectivity, and research

What do customers feel: Customers feel educated and engrossed

The sage brand archetype presents a brand as an expert in the industry. It is deemed to be the place where people are expected to come for expert advice and get an excellent product. Such a brand tries to resonate with those who present themselves to have higher levels of intelligence.

These brands aim to guide customers. They strive to educate the people so that they are in a better position to make a decision. Sage brand archetypes appear as a beacon of truth in a chaotic and confusing world. Brands like the New York Times, Mayo Clinic, and Oprah Winfrey are popular examples of the sage brand archetype.

The marketing tactics of sage brands are also different. They prefer to stick to classy and dignified marketing communication. The sage brand wants to appeal to people who think of themselves as a class apart. Moreover, Sage brands target people who are intelligent and place the utmost value on quality.

The color opted by sage brands are navy, grey, and white. The sage brands usually go with colors that are subdued.

Is the Sage Archetype Right for You?


Now, the Sage is the right personality for your brand if your product has the following features:

  • Encourages people to think or discover something new
  • When your target group strives for quality
  • When your product is of superior quality or is distinct from its competitors
  • Your product is created on scientific findings or deals with scientific research
  • If you claim your product to be of higher performance than others
  • When the product you are selling provides people information

The sage archetype is right for a certain category of products:

1. Security apps

Security apps
Security apps

Security apps like antivirus or other complex apps need to highlight their superior performance. For these brands, adopting the sage archetype makes sense. They need to come across as experts in device engineering and big data.

2. E-books and educational apps

E-books and educational apps
E-books and educational apps

If you sell products or services that educate people then sage personality is right for you. In this case, you need to adopt an authoritative voice. You need to project yourself as an expert in your category to teach people the right way.

For such products, you need to gain the trust of your customers. They should feel that your brand possesses adequate knowledge to teach.

3. Schools, universities, and research centers

Schools, universities, and research centers
Schools, universities, and research centers

The same applies to the institutes of education. They are the beacon of information and wisdom. Their branding must be based on the sage archetype.

Sage Archetype Examples


Some popular brands that have adopted the sage archetype are:

Audi

Audi has created its own class among others. The Audi brand presents their car as an intelligent person. This car is comparable to a person who wonders how to improve himself. The brand is a beacon of innovation in the automobile sector. Moreover, Audi often comes up with amazing features.

Again, Audi presents itself as an intelligent, innovative, and problem-solving brand. These are all classic traits of a sage personality.

TED

Everyone is familiar with the TED talks. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. This is a platform that brings together great thinkers and innovators. The basic idea behind TED is to share stories to inspire others.

The brand’s slogan is ‘ideas worth spreading.’ Additionally, TED demonstrates the mentor, teacher, and thinker roles of the sage archetype.

Toyota Research Institute

The Toyota Research Institute is the brainchild of the famous Japanese brand Toyota. With this research initiative, the brand has promised to improve vehicle safety measures.

Toyota also wants its vehicles to lessen their negative impact on the environment. The brand has implemented the traits of the sage personality in its brand image. It is now regarded as an innovative and knowledgeable brand.

Final Thoughts

People belonging to the sage archetype are powerhouses of knowledge. If their knowledge is put to good use, their inner sage will be unstoppable. Also, they should avoid getting stuck in the analysis paralysis (which they often do). When this is taken care of, everything will work out well for the sage.