*This is a four-part series, unpacking the four types of masculine psyche, based on the work of Moore and Gillette. While this article uses the gender pronoun “man,” it is not exclusive to those who are male by birth, but those who identify with the masculine energy.
Every man has the potential to achieve mature masculinity.
There are four main archetypes of mature masculinity: the King, the Magician, the Warrior, and the Lover. As with all human behavior, there is also a shadow side to those aspects.
The Magician is one expression of the mature masculine psychology that is vital to our well-being and survival. The Magician is the man who immerses himself in deep study and becomes an expert in his field. He is the surgeon, the lawyer, the specialist, the guru, or the leader whose primary ability is to think.
The man in his Magician will be able to think his way out of complex problems, come up with solutions that were previously unimaginable, and will find a way. He is the father who comes up with creative ways to motivate his child, creates architectural designs that serve the client and community, and who negotiates peaceful resolutions in high stake situations.
The Magician is skilled in knowing how to disconnect from his emotions and engage with his reason and logic. He is the master of detachment—not in an unfeeling or unemotional way but more in a Buddhist-curious observer way. The man who is engaged with his Magician is the full expression of compassionate delivery of his specialized knowledge.
The shadow poles of the Magician are the Manipulator and the Denying Innocent.
The Manipulator is the man who withholds his specialized knowledge in order to serve his own ends. He is the guru who promises freedom to his followers but never tells his followers the secret, thus keeping them dependent on him. He is the medical specialist who decides which information to share and which to withhold, robbing his patients of the ability to decide their own path. He is the person who charges exorbitantly for the nuggets of information he offers without leading his people to freedom.
The Manipulator is also detached, but not in a healthy way. He doesn’t care if his withholding information has negative consequences for others. In university settings, these are the dissertation or thesis advisors who have the ability to pass or fail a student and, instead of mentoring, run them through the gauntlet and often harm them by delaying graduations and wounding tender psyches with harsh criticism.
The Denying Innocent
The Denying Innocent is the passive side of the Magician. He is the one who wants the power and status of the Magician but doesn’t want the responsibility. The man possessed by the Denying Innocent is one who will learn only enough to tear down others but takes no interest in becoming a specialized person in his own right.
This person is envious of others who have had the courage and ambition to pursue something great and his secret aim is to tear those people down. He is the one who is always trying to put another in their place. When confronted by their behavior, the Innocent will deny culpability and will play the victim. This will often leave the confronter feeling unsettled, sensing the manipulation, but unable to put a finger on it.
The man who hasn’t yet accessed his Magician will doubt his ability to think and to make decisions. He will be the one who allows his wife and children to decide and will not trust himself. This man will lack the ability to see through other people or think his way through complex situations.
The Magician in his fullness will be able to see through people and situations clearly and will be confident in what he knows.
The Magician energy is seen in the leaders who empower their followers, the fathers who raise their children in order to send them into the world empowered, and in the spiritual men who tenderly lead their people, knowing the aim is to eventually let them soar.
Author: Lisa Vallejos
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman