book review: king warrior magician lover: rediscovering the archetypes of the mature masculine30 Jul 2023
What are the main ideas?
- the world we are living in isn’t actually one of patriarchy (the rule of men); it’s one of puerarchy (the rule of boys).
- because we have too few rituals and initiations to help boys cross the threshold into maturity, we have a crisis of adult men operating with boy psychology rather than man psychology. boy psychology isn’t inheritently bad. it’s just not mature enough to be focused on anything other than the self.
- there are 4 dominant archetypes inside the mature masculine (man psychoogy): king, warrior, magician, lover. each of those has an immature boy representation/parallel (boy psychology): the divine child, the precocious child, the oedipal child.
- boy psychology is inside of man psychology. it doesn’t get destroyed after initiation and maturation; it has the root/source energy that drives the adult version.
- each of the main 4 archetypes when accessed in its fullness is powerful, necessary energy for our species. when accessed improperly or blocked, the shadow of each archetype is hella destructive. each can be identified in very specific patterns.
If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?
adopt the term puerarchy and use it instead of the word patriarchy.
How would I describe the book to a friend?
this book is excellent. i totally get why it’s considered a classic men’s work text. it really digs into the difference between boys and men. it lays out, through the perspective of two jungian analysts, why so much of the fucked up shit men do as adults is rooted in a deep gap of maturity resultant from a lack of initiatory experience. for making that point alone, this book is worth a read. that said, at this point, it’s a little outdated in its gender analysis, it has zero racial analysis, and took a quick surprise dip at the end into a victim stance (“men are being attacked and it’s not fair!”). this is an excellent text if you’re struggling to understand the value of masculinity.
reminder: book review structure
words / writing / post-processing
343w / 13min / ?min