Book Reviews


Caroline Myss

Psychology, Inspirational, Health & Healing


Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to certain people, ideas, or products and turned off by others? Are you constantly searching for something you can’t put your finger on, or wondering whether ... More

May 20, 2014 BookLover
Archetypes: Who Are You? by Caroline Myss shows us ten main archetypes of our time. This book shows us the ten main archetypes that have more specific ones under them. For instance the main ‘Caregiver’ archetype covers also the Mother, Teacher, and Healer archetypes among others.

If you have read Sacred Contracts also by the same author I believe this book could be used as a companion to it. This book makes it very simple to find your archetype by giving us a website ( to go to in order to find our overall main archetype (caregiver, athlete, advocate, fashionista, intellectual, rebel, queen/executive, visionary, spiritual seeker, or artist/creative). I enjoyed the section under each archetype where it told us how our archetype gains and looses their power and also how to regain it.

The one thing I wish the author had done was to go deeper into some of the more major aspects under each general archetype instead of just giving a main overview of the main archetype. It seems that we could figure out our main archetype fairly easily while figuring out which aspect of the particular archetype we are might be a little harder. I thought delving into that would have brought more substance to the book. Overall, it was a good overview of the archetypes. I would recommend this book to someone who is new to the subject of archetypes.

I acknowledge that I received a free copy of this book from Hay House in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of the book.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
May 10, 2013 MommaFrugal
Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to certain people, ideas, or products and turned off by others? Are you constantly searching for something you can’t put your finger on, or wondering whether you are living a life that truly fits?

In Archetypes, New York Times best-selling author Caroline Myss delves into the world of archetypes, which have been the subject of her work for more than 25 years. Archetypes are universal patterns of behavior that, once discovered, help you better understand yourself and your place in the world. In short, knowing your archetypes can transform your life.

My Review

Ever since I took Psychology and Sociology in high school, I've always been interested in personality types.

I was looking forward to reviewing this book since this is a subject that I enjoy reading about. Plus I was interested in learning about what Archetype I might be.

The Author said her reasoning for the book was to answer the ultimate questions we all ask, "Who am I and Why was I born"? Did I feel like I knew myself any better AFTER reading the book? No, because as being the age I am, I think I already know myself pretty well. And did I feel like I knew why I was born after reading the book? No, because I already know why I was born and that is to be the Mother to my beautiful children.

Some people may find the answers they are looking for as well as the Archetype they are. Would I recommend this book to anyone? No, I would not.

Thank you to Hay House Book Nook for providing the free ebook for me to review.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Apr 03, 2013 kauld
If I told you my friend Alex was a real fashionista or that Kelly is an athlete, what happens in your mind? Just by using those two words, fashionista and athlete, you formed a picture of Alex and Kelly in your mind. The amazing thing is I bet a portion of the images you formed of my two friends was spot on. But how can you do that? You don’t know Alex or Kelly. We can do this because of something called archetypes.

In Archetypes: Who Are You?, Caroline Myss explains that archetypes are universal behavioral patterns; psychic DNA that plays a part of our instinctual survival mechanism as a species.

“Archetypes, symbols, and myths comprise aspects of our intuitive intelligence. We are naturally intuitive, we require these senses for our very survival. The fight-or-flight response and the highly reactive “gut instinct” are examples of organic intuitive intelligence that we rely on all the time.”

So our intuition helps us recognize the archetypes in others, but what about our own archetypes? Are you a creative, intellectual, visionary? Turns out I am. How did I figure this out? Here’s where the book gets really cool. The book has a corresponding website The site offers a free quiz to assist you in discovering your archetype.

Once you know your archetypes, you go back to the book to learn more about them. For each archetype, Caroline Myss provides details such as information on the behavior patterns, the inner shadow, the universal lesson, where you gain/lose power and a checklist for each archetype.

Where the book really helped me was to see where my archetypes can conflict with one another. For example, the visionary part of me dreams big and needs lots of courage to share my dreams with the world. My intellectual part though needs to know all the answers and be logical about things. So sometimes, I can take the wind out of my own sails.

The other day I had an idea for a book. I grabbed a piece of paper to start writing it down. As the visionary was writing, I noticed that the intellectual started to chime in, “Hasn’t that been done already?” I took a breath and nicely told my intellectual part to sit still; she’ll have her turn when the visionary is done. In the past, I may not have gotten my whole idea on paper. I would have let my intellectual mind chat away and guess what? I would forget the details of my own idea. This book helped me to recognize and utilize the strengths of my archetypes to my advantage.

So, what archetypes are you? Take the quiz and let me know.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Apr 01, 2013 EvaAtCore
This month I reviewed “Archetypes: Who Are You?” by Caroline Myss. For those of you intimately familiar with Caroline Myss’ work regarding archetypes, specifically Sacred Contracts, this book would not be for you. However, if you’ve been intrigued by the topic of archetypes but yet if, like me, you’ve found it difficult to get through Sacred Contracts without a guide, this book is perfect. Unfortunately, it only focuses on ten archetypes and how they relate to issues that woman deal with today.

Although I’ve started reading Sacred Contracts many times, I’ve never been able to finish it because I had a tough time deciding what my archetypes were. What I like about this book, is that there is a companion website The website is free and the quiz in the beginning gives you a quick, easy, fun way to determine your own archetypes. Love it. Once I determined my archetypes, I could then go back to the book and take a deeper dive into them. The website also has material to further your research.

So the question we like to ask is “why bother?” Why bother learning what your archetype is? Delving deeper into your archetype can give you insight in to your inherent behaviors and blind spots. Knowing your archetypal patterns can help you begin to unlock the reasons for some of your actions i.e. The Caregiver that continues to enable her alcoholic child in order to fulfill her need to help but is instead unknowingly enabling her child’s behavior.

If you are a woman who is new to archetypes and wants to learn about the subject prior to delving deeper, this book and website are for you. And if you get hooked on the subject, Caroline Myss has an in-depth online course as well as her book, Sacred Contracts to further your research.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher to review. The opinions are my own and in no way reflect the opinion of the publisher.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Mar 27, 2013 alpha_andy_omega
I received a free review copy of this book from Hay House, wasn't paid or influenced in any way. My honest opinion of this book is that it is a 5 star read. One of the things I really like about Caroline Myss is that she pulls no punches. If you're looking for spiritual truth and universal laws, you won't get them with a candy coating and side dish of "woo woo" from her. Archetypes is a fantastic book, and a subject she has put years of thought and study into. If you've ever had that feeling that you weren't living up to your full potential, or life is passing you by; learning about your archetypes could be of great benefit to you. For instance, I learned something I'd never considered. I've based many of my major decisions on the fear of humiliation. Up until now, it has never occurred to me to view failure as a "badge of courage", but it's certainly a more productive and empowering perspective. Caroline Myss explains the ten most common archetypes, and how most of us are some combination of 2 or 3. The website offers a test to learn where your particular leanings lie. I was pretty surprised at the results I got. Archetypes is a thought provoking, life enhancing book. This is much deeper than most self-help books are willing to go.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Mar 26, 2013 artlovelight
Have you noticed that some things in life tend to repeat themselves? That in some situations, you turn into someone else? You may be experiencing one of your personality's archetypes in action!

Caroline Myss builds upon her reputation as a spiritually insightful yet grounded teacher in "Archetypes." Since I previoulsy read her book "Sacred Contracts" I was really interested to get into this book to discover more about archetypes. Sacred Contracts goes in depth to explore the meaning and reasons for our interactions and relationships -- from positive to negative to past lives and future. So when Hay House offered this book for me to review, I jumped on it.

I was disappointed that Archetypes only detailed a handful of the archetypes mentioned. While many of the ones she explored are very relevant for today's climate, I expected to be able to have a clear idea of the general archetypes of anyone I might come across. Fortunately, she offers more information about archetypes on her website.

I also wanted to read more about how to bring the shadows of an archetype over to the light; each personality trait has an aspect that is detrimental in some form, yet that can be transformed into a powerhouse of positive energy with the right perspective.

On the other hand, this is an easy to read book whose case studies definitely give me an idea of what to look for and how to recognize archetypes in another. I also realized that I had friends who shared archetypes - and that was what I liked about them. I was also able to see more clearly their shadow side; which means that I see them more fully and am able to speak to their highest potential instead of thinking that shadow side has to stay in the shadow.

I would recommend this book to someone who wants to get an idea of what Archetypes are like and who is studying "Sacred Contracts" .. it's perfect for us metaphysical explorers who want to read anything we can get our hands on to learn more about who we are.

I think it's a very current book but that Myss' other works are the real classics; and that this is a perfect supplement to her other work yet doesn't stand on its own.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Feb 26, 2013 Friday's Child
Archetypes – might be described as a different approach to defining characteristics and personalities. Wikipedia defines it several ways, including in Psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior. is a place where you can answer a few questions and receive a list of those archetypes you match. With life so confusing these days, many have no sense of who they are and what they like. Archetypes, the book, will help you define the answers to the quiz and begin to define who you are.

I read the book and then took the quiz. Either way works as long as you keep an open mind. I was characterized as a Caregiver, Intellectual, and Visionary. There are those that would question those “types” for me and others would agree completely. However, without the book to give it all further meaning it’s difficult to decide.

Author, Caroline Myss believes we are born with life assignments and they are governed by our archetypal patterns. She calls them “sacred contracts” and that we have a natural network of life – friends and family – that adds to our greater social arena. She talks about our archetypes coming to us through observations of nature and deep respect for mystical law – with power and constancy not controlled and organized by any earthly politics or theology. She believes we learn from the laws of nature that life is ordered and ruled by cycles that clearly interact with each other. This is much like the Animal Spirits of American Indian traditions and beliefs.

You must have an open mind when you read this book and take the test. Some reviewed it a waste of time and money, but we don’t know where they come from. A majority of those that received it liked it – And I agree. Archetypes may be power trends of our times and they may be a natural outcome from ancient families. Whichever way you believe if you are struggling with identity, consider putting this book in your library. It’s one to have on the shelf for future reference.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgement of the product that I read in its entirety.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Feb 14, 2013 Lissag
When it comes to archetypes, author Caroline Myss knows a thing or two about the subject. In fact, she's made of career out of imparting their significance in shaping, not only who we are, but influencing how we interact with others and the world at large.

Caroline explains that archetypes are the psychic lens through which we perceive ourselves and unless we are able to recognize our personal archetypal patterns and how they express themselves in our lives, we will never truly understand who we are on a soul level. When we are unaware of who we are, we get in the way of our executing our higher purpose.

Even more, as we go about our lives, we act out these patterns and in the process we link up with others through this framework. When we are unconscious of this, we often find ourselves in situations and relationships that don't serve us. It's only when we become cognizant of our patterns can we transform the aspects that sabotage our growth, while nourishing the behaviors that are in line with our higher intentions.

When you are able to identify and explore your archetypal patterns, you come to understand your true self, the real you and you begin living the authentic expression of yourself. In turn, you begin shaping your life in amazing ways: improving your health, prosperity, relationships and overall well-being.

I've been following Caroline's work since I came across her intriguing book "Sacred Contracts", a must read. This is the book I wished I had read first. She presents, what at times is intricate information in a simple, easy to understand manner, while supplying solutions and specific ways to apply this knowledge to your life.

This is a great resource to have handy that helps us uncover who we are and what are spirits true purpose is. When we know that about ourselves, there is nothing stopping us from living the life we desire.

FTC Disclosure: I am not financially compensated for this post. The opinions in this review are unbiased and reflect my honest judgment of the product.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Jan 23, 2013 awatson
In her new book, Archetypes: Who Are You?, Caroline Myss writes: “The language of archetypes is the universal language of the human soul, psychically uniting us all through what the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called the collective unconscious.”

I wanted to learn more about archetypes after reading a recent magazine article about the author’s work. When I received her newest offering as a free e-book from Hay House Publishing for review purposes, I could see the link to archetypical astrology, which has similar aspects to the work she presents.

Archetypes: Who Are You? introduces 10 “updated” archetypes—a reflection of current trends and changing roles in our world. There is a chapter dedicated to each of the archetypes: Visionary, Spiritual Seeker, Rebel, Queen/Executive, Intellectual, Fashionista, Caregiver, Athlete, Artist/Creative, and Advocate. For each archetype, detailed descriptions—including the challenges, lessons, and myths, among many other things—are given. Although the chapters touch briefly on the male counterparts for each archetype, I have to say that there wasn’t enough written to justify placing it in a category of its own, as the descriptions stand on their own without needing gender assignments. To find your archetype, be sure to take the short quiz on and be surprised!

The best parts of the book were the sections in each chapter that highlighted the areas where one gains and loses their power (as well as how to regain it), providing useful and solid advice. For those who are new to the myths and archetypes that are used to describe the human psyche, this book provides good starter material.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Jan 09, 2013 timlarison
When I first picked up Carolyn Myss’ new book “Archetypes: Who are you?” I asked myself, do I really need another tool to examine what makes me tick? I’ve studied the enneagram, myers-briggs, psychology, and other introspective methods. What makes archetypes any different?

I’m glad I quieted my inner skeptic and read Myss’ book. What I found was a fascinating look at human nature through different personality profiles: The Artist/Creative, the Caregiver, the Intellectual, the Rebel, and others (10 in all).

“Archetypal patterns hold the key to the real you,” Myss writes. “They somehow know more about you than you know about yourself. By identifying and exploring your own archetypal patterns, you come to understand your true self.”

I saw myself in several of the archetypes presented – I am not just one type. The book points to the website for you to take a quick quiz to determine what mix of archetypes is your unique blend. I found the quiz gave an accurate self assessment. I came out as “Creative”, “Intellectual”, and “Spiritual”. Yep, that’s me.

I liked how Myss points out the strengths and challenges for each archetype. My dominant archetype was “The Artist/Creative”. The lifestyle challenge presented for this type resonated with me: “Can I develop my talent and express myself, or will fear of failure or humiliation hold me back?” Sometimes I hesitate to put my work out there (like a book project I’m working on) because of a fear of what people will think. Reading Myss’ words encouraged me to go for it! “You cannot wait for someone else to acknowledge the Artist in you in order to recognize your own gifts,” she writes. “It is up to you to bring your gifts to the world, no matter how small or large your world. Your talent may end up being recognized by millions of people or only ten, but whichever it is doesn’t matter. What matters is that you acknowledged your creative gifts.”

One minor criticism I have of Archetypes is that it is written primarily for a female audience. Myss leads off many chapters devoting pages to the female version of a particular archetype, and then at the end she gives a paragraph or two on the “male counterpart”. I thought the book could have been better balanced, giving more male examples for us guys.

If you are new to the concept of archetypes, like I was, this book is for you. “Archetypal patterns filter into every aspect of your life, so it’s important to discover how they express themselves in your everyday decisions and routines,” Myss writes. “They influence
recurring issues: arguments you seem to have over and over, difficulties at work that keep cropping up, and other patterns that repeat themselves. Anything that repeats is a clue to what archetypes are operating in your life.”

Yes, Archetypes may be yet another tool to understand your inner psyche, but I found it an accurate one that gave me new insights into myself.
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Jan 09, 2013 ginadrellack

I just read this amazing book by Caroline Myss, called Archetypes.  These are collective symbols that everyone in the culture understands; patterns, habits, and behaviors that people can all describe.  When we speak in archetypes, we speak in common terms.

For example, if I were to say my uncle's sister's daughter's son's mom is such a martyr, you would immediately get an accurate picture of what I mean by her personality.  If I told you my brother's grandma's daughter's son-in-law's wife is an amazing mother, you would also understand what it is I am trying to say.

Did you catch that both of these people link back to me?  No family members were harmed in the making of these examples. that a Caretaker tendency...?!?

Identifying archetypes is helpful for understanding yourself and others.  When I can step back and look at a situation, myself, or another person through the lens of archetypes, I am able to see the impersonal patterns of consciousness that connect us all.  When I encounter a person who is a Drama Queen, for example, I can keep my own energy and not lose myself in theirs.  And I no longer resent either the person or myself for the situation!  Yaay!

Archetypes help clarify our human interconnectedness as "the universal language of the human soul," as Caroline puts it.  This book is like a workbook, helping the reader to identify some of their primary archetypes.

It is organized into ten parent categories that reflect today's common expressions.  These archetype families group similar expressions, making it easier to start identifying.  As an example, the Creative family includes the Artist, Creative, Performer, Storyteller, etc.  At this point I don't necessarily need to define my nuances of a specific archetype (Author? Artist? Storyteller? Scribe?), it is enough to begin with the parent category (Creative!).

I found this book to be highly inspiring!  If you would like to know more about archetypes in depth, take a look at the same author's book Sacred Contracts, or visit her website salon for more information.  Spiritual Seekers who have already read and experienced her previous work will still greatly enjoy Archetypes, it has great nuances.

One more important and fun aspect of this book: there is a companion website that is an archetypal community for everyone!  Go to, read The Concept and How Our Site Works for better descriptions than I do justice here.  Take the identifying quiz, then enjoy content created for and tailored to archetypes.  Have fun, see you there!

Hay House, Pioneer Spriritual Visionary, gave me this book in exchange for my honest Detective, Intellectual, Seeker, Spiritual, Nurturer, Teacher, Mother opinion of it.  My Goddess, Warrior, Creative, and Writer truly Advocate(s) this book!

Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Jan 03, 2013 hhreviewer2

Having read Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss, I was intrigued by the concept of her new book Archetypes. I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. Also, I found it to be a fresh, modern take on the definition of archetypes such as those provided by Jung, for instance.

Strangely, the book focuses mostly on women. The reason for this, I can only assume, is Caroline Myss' mention in one of the chapters in the book where she discusses how women most often attend workshops, conferences, read self-help books, etc. Each archetype, however, does include its masculine counterpart, if there is a difference, that is.

Another interesting aspect that makes it feel more modern is its connection to the ArchetypeMe website. It is actually a great link to check out, especially if one is having difficulty typing themselves, because there is an interactive quiz.

Overall, I believe that any person who may be interested in archetypes, but who found books such as Sacred Contacts a bit too daunting, would gain from reading Archetypes by Caroline Myss.

This is my review of Archetypes by Caroline Myss. I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Dec 27, 2012 cmwaugh
Your Inner-net Guide to Self-Realization – You are Who you Are

Have you ever walked into a room and resonated with someone right away? Maybe it’s because sometimes we see ourselves in these people. But what if we could capture that essence precisely enough to put our finger on who we really are?

We can begin to capture this essence, according to Caroline Myss, bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism.

Her book, Archetypes is an irresistible key to our inner-net to self-realization – the ability to recognize and accept all the reasons why certain things motivate us.

I found myself residing in many ways to several of the archetypes, except for one which really stood out among the 10 she identifies.

Myss says, “While you may relate to numerous archetypes in greater and lesser ways, you do not have an endless number of primary personal archetypes … your psyche would implode.”

I may not be a Mother Theresa, Pablo Picasso or my sister, the Fashionista, but I am pieces of T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Teresa of Avila, Carl Jung and many more.

According to Myss, this places me in the Intellectual archetype, the professional student, writer, thinker and wisdom seeker.

I’m also pieces of the Artist or Creative, but not as strongly tied to their particular characteristics as the Intellectual.

Myss shares some startling (but true) pieces of all the archetypes that we often refuse to face.

She works each archetype through their inner shadow, myths about each one, lifestyle challenges, behavior patterns and a whole host of intriguing power practices crucial in noticing when we gain power and how we lose power.

Where might you fit? Take a guess: Advocate, Artist/Creative, Athlete, Caregiver, Fashionista, Intellectual, Queen/Executive, Rebel, Spiritual Seeker, or Visionary?

Are you drawn to any of these people: Jacqueline Kennedy, Georgia O’Keeffe, Michael Jordan, women in general, Gloria Vanderbilt, Buddha, Oprah Winfrey, Gandhi, Rumi, or Gloria Steinem? If you are, you’ll want to see what fascinating characteristics might live within your inner-net.

Until later, I send you love, blessings and wishes for a prosperous and abundant life!

(I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I am also an affiliate of Hay House Publishing and Amazon. This means I receive a commission if you buy Hay House or Amazon products linked from this website.)
Read on Blog
0 people found this review helpful.
Dec 20, 2012 frankvancouver
Caroline Myss reintroduces the importance of Archetypes to the mainstream conversation about personal development. Archetypes are not set in stone. Yes, some have been with us as long as our collective narratives, but some are emerging or at least reshaping themselves, in light of social and technological changes. Archetypes aren't just labels, even if we can use them as such to put a tag on other people. And when we do so, we always do it through the lenses of our own archetype. Archetypes come in families, sharing similarities but also differences.

Awareness about Archetypes starts from observing people around us. Why? Because it is easier to spot them when we do not feel our own "personality" is at stake. Identifying an Archetype is made easier by this book, which provides behavioral patterns and main characteristics for each of them. The book also looks into how our imprints attract opportunities, and how to tap into your strengths to fulfill your sacred contract. The book is focused on the female expressions of Archetypes, but it also mentions their male counterparts. It can be applied to men, too, with some work on the side of the reader. And it's surely useful to male readers to better understand the female universe.

Caroline's Archetypes and its companion website are a powerful tool, comparable - but with its own characteristics and merits - to the Enneagram and to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for career planning. Of course, it is important to remember that Archetypes represent the core of our personalities, strengths, lenses, etc. in conventional terms, but not our ultimate essence, which transcends them.

The best question presented in the book, at least for me, is: "Do we choose our archetypes? And can we change them?". I am not going this away, so you have to read the book by yourself to see what Caroline says about this :-)

Disclaimer: I received this book, before it was released to the general public, for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
Read on Blog
1 person found this review helpful.


Browse Reviews