What is the Innocent Child archetype?
Does it have any other names?
Does this archetype come from Carl Jung?
The Innocent Child archetype is a part of the larger, overarching Child archetype category. Also known as the Eternal Child, the Innocent Child archetype encompasses those who are literal children or who never quite grew up at heart.
This archetype was originally pinpointed by Carl Jung, although others have expanded upon it throughout the years since then. The six individual categories within the Child archetype may be more likely to describe fictional characters than real people; however, they’re very relevant to actual people, too.
The Child is a part of us all, and everyone has a full, complete Child archetype within their psyche. Even so, some of the variations may be stronger in certain people than in others, and may lead to an imbalance within the Self because of this.
When you learn more about the different types of the Child archetype, you can find out which ones resonate the most strongly with you. From there, you can determine which areas of your life you need to work on, which ones need more balance, and which ones have everything they need already.
Read on to learn more about the Child Archetype.
The Child Archetype
Learn more in-depth information about the Child Archetype and its variations in this section. You may even find out something unique about yourself when studying this archetype, and you may find ways to work on your psyche at the same time.
- Innocent Child: The Innocent Child may be successful at organizing or leading a team despite still being a part of the Child archetype. This archetype is energetic, bubbly, and easy to get along with. As an adult, this archetype can easily remember what it felt like to be a Child, and can connect well with others who exhibit strong Child archetypes. This archetype may have a lot of trouble being taken seriously as an adult.
- Wounded Child: The Wounded Child is extremely understanding and compassionate. This archetype doesn’t like to see animals or people hurting, and may be very sensitive to all forms of negativity. This is an archetype of suffering, but also one that strives with its every action to prevent others from suffering the same way. The Wounded Child wants to stop hurting.
- Orphan Child: The Orphan Child may or may not be an actual orphan. Regardless, something happened in this Child’s life to prevent them from connecting with a parental figure. As such, they struggle to find a way to love themselves amidst memories of a childhood in which they didn’t experience enough love. The Orphan Child wants to belong.
- Magical Child: The Magical Child is a dreamer and one who engages in a lot of magical thinking. This Child still believes in fairy tales and may have their head in the clouds more often than not. This Child is usually present as a means of escapism, and is intended to protect the psyche from having to deal with the harshness and cruelty of the real world. The Magical Child longs to be rescued.
- Nature Child: Sometimes known as Wild Child, the Nature Child wants to be in nature at all times. They love animals and plants, and playing outside is a big part of who they are. This passion may transfer into eco-friendly work as an adult.
- Divine Child: Finally, the Divine Child is meant as a reminder that angels are always close by. These children may not live very long, but if they do, they often spend much of their adult life as a Caregiver archetype for others.
To protect the innocence of the person in question. This is an archetype that is all about guarding, survival, and security, and it longs to return to a place where it can find all of these and more. No matter which version of the Child is present in a person (or a character), the Child archetype will draw that person toward safety more often than not.
The Child wants to be happy and to feel safe, more than anything else. However, the Child may also want to be able to make others happy or to solve problems, and may not entirely understand why this can’t always happen, even when an effort is made.
The Child archetype longs to express real, true, blatant feelings and emotions without having to sugar-coat or guard them the way adults do. It wants to add some happiness, energy, and a playful nature to the world. It also longs to find sources of innocence and joy everywhere it goes.
This archetype is good at finding the silver lining in most situations. The Child may also have a strong ability to share that positivity with others and to help them keep their heads afloat even when things get bad. The Child is always compassionate, understanding, and caring toward other human beings as well as toward anima.
The Child archetype may have trouble understanding the severity of some situations. It may be self-centered, like most actual children are, and it may not be willing to take the blame when things go wrong. Depending on the variant, it may have a stronger Shadow than some other archetypes.
Different variations of the Child archetype have different qualities. With that said, however, most Child archetypes across the board are innocent and imaginative with a flair for the creative. They may leap before they look, but they don’t do so with any intent to cause harm (even if harm may accidentally occur); they care genuinely about those around them and want to make the world a better place. The Child may be a Dreamer as well, but may be a little more down-to-earth while still holding some lofty goals in the end.
Now that you’ve had a chance to learn a bit about the Child archetype, you may be wondering how you can find out more information about this category. There’s plenty of information to be found surrounding the Child archetype, and you may also want to take some time and analyze yourself to determine which of the Child subsets suits you the best.
But what if you want more information about fictional characters that fit into this archetype? What are some examples from both fiction and real life that illustrate the Child Archetype?
- Peter Pan – an Eternal or Innocent Child
- Anne Frank – a Magical Child
- Dorothy – a Magical Child with some (temporary) Orphan Child in the mix
- Mowgli – a Nature Child
These are just some examples of the Child archetype. What are some other examples you can think of from your favorite media source? Are there characters in your favorite movies, books, video games, or TV shows that can fit into a Child archetype category, even if they are adults now? If so, which variation suits them the best?
Once you take a few moments to consider the possible answers to these questions, think about which of these characters you like the best. Does this say something about the state of your own inner self? Is there a Child part of your psyche that needs you to pay some attention to it? You may discover a new area in which you need to focus your mental energies for a while when exploring the Child archetype in this way.