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Inside Modern Day Archetypes: Dissecting the Rebel

Kathleen is a professional freelance writer and blogger with over a decade of experience writing professionally.

The Rebel Archetype Thrives Off Not Conforming

The Rebel Archetype Thrives Off Not Conforming

About the Rebel Archetype

The rebel archetype is the gender neutral version of the names maverick and feminist. This archetype describes someone who speaks out against discrimination and oppression, challenges injustice, doesn't conform to trends, and thrives off of making waves.

The rebel is the one who paved the path less traveled.

The rebel archetype can be broken down into sub-groups, including the noble rebel, the anarchist rebel, the social rebel and the feminist rebel. The Greek mythological character Prometheus is often associated with the rebel archetype because of how he rebelled against Zeus, king of the gods.

The Life Journey of the Rebel Archetype

The rebel is a complex archetype that is constantly evolving. In today's society this archetype can be described as noble, anarchist, civil, or feminist. If you fit the mold of the rebel archetype, you identify with one of these descriptions in a very intimate way:

  • The Noble Rebel—This person is deeply connected to the foundation of the United States. For this archetype, rebelling against injustice, inhumanity, and social evil is a calling. The noble rebel doesn't challenge the system just to pick a fight. This is not an archetype of thugs, but rather individuals with conviction and an urge to respond to social injustices. Examples of this archetype include Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Gandhi.
  • The Anarchist Rebel—The anarchist is what most people picture when they hear the term 'rebel'. But the anarchist rebel archetype is much more complex than the stereotypical anarchist. This archetype describes a person who responds quickly and aggressively when people are in need. The power this archetype yields is volatile. The anarchist rebel walks a precarious line between fighting for equality and striking out as a barbarian rebel.
  • The Civil Rebel—This rebel archetype applies to those who fight to keep the government in check. Think Occupy Wall Street. These rebels are the guard dogs of society that any government should rightly fear.
Discover Your Archetypes - Unlock Your Inner Power

Discover Your Archetypes - Unlock Your Inner Power

The Unique Challenge of the Rebel Archetype

All rebels are agents of change by archetypal design. The unique challenge that faces the rebel archetype is to discover a creative, dynamic, and productive way to utilize your rebellious nature without allowing it to become a destructive element in your psyche.

Rebels thrive in the music industry, the arts, fashion design, graphic design, cosmetics and tech areas because they allow them to express their unique self. Justice is the grace of this archetype and becomes a powerful force once the rebel harnesses his power.

The Universal Lesson of the Rebel Archetype

While the strength of the rebel archetype is their passion, restraint is their weaknesses. This archetype has a reputation for having a hot temper. They can be quick to overreact and are known for not thinking situations through all the way. Rebellious actions by definition aren't thought through from beginning to end. They are often emotionally charged and reckless.

So the lesson for this archetype is: Don't rebel just to make noise. When it comes to making decisions, especially those that initiate change and shatter the rules of convention, it's essential to call upon the best of your inner spirit to take charge.

A List of Modern Day Archetypes

A List of Modern Day Archetypes

Archetype Poll

The Inner Shadow of the Rebel Archetype

The defining grace of the rebel archetype is justice due to the fact that this person inherently rises against injustice and oppression of any kind. Justice inspires the person to be an agent of change. The passion of the rebel comes at a price, however, and that price is the inner shadow of the rebel archetype. The rebel craves attention. Although they may be creative, dynamic, fun, even wild, rebels often act that way to gain the attention of others.

Personal agendas can become dangerous personal itineraries, no matter what archetype you are dealing with, but for the rebel it is extremely important to satisfy this need. The rebel is always up to something, so it is important that they stay honest with themselves and recognize their own personal agendas.

Recognizing the Rebel Archetype

Rebels usually recognize themselves for what they are, but if you are still unsure whether or not this archetype fits you, here are some behaviors and characteristics that describe this archetype:

  • You define your character by your right to challenge injustice
  • You speak out against oppression and injustice
  • You thrive on making waves and upsetting the status quo
  • You are unconventional, independent
  • You wear bold, distinct designs
  • You choose the road less traveled

Once you define yourself as a rebel, you can harness your power by knowing when to break free and knowing when to contain yourself. The rebel archetype has significant power. It takes great courage to stand up for what you believe in, but it is that courage that gives life meaning.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Kathleen Odenthal (author) from Bridgewater on April 13, 2014:

Thank you Ann and Bill! I think all writers are a bit rebellious at our core.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 13, 2014:

Really interesting stuff, Kathleen. I've been called a rebel most of my life. I never really thought about it. I've always thought of myself as Bill. :)

Ann Carr from SW England on April 13, 2014:

Fascinating stuff! You have some great illustrations here too. I'm a bit of a rebel (if that's possible!); I hate even small injustices and I don't go with the crowd or conform to fashions etc.

I've noticed your series of Archetypes but haven't got round to reading; I'll make my way through them now that I have more time. Ann