Savior Archetype

Learn all about the savior archetype, including definition, characteristics, examples and how it relates to the Sage archetype.

What is the Savior Archetype?

The Saviour archetype is one of an individual always to be relied upon in a crisis, one who is full of the desire to help others in their time of need and to save others when they are at a time of great trouble.

They are truly able to empathize with and express great sympathy for those in need or distress.

Savior Archetype Characteristics & Traits

  • The Saviour is guided in life by their noble and well-meaning intentions, defining their success or failure in the world by how effectively they are able to carry out their philanthropic activities.
  • However, when acting in such a manner they do so entirely selflessly rather than through a desire to achieve acclaim or power for themselves – they are simply motivated by the desire to help or save others.
  • They desire no credit for their actions, purely the satisfaction of seeing how the travails of those they assist are eased by their help.
  • The Saviour can, however, be so focused on the needs of others that they come to neglect their own needs.
  • This need to bury themselves in the troubles of others can be motivated by a past trauma of their own from which they are attempting to hide.
  • This aspect of their nature means that the archetypal Saviour often struggles when they are alone, instead flourishing in the company of others where they can more easily hide themselves from any past trouble in their life my focusing their attentions elsewhere.
  • Saviours as a result tend to make supportive, loving and attentive parents who are strongly focused on the needs of their children. They make equally caring and effective partners and friends.

Savior & Religon

In religion the Saviour archetype has more specific connotations, such as the birth of the individual having been foretold in scripture or prophecy.

The religious Saviour often has a form of miraculous birth and a royal lineage.

Their life is usually threatened as a young child, they go through temptation by demons, perform miraculous acts, offer redemption and spiritual guidance to others, undergo transfiguration, death and ascendance to heaven.

Savior Archetype Examples

Perhaps the most famous Saviour archetype in Western society is that of the Biblical Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus Christ, of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant faiths.

Jesus was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader, whom almost all scholars of antiquity of the period agree existed historically.

Jesus is the central figure of the various Christian churches, with most Christians believing is the incarnation of God the Son and that his is also the Messiah (the Christ) as prophesied in the Old Testament and Jewish scripture.

Christians believe that Jesus’s death by crucifixion was a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin for all humanity. Through this act he thus became the Saviour of humanity, enabling people to be reconciled to God.

Further Reading

Further reading on the savior archetype includes:

  • The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors – by Kersey Graves
  • Heroes: Saviours, Traitors and Supermen – by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
  • The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ – by Bruce A. Ware
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