A Shadow of the Golden Child: Trump?


I don’t like being too political with this venue, but it is striking to me as an observer of the current political platforming in the US presidential campaign that the candidate of D. Trump exhibits all of the distinctive traits of a Golden Child archetype presenting in “Shadow” mode. That means in a modality that inverts the most positive (what I call “Strength”) mode of this primary persona archetypal character form.


A ‘Shadow Golden Child’ archetype strives to draw a lot of attention to himself or herself, posturing as all-knowing, all-giving or all-wise. This Persona wants power and control over others, a following. H/she is hyper-critical of any who would oppose their own platform or is outside their realm of control. Often this Persona wants to dictate to others what to do and how to do it, but tends to be fairly lazy in terms of actions of their own. They can be jealous, harping, and autocratic as leaders, with many complaints when things do not go their way or when they are not at the center stage of attention.


Like any Shadow archetypal form, it exists as somewhat of a mirror to the positive, Strength bearing traits the same individual could be expressing if not feeling suppressed or defensive.  I have seen some persons generally exhibiting in this mode for many years gradually become less ‘shadowed,’ usually through developing strong familial ties where they come to take on a more positive, respectable, nurturing role. So let’/s not be typing individuals (Whole Self) images here. As with any shadowy traits it is helpful for the individual to gain more self-awareness and to nurture their own shadowy aspects, perhaps with therapeutic help and/or through good relations. And of course, the same person may present in Shadow mode in one  situation (e.g. publicly) and differently in another (e.g in private).


Still, I can’t help myself but to cringe at the notion of having a relatively non-self-aware, dominantly Shadow-Golden Self figure as president of a (my) nation! (Of course, there have been many, generally in autocratic societies or under dictatorships).  I suppose we should consider the sorts of constellations of archetypal networks that cluster to form political party segments or social platform groups that give rise to social movements of any one form or another. For myself I want to support a strong Elder Leader who demonstrates strong service and leadership capabilities.


images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

2 thoughts on “A Shadow of the Golden Child: Trump?

  1. The archetypal figure of the “Divine Child” has great importance in myth and psychology. The child archetype is an emanation from the collective unconscious (Jung 1959b), meaning that “divine” child figures arise from it, in miraculous births (Jung 1959b, p. 161 n. 21). A child represents the “potential future” (Jung 1959b, p. 164). Within us, the Divine Child represents “the preconscious, childhood aspect of the collective psyche” (Jung 1959b, p. 161), meaning content of the collective unconscious that is not yet integrated with ego consciousness. The Divine Child is a “symbol of unity” to be born from the tension of opposites (Jung 1969a, p. 31), thus giving hope of change for the better. Hence he is a savior figure who promises to provoke integration and redeem us.


    • interesting. I am coming from Dr Charles Bebeau’s description of the Golden Child as having either a positive OR a darker expression: a string personality figure who can either be very generous and a strong befactor or (in Shadow mode), egotistical and self-serving to the detriment of others.


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