Rebel Archetype


“Rebellion is when you look society in the face and say I understand who you want me to be, but I’m going to show you who I actually am.”

~ Anthony Anaxagorou

Rebel's Journey

Everyone has interests and ways of doing things. Groups of people that share similar ways of doing things form a culture. Let’s say the way you view the world may just be unique enough that complying to the group’s demands goes against every fiber of your being.  

Feeling restricted you say, “NO! It’s not fair. I won’t do as you say!”  Your resistance causes tension and discomfort or even disrupts the group process.

There are situations that trigger the “rebel” energy in everyone and may only be short-lived.  Such as a child becoming a teenager and resisting everything adults tell them to do.  However, a child grows up and learns to negotiate and adapt to societal norms.   To claim the rebel archetype as part of your identity, it is a lifelong pattern that continues into adulthood and evolves.

Evolution of the Rebel.  As you grow and develop into adulthood, your rebel energy does too, and it may manifest in one or more subtypes.  Although, you may hate even the idea of being typed at all.  Here are examples of 3 major subtypes:

  • The Noble Rebel – deeply rooted in the Founding Fathers for challenging the government against injustices, oppression, and crimes against humanities. Examples of modern Noble Rebels include Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
  • Anarchist Rebel – Fight against authority out of desperation. Tend to act quickly and aggressively when people are in need. Tends to walk fine line between fighting for justice and becoming volatile.
  • Social/Civil Rebel – Tend to keep government in check that civil liberties are being upheld. Examples include: Occupy Wall Street, Dreamers seeking citizenship, Me too movement, and the feminist movement.

Motivation:  the freedom to exercise fundamental human liberties for yourself and others.  If this is unjustly restricted by an individual, group, or authorities, your strategy is to resist.


  • value freedom and fundamental liberties of the human spirit
  • question rules that oppress and discriminate
  • think independently
  • see rules can be bent or broken to achieve your goal
  • to change status quo, one must risk and make waves
  • are nontraditional and unconventional

Behavioral Patterns:

  • To remain true to one’s values and morals
  • Resist adapting/conforming to rules that suppresses one’s power
  • Listen’s to one’s own intuition
  • Desires to amend rules that allow expression of freedom
  • Speak one’s truth
  • Creative and often choose road less traveled

Rebel’s Inner Shadow: 

Carl Jung, describes “shadow” as the dark side of the personality. But to be clear, this means the “hidden” aspects that lies in your unconscious.  According to Jung’s theory, you distance yourself psychologically from those behaviors, emotions, and thoughts you may find unacceptable to your own values or moral code. Not only unacceptable to yourself but to society’s cultural norms and values.

Distancing or rather suppressing any aspect of yourself creates the shadows.   Confronting your shadows is the first step to individuation. What could be more unacceptable for the rebel energy inside you than to suppress anything and be powerless?  

The challenges:

Motivated by the fundamental desire to live your human liberties, your greatest fear is to be suppressed, contained, and be told what to do.  Will you find a way to express yourself that does not resort to power struggles as a way of expressing authority in your life? Do you allow your emotions to lash out freely in a way that unjustly hurts others? 

Disempowering Attributes:

  • Gets into trouble for no reason
  • reactionary
  • Misplace anger to lash out one’s frustration – bullying, becoming violent
  • Crosses to criminal activity for selfish reasons
  • Self-obsessed
  • Irresponsible and not owning consequence of one’s behavior
  • Reactionary

Light- Empowering Attributes:

  • Knows how to get into the right trouble for a noble cause
  • Purposeful
  • Understands range of anger and uses soft and free flowing anger to uphold mutual respect and keep lines of communication open *
  • Crosses the line deemed “criminal” as a way of protest
  • Self-sacrificing for community or global cause
  • Responsible & demonstrates humility
  • Holds mirror to life

The Lessons for the Rebel:

As others may try to overpower you with rules, the Rebel inside you likes to make waves.  The lesson is recognizing what you can control and manage.  

  • Let go of the power struggle to stabilize your emotions.   The only person you can control is yourself.  This requires you to be creative in setting boundaries while respecting others and develop effective communication that is productive versus destructive.

  • Self-awareness is the key to this volatile archetype.  Knowing your values and the triggers allows a deeper understanding of who you are so you can manage your emotions and practice self-restraint.  

  • The Rebel archetype will make choices in pursuit of justice.  Being responsible for the consequences of your choices is an act of humility.

Myss, Caroline M. Archetypes: Who Are You?Hay House, 2014.

Remy Nirschl
—— About Remy Nirschl:
Remy is a writer, a mother to two wonderful souls, and a soul companion to her husband of nearly 25 years. Propelled into the autism journey in 2004 with the diagnosis of her son, this lead Remy to journey within as she experienced great losses and challenges. Trained in Caroline Myss “Sacred Contract”, this modality has given her the tools for clarity and empowerment. Remy is called into service as a personal-spiritual mentor specializing in Archetypal patterns.
Want to learn more about your other Archetypal Patterns?  Read more….

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