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Mara Bishop is a shamanic practitioner, intuitive consultant, teacher, author, and artist. In her Personal Evolution Counseling™ practice in Durham, she combines shamanic healing, intuitive consultations, and energetic healing. She works with clients locally, nationally, and internationally. She is the author of Inner Divinity: Crafting Your Life with Sacred Intelligence, and the companion CD of guided meditations.

She holds master’s degrees in Energy Medicine and Theology and a bachelor’s degree in Art and Communications. She is a graduate of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Three–Year Program in Advanced Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, Sandra Ingerman’s Shamanic Teacher Training program, and advanced training with Betsy Bergstrom. Mara is the only Harner Certified Shamanic Counselor® in North Carolina.

Energetic Personality Archetypes:
Building on Your Natural Strengths

By Mara Bishop, MS, ThM, CSC, Reiki Master

Mara Bishop

Each of us is born with an innate energetic personality. This natural state is like an energetic signature, distinct as our voice; but it’s comprised of archetypes, shared traits and ways of relating to others. Our combination of energy personality archetypes forms scaffold-ing for how we evolve, especially in our relationships with others. When we under-stand and honor our natural temperaments, our relationships are healthier. We improve our ability to stay connected to those around us, while respecting what we need personally to feel safe and well.

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Since much of my work is inspired by the natural world, I tend to see these archetypes as related to nature, primarily as animals. These are not power animals, but a strong relationship to our natural animal-based archetypes can boost and heal our personal power. There is no hierarchy, one type is not better than another, but a hummingbird relates to the world differently than a chameleon, or a bull. Understand-ing the operative motivations and patterns of each type that you embody can be very illuminating.

All archetypes contain positive and challenging aspects. We can have too much, too little, or a healthy balance of the energy of every type. For example, the puppy can be playful and forgiving; however, when the shadow rises, people with the puppy archetype can return to abusers and struggle with self-regulation.

When we work with these archetypes, we begin to see ourselves more clearly and objectively. In workshops with this component, like my Energy Ecosystem© class, we foster increased kindness towards ourselves and others. Practices of self-compassion have been shown to decrease burnout and improve resilience.*  Exploring your combination of energy personality archetypes is helpful, not only in better understanding who you are, but also in knowing how to care for yourself, especially in relationships. We sense people with our energy bodies as quickly as we see them with our eyes. As we attune to our own energetic personalities, we begin to sense those of other people.

Although you are born with your energetic personality, some aspects evolve as you do, and can be altered by the circumstances of your environment. For example, one common archetype is the chameleon. Chameleons change and adapt to their environments, sometimes to a striking degree. This is a healthy success strategy in balanced amounts, such as being able to blend smoothly into different work and social groups.

However, when this archetype evolves more as a survival strategy in childhood, the environment has warped the expression of the archetype. One pattern I see frequently is when someone tried to blend into the background, chameleon-like, in order to avoid negative attention, or was constantly scanning chaotic and unpredictable situations, perhaps those involving a parent with substance abuse, in order to avoid being the target of violence. This can have lasting and damaging effects. When a child diverts so much energy into camouflage and reacting to others, it can be hard for them to be clear about who they are, what they feel, and what they think, as an adult. In these situations, the environment has morphed a healthy archetype into one that may now work to the person’s detriment.

Healing is inspired when we understand ourselves, and our connection to others, at a fundamental level. Your natural strengths flow most easily through your energetic personality archetypes. When you understand how to nurture their balanced expression in your life, you improve your personal well-being, and the health of your relationships.


* Delaney, MC. (2018). Caring for the caregivers: Evaluation of the effect of an eight-week pilot mindful self-compassion (MSC) training program on nurses’ compassion fatigue and resilience. PLoS ONE 13(11): e0207261.