Muse & Mentor Archhetypes – Part 2

by EllenK on December 22, 2016

The Genome Sequence of Inner Muse & Inner Mentor Archetypes

Part 2: “Construction” Archetypes



By: Ellen Koronet, Chief Fun Officer & Principal

The second four archetypal pairs in the system is the closest the Muses and Mentors come to being almost oppositional. These are the “construction” archetypes. These four pairs can be most effective when building on an accepted idea that has taken root. It is easy to see how flipping these four cards from Muse to Mentor (or Mentor to Muse) can create a healthy balance in your thinking. For example, “play” is clearly balanced by “responsibility.” The reason is that the construction mode requires clarity and decisive action. These four archetypes are therefore more concrete than the previous four.

From the Inner Muse & Mentor Creativity Deck*
– Subset Two of Four Subsets –

# Mentors V to VIII Muses 5 to 8
V/5 Observation ~ Measurement Creativity ~ Wisdom
VI/6 Responsibility ~ Functionality Curiosity ~ Play
VII/7 Security ~ Safety Exploration ~ Adventure
VIII/8 Rules ~ Respect Serendipity ~ Flexibility
*Each of these four cards in the published deck is double-sided, with the Mentor in blue on one side, and the Muse in purple on the other side. The photos that accompany each quality were carefully chosen to represent that quality and appeal to the user in a particular way.

Overview of “Construction” Archetypes

At least one of these pairs is in play when creating and following through on ideas and projects.

  • These four Muses are all about discovery and unexpected solutions: the “aha” moments that show up when fully immersed in exploration or play.
  • These four Mentors focus our attention on fitting the discoveries into a workable system, improving the probability of success.

Muses in the “Construction” Subset

This mode is ALL about PLAY. Throw away expectations and explore the possibilities. When assumptions are ignored, new solutions can pop in. The Muses in this group encourage Fun and Engagement in the process. At this phase, you will begin to see who, what, when, where, why, AND how ideas can become real.  In this mode, make sure you keep your senses busy trying things out. Allow yourself to…

  • Be creative in pursuing ideas and concepts that present themselves to you;
  • Enjoy curiosity and play – for the moment, let go of right or wrong or politically correct here;
  • Approach tasks as an adventure in which you must take risks;
  • Always remain flexible and open to serendipity: the unexpected discovery of something you would not have thought to combine or try.

Mentors in the “Construction” Subset

In this phase, in order to keep the level of risk in line with the requirements of survival (and “success”), the Mentors remind you to play by the rules and be responsible to yourself and others. In between adventures, it’s important to take shelter and rest. The Mentor archetypes remind you to…

  • Keep track of observations or measurements to keep you accountable;
  • Focus on the functionality of the discoveries you make while exploring;
  • Provide safe and secure ways to rest between adventures, and to store the results for safekeeping;
  • Remember to engage in self-respect at all times, and, when necessary, follow the “rules” of interaction as you move towards your goals.

Integration of the “Construction” Muses & Mentors

At any point in working towards a goal, always notice when you have begun to exhaust the benefits of thinking or acting in line with a particular Muse or Mentor. You will know you are approaching this threshold when you are feeling stuck (the downside of a Mentor) or dejected (the downside of a Muse). At this point, be sure to flip the archetypes over and reach towards the complementary quality.  In this way, you will balance the energies and begin to see clear progress. You will also feel the satisfaction that comes from taking action that is aligned with your dreams.

In the “construction” phase, this means avoid taking yourself too seriously! Play, have fun, explore, take risks. And when you are ready, know that it will be easy to turn gently towards the safety and security of the structures you put in place and honor.

Note: The guidebook that comes with the deck explains the system, describes the upsides and downsides of each pair, and offers some suggested exercises.  Ellen Koronet is also available for full workshops and creative problem solving sessions.

You can purchase the entire deck and guidebook in a satin bag (contact SEE MORE ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES at

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