Three Faces Of Man
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Basic Information

The three faces of man are the mythopoetic spear-counterparts of the three ladies, representing the changing roles that a man must assume in his lifetime and generally consist of the following:

  • The knave, a trickster archetype - a young man or boy who uses charm, trickery and cunning to earn his place in the world against entrenched advantage. He is the spear counterpart to the Maiden.
  • The knight, a warrior archetype - an adult man, full of strength and skill who protects and defends. He is spear counterpart to the Mother.
  • The king (alternatively the wizard, priest or elder) - a mentor archetype who governs and advises with wisdom that he has gained over his long life, directing the energies of younger men in beneficial ways. He may also serve as a donor, using accumulated wealth and status to benefit others. His distaff counterpart is the crone.

These roles may become corrupted into the thief (who uses his cunning in evil ways), the beast (who uses his strength abusively) and the tyrant (who uses his power and wisdom to oppress). Many myths show an older archetype, long since corrupted, overthrown by its younger predecessor (so Jack, the knave, overcomes the Giant - who is a beast, or the valiant knight overthrows the evil wizard and becomes the good king). Note also the progression inherent in interacting with the distaff roles - the knave seeks adventure for its own sake, the knight rescues the maiden and makes her a mother as he becomes king, the mother serves alongside the king as his queen and the crone, having outlived her husband, may mentor the knave and/or the knight.


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