The Characters in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy and Carl Jung’s Personality Typology
Here is the link to the Amazon page for the paperback and Kindle editions of:
The specific discussion of the characters follows this brief statement about Jung’s typology.
It was simply impossible to resist. I know this is about fiction and especially magical realism which is my preferred term for what I write, but Carl Jung had a distinct contribution which snuck up on me. I had used the typology in my doctoral dissertation and was conversant with it. As the writing proceeded I found that I had intuited the personality type of each character which helped me construct them and the story. At one point I sat down and did a quick sketch of what was going on. So, here, linked to a summary of the bare bones of Dr. Jung’s typology is a statement about each of the major characters. Well, I do not go into Gaia because she is a goddess after all and it might have proven to be risky if she took offense.
In fact, I had written the book Creating Characters and Plots earlier and you will find it listed in the Nonfiction by Dr. Burt section on the home page and it is available from Amazon. In the book I give much greater details about the personality typology and in coming posts I will sketch out part of it in more detail. But for now, here is a summary with a statement about each of the characters.
Jung’s vision of the human personality and its functioning can be described. Envision a wheel floating on edge in water. It is the human personality. The surface of the water is the boundary between consciousness and the unconscious. The part of the wheel above water is our conscious self, the section below water is the unconscious. There are two opposed functions at 90 degree angles on the wheel. The pairs are thinking/feeling and intuition/sensation. They are overlaid by introversion and extraversion with which you’re surely familiar. The function highest up on the wheel is dominant and just to one side at a lesser angle is an auxiliary. Those two above the water line are predominant but two other functions are shaping our lives but in the unconscious. And overall the attitudes are shaping us and contributing as well.
Let me begin:
The Rational Pair:
Thinking – In general, thinking types are rational and logical in the ordinary sense. They are systematic and interested in fact and principles. Their feelings are restrained and their motives are intellectually considered. But note their feelings are restrained, not absent. They can be stirred.
Feeling – The feeling type is also described as rational, but the rationality is based in feelings, not thought. They make decisions based on their feelings. In some forms they create harmony in a variety of ways since they are people-oriented. It is a matter of whether the feelings are focused on people or deep within. Feelings direct their viewpoint.
Since these are paired on one dimension, one function is conscious and the other is in the unconscious mind.
The other (irrational) pair is Intuition/Sensation:
Intuition – Intuitive types dwell in a world of possibilities which often defies logic. They are among the irrational types particularly since the people around them cannot perceive what they are responding to. Their world often lacks detail and reality is purely secondary. Novelty is sought and they merely notice what happens around them. You have one guess regarding the probable dominant function in people who write magical realism fiction/fantasy.
Sensation – Sensation types are defined as irrational because logic is not important. They simply register realistic perceptions. Everything they sense is equally valid. As a group, it can be hard to see them as having common traits in that they may be strictly conventional or pursue sensuality. They see what happens but do not engage in a critical assessment. This type can seem an enigma since they are diverse and can be very conventional, may be dedicated to the world of the gourmand or immersed in lush worlds of sensuality of design. Jung wrestled with this type partly because he was an intuitive type and so sensation was deep in his unconscious.
And then there are the overarching attitudes:
Introverts are much more focused on their own thoughts and feelings. They draw their inspiration and energy from the inside of themselves.
Extraverts are much more focused on the outside world and high on talkativeness, sociability and gain their energy from interaction with others.
These attitudes will cause considerable variability in the expression of the functions. Altogether the functions and attitudes compose a rich description of humanity. Jung derived his system from his observations across the world especially in mythology.
So, let’s get started and take a look at the major characters in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy:
She is an extraverted intuitive feeling type. What a perfect choice Gaia made. She is outgoing and is delighted to be out in the world. Her personality supports her chosen job of engaging women and offering them support for their activities through providing microloans. With her primary function of intuition she is able to sense possibilities which aids her as she becomes drawn into the world of the Tethyans. Her feeling auxiliary to the intuition gives her redeeming qualities of warmth and interest in harmony. She is the perfect partner for her lover Beck and offers him balance and enhancement.
Aha! He is an introverted thinking intuitive type. His introversion gives him an internal focus and stability which offers Chantia balance. And then there is his primary thinking function. While Chantia is in touch with the depth of possibilities he has a more studied and factual, analytical approach. But he is not rigid since he has intuition as his auxiliary. Together they form a highly functional partnership and are able to face the challenges which beset them.
She has a specific role to play as she must relate to the a diverse body of people in a crisis environment. Her extraversion is not extreme but is essential as she must have the energy to relate to a broad range of Tethyans. Like her daughter, she is a primary intuitive type, which helps because she must deal with a challenging environment in a flexible and creative fashion. Also, like her daughter, she has a feeling auxiliary. Yes, like mother/like daughter. So they can understand each other. It’s just that Philippa is older and has been living among the Tethyans her entire life.
And then there are the Andromeda:
These are the women of the Tethyan defense force and they come with special abilities. While some come from the core Tethyan people, some are descended from the Amazon women who lived on the Steppes of Asia in ancient times. Yes, Amazon warrior women are not mythological. They existed. I’ll be posting about them in more detail on this blog.
Brigid – No wonder this woman is at the very core of the Tethyans and a clear leader for the Andromeda women. She came up the hard way after a devastating childhood and learned her lessons well. She is an extraverted thinking intuitive type. Outgoing and at times, boisterous, she illustrates her extraversion. Her primary function is thinking which comes in handy as she works to direct her people in a studied fashion. She masters the details and brooks no nonsense. And then close behind is her auxiliary function of intuition which permits her to explore and consider possibilities even while she makes definitive plans.
Luisa – And then there is darling gamine Luisa. Oh my. Brigid calls her Kitten as in sex kitten because she can be ever so engaging. She is so lively and extraverted and her primary function of sensation has a special flare. She exhibits just one dimension of sensation. In no way is she pedestrian or conventional. In this instance sensation means remarkable sensuality and she uses it to great purpose. And then, with her auxiliary, she delivers the coup de grâce. It is thinking and so she has all the information and focus to complete her mission.
Adelais – This was not the future Adelais had in mind as a child. But seeing her grandmother slaughtered in front of her changed everything. She is an introvert and harbors great talent deep inside where she directs herself with focus. Her primary function of intuition means she is ever so admirably suited to go into the world of the Tethyans. Their mystery is something she can probe and examine which also makes it possible for her to go deep into the world of the spirits. And then she brings her auxiliary function of feeling to create harmony and closure.
Note: No Andromeda women with a primary function of feeling presented themselves. These women cannot seek harmony and peace as something primary. They must be powerful and strong and, in the end, they may have to kill. Not the work a feeling type will seek.
Reuben – Ah Reuben! Here is a deeply passionate, outgoing, gay man with engaging manners and élan. As with Luisa his primary function of sensation along with his extraversion yields a special flare. In this instance he is a couture designer of the most special form. It is a perfect cover as he designs for the women of the continent. But his design abilities and special talents make him admirably suited to design lives and makeover those lives for purpose and protection. And then there is his auxiliary function of thinking which permits the detailing and attention to reality which is essential. This character was inspired by Tim Gunn on Project Runway.
Celeste – Perhaps Celeste is the person most at risk, although she does not cling to fear. In fact she is positive about what can be taken from tragedy. Her life was formed in a Tethys and has been designed for service. As an Illuminata she brings clarity and understanding from the deep well of her intense introversion. She seems reserved but there is much more there. She brings harmony with her primary feeling function but also manages risk which she assesses with her intuitive auxiliary function. She suffers, but in the end will always fulfill her mission.
The next two characters show up much later in the trilogy and I will go into much greater detail when they appear.
Thera – As a child Thera demonstrates that before her she holds the complete range of functions and attitudes. For those around her the moment to moment variations are difficult to bear. What they cannot know is that this is the person who will lead humankind to transformation. It would seem that what must be recognized is that she is in many ways a goddess in her own right but one who can live among humankind and have a deep passionate partnership. What more could we ask of her?
Bretton – This young man is an introvert and he uses it to good effect in relating to the rich world of his partner. By great good fortune, or design, his primary function is intuition and so he is eminently capable of delving into the Tethyan world with his beloved Thera. With his auxiliary of thinking he can be thoughtful, focused and organized. Such a good partner for Thera.