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Archetypes Gallery
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Thief (Swindler, Con Artist, Pickpocket, Burglar
he Thief is thought of as a nocturnal, hooded figure that slips silently into places and takes what he wants. In the hierarchy of thievery, the most respected is the Jewel Thief, associated with glamour, class, and sophistication. The Good Thief steals on behalf of others, as in the case of Robin Hood, and appears to be relieved of all wrongdoing because of his benevolent motive to be of service to others, but often that is just a rationalization. The Bank Thief maintains a degree of respect because the target is corporate and impersonal and the implication is that the thief has an intelligent and strategic mind. The Street Thief and Pickpocket, on the other hand, rank lowest because they rob ordinary individuals and their methods yield small gain.

Symbolically, theft can take many forms, including plagiarism, stealing ideas and even affection. Taking what is not yours because you lack the ability to provide for yourself implies the need to learn self-respect. This archetype prods you to learn to generate power from within. As with so many archetypes that initially strike you as completely unrelated to who you are, this archetype should be evaluated from its symbolic meaning. You may never have stolen one thing at the physical level, but you also need to take into consideration your emotional and intellectual arenas.


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