The Destroyer, The Quiz, and Me

When I first pulled a card from the Wild Unknown tarot deck, I got The Destroyer. My feelings were mixed. Mostly I felt very negative toward The Destroyer archetype, but I also felt the satisfaction of truth because 2020 is nothing if not The Destroyer.

I was reminded of a poem that I wrote years ago about my father and how I saw him as a destroyer type of personality in some respects. I say that, but at the same time, I think he also nurtured and modeled some pretty cool things for me. He never made me feel bad about what I wanted to do in life, whether it was being afraid to do cartwheels or asking to take art classes or just hanging around the house watching TV after school. But as I began to write more poetry, I realized that I saw him as a destroyer of sorts.

For the purposes of writing poetry inspired by The Destroyer, I analyzed the artist’s image of The Destroyer on the card. When I begin to write, I will go back to those notes.

But I figured I needed to look deeper than this to understand The Destroyer archetype. I admit I had a really hard time with this for the last few weeks. I didn’t want to deal with The Destroyer. Still. Here are a few of the many things I discovered as I read:

  • Although some people might be more associated with The Destroyer, we all must have bits of every archetype somewhere within us
  • The Destroyer is one of the 3-part Trio of Existence: Creator, Destroyer, Sustainer (Caregiver)
  • The Destroyer upends everything stable: jobs, relationships, any type of security
  • The Destroyer is often unexpected or rejected, even savage
  • Nature can be an antidote to The Destroyer
  • All archetypes have good parts to them
  • Destruction allows for rebirth
  • Even The Destroyer offers gifts and lessons
  • The Destroyer archetype is about endings and closure, of letting go
  • The Destroyer challenges the status quo

When confronted with The Destroyer, one should look for closure where it is called for and for rebirth where it will lead to a new positive.

Although the Wild Unknown tarot deck contains 78 archetypes, there are a smaller number that consistently show up in many books and teachings. I found a fun quiz online that identifies your own major archetypes from a group of twelve. I like this type of quiz because it’s impossible to see “where it’s going” while you’re taking the test. I like this because you (I) can’t inadvertently influence the results. I was not at all surprised when I calculated my results. (Here is the quiz: Archetypes Quiz–the traits of the archetypes are listed just after the quiz).

My two highest-scoring archetypes were tied: The Caregiver and The Creator. (Cats and poems?) LOL, I doubt anybody who knows me would be surprised at this. In fact, I had my husband and daughter independently guess and they both came up with 3 they thought would be tied: The Caregiver, The Creator, and The Seeker. They probably thought The Seeker because I am constantly asking questions. Drives everyone nuts.

After The Caregiver and The Creator, I scored high on The Sage and then The Magician. The first is about knowledge and the second is about spirituality.

The rest of the archetypes I scored much lower, and it makes sense to me. They are: The Warrior, The Ruler and The Lover (tied), The Orphan, The Innocent and The Seeker and The Fool (all 3 tied). Lastly, with the lowest count of all, is The Destroyer.

At different times in my life, the results of the quiz would have been a little different. For example, when I was a teen, I am guessing that The Orphan and The Warrior might have played a much larger role, whereas The Caregiver and The Magician would have been less. For some people, the results could be vastly different from one life period to another.

Possibly the reason I had such a hard time grappling with pulling The Destroyer card right off the bat is because it is the archetype I find the most difficult. It’s the most alien to me, but also it frightens me. I don’t like the upending of my secure world. I like change, but only what feels warm and cozy and pretty right up front.


I am beginning to feel so much better from the Valley Fever. My exhaustion is lessening. To keep from overdoing it, though, I’ve been binge-watching Schitt’s Creek, recommended to me by my friend Sheila.






Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, Inspiration, Memoir, Nonfiction, Research and prep for writing, Writing

81 responses to “The Destroyer, The Quiz, and Me

  1. Interesting. I will take the test and see where I fall. I’m so glad you are feeling better. It’s such a “Destroyer” year. I tried watching Schitt’s Creek. Watched 2 episodes and couldn’t get into it. Is it one of those that you have to keep at for a while. It took me about 4 episodes to appreciate The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel.

    • I haven’t seen TMMM! So many shows I’ve missed since I haven’t watched much TV for years.Apparently you are not alone about SC, but I loved it from the start. Of course, I used to like Soap. Remember that show? hahaha It’s the stellar cast that makes SC. I’ve noticed that when a show is extremely well cast it really makes all the difference. The other thing that makes it is the sarcasm. So funny. Let me know how the quiz turns out!

    • There are 2 responses to you down below if you want to scroll down there and read them! From Amy and Merril.

  2. Tarot cards scare me as they may find me alien to my own liking. Or sumthin.

  3. Amy

    I love taking quizzes, and although I am a cynic about things like tarot cards, I took this quiz. My highest scores were for Sage and Ruler—look out, world, you’re in trouble! Then came Lover and Creator—just one point behind. (24 on the first two, 23 on the second two.) My lowest scores were on Fool and Caregiver. I’m not proud of the latter, but it’s probably true. I prefer to take care of myself and for others to do the same. But maybe that’s why I’m no fool! 🙂 But how can I be a lover if I’m not a caregiver?

    This is why I am a cynic about these things. Like Astrology, you see what you want to see.

    And I am so glad you are feeling better!

    • Amy

      Correction—my absolutely lowest score was Orphan. By a long shot. How fortunate I am to feel that way.

    • Oh, wow, so interesting! I can see the Sage! And Creator. Ruler might make you a really good boss. I am so unlike that. I don’t like to have to be in charge and try to sneak out of it as soon as I can. I like to be an ADVISOR to the Queen! I think Lover and Caregiver are much different from each other. Caregiver is giving and self-sacrificing, which is not the same thing as love. I expect that a shadow side of Caregiving could be self-pity or martyrdom LOL. Shadow of Lover could be promiscuity or nymphomania, so I’ll be watching you for that. [Pounding the floor with my feet with laughter].

      • Amy

        LOL! Yeah, I am such a boring rule-follower, so you’ll be watching for a long, long time! I think my husband is the Caregiver (he doesn’t take quizzes). He always wants to make everyone happy.

  4. Amy

    Oh, Kate Crimmins—I agree. We watched three episodes of Schitt’s Creek a few years ago and found all the characters so annoying and unsympathetic. Our daughter loves it. She told us to try again and stick with it. We haven’t jumped to do that yet.

    • Same here. We watched a couple of episodes when it first came out and thought the same thing. There are so many other things to watch. 😀

    • It’s a really fun, light show that suits me right now. And I LOVE Dan Levy’s acting and character. And Catherine O’Hara is such a treasure. Emily Hampshire’s understated delivery is magnificent. The SARCASM throughout is wonderful.

    • That’s it — annoying and unsympathetic. It’s a certain kind of comedy that I don’t always get. Maybe because I don’t find it at all realistic although the acting is good.

      • Amy

        We don’t either. We don’t like farces either. We like comedies where the characters are sympathetic and human and where the humor is not nasty or hurtful but arises out of the quirks of being human. That is, humor we can identify with and characters we can relate to.

  5. Sound thoughts. I am pleased you are feeling better

  6. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better – and coming to terms with the Destroyer too!

    • Thank you, Andrea! What a relief to be feeling better and having a bit more energy!
      Hah, the Destroyer is still . . . a destroyer, but yes, working on it.

  7. Interesting post, Luanne, and I’m happy to hear that you’re starting to feel better.

  8. Interesting. I would have guessed those for you, too–yes, cats and poems. 😏
    I guess the universe needs creators and destroyers–circle of life and all that.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better! My husband and I watched the first couple episodes of Schitt’s Creek when it first came out, and didn’t like it. I know it’s very popular though.

  9. So glad you’re feeling better – and also happy you liked Schitt’s Creek. Wonderful fun.
    I am going to take your quiz!
    You must be feeling better!!

    • I am definitely feeling better. Thanks, Sheila!
      I love the show. I think the David character has a similar way of responding to things as my son. Also, my son used to only wear black and white skater clothes (years ago). And the comedic skills of Alexis remind me of my DIL. But mainly the show is so wonderfully cast. And the sarcasm hahaha.

  10. I am so glad you’re feeling better, Luanne. That quiz! My gracious. I did it, but it sure took a bit to tally. My adhd brain almost gave up looking at all those numbers! 😆 my two high scores were Seeker and Creator. No surprises there. Keep feeling better and take care. ❤️

    • LOL! Yes, the tallying was the pits. You have adhd?! I would NEVER have guessed it. I do, too. But I have a sub-type. My limited understanding is that means that I have a type where I can hyper-focus, like on tests, but it all stems from the same cause (whatever that is, I don’t know). And if you bore me, like in school, watch out. I spent every French period in 8th grade in the hallway (talking incessantly, spraying people with a squirt gun, etc.). In 3rd grade, I had to write sentences in the hall. You get the idea. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was an adult with kids.
      Now as to Seeker and Creator. No, I don’t think there are any surprises there!!! Perfect!!!!!
      Thank you, Cheryl! XOXO

      • Yes, I do have adhd (combined type). A doctor told my poor mom that I was hyperactive when I was about 10, and just said to keep me busy and let me do whatever activities I wanted to do. So I did them all! 🤣 I suspect Mom had it, too. My formal diagnosis came as an adult and fits me to a t. I am very familiar with (and very good at) hyperfocus. I wish I would’ve known sooner. I spent years wondering “what the hell is wrong with me?!?” But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have a lot of energy and focus that helps me accomplish a lot of things I attempt. I’m still learning how to make it work best for me. Perfectionism is a problem. Neurodiversity is awesome!

  11. I think we all fear the destroyer since change Is not something we are comfortable doing. Good post, Luanne, and I’m glad you are gaining strength.

    • You are probably right that we all dislike change, some to a more severe degree and others to lesser. The gardener, for instance, really dislikes change. I would like to change the furniture, etc., around (and used to do so), but he would get so upset that I stopped doing it. Once it’s placed, it stays.
      Thanks, John!

      • Not me. Change never fazed me. This last move The Producer went ahead of the move and bought a house. I saw it for the first time when we moved in. Been that way my whole life.

  12. Luanne! So glad you are improving every day 🙂 I’ll definitely take the archetype quiz but right now the cats want to be fed 😉 I’m very happy to kiss 2020 goodbye. It was a destroyer of a year. Actually the last four years have been very destructive. I’ve haven’t watched Schitt’s Creek. We’ve limited ourselves to Netflix and PBS. For awhile Greg was binge-watching Mad Men. That was kind of fun because he would talk about the series during dinner. I feel like I’ve already watched it although I haven’t. Keeping getting better!

    • Schitt’s Creek is on Netflix BTW. That is how I’m watching it. I am not even going to kiss 2020 goodbye. I am going to kick it in the a** and send it flying into “outer space.” I am hoping 2021 is going to shape up and be calm in every way (virus, politics, etc.). Fingers crossed. I have never watched Mad Men either. In fact, I probably haven’t watched a sitcom until SC since King of Queens hahahahahahaha. Isn’t Mad Men a sitcom or am I wrong? Thanks, Marie. XOXO (how many weeks now?)

      • You might find Mad Men interesting because it takes place in the fifties and sixties. Greg was fascinated by how the events of those times were blended into the series. I think it’s more a dramatic series, bordering on soap opera-like storylines but also dealing with all the gender and race inequalities of that time. If you’re still recuperating, you might give it a go, although I think it’s only available through Amazon Prime. And I’ve got roughly 7 weeks plus 4 to go 😉

        • My problem with Amazon prime is that I have too many reasons to be on a computer screen so I don’t want to add a reason. That’s one reason I’m starting the art journaling is because it’s not on the computer. Kind of like your knitting.

          • Oh, so you watch Netflix on your computer? We have a wide-screen TV (a pretty old one but it still works) and that’s how we watch movies and such. I’m on the computer way too much with my job. It’s kind of worse with working from home because now everything has to be done on the computer, including meetings. Ugh. I’ll be glad when it’s all over!

  13. Good to know that Schitts Creek is helping your recovery. Bless Eugene and Daniel Levy and the inimitable Catherine O’Hara.

    • Are all the SC actors, including those with only a few episodes, from Canada? I looked up a couple one day and they were both Canadians.

      • The majority are Canadian. The locationb is a little north of Toronto and I believe the entire production is Canadian. Catherine O’Hara is a dual citizen but I’m not sure about Eugene Levy. they’ve both been in lots of American films and have long careers in comedy.

        • So it IS a Canadian show then. Very cool. Yeah, I always liked Eugene Levy. I just didn’t know he had such a talented son! So funny to learn that the actor playing Twyla is also a Levy!

  14. So glad you are feeling better Luanne! xo

  15. Yes, those archetypes fit you well! I like what you’ve dug up about the Destroyer, though. As you noted, there is a positive aspect to destruction. Even the editing process can be destructive to some extent. I will take the quiz, but later.

    I don’t generally watch TV (we have no reception or cable), but we watch videos from the library and I decided to try Jamestown. I like how they bring the period to life, but I’m finding the characters and plot a bit shallow and predictable.

    • My husband and I watched the first couple of episodes of Jamestown because Jamestown Island was one of our favorite places when we lived in Virginia. We found the show unbelievable and, as you say, shallow and predictable. Very disappointing.

    • Oh, how interesting about the editing process. It does take a careful hand, I think, because the destructive aspect can turn into a monster and destroy the piece if one edits too rigorously. Have you ever had that happen? Kind of edit the story away? And if you destroy your darlings and end up with a stronger piece, that’s a good plug for the benefits of The Destroyer, but it still hurts.
      The gardener was watching Jamestown (kind of dispiritedly LOL) so I watched one or two episodes and thought it was silly. On a related note, I like when there is a cool stylistic approach to integrating history with contemporary culture. But when a historical piece is supposed to be serious and it is has elements of “today,” it annoys me (like our sensibilities). I see that all the time now. As if the researchers for the shows don’t even bother to correct the writers who ought to know better.

      • My archetype after the test was Innocent 😇 ! Then Creator.

        • I don’t really think I would have guessed Innocent. Creator, yes. That is surprising to me, but maybe I don’t know you as well as I thought I did ;). I thought you were a little more cynical than that?

          • Just call me Pollyanna! No, I don’t consider myself cynical. Gullible…not so much anymore. I do tend to be skeptical.

            As for editing something to death, I don’t think I’ve ever had the patience to take it that far. More likely stuff just doesn’t even make it to editing and just gets tossed aside.😕

            • Skeptical is the word I was going for actually. Yes, you seem smartly skeptical to me.
              Oh, that’s a shame about throwing stuff out. I am always trying to get something out of everything. This is one of my favorite quotes about Sylvia Plath’s work: To my knowledge, [Plath] never scrapped any of her poetic efforts. With one or two exceptions, she brought every piece she worked on to some final form acceptable to her, rejecting at most the odd verse, or a false head or a false tail. Her attitude to her verse was artisan-like: if she couldn’t get a table out of the material, she was quite happy to get a chair, or even a toy. The end product for her was not so much a successful poem, as something that had temporarily exhausted her ingenuity.”

              —Ted Hughes, in The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath

              • That’s a great quote. By tossing aside, I didn’t mean to say I throw it in the trash. I keep everything! In fact, I’ve been going through some old notebooks to see if there are some rough gems tucked away. I do think I should work with some of that material and make at least a toy out of it. 😉 I even have some English Lit papers from high school – I’m going to reread the poems and stories and compare my take on them now vs. then. I was more of a cynic in high school.

  16. I’m reading an essay by Kathleen Dean Moore in which she is visiting Mt. St. Helens and there are a couple quotes I thought might interest you:
    (A red sunset on the volcano, a small rock slide and ash tossed into the sun’s dim rays): “I’ve seen paintings of creation that look like this – a red gleam spreading across smoking stone. And I’ve seen imaginings of the end of time that look just the same – gray rock seamed with fire, rising smoke, falling darkness, nothing left of life except a handful of human beings lined up at the edge of Destruction, unable to speak.”

    “Destruction, creation, catastrophe, renewal, sorrow, and joy are merely human ways of seeing, human projections onto the landscape, the ecologists say. What is real, they say, is change.”

  17. So glad you’re feeling better! Keep resting up.

  18. After the year we’ve had, I would prefer the Destroyer stay an archetype in the realm of literature and art.

    I’m glad you feeling better. Here’s to your continuing to regain your strength!

    • Thank you so much, Liz. HAHAHA, yes, an archetype, not a reality. What is this stupid thing? It’s like a horror movie where the Destroyer comes to life and is a monster attacking the whole world!

  19. Interesting post, Luanne. I took the Archetype quiz and wouldn’t you know it: I scored highest on Innocent and second on Lover. I’m not a fool (thank heaven), but am I living in a fool’s paradise? lol
    I think the scoring went that way because of my life right now. If I had taken it years ago I don’t think it would have been as positive.
    Glad to hear you’re feeling better!

    • Thank you so much!
      Oh, interesting. YES, I think how we score really depends on what our life is like at the time we take the quiz. I hear you on the movement from negative to positive–I guess as we get older and wiser!!!! XO

  20. Fascinating quiz! For me, the top 3 scores (25, 24, 23) were Lover, Innocent, Creator. Not a surprise! It feels good, kind of like the ‘Universe’ confirms what I already feel about myself. As you say, it depends on the time, the situation, etc. as to which traits are dominant. All in all, very interesting! Thanks for sharing this, Luanne.

    So glad you’re feeling better!!

    • Ellie, what you say about it feeling good to have the Universe confirm what you think about yourself is so true, isn’t it? I felt the same way. And also that the gardener and daughter “knew” me, too. So true about which traits are dominant when. I think I might not be alone in feeling that my archetypes are more positive now than they would have been when I was younger, probably because we learn and get a bit wiser (usually) as we age and gain experience.
      Thank you. I now sleep about 10-11 hours at night VERY deeply rather than having to nap on and off all day long. I might still need an afternoon nap, but definitely not in the morning!

      • Now I confess I feel envious about your 10-11-hour sleep at night!! Lately I’ve been plagued by insomnia… it takes me *forever* to fall asleep – like I go to bed at 1 (late, I know, but I only get up around 10) BUT then I toss and turn in bed til 4 or even later! Sigh. This only started in the past few months, so maybe psychological? I just keep thinking about past stuff, things that happened in my life, in past years… I wouldn’t mind reminiscing if it was in the DAYtime. Grrr. I’ll try to take a nap later. It works sometimes. xox