The Sage soul

The Sage is one of the seven soul types or roles in essence. Naturally entertaining and articulate, Sages excel in communication with both wit and wisdom.

All The World’s A Stage

Greek masks

The Sage soul type embodies the essence of expressive communication.

Like Artisans, Sages are expression-oriented souls. Both like to play with ideas which they can express to others in some form.

Unlike Artisans, however, Sages are more interested in reaching and connecting with an audience, rather than the ideas per se. The bigger the audience the better, but any audience will do. Their life is a quick-witted performance; the world is their stage.

The raison d’être of any Sage is to promote a sense of shared experience — sharing life’s dramas, lessons and absurdities in an appealing way with as many as possible. A Sage will always look for insights to share and audiences to share them with.

In effect, the Sage’s role is to cheerfully point out who we all are and what we all have in common. And to help us enjoy our shared journey.

The Wise Fool

The word sage has come to mean something like “wise one.” Our mental image of a sage is that of a classical bearded thinker or philosopher, such as Plato and Aristotle. Ironically, however, those people did not see themselves as sages, but as sage-wannabes.

The Greek word Philosophia translates as wisdom-love or desire for wisdom. A philosopher is not someone who has wisdom but someone who wants wisdom. A philosopher aspires to become a sage.

So the archetypal Sage isn’t someone who spends their days stroking their beard, trying to figure out the meaning of life. A Sage is someone who already knows. That’s not to say that any Sage-type individual is a font of infinite wisdom. Rather, it is that these individuals act with the jollity of one who knows just enough to not take life seriously.

To put it another way, while most people seek happiness, and while philosophers seek the understanding of life which they hope might lead to happiness, the Sage simply embodies and expresses happiness.

In effect, a Sage is one who listens to all of life and notices both surprising connections and amusing contrasts, and then takes pleasure in relaying these insights to others. Instead of a bearded thinker, the archetypal image of a Sage is more like a cheerful eccentric — a wise fool.


Wise fool Shakespeare quote



Sage Characteristics

I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.” — Oscar Wilde


Sages are natural entertainers, performers, attention-seekers, ham actors, raconteurs, storytellers, court jesters, class clowns. As such, they are very much at home in front of an audience, taking centre stage, relishing the attention.

Michael McIntyre Sages generally have a quick wit and verbal skill; “the gift of the gab” comes naturally. In their non-verbal behaviour and interactions, they have a tendency to be melodramatic and will often exaggerate for dramatic or humorous effect.

Sages have a constant urge to share their wit and wisdom with the world at large. In the absence of wisdom, though, there is likely to be a constant stream of witty banter and clownish acting.

In children, this can come across as a compulsion to be silly or to play the fool. As a Sage’s knowledge and life experience grows, however, their “act” will become more cultured and polished.

Nicki Minaj Sages are often stereotypical extroverts, the very opposite of shy and retiring. This is especially true in the Young Soul cycle, which is outwardly focused and energetic. Young Sages can be very outspoken, exuberant, and larger-than-life.

Mature and Old Sages, in contrast, are more thoughtful and increasingly philosophical.

Jack blackThe Sage’s facial features are often unusually big and rubbery or elastic, as the face is a key means of expression. The face itself often looks inflated, elongated or exaggerated in a cartoon-like way.

The smile is often huge (think: coat-hanger), and the cheeks may be round and shiny from perpetual grinning, like Micky Mouse or Father Christmas.

In addition, there is usually a twinkle of mischief or merriment in the eyes, as though the person is constantly thinking up practical jokes.

That’s not to say that Sages are always being bright and bouncy or attention-seeking. They can also be as serious and business-like as anyone else when dealing with weighty issues or responsibilities. And with non-expressive overleaves such as observation mode or a stoical attitude or a chief feature of self-deprecation, a Sage can even seem quite subdued.

Nevertheless, their overall appearance and demeanor will invariably have some element of the eccentric, flamboyant, or camp. Sages like to look attractive or at least eye-catching. Loud shirts, big wigs, bow ties and fancy spectacles are typical give-always, as is the “motormouth” tendency.

Sage Soul Evolution

(As a reminder, all souls progress through five stages of self-evolution in physical form — see: Reincarnation: the 35 Steps.)

Baby Sages

Kim Jong UnIn the second stage, Baby Sages tend to specialise in the dramatic expression of rules, dogma, law and order. Which side of the law is another matter. The American gangster Al Capone, the Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Boris Yeltsin, and the televangelist Jimmy Swaggart are all said to have been Baby Sages. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks like another.

Young Sages

Young Sages such as Miley Cyrus are typically extravert attention-seekers. They are drawn to seek fame and fortune as performers, actors, lawyers, orators, TV presenters, and DJs.

Many other well-known stars of stage and screen, past and present, are Young Sages. Examples include Bob Hope, Groucho MarxDean MartinLucille Ball, Bill Cosby, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Wolfman Jack, Weird Al YankovicJim Carrey, Mariah Carey, Eminem, Miley Cirus, Nicki Minaj, and the TV presenter Steve Irwin.

Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are examples of Young Sages in leadership roles:

Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.” — Ronald Reagan

I may not have been the greatest president, but I’ve had the most fun eight years.” — Bill Clinton

Mature Sages

William ShakespeareMature Sages are drawn to more thoughtful and sophisticated forms of dramatic expression, though still retaining a comedic slant. The lessons of the Mature cycle revolve around complex relationship issues and mental/emotional conflicts, which gives Mature Sages a lot of material to work with.

An outstanding example is the playwright William Shakespeare, whose ingenious plays often portrayed human life as a kind of play within a play.

Other famous examples include the Marquis de Sade, Isadora Duncan, Oscar Wilde, Giocomo Puccini, Luciano Pavarotti, Cary Grant, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Ellen Degeneres, and Jack Black, plus the US Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Old Sages

Old Sages like Whoopi Golberg, Placido Domingo, George Clooney and the spiritual teacher Rajneesh (Osho) are more relaxed and mellow. (You cn hear it in the voice.) They focus on developing mastery of expressive communication, using their natural wit and wisdom to great effect. They are very comfortable in their own skin. In fact, Sages finally come into their own in this fifth stage, the nature of which is to simply express one’s true nature.

“I love words and speaking: my professional motto for 30 years has been “Have Mouth, Will Travel.” — spiritual teacher Robert Rabbin

Positive and Negative Poles

[As a reminder, any manifestation of consciousness has both a positive pole and a negative pole. The positive pole is an expression of the true self or soul; the negative pole is an expression of the false self or ego.]

Manifesting in the negative pole, Sages can lapse into over-performing, over-acting and being melodramatic rather than being real.  Oration or verbosity means hogging the spotlight, “loving the sound of their own voice”, craving attention for its own sake rather than to actually communicate something of value. (See, for example, Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.)

In their positive pole, in contrast, Sages express and communicate insightfully, amusingly, and in a way that brings everyone together on the same wavelength. (See, for example, Jim Carrey in Yes Man.) Using their natural talents for articulation and performance to enlighten as well as to entertain, they are life’s great communicators — indeed, Ronald Reagan’s nickname was “The Great Communicator”.

A Gallery of Sages

Jim Carrey
Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus
Ryan Seacrest
Lucille Ball
Dr Ruth Westheimer
Mariah Carey
Mae West
Bill Murray
Al Capone
Al Capone
Oscar Wilde
Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
Jonathan Ross
Will Smith
Elton John
Elton John
Steve Irwin
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
Luciano Pavarotti
Louis XIV (France)
Eddie Murphy
Brendan Frasier
Charles I (England)
Giacomo Puccini
Groucho Marx
George Clooney
Whoopi Goldberg




Up to: Soul Types: The Seven Roles in Essence

36 thoughts on “The Sage soul

  1. Marquis de Sade was an introvert. Even though he liked theatre and wrote plays, his main focus was not comedy but philosophy. And I would like to ask you: where did you get your theory about him being a Sage soul from?

    • Not a theory, I took it from another source “on faith”. And I guess you’ve reminded me that I ought to verify all information from external sources. I’ll look into de Sade.

    • Hey, wait a minute. A little research gives me the impression the Marquis was definitely a Sage, probably a Mature Sage, and could hardly be called an introvert.

      The known portrait of him at age 19 does not look at all like an introvert, and if this portrait is at all accurate, he has the classic elongated face and lively features of a Sage.

      Here are some telling descriptions of him:

      … flamboyant
      … a great gift for story-telling
      … an exceptional charmer
      … a skilled political orator
      … a passion for the theatre
      … exhibitionist tendencies

      Ticks every box. And according to one biographer:

      “Throughout his adult life, Sade devoted himself energetically to the putting on of plays, frequently assuming leading roles himself in his productions. The appeal of a physical medium well suited to Sade’s sensual and extrovert personality may offer some explanation for his fascination with theatre.”

      As an introvert myself, I couldn’t imagine myself EVER putting on a play, let alone assuming the leading role in my own production. There would be far too many social variables and constant interactions – just overwhelming for an introvert.

      And I really don’t think an introvert would be famously characterised as “the freest man who ever lived” based on his flagrantly wild and eccentric social life. In fact, I would guess de Sade’s natural extroversion as a Sage was if anything intensified by having the goal of Growth, being in the mode of Passion and having an attitude of Cynicism.

      Writing philosophy does not make one an introvert. Like Oscar Wilde (another Mature Sage), he spent a lot of time in prison with little to do but think and write, and as far as I can see he used that time to construct a philosophy of freedom of expression that was laced with black humour and deliberately contradicted traditional morals.

  2. I’m trying to figure out whether I’m an artisan, priest or sage. What are the main differences between priest and sage? It seems to me from reading the priest description that priests can be great speakers as well when they try to get their vision across to the rest of the world, and that they also like to illuminate the human condition.
    Also, I read in some threads that you accept photos. If that’s true, where should they be sent?
    Have a nice day!

  3. I’m not sure.
    I took your test on quibblo to see what my type would be, presuming from the information I’d already read that I would be a mixture of Artisan, Scholar, Server and Warrior… but I ended up with Sage.

    I feel that I fit half the criterion for Sage but the other half completely not. If there is one thing I am sure of it is that I am an introvert. I’ve always been a listener and always carefully think through something I want to say, if I say it at all. It’s not out of shyness so much as being reserved.
    I can be an extrovert when the situation demands it, but by default I’m an introvert.

    I do identify with a love of performing, but off the stage I don’t like to be the centre of attention. Now that I think through it, I think I prefer to have the kind of attention that is ‘passive’, whereby I’m not looking for it but it comes to me, whether it be through my looks/fashion or an act I did in the past. I definitely do not do something for the sake of attention though.

    I’m very level-headed so tend to stay away from the melodramatic and don’t like to be around others who exaggerate too much also.

    Just a little puzzling to me.

    • Hi Bessie

      You sound like an Artisan to me.

      Do you ever watch TV talent shows like the X Factor? Basically you get lots of Artisans and Sages (plus a few Servers) stepping into the limelight, facing both a live audience and a TV audience of millions – and it’s often easy to spot the difference in types.

      At the risk of generalising, Sages are those who will run onto the stage with their faces beaming, pick up the microphone, wave their arms and shout “Hello everybody!” before Simon Cowell can say “And you are???” When performing, they look confident and always keep some of their attention on the all-important audience.

      Artisans, in contrast, often look a bit unsure of themselves, or hide their eyes behind a lot of hair, and tend to sing with their eyes closed so as to concentrate on the meaning of the song that they are trying to express.

      Both Sages and Artisans are expressive, but in quite different ways. Artisans want to draw attention to what is being expressed through their creations — not so much to themselves. Singing, for example, is about the special quality they bring to THE SONG. Putting THEMSELVES under the public spotlight is more challenging and not so attractive as it is for a Sage.

      I saw a documentary about singer Kate Bush recently (an Artisan if ever there was one). When asked why she always writes songs about other people, she replied “I just think other people are a lot more interesting than me.”

      If an Artisan designs clothes, then they will want to draw attention to their designs. If an Artisan paints, they will want people to pay attention to the paintings. Hopefully, they can enjoy receiving positive feedback as a result. However, Artisans always face the risk of rejection, which can be terrifying – especially for one who has the goal of Acceptance.

      Sages, in contrast, tend to grab your senses before you can even think about rejecting them. They need the audience’s attention so that they can get on with being a source of wit and wisdom, so they actively draw attention to themselves by acting in some larger-than-life way.

      Hope that makes sense


  4. I feel sages can absolutely be introverts. An introvert at it’s core is really the difference in how one recharges their energy. Do they do it in the presence of people or do they need some alone time?

    I’m very much a sage, looking like a very classic sage with very over-large, rubbery facial features (all of them, nose, forehead, cheeks, jaw, chin, eyes), but I am also an introvert. Though I masquerade quite well as an extrovert, and everyone believes that I am one, I have to regularly move away from people to recharge my energy.

    I love people in such a powerful way and they seem to feel the same about me as I connect to them in my silliness. It’s a silliness that cuts to the truth. Like a court jester. I am connected to everyone and everything. I want to make something spark in them, joy, life, wisdom, love, absurdity, whatever. I want them to leave me being more connected to themselves and their present than they were before, whatever their present is.

    That is my drive, my passion, my existence and I am at peace and happy just being me. Though I get tired and recharge alone to stay connected to myself soul and body as I have this human experience again.

  5. Have you heard of the actor Shah Rukh Khan i was wondering what his soul type would be my guess is that he would be a sage, actually am pretty sure that he would be a sage, but i would like to confirm the fact, jn addition i would like to know his soul stage, is it young or mature, if you can

  6. There is an indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, i would like to know his Soul Type and Soul Stage if its possible, my guess is he would be a Sage possibly young or mature, you might have heard of him, He is wuite famous actually

    • Hi Keanu

      I read his bio and watched a few clips of him on YouTube, and my guess would be Mature Sage with a goal of Dominance. That’s just my assessment; you can get a full profile from one of the Michael channels.

    • Yup, mature was my first guess, but he has mentioned himself as workaholic and a bit materialistic, those are young soul charactestics aren’t they.. After all he managed to become the second richest actor in the world, mature souls dont chase after money.. Other then that he seems like a mature one to me in every aspect..

  7. I am definitely some mix of King and sage. I’m a gifted speaker and humorist, but I also have an authority and commanding presence that is unquestionable. I’m July 22, so I’m right in between cancer and leo. Is there room for mixed types? In the end I think I come off as a king to most, but I’m probably sage dominant. But both sage and king fit me very well, although as a sage I can play any role easily.

  8. This is a hundred percent inaccurate. Sages were described in reverence in Ancient Greece by philosophers such as Socrates, according to Plato. They were held in reverence, because their extreme knowledge skills were coupled with not only the ability to deduct reason, but knowledge which stemmed from life experience. Philosophers would actually seek the wisdom of sages and vice versa. They were respected. Comedians, on the other hand, were not. Comedy was considered entertainment for lower class society and appealed to the ignorant and uneducated.

    • To be clear, that is not my personal feelings about comedy, but it is accurate non-the-less as far as history is concerned. You should research a topic prior to writing about it.

    • Likewise, if you took the time to do your own research before commenting on a website, you might find out what the website is actually about.

      Socrates’/Plato’s concept of sophos or wise man is certainly one definition of sage, although the Greeks of course wouldn’t have used the term “sage” itself, which is Old French.

      Jung’s concept of the worldly-wise story-teller, the “senex” archetype, is somewhat closer to what is meant by a “sage” within the material discussed on this website.

      Closer still, however, is the Sanskrit term avadhūta, meaning one who shares their spiritual wisdom with eye-catching, eccentric and often outrageous behaviour, by, for example, deliberately making a mockery of ordinary social etiquette. (Chögyam Trungpa referred to this as “crazy-wisdom”.)

      To the Greeks, sagacity was equated with experience-based wisdom and judgment. In Indian philosophy, sagacity is also equated with a self-transcendence that reveals itself in unrestrained, almost exhibitionistic joy and a gift for delighting others. These liberated individuals will, however, look like nothing more than village idiots to those who fail to get the joke.

  9. barry, in my younger days i was ( or thought i was) an introvert, i was dreamy etc now that im older i really wanna take centre stage, wanna be heard, seen. i took an audition a month ago on stage for battle rap try outs for the big league, anyway i felt totally alive ( nervous) but alive, i love communication and i hate when i can’t articulate my words right or speak fluently ( i dont know if that got anything to do with that) and i looked at pictures from me when i was young and i was always smiling, putting on a weird face but i can be very serious also, sometimes leave people feeling intimidated ( warrior like?) plus i love sports, and i love when people are watching ( im a little bit of a showoff), knowledge is important for me, and i always wanna teach it to someone else.. i wanna influence people, change things. i love 1 on 1 interactions but i love reaching to a larger audience or just being with more people as well. i read artisan are the builders, workers and im not good with my hands, i can’t fix anything haha but i can be imaginative (very) and kind of in my world.

    i can scrap scholar of my list, im expressive
    king ( altho i can be demanding )

    i can’t figure out what my main soul type is. got a clue?

    • Hi. A lot of what you say is consistent with being a Sage. I would also guess that you do not have intellectual centering, hence articulating words doesn’t come as fluently as it otherwise would for a Sage – I suspect you probably have moving/physical centering.

    • sometimes i feel im all of them combined, cause i got characteristics of all soul types, is that possible?

      what are the biggest factors in all soul types? for example: ”you know you’re not a priest if you…”

      so i can be certain of what my soul type is, i want to figure it out!

  10. hi barry, i’ve got a question, i have a videoclip of me performing.. can you spot if i am an artisan,sage or priest? i think im stuck between these 3

    don’t pay attention to the language just the body language, tonality, any way you know what type of soul i am etc.

    • I would say Artisan as you’re so receptive to the judges’ feedback, rather than laying yourself on them in a more extrovert manner which a Sage or Priest would be more likely to do.

    • mm but i do not mind being the center of attention i even desire it to a certain point, i read artisans don’t want the attention on themselves. and i’m definitly not dexterous.. but alright i appreciate it

  11. Very interesting all in this blog thank you! But George Clooney ?? Sage??
    King is he to me! 👑😊
    I have millions of questions. First: Where is this theory about essenses
    From and what about Everything else: temperament, starsigns, types…

  12. You confused the soul type Sage with the soul type Jester. You are spreading inaccurate information. Maybe do some real research of the ancient texts before posting.

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