The Greek Goddess Archetypes
As Mirrors of the Self
As women in our everyday life we embody a wide spectrum of roles, from the more traditional ones of the wife, mother, and daughter to the more independent, self-sufficient and alchemical models of leaders, activists, artists and healers. Some of these expressions are more familiar and comfortable to us, and some we struggle to fulfill the best we can. Women have traits that are colorful, multifaceted, strong and vulnerable, just like the rainbow qualities that we can find in the archetypes of the Greek Goddesses.
As Jean Shinoda Bolen describes in her book “Goddesses in Every Woman”, the inner archetypes of the Greek Goddesses can reveal intimate truths about ourselves. These archetypes are powerful inner patterns, forces within that influence what we do and how we feel. When we are able to understand them, we gain powerful insights that provide the key to self-knowledge and wholeness.
The Virgin Goddesses :
Hestia, Artemis, Athena
The Virgin Goddesses personify the independent, active, non-relationship aspects of women’s psychology. Each one of them is “one-in-herself” and does what she does not because of any desire to please, not to be liked, or to be approved, even by herself. They all follow their own internal values. They all present inner drives in women to develop talents, pursue interests, solve problems, compete with others, express themselves articulately in words or through art forms, put their surroundings in order, or lead contemplative lives.
The quality of their consciousness is like a sharply focused, willfully directed, intense beam of light that illuminates only what is important to them, leaving everything outside of its radius in the dark or in the shadows.
Hestia is the Goddess of the fire burning on a round hearth. She was felt to be present in the living flame at the center of the home, temple, and city. She made all places holy when she was there, and she provided the sanctuary where people bonded together.
Goddess of the Hearth and Temple, the Hestia archetype embodies the patient and steady woman who finds comfort in solitude and exudes a sense of intactness and wholeness
In our circle, we invite her independent, self-sufficient qualities of warmth, sacredness, and connection to the inner fire every woman has to provide herself with a sense of intactness and wholeness.
Artemis is the Goddess of young natural life and birth. She is the sister, and “the archer with unerring aim”. She is responsible for the feeling of merged union that a woman can have with nature. She cares about all her “sisters” and helps young women chosen as victims.
Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon, as an archetype Artemis is “a personification of an independent feminine spirit” and “enables a woman to seek her own goals on terrain of her own choosing”.
In our circle, we invite her independent, self-sufficient and connected-to-nature qualities to strengthen our assertiveness and honor sisterhood.
Athena is the Goddess of Wisdom and Crafts. She presided over battle strategy in wartime and over domestic arts in peacetime. The martial and domestic skills associated with her involve planning and execution, activities that require purposeful thinking.
The Athena archetype represents the logical, self-assured woman, the strategist who can stay calm in the midst of conflict and use her rationality. She shows that thinking well, keeping one's head in the heat of an emotional situation and developing good tactics in the midst of conflict, are natural traits for some women and can be developed for other women.
In our circle we delve into her logical, thoughtful, and practical qualities to develop your ability to use your practical wisdom and achieve what you want.
The Vulnerable Goddesses :
Hera, Demeter, Persephone
The Vulnerable Goddesses personify archetypes that represent the traditional roles of women – wife, mother and daughter. They are the relationship-oriented goddesses, whose identity and well-being depend on having a significant relationship. They express the needs in women for affiliation. Women identified with these goddesses are attentive and receptive to others. They are motivated by the rewards of relationship - approval, love, and attention. For these women, fulfilling traditional women's roles can be personally meaningful.
The quality of their consciousness is analogous to light from a living room lamp, which illuminates and casts a warm glow on everything within its radius. Expresses an attitude of acceptance, an awareness of the unity of all life, and a readiness for relationship.
Hera, as the Goddess of Marriage and Commitment Maker, was revered and reviled, honored and humiliated. She, more than any other goddess, has markedly positive and negative attributes as a result of her intense feelings.
The same is true for the Hera archetype, an intensely powerful force for joy or pain in a woman's personality.
In our circle we delve into the relationship-oriented qualities of this archetype to deepen our capacity to bond, to be loyal and faithful, to endure and go through difficulties with a partner.
Demeter, Goddess of Grain, is the maternal archetype. She represents the maternal instinct fulfilled through pregnancy or through providing physical, psychological, or spiritual nourishment to others.
As an Archetype, she motivates women to nurture others, to be generous and giving, and to find satisfaction as caretakers and providers that can also be expressed through helping professions. She represents a woman’s drive to provide physical, emotional and spiritual sustenance for her children, creative projects, and others
In our circle we delve into the relationship-oriented qualities of this archetype to explore our capacity to care for another, and for our inner child, while learning when we need to put limits in our giving to take care of ourselves.
The Goddess Persephone has two aspects, as the Kore (daughter) and as the Queen of the Underworld. As the Kore she represents the young girl spirit who does not know "who she is" and is as yet unaware of her desires or strengths. As the Queen of the Underworld, she "guides the living who visit the underworld" and claims for herself what she wants.
Maiden and Queen of the Underworld, allows a woman to seem eternally youthful and expresses her capacity to grow and mature as a spiritual guide
In our circle we delve into the introspective qualities of this archetype to open your heart to the numinous, sacred and non-tangible experience of listening to your inner wisdom that guides your soul.
The Alchemical Goddess :
Aphrodite belongs in her own category as an alchemical goddess that represents the magic process or power of transformation that she, alone, has, through love and creativity. She is present in all creative work and acts of communication; whenever growth is generated, a vision supported, and potential developed, a spark of creativity encouraged – as can happen in different kinds of relationships – then Aphrodite is there, affecting both people involved.
The quality of her consciousness is like the light of the footlights. It is centered, and also receptive; it incorporates the object that focuses but is also affected by it. Everything below her light becomes fascinating.
Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Beauty, Creative Woman and Lover. As the alchemical goddess provides a unique power of transformation and is a tremendous force for change.
The Aphrodite archetype governs women's enjoyment of love, beauty, sexuality and sensuality and impels women to fulfill both creative and procreative functions.
In our circle we invite her creative and transformational qualities to enhance your ability to perceive with all your senses and awaken your sensuality.