As you already know, apart from the fact that each of us has our own individual memory, in which all our life experiences are recorded, we as a society, humanity, and also a species have a common collective memory called the collective unconscious.
In this article you will learn about:
- Goddesses, the archetypes of femininity present in our collective unconscious.
- Archetypes of femininity according to Jung.
- Archetypes of masculinity present in our collective unconscious, personified by mythological Gods.
It has two levels at which information is stored: the morphic field of energy around your DNA called the level of genetic programs, views of your ancestors, or aura, i.e. a historical level that records the experiences and memories of collective consciousness. It is kind of a huge database containing our heritage. You can draw from this base using many different ways, e.g. meditation, dancing, playing drums, training active imagination, spiritual practices, or interpreting your dreams.
All our collective experiences are recorded in the form of patterns of thinking and behavior called archetypes.
Archetypes are like the DNA code of all mankind. So, for example, you tell someone that you are an accountant, then that person reaches for this archetype, reads the code, and knows what to expect. Each archetype always has two negative and positive sides. So, in the case of an accountant, for example, the code will say that you are meticulous and accurate, you have analytical skills, but also that you are probably a conservative bore because you strictly follow the rules.
In addition to archetypes, there are also stereotypes, i.e. collective beliefs, in the collective unconscious. Mental constructions containing a simplified, generalized belief about something, a diagram, a cliché, and an image that you use to evaluate and categorize your reality, e.g. “All Poles are thieves and drunkards.”
Archetypes are associations, intuitions, emotions, specific qualities, and energies.
No archetype is there to be it. To be fully yourself you have to be all of them at the same time, draw from them all, not limit yourself to just one of them. But always some archetypes are more dominant than others. Each of them is in some sense a gift to you. Being one of them doesn’t mean identifying with one particular social agenda. They are responsible for the differences between us, they make one of us value motherhood more, another independence, and yet another spirituality.
The key is to be aware of your own strength, to be yourself, not something imposed on you by others.
It’s also important to remember that archetypes are contextual, which means that in any life situation you can enter a different one. Being a conscious woman means observing them, feeling their conflicting priorities and different commitments, organizing and consciously choosing those that are most important to you.
To take a closer look, let’s see what archetypes of femininity function in our world, in our patriarchal world. What traditional roles have you been assigned as a woman? What, makes up your feminine personality. They include male and female archetypes because each of us has a male element. Young and grated, some of them even compete with each other.
These archetypes are personified through Goddesses derived from myths.
Mythology, like fairy tales and legends known to people since the dawn of time, contains information about our collective experience. By interpreting them, we bring out their meaning, be it intellectually or intuitively. They are very similar to dreams because they have symbolic meaning. Myth scholar Joseph Campell believed that “a dream is a personal myth and a myth is an impersonal dream.”
Each of the Goddess archetypes arises through the fragmentation of the Great Goddess, Mother Earth, Gaia – the archetype of the Creator and Destroyer of Life. Fertility and the destructive forces of nature. Together, they create a full scale of features, the fullness of femininity existing in human imagination and collective unconsciousness.
The activation of a specific archetype of the Goddess in You is influenced by:
- Your inborn predisposition.
- Your parents’ expectations of you.
- The culture you live in.
- The era you live in.
- Hormones level (puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause).
- Other people, events, and experiences you are having.
- Spiritual Practices.
Archetypes related to the phases of a woman’s life (the Trigodess), with the subsequent stages of life.
These are the archetypes in which the internal monads manifest in the collective consciousness. Belong to them:
The Virgin – virginity (Mother of God, Persephone) It symbolizes the tasting of life, an eternal girl, a decent and polite woman, innocent and naive.
The Mother – fertility (Ewa – a great mother, Demeter) It symbolizes maturation by making commitments and fulfilling them, e.g. a career or raising children. Note – you don’t necessarily have to be a biological mother to get through this phase.
The Witch – knowledge (Marii Magdalena, Afrodyta) Ladacznica, whore, seducer, a cursed and sinful woman, but also the archetype of a devoted parishioner or an old devotee in our culture. It symbolizes focusing on yourself and your inner life. This stage is embodied by the following Goddesses:
- The Goddess of Wisdom: Methis in Greek mythology, Sofia in the Bible, Shekhinah, Irish Cerridwen, fairy godmother, old woman – This is the intelligence of the mind, skills, proficiency, the pursuit of spiritual content, mystical experiences, inner peace, and harmony. A woman who puts her soul into everything she does. Mastering the creative process in a way that moves people and evokes strong emotions in them.
- The Goddess of Intuitive Medium Wisdom: in Greek mythology, it is Hecate the goddess of crossroads, but also an archetype of a midwife who supports the creative expression of another person. – It is seeing the connections between the past, present, and future. A silent presence, inner witness, observer, intuition, turning inward, dreams, insights, psychic abilities, medium, an intermediary between the physical world and the astral world, clairvoyant, tarot player, shaman, but also a hag casting spells and practicing black magic, blamed for all the evil in the world from miscarriages to impotence.
- The Goddess of Meditative Wisdom: in Greek mythology, Hestia is the goddess of the hearth and temples – a source of light and warmth. – It is a symbol of the spiritual center, internal unity, concentration, order, finding your place in the universe, unity. Concord with yourself. Independence means no need to be completed by someone (child, husband). Completeness and concentration on being in the moment. Calming down emotions and calming thoughts, the wisdom of centering, lack of duality.
- The Goddess of Transforming Wrath: Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet, Hindu Goddess of Destruction Kali – This is a symbol of indignation, healthy anger, pissed off against injustice, stupidity, narcissism, addiction, nonchalance, cruelty, and social harm. It is an intermediary of change and radical action, e.g. the end of a dysfunctional marriage, as well as the dark side of its own psyche. In its negative aspect, it is destruction and possession.
- The Goddess of Cheerfulness and Ruby Humor: Japanese goddess of cheerfulness and dance Uzume, in Greek mythology lewd Baubo – It is a symbol of releasing tension. A smart sense of humor that does not humiliate anyone or is malicious. Tangible, sharp tongue, distance to the aging body, a sense of unity in experiencing sensitivity and strength.
- The Goddess of Compassion: Japanese goddess Kannon, Chinese goddess Guanyin, Our Lady of Mercy – It is compassion, kindness, generosity, empathetic understanding of the suffering of others, sensitivity, mercy. On the negative side, it’s codependency.
These life phases are not age related. The first two are aimed at gaining experience and knowledge, meeting basic needs, and focusing on goals and relationships. In the third phase of life, we satisfy our spiritual, philosophical and religious needs. This is the time when we begin to contemplate our eventual death, we begin to reflect on the meaning of life and the divine.
Archetypes for the change of consciousness:
Independent, concentrated, virgin goddesses
They represent the element of self-sufficiency and independence in the female psyche. Relationship-independent, goal-focused. It is the activity, creativity, focus on success and purpose, it is also logical thinking, openness, attitude to the world, as well as focus on the insight world, and spirituality. Focus on what is important to you, on success, gaining experience, or your own development.
- The Goddess of Hunting and the Moon, Artemis (Diana) – a sense of sisterly bond with other women, spiritual bond with nature, feminist, successful woman, rival.
- The Goddess of Wisdom and Craftsmanship, Athena (Minerva) – a tactician, warrior, craftswoman, archetype of a daddy’s daughter and a wise woman.
- and The Goddess of the Hearth and Temples Hestia (Vesta) – the caretaker of the hearth, an anonymous woman, an introvert, an old soul, an unmarried aunt, a wise woman.
Goddesses scattered, defenseless
Archetypes of the traditional role of women whose identity, well-being, and health depend on whether or not they are in a significant relationship. The personification of the traits of wife, mother, and daughter, in the negative pole, is depression, obsession, and jealousy, in positive fulfillment in a good relationship.
The Goddess of Marriage Hera (Juno) – the archetype of wife and commitment to the relationship.
The Goddess of Cereals Demeter (Carrera) – the archetype of a caring mother. The goddess of Virginity and the Queen of the Underworld Persephone (Proserpina) – the archetype of the daughter. Eternal girl, mother’s daughter, inner guide. It symbolizes a young, vulnerable, inexperienced, and sexually unawakened woman.
Alchemical goddess, goddess of transformation
Consciousness more concentrated than diffuse consciousness and at the same time more receptive than focused, qualities of both virgin and defenseless goddesses.
- The Goddess of Love and Beauty, Aphrodite (Venus) – transferring power, admiration and respect, beauty, creative work, a sensitive observer and lover, a creative woman, instinctive sexuality. It is love, erotic attraction, sensuality, sexuality, and a new life. It is a symbol of an integrated male and female energy.
Jung’s feminine archetypes:
The Enchantress – archetype of insight and understanding, prophetess, healer.
The Lover – empathy, warmth, and love, but also seduction and promiscuity, passions and coldness, energy and fertility,
The Warrior – the energy of action, bravery, hardness and defense, value, rivalry, competition, resistance to stress, and pain.
The Queen – the purpose of life, internal order, vision, and order. Safety, Wellbeing, Leadership. It has the energy of all other archetypes.
Archetypes of male gods
- The God of Heaven Zeus (Jupiter) is a mighty father, ruler king, head of a large corporation, alpha male. He represents the sphere of will and power, he must have his kingdom – marriage, and children, but he expects his wife to take care of it. He is successful professionally, he can cooperate with other men in power. Creates and maintains spheres of influence. For him, marriage is a matter of status, not a kinship of souls, a flirt. He expects to obey and fulfill his will. Children are to be for him a faithful copy of his ideal.
- The God of the Sea, Poseidon – is the sphere of emotions and instincts, emotionality, revenge, rage, anger. It is also a metaphor for a man who can immerse deeply into his emotions and gain access to the soul, sadness, great beauty, and deep-sea monsters. This archetype cannot fail.
- The God of the Underworld, Hades, is the realm of the soul and the unconscious. The loner archetype, withdrawn, living in his loneliness, without energy, often depressed. And also the archetype of the rich man – an introvert who values the inner world. A source of creativity, in need of contact with its inner world. A good counselor with a lack of emotional and verbal expression.
Archetypes of sons:
Favorite sons are emotional coolness and mental activity, negotiations, words, trade.
- The God of the Sun Apollo – shooter, lawgiver, clairvoyant. Seeing clearly and in perspective. Mastering certain skills, order, and harmony.
- The God the Messenger Hermes (Mercury) – guide of souls, informant, trickster, alchemist, and traveler. A symbol of the speed of thinking, crossing limits, and rising to higher levels. It is ingenuity and communication skills.
Rejected sons – express themselves through physical actions. Emotional, with low self-esteem, sons of a powerless mother.
- The God of War Ares (Mars) – warrior, dancer, lover. It is the archetype of quick here and now reactions. A man in touch with his feelings and body. The epitome of aggression and impulsive reaction. It represents the will to fight.
- The God of Blacksmithing Hephaestus (Volcano) – is a craftsman, inventor, loner. The archetype of a rejected and underestimated man, also the archetype of creative work and inner human beauty.
Son treated ambivalently:
- The God of Ecstasy and Wine Dionysus (Bacchus) – mystic, lover, and wanderer, a mixture of the most sublime and primitive feelings. A divine, special child.
- The Missing God – Metis, Jesus, Krishna – archetypal son with a loving heart. A wisdom metaphor that is aware of our strong relationships with each other and with the mother archetype
You once noticed the differences between your goddess archetype and your little sister while traveling by car with your parents. Looking out the window at the world, you kept looking at the buildings and everything around you, wondering how you could redesign the world to be more beautiful. Which building to renovate and how, what to add, where to hang a picture, etc. When you asked your sister what she thought about while watching the world through the window, she replied that she thought about the people living there and the relations between them.
The patriarchal world we live in has its favorites, and its archetypes are preferred.
For example, male patriarchal archetypes are authoritarian alpha males. Though in power, they fear being overthrown by their sons. Little caring fathers expressing hostility towards their sons. The preferred female archetypes are virgin, wife, and mother.
People who represent good qualities in this system are rewarded and those who are disgraced are rejected. As a result, we all learn conformism, and stiffen our behavior and emotions. We learn to assume the right persona (an acceptable way of being and attitude that we show to the world) along with the expected clothing or lifestyle appropriate for their social “compartment”.
Anything that is not accepted by others, behavior that does not comply with applicable standards often becomes a source of guilt or shame. This causes us to feel our own inadequacy and begin to emotionally cut off those aspects of ourselves that are causing us a problem. Knowing about archetypes deepens your self-knowledge and facilitates self-acceptance.
Jean Shinoda Bolen „Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women over Fifty” („Bogniczne archetypy dojrzalej kobiecości”), Wydawnictwo Yemaya s.c. Kolbuszowa Dolna, 2016
Jean Shinoda Bolen „Goddesses in Everywomen„ (“Bognie w każdej kobiecie”), Wydawnictwo Yemaya s.c. Olsztyn 2016.
Jean Shinoda Bolen „Gods in Everymen” (“Bogowie w każdym mężczyźnie”), Wydawnictwo INANNA Elżbieta Smoleńska, 2005
Goddesses the archetypes of femininity. Goddesses the archetypes of femininity.