What is the Divine Feminine?
The Divine Feminine is the subject of many conversations and the object of much veneration and worship. What qualities and attributes are revealed in the Divine Feminine? How does she “show up” in the world?
The Divine Feminine represents the supreme level of feminine expression and manifestation in the world. Women who have been subjugated to male thinking and ideals seek models to nurture their natural connection to divine source energy. As men open to their inner feminine aspect, they can reach for this divine ideal to emulate and integrate.
The following is written as embodied by a woman, yet is equally valuable for men to contemplate and integrate these “feminine” qualities into their awareness of their inner feminine -“anima.”
Developing the inner harmonic relationship of the divine masculine-feminine is our evolutionary process finding fruition -none too late for our species survival- for it is through this integration and harmonization that we reach the higher possibility of integrated holistic consciousness. By developing healthy, integrated aspects of the divine masculine and feminine, one drops egoic fetters attached to the soul and ascends to spiraled heights of consciousness and new expressions of being.
Goddess, Queen, Priestess, Warrioress, Lover, Wise Woman
The Divine Feminine comprises a group of archetypal energies that drive one’s consciousness and felt sense of being. SHE is “anima,” the spark of inspiration, catalyst of change, siren of desire. There are many “feminine” archetypes present in the psyche/soul, six have been chosen to represent those with the strongest influence and most importance to our psycho-spiritual evolution. With conscious “feeding” of these archetypes other weaker energies are passively nurtured to fullness.
Those seeking to discover and “grow into” their expression of the Divine Feminine will want to contemplate the full-expression of these archetypes and perceive how these show up in their life. One way to do this is to study and ponder at length each archetype description seeking its current expression in one's life and discovering new aspects to incorporate into one's mind set. New aspects can be integrated by imagining what it would feel like to think or behave in this new way and see what circumstances or opportunities already exist that could be positively affected by adopting these higher concepts, principles and motivations.
The Goddess is the archetype that provides transcendent healing, a re-connecting with source, and nurturing of divine essence. Here is a mystery, an incalculable delving into the void -out of which all things come. The Goddess is the dynamic, flowing energy of creation and evolution. She is the primordial first cause, originator, progenitor -Creatrix. Her wisdom is unfathomable, intuitive, untraceable and ever-evolving. Representing the mystery of the unknown and unknowable she ignites Eros, inspiration and vital force that seeks new experience, new associations, new possibilities, new connection out of stagnation and old, non-serving technologies and processes.
The Goddess connects one to a constantly shifting transcendent flow of possibility and newness. She inspires one’s soul to new heights of expression and connection with life in its magnitude and fullness.
The Goddess archetype is the transcendent, connected-to-all-that-is, aspect of self. SHE resonates transpersonal, harmonious love for everyone and all beings. The Goddess archetype is the domain of spirituality, mystical experience and intuition.
Expressing this archetype in its fullness feels like this:
You are with a woman who emanates dynamic energy, flowing, ever changing with boundless intuitive wisdom and creative energy. Her presence is inspiring and causes one to feel renewed with enlivened energy—stimulating and revitalizing. Her demeanor is spiritually balanced and emanates love to all in her sphere of life without distinction or prejudice.
She is a leader who is gracious and welcoming by being a shining example of higher possibility for love and compassion. While she is the originator of ideas and solutions she seeks collaboration and consensus in their outworking and manifestation.
The woman in the state of fullness of the Goddess shows up as compassionate, welcoming, creative, non-judgmental, open, heart-centered, spiritually focused, supportive, inspirational, erotic, loving.
Perhaps the strongest archetype, and most over-whelmed with expectation and duty, is the Queen (and/or Mother). It is she who is the authority and stewardess of the “living space” and primary care-giver of progeny.
To give birth is the most profound accomplishment one may experience, life giving life, nurturing and guiding this life into self-sufficiency and fullness of physical/mental/spiritual being. The most significant relationship one has is with the mother of one’s birth. No other bond is as close as this in connection, attachment, and enmeshment.
It is the Queen who brings order and blessing, benevolence and fertility, strength and balance, compassion and unconditional love. While the Goddess archetype is the Creatrix -inspiring vision and imagination, the Queen births the idea/vision/inspiration and actively looks to its growth and manifestation into existence—being the steward of these.
The Queen archetype is the domain of material manifestation, family, “kingdom” (your sphere of life influence including your relationship to individuals and physical locations: home, neighborhood, community, city, state, country, world), also material wealth and abundance.
Expressing the fullness of the Queen archetype feels like this:
She is concerned with the well-being and happiness of her “household.” She is a nurturing, stabilizing and calming influence in all circumstances that supports the highest good and fulfillment of those in her “household.”
Her demeanor is “seasoned” and carries wisdom with it, not adolescent, fickle, impulsiveness. Her wisdom carries a transpersonal selflessness. She is benevolent, evenhanded, calm, strong, caring, present, passionate.
The Priestess archetype is possibly the least known and understood, especially in the present patriarchal culture which dominates and subjugates women‘s spirituality. The Priestess archetype is the domain of intuitive awareness and insight, of secret or “occult” (that which is hidden) knowledge of the unknown realm.
The Priestess has a magical connection to the unknown, the void of creation, source energy. She is the trans-connector, the facilitator, between the material and the spiritual, the mediator of powerful energies that make up the being that we are. The Priestess calls forth, transmutes and directs energies between unconscious and conscious awareness, affecting our material and spiritual felt sense of being.
A woman in the fullness of the Priestess archetype feels like this:
She is the master of her spiritual and material realities showing a confidence of bearing that knows how to call forth from spiritual storehouses what is needed to transmute, transduce, transform energies that would overtake or topple other women not in this fullness.
She is thoughtful, reflective, having depth to her presence and intellect. She knows how to detach from inner and outer storms and how to connect deep inner truths and resources with her experience of life. She sees a higher possibility and attunes to its resonance. She is not easily pushed or pulled around by faddish influences but brings power and confidence to difficult situations requiring change or shifting -with grace and insight.
The woman in the fullness of the Priestess archetype is transpersonally engaging with others, serving their need for love and acceptance and spiritual grounding through her presence and expression/interaction. She serves expansive consciousness, a higher possibility and the greater good with humility and grace, not from Egoic desire for prominence or position.
The Warrioress archetype is the least represented and understood archetype for women —being misapplied and distorted due to the dominant patriarchal society. A healthy expression of warrioress is met with condemnation, judgment, and belittling by male contraction and immature reaction.
Warrioress qualities are: decisiveness and clarity of thought, selfless service, genuine humility, strength of experiential “knowing,” courage to do what is “right” even when it is a personal challenge to do so, maintaining and supporting established systems and forms without rigidity, loyal to a greater good beyond personal gain.
She is detached while under challenge maintaining a warm and compassionate, appreciative and generous connection to whom she serves. She fights “the good fight” in favor of benefiting the greater good and making life more fulfilling for everyone.
A Warrioress in her fullness feels like this:
Her strength of stature is evident and unheralded. She contributes without fanfare or directing—or requiring attention. She promptly responds to requests of service showing respect to all, especially to those “elder” to her, as well as other men, women, and children, animals and the earth.
She “knows herself” and finds her place in collaborative projects, finding fulfillment and contentment in collaboration without ambition and competition. The woman in the fullness of the Warrioress makes you feel “safe” while not being oppressed by her protection. She is decisive and quick to respond while also being in control of her Ego.
The Divine Feminine Lover archetype is perhaps the most dualistic and distorted by modern society. There is a “Madonna/Whore” dialectic associated with feminine expression of Eros Love. She is either idealized and set beyond the reach of men in worshipful ignorance or is debased and exploited as wanton in her lust and salaciousness. And yet, the fullness of the Divine Feminine Lover archetype can encompass and surmount both of these immature distinctions.
The Lover archetype has been contorted into a selfish and dense expression that lacks breadth or spirit. Yet the Lover is the meeting and combining of sex and spirit, Eros, the universal urge to bond and unite. More so than the male gender, Woman naturally, organically, comprises the alchemy that infuses spirit into flesh with desire—prompting sensual engagement and erotic expression. While most commonly expressed in romantic and sexual form, the Lover archetype also contains a much fuller, divine, expression.
The Lover archetype in its fullness is the primal energy of passion, exquisite engagement with life and ecstatic being: an alive and vivid world view. The domain of the Lover archetype is the primal urges of being: sex, food, well-being, procreation and is manifested in creative adaptation and initiatory experience.
The Lover is the epitome of Sensual. She exudes sensuality in her mood, look, walk, bearing, and engagement. She is intimately interested in all forms of sensory contact, experiencing the world in all its splendor. She is the archetype of play and healthy erotic embodiment without shame.
The fullness of the Lover archetype feels like this:
She is sensual. She is open and invites you to touch—her mind, body and soul. She relishes connection with others, specifically the connecting aspect—beyond Ego’s fulfillment needs. She appreciates beauty in all its forms, seeing and feeling beauty in herself, realizing her intrinsic connection and possession of such. She is “in her body” animating it with vital energy through dance, yoga, and movement. She brings, eros and sensuality and a “joy of life” to any engagement or conversation.
The Wise Woman elicits visions of the Shaman, one who not only accesses the spiritual realms but brings practical “technology” to those in her “household.” She mines her fathomless intuitive wisdom and miraculously produces solutions and applications that forward advancement and resolution of opposites, challenges, and disparate circumstances. The Wise Woman has been an essential archetype for the survival of her “clan,” community, family and our species.
The Wise Woman brings an aspect of advocating “right action,” dharma. She is the expression of the Ego in service to, and “right-relationship” with, the higher Self’s power. The Wise Woman observes, tracks, scans, monitors data from all sources (within and without) and channels wisdom leading to “right action.”
The Wise Woman archetype in her fullness feels like this:
She quietly and deftly orchestrates and imparts wise counsel and intuitive direction that shifts the receiver into new possibilities and pathways that reflect “right action” for their life path. She unobtrusively supports the wisdom of others, not seeking acclaim or notice for her contribution. She is thoughtful and reflective and rests in her felt connection with spirit and grounded connection with the earth, Gaia, the source of her wisdom and intuition.
The Wise Woman’s importance of contribution comes to the fore during crisis and intense need. Through the uniquely formed conduit that the Wise Woman embodies, wisdom and “right action” become clear. With the Wise Woman’s contribution we feel confident and assured that our path is the “right” one for us, we respond to life with a calm easefulness that transitions crisis and change with grace and wisdom.
What is the Divine Masculine?
The Divine Masculine represents the highest level of expression and manifestation of masculine energy in the world. As spiritual-physical beings we have complex psychological and emotional energies that combine to produce our inner health and outer reality.
Each of us, male and female, carries within our psyche both Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine archetype energies. It is therefore an integral part of a feeling of well-being, wholeness and connection.
Men can assimilate Divine Masculine energy and raise our species to higher levels of evolution and states of being. Women are equally served by contemplating Divine Masculine qualities, seeking to integrate them into their inner male expression.
God, King, Priest, Warrior, Lover, Sage
The Divine Masculine comprises a group of archetypal energies that drive our consciousness and felt sense of being. There are many archetypes present in our psyche/soul, six have been chosen to represent those with the strongest influence and most importance to our psycho-spiritual evolution. With conscious feeding of these primary archetypes other weaker energies are collaterally nurtured to fullness as well.
Those seeking to discover and “grow into” their expression of the Divine Masculine will want to contemplate the full-expression of these archetypes and perceive how these show up in their life. One way to do this is to study and ponder at length each archetype description seeking its current expression in one's life and discovering new aspects to incorporate into one's mind set. New aspects can be integrated by imagining what it would feel like to think or behave in this new way and see what circumstances or opportunities already exist that could be positively affected by adopting these higher concepts, principles and motivations. The overarching focus is of transpersonal service and beneficence.
The God archetype is the transcendent, connected-to-all-that-is, aspect of self. It is the part of us that resonates with transpersonal, harmonious love for everyone and all beings. Our God archetype is the domain of spirituality, mystical experience and intuition.
A man expressing this archetype in its fullness feels like this: You are with a man who feels connected to all that is, who has a spiritual balance and orientation, who emanates love to all in his sphere of life without passing over someone because they don’t fit his picture of who/what is deserving of his love. He embodies Love, expressed to whomever is before him.
He is a man that, when in his presence, you find yourself inspired to make new connections and source new experiences. He stands for equality and the divine-right of happiness for all races, genders, sexual preferences.
He is a leader by example and not words alone. He is spiritually motivated supporting transcendency in all its forms. He seeds thought forms and ideas while not “holding on” to them as proprietary —releasing ownership for the greater good.
The man in the state of being “Divine Masculine” shows up as non-judgmental, open, welcoming, heart-centered, spiritually focused, supportive, inspirational, loving.
Present in each man’s being is the archetype of the King who actively plays the central role of order and blessing, benevolence and fertility, strength and balance. While the God archetype seeds thought forms and ideas, the King births them and actively looks to their growth and manifestation into existence —being the steward of these.
The King archetype is the domain of material-manifestation, family, “kingdom” (your sphere of life influence including your relationship to individuals and physical locations: home, neighborhood, community, city, state, country, world), material wealth and abundance.
Being with a man who is in the fullness of the King archetype feels like this: He is supportive and nurturing of the well-being and easeful participation and happiness of those he engages with. He is a stabilizing and calming influence in all circumstances. By his balance and “potency” (strength, effectiveness) others are comforted and influenced to imitate his example. His demeanor is “seasoned” and carries wisdom with it, not adolescent impulsiveness.
The man in the fullness of his King archetype is complex with multiple aspects that comprise his unique expression of the divine. His wisdom carries a transpersonal selflessness, like a kind father, he is an agent of the divine having reverence for all life. He is benevolent, evenhanded, calm, strong, caring, present, passionate. He is settled in the knowing that everything is as it should be, everything changes, and there is no lack or anything to genuinely fear.
The Priest archetype is possibly the least known and understood and it is the least supported in our culture. The Priest archetype is the domain of awareness and insight, connecting with and revealing “occult” (that which is hidden) knowledge of the unknown realm.
The Priest is the trans-connector, the facilitator, between the material and spiritual world. He is a mediator of the powerful energies that make up the being that we are. The Priest calls forth, transmutes and directs energies between unconscious and conscious awareness, affecting our material and spiritual felt sense of being.
Experiencing a man in the fullness of the Priest archetype feels like this: You are with a man who is the master of his spiritual and material realities and knows how to call forth from spiritual storehouses what he needs to transmute energies that would overtake or topple other men not in this fullness. He is thoughtful and reflective, having depth to his presence and intellect. He knows how to detach from (become neutral to) inner and outer storms and how to connect deep inner truths and resources with his experience of life. He is not easily pushed or pulled by faddish influences but brings power and confidence to difficult situations requiring change/shifting with grace and insight.
The man in the fullness of the Priest archetype is transpersonally engaged with others, serving their need for love and acceptance. He provides spiritual grounding and consciousness expansion through his presence and expression of higher principles. He serves the greater good with humility and grace, and not from Egoic desire for prominence or position.
The Warrior archetype is the most represented and exploited archetype in our culture—being elevated and revered by the dominant patriarchal society as: disciplined leader / protector. While these are two of the Warrior’s sterling qualities, it is what comprises his fullness that makes this archetype a divine expression.
Other Warrior qualities are: decisiveness and clarity of thought, selfless service, genuine humility, strength of experiential “knowing,” courage to do what serves the highest good even when it is a personal challenge to do so. He serves to maintain and supporting established systems and forms without rigidity, being exemplary in loyalty to a greater good beyond personal gain.
He is detached (neutral to outcome) while under challenge but warm and compassionate, appreciative and generous. He fights “the good fight” in favor of benefiting the greater good and making life more fulfilling for everyone.
Being in the presence of a man in the fullness of the Warrior archetype feels like this: His strength of stature is evident and unheralded. He contributes without fanfare or needing to direct others, nor does he require attention for his service. He promptly responds to requests of service showing respect to all, especially to those “elder” to him, as well as other men, women, and children, animals and the earth.
He “knows himself” and finds his place in collaborative projects, finding fulfillment and contentment in collaboration without ambition or competition. The man in the fullness of the Warrior makes you feel safe while not being oppressed by his stature or protection. He is decisive and quick to respond while also being in right-relationship with his Ego.
The Lover archetype is perhaps the most misunderstood -and yet familiar. The Lover archetype has been contorted into a selfish and dense expression that lacks breadth or spirit. Yet the Lover is the meeting and combining of sex and spirit, Eros, the universal urge to bond and unite. He comprises the alchemy that infuses spirit into flesh with desire -prompting engagement and erotic expression. While most commonly expressed in romantic and sexual form, the Lover archetype contains a much fuller, divine, expression:
The Lover archetype in its fullness is the primal energy of passion, exquisite engagement with life and ecstatic being -an alive and vivid world view. The domain of the Lover archetype is the primal urges of being: sex, food, well-being, procreation and is manifested in creative adaptation and initiatory experience.
The Lover is the epitome of Sensual. He is intimately interested in all forms of sensory engagement, seeing the world in all its splendor. He is the archetype of play and healthy embodiment without shame. The Lover archetype has a mystical quality that seeks to experience beauty and unity in daily life.
The man experiencing the fullness of the Lover archetype feels like this: He is sensual. He is open and invites you to touch—his mind, body and soul. He is "connected" (integrated) and relishes physical, psychological and spiritual connection with others that highlights integrated expanded awareness and experience. He is immersed in the experience, present in the moment, focused on the quality of the connection and engagement. He appreciates beauty in all its forms and makes each moment a “work of art.” He appreciates the “sensuous” experience of life and resonates deeply on many levels of being. He is sensitive to others needs and moods and is intuitively responsive. He is “in his body” —animating it with vital energy through dance, yoga, or movement. He brings a “joy of life” to any engagement or conversation. He has stopped “performing” and has relaxed into “being” -feeling without pressure to “accomplish” or “gain.“
The Sage archetype is a very important aspect of the Divine Masculine expression for our species. The Sage is closely aligned with the Priest archetype, however the Sage emanates an additional aspect of advocating “right action,” dharma. The Sage is the Ego in service to, and “right-relationship” with, the higher Self’s power.
The Sage observes, tracks, scans, monitors data from all sources (within and without) and channels wisdom leading to “right action.” The Sage is detached from ordinary life flow, watching and engaging energies with wisdom and toned action as needed for synchronistic harmony of life.
Being with a man in the fullness of the Sage archetype feels like this: Unheralded, he quietly and deftly shares with others wise counsel and channeled direction that shifts the receiver into new possibilities and pathways that reflect “right action” for their life path. He quietly supports the wisdom of others, not seeking acclaim or notice for his contribution. He is thoughtful and reflective and rests in his felt connection with spirit and grounded connection with the earth, Gaia, the source of his wisdom and insight.
The Sage’s importance comes to the fore during crisis and intense need. Through the uniquely formed conduit that the Sage embodies, wisdom and “right action” become clear. With the Sage’s contribution we feel confident and assured that our path is the right one for us, we respond to life with a calm easefulness that transitions crisis and change with grace and wisdom.
Where the Priest archetype has a primary focus on the "inward" realm, the Sage archetype has an "outward" focus of service —to manifest channeled wisdom into being.
Gods and Goddesses in Everyone
(taken in part from Jean Shinoda Bolen)
Aphrodite -- Aphrodite was one of the three virgin goddesses. [Only virgin meant, “beholden to no man”. Slightly different from the current mistranslation!]
Aphrodite was the Goddess of Love -- the sexual, romantic, platonic, soul connection, deep friendship, rapport, and empathic understanding type, with a desire to know and be known. Her consciousness was focused, yet receptive, taking in what was attended to, what was affected by. Her style was to be genuinely, momentarily involved in whatever interested her. She attended to another person as if he or she were fascinating, beautiful and profound. She was always present in creative work (including solitary work), and facilitated change and growth. “Whenever Aphrodite consciousness was present, energy was generated: lovers glowed with well-being and heightened energy; conversation sparkled, stimulating thoughts and feelings.”
Aphrodite as mentor was [and as archetype, is] possessed of the power to transform and was never victimized, valued emotional experience with others more than independence from others or permanent bonds, sought to consummate relationships and generate new life, was a vision carrier with the power of positive expectations on the behavior of others, enjoyed love and beauty, sex and sensuality, was demanding, creative, fell in love often and easily, was loaded with sex appeal, and became a tremendous force for change (because of her passionate creativity), had intense relationships, enjoyed the moment, attractive with a natural unselfconscious sensuality, an innocent flirt, not focused on long-range academic goals or career, unemotional work of no interest, preferred variety and intensity, gravitated toward men who were not necessarily good for her or to her (but may have made major changes at mid-life: ready to settle down with a better choice of males), and had a tendency to act on desires without considering the consequences.
Artemis -- another of the virgin goddesses. Artemis was independent, nonrelational, untouched by the heat of emotion or passion, not moved by love, sexuality, or infatuation, one-in-herself, belonging to no man, with an active, focused consciousness, with little apparent need to become vulnerable (to give and receive love and comfort and support growth in others). Artemis’ adaptation mode had been to separate from men and their influence, and join other feminists.
Artemis was [is] the personification of the independent feminine spirit, capable of feeling whole without a man, seeking her own goals on terrain of her own choosing, the ability to concentrate intensely on whatever was important to her and to be undistracted (either by the needs of others or by competition from others), competent, capable of achievement, concerned for victimized and powerless women and young (including her mother), safe childbirth goddess, sister, back-to-nature, capable of at-oneness with herself, “moonlight vision”, active rather than passive, felt strongly about her causes and principles, interests of no or limited commercial value, competitive, individualist, recreational sex advocate, where relationships were secondary, sexual intimacy as another dimension of friendship, “Wonder Woman”, a female bear (protecting girls on the threshold of being women), could be very vengeful, could be merciless, needed to develop compassion and empathy, and “the Far-Distant Artemis”. Mid-life made her more reflective (as the Goddess of the Moon, vice Goddess of the Hunt). While Artemis might rescue women and feminine values from the patriarchy, she could also require women to sacrifice and devalue what had traditionally been considered feminine (receptive, nurturing, related-to-others and willing to make sacrifices for the sake of others). “Outrage at wrongs done, loyalty to others, strength to express a point of view, and a propensity to take action can be very positive characteristics of Artemis."
Athena -- Another of the virgin goddesses. Athena was like Artemis, but in Athena’s case, her adaptation mode was identification with men -- she became like one of them. She became, in fact, the “father’s daughter”, valuing rational thinking and standing for the domination of will and intellect over instinct and nature. She was protector, advisor, patron, and ally of heroic men, ruled by her head rather than her heart, kept her head in the heat of emotional situations, was invulnerable, avoided emotional or sexual entanglements with men (but with whom she worked closely as companion, colleague, or confidante), she thrived in the business/academic/ scientific/military/political areas, knew the “bottom line”, went for the practical and pragmatic, not swayed by “unprofitable” emotions or sentiment, understood the value of having a mentor, expected two-way loyalty, Goddess of health, planed ahead, analytical, uninterested in feelings and people, an affinity for computerese, thought linearly and clearly, attention to detail, organized (er), accepted reality and adapted, attracted to powerful men (“power is the best aphrodisiac”) and usually chose her man (and planed his “capture”), deliberate rather than impulsive, lived in her head, lived for her work, and never a child (she was born an adult). Her Medussa qualities manifest in her “ability to intimidate others and to take away the spontaneity, vitality, and creativity of people who are not like her.” She enjoys the companionship of others, but lacks emotional intensity, erotic attraction, intimacy, passion, or ecstasy; thus spared the deep despair and suffering that may follow bonding with others or needing them.
Hestia -- Another virgin goddess, like Artemis and Athena, but having an adaptation mode of withdrawing from men, becoming anonymous in appearance and alone. Hestia focused, instead, on the inner subjective experience, totally absorbed when she meditated, sought quiet tranquillity, solitude, found keeping house a meaningful activity (kairos time -- participating in time) or even a form of worship, above and out of intrigues and rivalries, avoided being caught up in the passions of the moment, never elated or devastated, wise, detached and connected, centered, quiet, unobtrusive, warm, peaceful, self-sufficient, the original “old soul”, lacked ambition and drive, did not value power or recognition, viewed sex as a nice, warm experience, nonorgasmic, “still waters run deep”, rejected the intellectual and emotional forces that might pull her away from her center.
Hera -- One of the vulnerable goddesses. She was [is] relationship-oriented (dependent upon a significant one), had a need for affiliation, tended to experience powerlessness and responded with rage and jealousy, accepting, diffuse awareness. Fundamentally incomplete without a marriage partner, Hera yearned to be a wife, stately, regal, a Nancy Reagan, beautiful, honored and humiliated, with the capacity to bond, loyal, faithful, enduring, committed, predisposed to displace blame from her mate (on whom she was emotionally dependent) onto others, vindictive (a mental sleight of hand which made her feel powerful rather than rejected), derived emotional security from a high-status male, work was secondary, placed minimal importance on female friends (husband’s primary friend), preferred a man who was emotionally dependent upon her, saw sex as a duty, could oppress other women, could be very destructive, and judgmental of other women (and really hated Aphrodite types!). He style of “limiting herself to being a wife results in limiting her growth and ability to adapt, if death or divorce brings her wife role to an end.” She is only a half of a whole, fulfilling a culturally determined role.
Demeter -- Another vulnerable goddess. Demeter was [is] also relationship-oriented (and like Hera, dependent upon a significant other). She had a need for affiliation, tended to experience powerlessness and responded with depression, accepting, diffuse awareness. She was the epitome of the maternal, an instinct fulfilled through pregnancy or through providing physical, psychological, or spiritual nourishment to others, the provider (food and spiritual sustenance), nurturing, Mother Nature, generous, Lady Bountiful, dependent upon her maternal role (after which her life lost its meaning), solid, dependable, fertile, long-suffering, unconcerned with status, envious or jealous only with respect to children, mixed feelings about feminism and the women's movement, relied on women friends for emotional support (vice her husband), did not choose her mate, just as soon cuddled as made love, huggy, preferred breastfeeding to intercourse, and tried to be indispensable.
Persephone -- Another vulnerable goddess, like Hera and Demeter. She adapted to the experience of powerlessness by responding with depression, acceptance, and only a diffuse awareness. She fulfilled the dual figure of the Maiden (Kore or young girl) and mature Queen who claimed for herself whatever she wanted. On the one hand, she was carefree, compliant, passive, acted upon by others rather than active herself, did not know “who she was” and unaware of her desires and strengths, malleable, innately receptive, adaptable (to meet a man’s wishes), and unaware of her sexual attractiveness, innocent, lacked passion, nonorgasmic, demure, youthful, vital, young in spirit, receptive to change, willowy, conformed to circumstances or stronger personalities, open, flexible, uncertain of getting married (“bartered bride”), introverted or dormant sexuality, and the most indistinct and unthreatening of all the goddesses. Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. Persephone avoided anger, but could become narcissistic, devious, dishonest, and manipulative. Her work was unimportant until she entered the underworld and became Queen -- whereupon she became possessive, creative, spiritual, psychic, artistic, unorthodox, deeply personal. Only when she lacked someone to do things for her or someone to blame could she grow.
Ares -- The rejected son. He was physical, manual rather than mental, and motivated by emotions -- did not use his mind or words. “Ares could be stirred to fight by rage or loyalty, using weapons for a destructive purpose.” Often ridiculed or called names by others, his self-esteem was affected. He was the son of a devalued, angry, impotent mom. Ares is the image of masculinity, physical power, intensity, and immediate action; dancer and warrior, lover, loyal, in touch with his feelings and his body (good for lovemaking), often uncontrolled and irrational, brawler, emotional, protective of his children, assertive, active, embodied, reacted before thinking, capable of licking his wounds and going on, success often depended on luck (which then became a surprise to everyone, including himself), here-and-now, most compatible lover for Aphrodite, exuberant lover, neither planed on marriage nor avoided it, generous father, impulsive, lost out to his siblings, discouraged, and repressed. As a developed lover, he was a man who loved to make love, a man who loved women’s bodies, a man who could spend hours making love, a man who preferred a grownup, sexually liberated woman who enjoyed sex as much as he. In the patriarchy, his fate was often sealed by mid-life.
Apollo -- The favored son. He was emotionally distant and mentally active, into words, negotiations, and commerce, well-traveled, but avoided physical conflict. Apollo never had a wife or consort. He was the patron of medicine, the instigator of Know Thyself, Nothing in Excess style thinking, favored thinking over feeling, distance over closeness, objective assessment over subjective intuition, sought clear definitions, valued order and harmony, and preferred surface over underlying appearances, not a dreamer, wanted to go, accomplish and win, All-American, minimal humility, fair-haired son (but never quite made it to the top), out of touch with feelings, preferred Bach, brother to his siblings, valued prudence, avoided physical danger, unriled by emotions, and preferred being an observer, ideal organization man, lacked passion with respect to women (not a lover) and preferred to control women (particularly psychic women who were his opposite), pursued in order to possess (rather than woo), could be underhanded, narcissistic, arrogant, and unable to be intimate. George Bush (reminds women of their first husbands). Unsuccessful in love, not sexually spontaneous. Mother was probably physically undemonstrative. His life mission was “I will reveal to mankind the exact will of Zeus.” When he rose above his competence, trouble occurred -- he was unprepared to fail or falter. When he defeated a rival, he showed no mercy. A streak of cruelty, exercised within his legal rights. To grow, Apollo needed a streak of Dionysus (a place for him to be honored, as at Delphi for 3 months). “The woman who most needs to be liberated is the woman inside every man.”
Dionysus -- Ambivalent. He was [is] nurtured, mothered and fathered by Zeus. Preferred to be with women and often came to their rescue. Women liked his influence, while men reacted strongly with ambivalent feelings.
Dionysus was close to nature and women, familiar with the mystical realm and feminine world, often an unwelcome and disturbing element, a cause of conflict and madness, “the god of ecstasy and terror, of wildness and the most blessed deliverance”, mystic or murderer, divine child (specialness of person or destiny), actively repressed in men, regularity and constancy were foreign, shaman, psychological androgynous, capable of major emotional shifts precipitated by minimal events, focused on the moment, dancing and lovemaking were especially important, intense, spontaneous, sought full sensual experience (all five senses), tantric yoga advocate, individualistic (not a team player), non-competitive, wildly promiscuous or celibate, erotic nature easily evoked, impersonal in lovemaking, sex experience more important than conquest, anorexic?, needed to leave behind the divine child image and become the hero. Rescued his mother from Hades.
In Greek mythology Dionysus was the only god who rescued and restored (instead of dominating or raping) women, who represent diminished earlier goddesses, and whose people and worship had been conquered. “By ‘old boy’ standards, the Dionysus man is likely to be either too feminine, too mystic, too counter-culture, too threatening, or too attractive and too fascinating.”
Hermes -- A favored son. Emotionally distant and mentally active, well-traveled, into words, negotiations, and commerce, but avoided physical conflict. No wife or consort. Quick, mentally agile, wordsmith, crossed boundaries and shifted levels with ease, lucky, friendly, bachelor, united opposites, inventive, communicator of meaning, guide of souls, ability to think and act quickly (in order to achieve or deceive), rescuer of the child (saving what is innocent and vulnerable, or divine and sacred, by providing meaning for an otherwise terrible experience), problem solver (but seldom worried about right and wrong), messenger, trickster, wily, traveler between levels (integrated the realms of spirit, human life and soul), unplanned eloquence, spontaneous, acted on intuition, precocious, questioned the conventional rules of success, inventive generalist, charming, personal and experiential sexually, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, variety and newness may have overridden passion, the eternal adolescent living in the realm of possibilities, tended to rationalize. Hermes introduced fluidity, motion, new beginnings -- and the confusion that almost inevitably precedes new beginnings. A major way for Hermes to grow is through falling in love with a woman who thus becomes his Aphrodite. She would become the challenge, someone he yearned for, and could not have immediately, who moved him, made him vulnerable and more sensual.
Hephaestus -- A rejected son. He was [is] physical, manual rather than mental, motivated by emotions, did not use his mind or words. “Rejected and betrayed, Hephaestus put his feelings into the objects he made, using tools for a creative purpose.” Often ridiculed or called names by others, yielding low self-esteem. One who identified himself exclusively with his work, was at a total loss without it. Craftsman, inventor, artisan, loner, unvalued and rejected by the culture, earthy, passionate, creative, intense sexual and erotic fire, deeply introverted but would suddenly and unexpectedly erupt, crippled craftsman (or wounded artist, writer, healer, inventor, manufacturer) whose creativity was inseparable from his or her emotional wounds, sensitive to impending conflict, peacemaker, hard physical work saved him from depression, strong feelings not articulated, instinctual in his creativity, ill at ease, inner directed, bottled up his feelings, monogamous and faithful and expected his partner to reciprocate, here-and-now intensity, lacked a basic trust due to maternal rejection and neglect, his memory was not facts but events colored by emotions, could be emotionally crippled, constricted in expression, and alienated from others, might have become the buffoon or clown (hey fes' tus), TV couch potato, the strong silent man stereotype. Son of devalued, angry, impotent mom. Given a genuine admiration for women with intelligence, assertiveness, or beauty, he was drawn to women with these qualities and then would often give them power over him. Hephaestus didn't strike back with his fists; instead, he devised elaborate plans to humiliate his persecutors.
Zeus -- As chief of the gods, Zeus was required to lose touch with the earth in order to gain an overview; to see the forest but not the trees. The sky was also consciousness, “a perspective that exalts control, reason, and will.” He was King, “a man’s home is his castle”, husband, father (children as extensions of himself), expected his wife to run the household and parenting (while he was minimally involved), protective, generous, and trusting toward many of his sons and daughters (although his generosity was motivated by his desire to control them and was tied to his expectations of them), sought authority and power, risk taker, entrepreneur, focused and single minded (the eagle), alliance maker, philanderer, ambitious, pragmatist (not an idealist), accepted the world as it was and wanted his piece of it, never an intellectual nor introspective, didn’t waste time on other’s feelings or dwelling on the past, “Power is an aphrodisiac”, everyone was expendable to him, but there is no profit in making enemies, the “alpha male” who had his pick of females, women were a “perk”, not a good lover, not passionate and didn’t bother to try to please women.
Poseidon -- Brother to Zeus, but second rated. His symbols were the oceans and horses, both symbols of the unconscious, the sea’s powerful moods: turbulent, indiscriminate, tremendous destructive force, flood-bringer and earth-shaker, “the undersea is the realm of repressed personal feelings and instincts, and the emotional realm we humans share collectively.” The patriarchal culture allowed fathers as lord and master of their household to unleash fury there. They were trained, in a world ruled by Zeus, to devaluate and submerge their feelings and instincts.
Poseidon’s temperament was his most characteristic feature. Bad-tempered, violent, vindictive, destructive, and dangerous, not content with his lot, lost out to others, plotted unsuccessfully against them, philanderer, rapist, fiercely loyal to his children, grudge holder, a placid sea which might erupt in fury, not a good loser, strived to be important (if not in the world, then in his home), sexually potent, indiscriminate and promiscuous, made no distinctions between young and old women, “the wild man at the bottom of the pool”, felt deeply and intensely, spontaneous, directly in touch with his feelings, physically demonstrative, didn’t plan (“It wasn’t raining when Noah built his Ark.”), academic achievement had little meaning, patriarchal attitude and emotionally powerful, capacity for loyalty and emotional depth, insensitive (he actually raped Demeter while she searched for Persephone), and vengeful (“an eye for an eye”). Poseidon wanted to achieve positions with status and power that would be the envy of others, only to find that the power was personally meaningless. Poseidon was Zeus’ shadow -- the emotional aspect of the father archetype that was repressed or buried, undeveloped and inaccessible in a man whose conscious identification was with Zeus.
Hades -- God of the Underworld. He was [is] grim, inexorable, sternly just, irrevocable in his decrees; he was not evil in himself, not an enemy of mankind, nor a tempter of evil. His realm was the unconscious. He was the god of riches, the cornucopia or horn of plenty, the unseen presence. Human recluse, unaware of what is happening in the world, without a persona, invisible, without position or wealth, preferred the subjectivity and richness of his interior world, capable of “doing nothing”, a source of creativity, good counselor, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Zeus and Hades), introverted, weak will or simply didn’t get-into-an-uproar, autistic, secretive, “different”, but with an inner orientation which conveyed strength and thus did not make him a victim, cut off from the realm of emotions, emotionally illiterate, dreamer (“Fantasies and active imagination are voluntary descents to be entered and left at will.”). Both Zeus and Poseidon forced women sexually repeatedly, yet it was Hades who got the bad reputation; the others got away with it.