This past weekend, I attended a workshop in Dayton, Ohio given by Kathy Cleveland Bull, entitled “Seasons of a Woman’s Life: Feminine Archetypes to Guide the Journey.” I am including some of the things I learned in the workshop below. Mainly, what each Goddess Archetype stands for and who might be some modern or known versions of these women? Which one do you feel most represents you?
Artemis – Goddess of the Hunt. This is the first one I will start with as this is the one which I feel best represents who I am now. She is an independent woman who stands on her own. She needs no man (hence the title of my new book “You Don’t Need a Prince to Lead a Charming Life.”) While a few of these women have been married, they made a name for themselves on their own without them. Eleanor came into herself as an Artemis type heroine.
Other Artemis women might be: Catherine the Great, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Bachelet, Emma Watson, Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster.
Modern day Athenas: Margaret Thatcher, Condolezza Rice, Hilary Clinton, Madeline Albright. All women in the military.
Modern Day Aphrodites might be: A Yenta (in the Jewish culture), Matchmaking services, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edna St. Vincent Milay.
Demeter – The Mother Goddess. The good mothers that you can think of, including women who were a mother to you, who were concerned about your upbringing. This is a mother who takes her job seriously and treasures being a mother. A woman who guides her children with love and values.
Modern day Demeters: Sister Teresa, Princess Diana, Mata Amritanandamayi (aka Amma), Jacqueline Kennedy.
Persephone – Young Goddess or the Daughter of Demeter. This is the young woman who is perpetually a girl, a victim, struggling to understand life and figure out the world at large. Persephone eventually survives her ordeal and grows up to become a queen.
Modern Day Princesses: Malia and Sasha Obama, Lea Michelle, Taylor Swift, but also survivors of abuse, all young women in general who will grow up to become these other Goddesses or will stay Persephone (i.e., Anna Nicole Smith).
Modern Day sages: High Priestesses, Shirley MacClaine, Lynne V. Andrews, Female Shamans, the female elders of churches, temples, etc…
Modern day Heras – Michelle Obama, Nancy Reagan, the Duchess of Cambridge, Melinda Gates.
Hestia – Goddess of the Hearth and Home. She is also the Virgin Goddess. Hestia would be more apt to be the cook or the housekeeper, such as Mrs. Pattmore on Downton Abbey (I don’t believe the character was ever married though, perhaps because she was old she had Mrs. as a title). Also, Hestia was never worshipped publicly, which makes me think of someone who is the person way behind the big person.
Modern Day Hestias – personal assistants, cooks, housecleaners, for example.
Which one do you identify with? Who can you think of to add to the list of these different examples? What about the women you grew up with. Which Goddess Archetype do they fit with? It is interesting to focus on who you are as a woman and who you would like to be as a woman. As I began to listen to the descriptions of these archetypes, I realized that I had been Persephone my whole life, even though I identified with Artemis. However, Artemis was the Goddess that I looked up to and tried to understand but kept holding myself back from bringing into being. Then one day, during menopause, writing this book I mentioned above I transcended into the Artemis archetype as I finally began to understand and allow myself to become the Queen. I joked with the speaker, Kathy Cleveland Bull that this book was my thesis which transformed me into Artemis which I had been all my life but due to society and life circumstance and my own stubbornness, kept at bay.
It is important to identify with your own Goddess Archetype as we look at ourselves in this modern day world. Whichever Goddess you feel most comfortable with, learn more about her. Buy a painting or statue, or make one of your own and create an altar for her in your house, on your computer, on your wall and focus your intentions on this image which is a metaphorical likeness of you. It will help to strengthen you as a person.