6 Greek Goddess Archetypes That Every Women Can Channel
Every person has many sides to them, and many have repeating characteristics that resonate with others. Famous Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung called them different archetypes and explored each as a tool to recognize and tap into when needed. Two psychotherapists who studied his work, Roger and Jennifer Barker Woolger, took the knowledge of archetypes and paired it with Greek mythology. What they created is a six Greek Goddess archetype system that every woman can use to understand herself and other women more (something men can do as well) and use the knowledge of archetypes to tap into her own power.
The book describing this in detail is called “Goddess Within: A Guide to the Eternal Myths That Shape Women’s Lives.”
The myths behind them are ancient, but the archetypal power is very applicable for the modern world.
What Is An Archetype?
The term archetype was created by Jung to describe universal symbols that can be found in myths and dreams representing human potential. Each archetype when tapped into brings a different power and liberation of a human subconscious mind.
“The archetype points out that there are thought-formations of a parallel or identical nature distributed all over the world…and furthermore that they can be found in individuals who have never heard of such parallels,” wrote Jung in one of his letters.
“The contents of the collective unconscious are archetypes. Primordial images that reflect basic patterns that are common to us all, and which have existed universally since the dawn of time.”
Jungian archetypes are The Ruler, The Creator, The Sage, The Innocent, The Explorer, The Rebel, The Hero, The Wizard, The Jester, The Regular Person, The Lover, and The Caregiver.
Some of these overlap with the six Greek Goddess archetypes described by the Woolgers.
6 Greek Goddesses Archetypes
Hera: The Wife ~ Symbolizes power
Hera in Greek mythology was the wife to Zeus, the Sky God, so her title was grand; The Goddess of Marriage and the Queen of the Gods. Her character was intense. If she was happy in marriage or in the company of others, she would be super cordial; but if her husband was betraying her trust as Zeus often was, she could be spiteful and vicious. Regardless of her good or bad sides, her best qualities are determination and strength. When on her best, she brings power and beauty together to rule loyally and fairly.
This archetype is the one to call upon for good partnerships and marriages; when wanting to create a sacred, committed union with another. She is best to be avoided during breakups or divorces, although she can help you leave unhealthy relationships. She is also a good archetype for women in power, and those challenging authority that has gone wrong.
Historica Hera archetype: Queen Victoria in the 19th century.
Athena: The Career Woman ~ Symbolizes Civilization
Her titles and power words are The Careerist, The Competitor, The Rebel; education, city culture, intellect, and logic.
Athena, the War Goddess, is also famed for her wisdom, artistry, and technical skills. She had an unusual “birth.” Her father Zeus, afraid of having another child that would try to overthrow his power, swallowed her mother Metis, so she would not give birth. However, Athena instead came out from Zeus’s head. She was already a full adult and in complete war gear. She is remarkably intelligent and fierce, and not afraid to take on her enemies.
Athena is a fierce warrior women, who does not need men, and is extremely independent. The only partner she’d ever choose is one who could keep up with her high ambitions. She lives for a higher purpose and nothing can stop her.
Athena’s archetype can be used when pursuing a successful career or having a higher mission for a community or humanity at large.
Psychologically, Athena types are often executives and care about being a winner. They do not compete with men per se, instead they believe they are smarter, and better leaders than men. You will often see Athena-type women wearing expensive suits and brand name clothing. They marry for power, not as much an emotional connection. Often times they are not interested in having or even like children, instead they focus on business and politics.
Historical Athena figure is Joan of Arc.
Aphrodite: The Lover ~ Symbolizes Desire or Eros
Her titles and power words are The Patroness, The Lover; sexuality, body as a sacred temple, sensuality, romance, beauty, Eros (Greek word for passionate love), passion, and the arts.
The Goddess of Love Aphrodite was born from the sea foam. She is celebrated for her beauty. Ironically she was forced to marry the Blacksmith God, who was not as pretty. They were a Greek version of the “Beauty and the Beast.” She, however, found other love for herself in the arms of many other men. She is wanted by many as her love, or mere attention breaks down emotional walls leading to vulnerability and openness.
Aphrodite’s energy is transformational, as she can turn anything into love. She values true connections between people and is willing to explore them while also staying independent.
Aphrodite’s archetype can help those looking for love, who want to live life through the heart, or those interested in sex as a sacred, spiritual act, but playful at the same time. She can help those looking to deepen intimacy in relationships, and aid women in creative projects. She can heal relationships and love related trauma.
Historical Aphrodite figure is Egyptian Cleopatra.
Persephone: The Seer ~ Symbolizes the underworld or the unconscious
Her titles and power words are The Medium, The Seer; intuition, clairvoyance, transformation, endings and death, dreamworld, inner guide, shadow work, healing, and psychic powers.
Greek Goddess of the Underworld Persephone is a daughter of Zeus and Demeter. While still young, she was kidnapped by Hades, the Greek Death God. When Persephone ate pomegranate seeds in the underworld, it tied her forever to that place. A deal was made for her to stay with Hades for the six cold months.
Due to her connection to the underworld, Persephone is all about the world of spirits, the occult, mysticism, and death. She views everything in life as spiritual. Stuck in the darkness of the underworld, she got connected to the collective unconscious, and is a great guide for shadow work or fighting your inner demons. Persephone’s mission is to stop being the victim and begin the journey to self empowerment.
Psychologically, Persephone women often come from an upbringing of overly strict or overbearing parents. As girls or young women, they may have difficulty making their own decisions or saying no to others. They want to please. They are innocent, pretty, and a bit naive. At the same time, their mind is incredible. They posses amazing imagination, daydream a lot, create art and write poetry, and also are fascinated with the mystical. Persephone-type women can be anything they want to be because they have many interests and talents. The goal is figuring out who they are and what they want.
Persephone is all about your old self dying and a new one being reborn, sometimes again and again. She is a phoenix rising from the ashes. Once matured, Persephone grows wise and strong after being through a lot. She can help others do the same. She lets go of all her fears, learns to stand up for herself, and starts to live in the true flow of life. Her interest in esoteric studies and magic also grows with age.
Historic Persephone figure is Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a famous Swiss-American psychiatrist who pioneered studies on death and dying.
Artemis: The Naturalist ~ Symbolizes Nature
Her titles and power words are The Shamaness, The Huntress; adventures, wilderness, nature and the animal world.
The Greek Goddess of the Hunt Artemis was another one of Zeus’s unplanned children. Wanting to hide her true connection to him, Zeus turned the mother Leto into a quail, and she laid Artemis in an egg. This could be why Artemis is so fascinated with nature, the forest, and the animal kingdom. As a young girl, she ran away into the wild and started hunting with a band of women who gave vows of chastity. Even though she hunted, she was deeply caring of animals.
Artemis is an archetype for activists (especially for animal rights), rebels, animal lovers, and environmentalists.
Psychologically, Artemis is an independent woman who does not need a man. She goes and gets what she wants from life without questioning her desires. To keep up with her ambition, she is athletically built, she does not wear girly clothes that may impact or prevent her mobility, and she will only pick a man who will run alongside her. She needs her freedom, and she needs goals, and someone to have goals with. Her romantic partnership are based on friendship and playful competition, not emotions.
She has a kind heart and loves helping other women, animals, and the planet.
Modern day Artemis is Jane Goodall.
Demeter: The Mother ~ Symbolizes Ancestral Wisdom
Her titles and power words are The Mother, The Daughter, The Earth Mother, The Grandmother; childbearing, fertility, generational wisdom, and nurture.
The Greek Agriculture Goddess Demeter is an introverted, kind soul who loves to nurture, especially children. She emits motherly love towards anyone who needs it, at any age; she is a natural caretaker. Her symbolism is in fertility, in humanity, nature and The Earth.
Psychologically, Demeter women are all about children or those they can take care of. If they choose a man, it is mainly to give her a family. She is very nurturing and may attract those who were deprived of motherly love. Generally she needs to learn to receive from others as well, not just give her energy away freely, even though she loves to save others. She could also learn to take care of herself and put herself first every once in a while. Demeter women make good doctors and psychologists, and any profession that allows them to care for others.
Historic Persephone figure is Mother Teresa.
Did you find the archetype that fits who you are or women you know? Let us know in the comments below.