What is your Goddess Archetypes?
First of all, you may ask what an archetype is. If you are a fan of Carl Jung, the Swiss scholar, psychologist and psychiatrist, you may be familiar with the terms such as archetype or collective unconscious. In my first book Goddess with Many Faces, I wrote about 6 Greek Goddess Archetypes: Athena, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone, Hera and Aphrodite. They are among the most well-known Greek goddesses in our popular culture, many of us are familiar with their images or myths. They each have a very distinctive archetypal influence.
I want to revisit these goddesses as I now have more to share with you and as I am writing my second book called Being a Goddess. I am going to do this is as a multiple part series. Today I want to talk specifically about our career motivation and inner calling for women based on these goddess archetypes.
How does your archetype affect your career?
So here is the context, archetypes are our inner patterns, they reflect our unconscious choices, inclination, interests and personalities. If we understand our own archetypal influences, we can understand how we related to others and why we are, the way we are. By discovering our archetypes, it helps us to better understand ourselves. You’ll notice use the plural form to describe our active archetypes. This is because although we have one dominant archetype at any given time in our life, we can also see we have traces of other archetypes in us too. Also, as we grow and mature, the most active archetype in us may change. And both, nature and nurture play a part in this, it is not just we are born with one dominant archetype, and that’s it.
In any case, you will know what I mean when we go through a brief overview of these archetypes in this podcast. I will talk about the typical career choices and tendencies for each goddess archetype. Also, what qualities of a job or career will motivate each archetype and inspire a more fulfilling career.
I use Goddess archetypes because I found their myths really resonate with our women experiences. Also, many of us are familiar with their stories, and the message can really hit home quickly. There are many archetypes out there, but I only focus on these six here.
Athena: Goddess of Wisdom
Athena Archetype: The Strategist
In mythologies, Athena’s father is Zeus, the chief God of Olympus, her mother is Metis, the goddess of wisdom also. Zeus values Athena highly and untrusted her with his symbols of power, in which no other gods or goddesses had that privilege. Athena appears in many epic hero stories alongside Odysseus or Hercules. She provided them with wise counsel and caution them with danger. I don’t have time to go through the myths here, but they are fascinating to read. Once again, in you love myths, you can find more details and stories in my book Goddess with Many Faces, of course!
Athena was known for her intellect, wisdom, winning strategies and practical solutions. As an archetype, Athena is patient, she sees the whole picture, she is focused and efficient. Athena values rational thinking, will and knowledge over instinct and nature. This pattern is followed by logical women, who are ruled by their heads rather than their hearts. She thrives in the city and patriarchy culture and organisations. She is the “father’s daughter”, an Athens’s father is always very proud of her achievement. Growing up, she also rarely gives anyone any trouble as she merely concentrates on her own studies or pursues.
There are some Athena’s who are shaped by circumstances but in nature, for instance, absent parents, challenging childhood or a lot of young siblings. As she is highly independent and a strong leader.
When Athena represents only one of several archetypes active in a woman rather than a single dominant pattern, this archetype can be a great ally of other goddesses.
Career Choices/Tendencies for Athena:
This archetype thrives in the business, academic, scientific, military or political arenas. She is also a goddess of crafts who create both useful, practical and aesthetically products.
Artemis: Goddess of Hunt and Moon
Artemis Archetype: The Protector and Activist
Artemis is a protector for women, nature, animals, noble causes and fairness. She can also be a midwife for creative and intellectual projects. We see her being depicted in classical paintings running in the forest with a short tunic with arrow and bow in her hands. She is a great hunter, she never misses. She is also highly competitive and very focused. She thrives in nature, and she needs that connection regularly. If you are an Artemis, you will love to go for long bush walks or sit under the stars. As compare to Athena who rules the city, the realm of Artemis is definitely in the wild nature.
The Artemis archetype gives women the innate ability to concentrate intensely on whatever is necessary to her and to be undistracted from her course, either by the needs of others or competition from others. That’s why she is an activist, she is definitely a do-er, in fact, nothing can stop her, not politics, not people’s opinions.
A mature Artemis often finds herself become drawn to spiritual and mystic matters and attracted to moon energy.
An Artemis woman who has entered a helping profession or the legal field usually holds an ideal in that profession. If she is in business, she must believe in the value or vision of her product or service. If she is in a creative field, most likely she is expressing a personal view.
Career Choices/Tendencies for Artemis:
Activist or campaign manager in the environment, women, animals, poverty or social issues. Outdoor related professions, helping / rescue/healing professions, legal, political professions, sports-related field.
Demeter: Goddess of Grain
Demeter Archetype: The Nurturer and Mother
Demeter represents the maternal archetype. She represents maternal instinct fulfilled through pregnancy or through providing physical, psychological, or spiritual nourishment to others. Women who move to the country to grow their own food, bake bread, make jam, and share their produce with others are expressing the Mother Nature aspect of Demeter.
The mother archetype motivates women to nurture others, to be generous and giving, and to find satisfaction as caretakers and providers. Thus the nurturing aspect of the Demeter archetype can be expressed through the helping professions, teaching, nursing, counselling, in any job in which helping others is part of the role. Also, in any relationship in which she can be a nurturing person. This archetype is not restricted to being a biological mother, it applies to anyone who has this motherly and nurturing nature.
Career Choices/Tendencies for Demeter:
Caring, Health & Wellness professions, work with children or patients, teaching & education, nutrition, food-related professions, home entertaining or decorating professions.
Persephone: The Maiden Goddess and the Queen of Underworld
Persephone Archetype: The Mystic
Persephone is the maiden goddess, which she seems eternally youthful. As a young Persephone, she tends to be introverted, sensitive in nature. She is often sheltered or protected her mother or family. She represents the young girl who does not know “who she is” and unaware of her desires or strengths. However, a Persephone tends to go through a dramatic event or circumstances that changes her whole world. She undergoes a rapid transformation to find her way and often. As a result, she becomes a mature goddess that can guide others in their own journey of one may call the dark night of the soul.
In mythologies, she was kidnapped by Hades, the kind of the underworld. She eventually reunited with her mother and became the Queen of the underworld. She was then ruling beside Hade, and she guided lost souls or newly deceased into the underworld.
The upper world represents our conscious world. The underworld can represent deeper layers of the psyche, it is a place where memories and feelings have been “buried”, the personal unconscious. The ascend of Persephone symbolises those feelings, memories or inspirations are finally being brought to the surface through significant life experience and growth.
Career Choices/Tendencies for Persephone:
Writer, artist, healer, psychologist, health & wellness professions, musician, work in research, yoga teacher, dancer, psychic readers, intuitive work, counsellor, therapist.
Hera: Goddess of Marriage and the Queen of Olympus
Hera Archetype: The Queen and Wife
Hera stands out in a crowd, she is confident and conscious. She is queenly and thrives within a partnership. She was an Olympian goddess before she married Zeus as his first wife. He courted her for 300 hundred years without success. Only when he shaped-shifted as shivering little bird, he got the sympathy of her. He took the opportunity to her hand in marriage.
The Hera archetype provides the capacity to bond, to be loyal and faithful, to endure and go through difficulties with a partner. When Hera is a motivating force, a woman’s commitment is not conditional. Once married, she means to stay so, “for better or worse.”
Hera thrives in marriage and partnership if Hera is a natural archetype in a woman’s psyche, and she is not married, or in a partnership, there is always an empty feeling.
However, if for whatever reasons it didn’t last, it can be very challenging for her. However, it is also an opportunity for her to grow and shine in her own right. Hera often finds a new career, passion in her life or become more independently established.
Career Choices/Tendencies for Hera:
It depends on other archetypal influences, there are no clear tendencies per se for a Hera. However, she thrives in work that matches her feminine appeal and queenly charm. Public relations, marketing, branding, design work, real estate, customers facing professions will be a good fit for her.
Aphrodite: The Goddess of Love and Beauty
Aphrodite Archetype: The alchemist and transformer
This goddess needs little introduction, we see many images or depiction of her in our modern culture as a symbol of beauty and love. However, as an archetype, she is far greater than those two aspects.
Aphrodite’s magnetism comes from her ability to be totally present with you. She is genuinely interested in you as a person or your work. She has this ability to immerse intensely into the experience no matter it is a love affair or creative project. When Aphrodite influences a relationship, her effect is not limited to romantic or sexual. She also represents platonic love, soul connection, deep friendship, rapport, and empathic understanding as all are expressions of love.
We experience the alchemy of Aphrodite when we feel drawn toward another person and fall in love. We feel it when we experience the power of transformation and creativity; we appreciate the capacity we have to love and then make room for more. She is the spark and the catalyst of a transcendental experience. Whenever growth is generated, a vision supported, potentials developed, a spark of creativity encouraged, these are all part of the Aphrodite influence. But of course, with all that mesmerising power, it comes with the responsibility of boundaries, clarity and righteous intend.
Career Choices/Tendencies for Aphrodite:
Artist, creatives, actress, filmmakers, writer, designer (fashion or graphic), art director, coach, counsellor, therapist, healer, jewellery maker, dancer, perfumer, singer, songwriter.
Changes in Career Choices, Motivation and Interests
These career choices and tendencies are just some examples that illustrate the natural alignment between the nature of the work and the archetype. This episode is all about learning more about your tendencies, strength and shadow aspects. By understanding our archetypes, it helps to identify what type of work, the nature of the profession or career trajectory is most suitable for us going forward. It gives us permission to accept who we are, what we like to pursue as well as allow us to explore what sparks our interest and motivation. Without, work can not as fulfilling as it can be. You need to enjoy what you do too.
As mention before, we change as we grow and as become more mature, our archetypal influences will shift accordingly.
This may be something that can happen to you if you are a strong Artemis, working as a successful national campaign manager for years. Now, you want to take some time off, go to retreats, maybe create a shelter to look after rescue animal locally or start a family. Demeter may become more active in your psyche, and you may find it hard to adjust or to accept.
One distinction to make here is about our perspective. You may see what you do as a job, or a career or a calling. I love the definition and examples I heard from the book Grit – The power of passion and perseverance by Angela Duckworth You may say your job is to lay bricks, or your career is in building churches, or your calling is to create the house for God. It takes time to discover, develop and deepen our pursue. Realising our inner calling tend to take time and maturity.
As you grow, you may want to combine your skills and achievements that you have gained by being an Athena to expand into nurturing others or coaching them to succeed. This may be an indication of other archetypes becoming more active in her, such as Demeter or Aphrodite. No matter what is the trigger, we are always on a journey of growth, as so stay open and embrace it!
If you are curious to find out more about your goddess archetypes, I have a quiz for you to do so that you can get your own profile among these 6 Greek goddess archetypes. You can access the Goddess Archetypes online quiz here.
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