Several folks have commented during my sevens this month that they enjoy learning goddess stories. I’m considering writing a book, not based in the angry feminist tradition where I was initiated, but in learning and appreciating the stories from other times and places where people believed in and worshiped the divine feminine. If you would like to read such a book, please leave a comment.
Early work on goddesses as archetypes was published by Jean Shinola Bolen in Goddesses in Everywoman: first published in 1984.
Bolen describes the goddesses as three virgins, three vulnerables, and one alchemical. Of course, each of us (even men) have these archetypes as part of our psyche, at least if you accept the concept developed by Jungian psychology. These archetypes are named after Greek goddesses, since those are the ones we are most familiar with. What I’d like to do is to weave in the stories of goddesses from other cultures and their often very different ideas of what is feminine and what is divine.
Since Bolen developed this concept, many other have studied and written about this. These descriptions come from Anita Revel of igoddess.com
Warrior queens have unshakeable trust in their abilities to lead. Without hesitation they are prepared to stand up for their rights and the rights of others who rely on them for security. They forge ahead despite (or because of) obstacles. They carve their own path and lead by example. They stay balanced in times or duress, and connected to their traditions and sources of inspiration whether they be at war or in peace. They are in tune with their physical body and respond to threatening situations rationally. And, they are deeply connected with Mother Earth and humanity.
The magical muse is able to accept change gracefully. She openly and readily releases any need to control external forces. She can step into the flow of life whilst maintaining her sense of purpose. She has a magnetic aura and her body confidence is alluring and sensual. As such, she loves words like succulent, curvaceous, juicy and divine. In the aspect of abundance, the magical muse naturally attracts that which is exactly right for her. She asks for what she deserves and gives herself permission to receive it. She relishes beauty, embodies grace and attracts both attributes with ease.
A daring diva is able to present her stunning and glorious Self to the world whether the world likes it or not! She is absolutely real whether she is performing on stage in the lead role, supporting from back stage or simply content to be relaxing in the audience. She rises above superficiality and allows her authenticity to be her guiding force in decision-making and her actions. She is intrinsically connected to her intuitive Self and she is readily able to marshal her personal power for her highest good. She knows that anxiety and ‘butterflies’ that sit in her belly is simply her inner tigress preparing her for success.
The primordial mother embodies love, compassion and trust. All these attributes are a two-way street for her – as happily as she gives these gifts to others, she receives them back unto herself. She never, ever allows herself to accept second best because she knows that in order to shower love upon others she must be ready to accept it in equal measure. The primordial mother revels in her self-respect, self-love and self-appreciation. Her inner child is a reflection of her perfection. Her heart is open and willing to trust. She thinks love; she is love.
The natural healer is able to choose her words wisely to facilitate understanding. Her shared insights are precise, astute and relevant. She is able to seek and accept help, ask for abundance for her highest good, and make her point without aggression. She understands that her expressions manifest in exactly the way she describes. She aids effective communication between the genders, the young and the old, the experienced and the novice. When she speaks, she is heard. Just as easily, when others speak, she listens. She is often clairaudient in that she senses or hears (and heeds) Angels and other spiritual beings.
The Sacred Sage is readily and easily able to move on from petty issues. She opens her vision to see the Big Picture, and that is what is important. She lives in a state of clarity because she is able to release negative elements that no longer serve her: self-judgement, self-criticism, self-scorn. She regularly unclutters her life, both physically and mentally, and enjoys the liberation that comes with being in a state of ‘simplicity’. She has regular bursts of epiphany, relishes symbolism is grateful for the many miracles that present themselves to her every day.
The high priestess is able to see herself as a minute organism in the ways of the world, both in the physical and non-physical planes, in the present and the future. She is a cosmic traveller, time expander and a sacred vessel for divine expression. She believes in disconnecting from the world every now and then in order to travel to a spaceless, timeless place of all-knowing. Intuitively and effortlessly, wisdom, understanding and spiritual knowledge are her gifts. She knows her calling and honours her destiny. Everyday matters don’t concern her as much as the divine wellbeing of all living creatures. She is the gateway to the answers that lie in the great beyond. Prayer and ritual put her on a spiritual high that transcends earthly concerns.