Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Hestia archetype: a deeper look

From Goddess Power

Possesses an introverted temperament and is focused on her inner, spiritual world. Hestia is an archetype of inner centeredness. She was known to be mild mannered, upstanding, charitable, as well as a protector. She is the least known of the Olympian goddesses primarily because she never takes part in any disputes or wars. She minds her own business amidst a family of goddesses and gods who engage in ‘high drama’. Similarly to Athena and Artemis she resists the amorous advances of men, therefore, placing her in the ‘virgin’ goddess category. Her energy is impersonal and detached. Her awareness is focused. Different than Persephone who seeks to please others, Hestia’s focus is for herself. She is grounded and her life has meaning. Unlike Athena & Artemis, Hestia did not venture out to explore the world or wilderness; she remained inside, contained within the hearth. The goddess, Hestia did not take a partner. A Hestia-type woman, today, may prefer to live a more solitary life or live within a community of like-minded, spiritual ‘sisters.'

The ancient Olympian Goddesses - a deeper look

Goddess of the hearth--she symbolized the household fire--the flame burning in the hearth. The hearth in each home was the central place around which family members gathered. When a family member left their home to begin a new family, a parcel of fire was taken from the family home to begin the new home fire--symbolizing the continuity of family through the perpetual flame. Each town center also had its communal hearth where the public fire was maintained. The fire of the hestia, meaning hearth, was also used in sacrifices, and, therefore, taking on a sacred character to its citizens. Hestia is an archetype of inner centeredness/inner wisdom

Psychologically, Hestia belongs to the category of ‘virgin’ goddess. She is independent, autonomous and, focused on her inner spiritual world, she is not seeking a relationship with a man to complete her. Her energy is impersonal and detached. Her awareness is focused.

    * To the Romans she was known as Vesta
    * Hestia was a fire divinity
    * Hestia was the first born of the second generation of Olympian goddesses and gods - her parents were Cronos (god of Earth & Time) and Rhea
    * Hestia was swallowed by her father, Cronos, at birth.
    * Hestia’s province was that of protecting the home, family and also the city
    * She was believed to dwell in the inner part of every house and to preside over all sacrifices - her presence made both home and temple hearths holy
    * A perpetually burning flame were features of her sanctuary - Hestia’s presence was felt in the living flame at the center of the home, temple and city
    * Temples of Hestia were characterized by their circular form, embracing the notion of centricity in the earth as well as the universe - her symbol is the Circle
    * Hestia was nearly raped by a lesser known divinity at a festival--he was unsuccessful
    * Hestia’s dignity and her rights as the eldest were recognized; however, she took little advantage of her position and played a very minor role in Olympian drama
    * Both the gods Poseidon and Apollo requested her hand in marriage - she turned them down
    * Hestia turned to her brother, Zeus, in order to put an end to the unwanted male attention toward her--she vowed to remain a virgin for ever--Zeus accepted her vow
    * Hestia was not represented in human form neither by sculptors nor painters
    * Instead of marriage, Hestia was offered a seat in the midst of the celestial dwelling-place and receives the richest part of sacrifices
    * Hestia is visualized as a stately yet not intimidating figure; she is pretty yet not beautiful.
    * She is kindly yet distant - she possesses the ability to love impartially
    * Her demeanor is modest and gentle
    * She is self-sufficient and self-directed - inner focused

Challenges facing Hestia

          o The majority of modern-day women are missing sufficient Hestia archetype within them. As an archetype of inner centeredness/wisdom, Hestia archetype does not exhibit reactionary behavior. This archetype is not interested in being out in the world--rather, self-contained within herself
          o Hestia archetype flourishes in a spiritual community - particularly meditative
          o Hestia shares her archetype with vestal virgins and nuns who give up their personal identity/their names and strive toward self-less-ness -- a life dedicated to service
          o Possible difficulties for a Hestia-type woman in today’s world - presenting herself as a ‘non-entity’, in other words--she has no desire to stand out, and not as a result of her own family or cultural conditioning, rather, by her own conscious choice.
          o Hestia type lacks assertiveness - she will not speak up - she is out of place in this modern, fast-paced, competitive world
          o Hestia type needs to develop an effective ‘persona’ - a social adaptation aiding her in interacting and in getting along in the world when circumstances require
          o Hestia type, due to her introverted nature, tends to be undemonstrative with her feelings toward others even though she may care for them
          o Hestia’s caring is impersonal, detached - her challenge may be to let those close to her know that she cares
          o Hestia types appear to lack outer ambition - she is a home-body and tends to the hearth/the needs of the home

Hestia’s dark side

          o Hestia appears to be the only goddess without an apparent dark side - she avoided the drama of her ‘family’ - refused to get ‘in-the-middle’ of their issues, remains calm, grounded, centered, and maintains focus on her own personal meaning
          o One way of thinking of Hestia’s dark side-- if we think, metaphorically-- her resisting the advances made on her by both Apollo (god of Sun = intellect, logical reasoning) and Poseidon (god of Sea = the unconscious, emotion) - If Hestia is seduced by these aspects:
                + seduced by the need for logical reasoning, she will feel compelled to dismiss her keen intuition because she is unable to ‘logically explain herself’.
                + Seduced by the unconscious, she runs the risk of becoming overwhelmed with psychic influences and/or emotional situations that keep her off balance.

 Hestia’s wound

          o In modern societies, particularly in the United States, modern woman has forfeited, for a variety of reasons, the prerogative of tending home and hearth--maintaining the home fire.
          o Hestia’s wound is more about the fact that she has little place to exist in this society with the current social values on consumerism--‘having more’, ‘gotta-have-it’ - which requires increased work hours to enable increased spending, therefore, creating increasingly frantic lifestyle as a result
          o Modern women who are less assertive and less intellectual often feel, inwardly, second-rate in our fast-paced, competitive society. A woman exhibiting a quiet presence, following her own internal (rather than externally exhibited) spirituality is, at best, misunderstood and viewed “quirky”, or a “loner”
          o Hestia experiences her wound when she is measured and judged by others’ outer-focused, tangible standards of success, accomplishment, or marital status.

Hestia’s gifts

          o Hestia type woman is able to enjoy her solitude - not just ‘here’ and ‘there’ whenever she can ‘grab a moment’ - but, truly enjoying her own being, consistently - she is not interested in ‘keeping busy’ - she does not enjoy ‘background noise’ to keep her company
          o Hestia exhibited an inner strength which rendered Aphrodite unsuccessful in seducing or persuading any love/eros desire in Hestia - Hestia has strength to resist all that takes her away from her own center
          o Hestia offers the gift of ritual-making, a powerful, affirming psychological method of honoring

Hestia’s personality

          o As a child & adolescent:
                + Hestia child tends to be quiet, compliant; however, on her own she enjoys self-directed play, exhibiting the beginnings of her own self-sufficiency
                + Hestia child may simply withdraw to her room in the midst of difficulty in her family life
                + She may feel isolated and alienated in her family because she feels so different from them - and, she is different
                + She may be labeled as ‘shy’ by others, however, this is an example of other people misunderstanding her true nature
                + As a teen she tends to steer clear of the social dramas of her peers. She may be perceived as a non-participant on the periphery of school life and activities, or, she may have one or two friends who share her more introverted, sensitive nature


          o As an adult woman:
                + In our modern culture, Hestia archetype is not predominant for the majority of women. Most women have other goddess archetypes predominant, yet some women may have hints of Hestia in their make-up. Other women may wish to cultivate Hestia qualities within themselves
                + Hestia type woman has a quiet, inner presence. She is detached in her relation to others, and she is unattached to any need for possessions, outcomes, status or power. She is free from the bind to external circumstances as her attachment to an identity is unimportant
                + Hestia types seek quiet tranquility
                + Hestia type is drawn to incorporating ritual, to meditation and to other reflective spiritual practices into her daily life
                + Hestia type focuses on her own inner experience/feelings - she is inwardly connected
                + Hestia type is keenly in touch with and connected to her personal values - with this knowledge, she lives her life by choosing that which is personally meaningful to her. She does not lose her center by pleasing others in ways that gratify ego/seeking acceptance
                + Hestia, as keeper of the hearth, goes about her tasks in a calm, centered, focused manner - whether she is sweeping or doing laundry, she is fully engaged, focusing on her task at hand--like a meditation--and not at all concerned about the clock or what she will be doing next. She experiences a timeless calm in the midst of her immediate tasks
                + Hestia types are ‘background’ women--she doesn’t stand out; she appears anonymous. However, her presence is felt by others creating an atmosphere of tranquil order
                + Meaning is a key point in a Hestia woman’s life - what she does, who she is with reflect the meaning she holds of value
                + Hestia type is not drawn into gossip and she isn’t interested in intellectual discourse
                + Hestia type is a good listener, she shows compassion in her detached manner
                + Because Hestia type appears to lack the driving outer ambition of her Athena and Artemis sisters, and since she doesn’t value power as her Hera sister, she may more than likely have a traditional, uninspiring job. She may feel unclear regarding her career direction.
                + Sexuality is not of key importance in a primarily Hestia type woman; however, she enjoys the experience when it occurs
                + A Hestia type who is married may appear to be in a traditional wife role, however, a truly Hestia woman maintains her inner autonomy and does not require a man in order to feel emotionally fulfilled
                + A woman in whom Hestia archetype predominates is often a single woman who lives differently from the conventions of society. Her family or married friends who subscribe to “normal” lives may ‘pity’ her aloneness. However, it is often the unconscious fear of alone-ness--loneliness within the individual that creates the presumption that the Hestia woman is unhappy or piteable.
                + A Hestia woman has cultivated a rich inner life and, therefore, has faced the challenge of human aloneness.
                + A Hestia woman has cultivated positive aspects of the ‘Recluse’--an independent and creative woman, she craves solitude which offers her the sacred space in which she makes contact with her deepest self--the place where she meets spirit.

The Hecate archetype: a deeper look

From Goddess Gift

Hecate, Greek Goddess of The Crossroads

Hecate, Greek goddess of the three paths, guardian of the household, protector of everything newly born, and the goddess of witchcraft -- once a widely revered and influential goddess,  the reputation of Hecate has been tarnished over the centuries. In current times, she is usually depicted as a "hag" or old witch stirring the cauldron.

But nothing could be further from the image of Hecate's original glory.

A beautiful and powerful goddess in her own right, the Greek goddess Hecate was the only one of the ancient Titans who Zeus allowed to retain their authority once the Olympians seized control. Zeus shared with Hecate, and only her, the awesome power of giving humanity anything she wished (or withholding it if she pleased).

Usually classified as a "moon goddess",  her kingdoms were actually three-fold . . . the earth, sea, and sky. Having the power to create or withhold storms undoubtedly played a role in making her the goddess who was the protector of shepherds and sailors.

A lover of solitude, the Greek goddess Hecate was, like her cousin Artemis, a "virgin" goddess, unwilling to sacrifice her independent nature for the sake of marriage. Walking the roads at night or visiting cemeteries during the dark phase of the moon, the goddess Hecate was described as shining or luminous.

In other legends she is invisible, perhaps only glimpsed as a light, a "will-o-the-wisp".  Perhaps it was this luminous quality that marked Hecate as a "moon goddess", for she seemed quite at home on the earth.

Some scholars believe it is also was because her mother was Asteria (the Titan goddess of the Shining Light or "Star") or perhaps it was because she sensibly always carried a torch on her journeys.

Like Artemis, Hecate was usually depicted with her sacred dogs, although Hecate and even her animals, were sometimes said to have three heads and that they could see in all directions. Although usually depicted as a beautiful woman having three human heads, some images are fearsome indeed (one with a snake's head, one with a horse's, and the third a boar's head).

This farsightedness, the ability to see in several directions at once (even the past, present, and future) featured largely in her most famous myth, the abduction of Persephone.  For it was the goddess Hecate who "saw" and told the frantic Demeter what had become of her daughter.

The goddess Hecate continued to play an important role in the life of Persephone, becoming her confidante when she was in the Underworld. Hades, thankful for their friendship, was more than hospitable, honoring Hecate as a prominent and permanent guest in the spirit world. Surely this had the effect of enhancing her reputation as a spirit of black magic with the power to conjure up dreams, prophecies, and phantoms.

Greek Goddesses: Hecate

Hecate's ability to see into the Underworld, the "otherworld" of the sleeping and the dead, made her comfortable and tolerant in the company of those most would shun out of fear or misunderstanding.

In her role as 'Queen of the Night', sometimes traveling with a following of  "ghosts" and other social outcasts, she was both honored and feared as the protectress of the oppressed and of those who lived "on the edge".  In Rome many of the priests in her sacred groves were former slaves who had been released to work in her service.

The goddess Hecate was often accompanied on her travels by an owl, a symbol of wisdom. Not really known as a goddess of wisdom, per se, Hecate is nevertheless recognized for a special type of knowledge and is considered to be the goddess of trivia.

Hecate's farsightedness and attention to detail, combined with her extraordinary interest in that which most of us discount as irrelevant or arcane, gave her tremendous powers.

She knew what the rest of us did not.

Not surprisingly, the people thought it best to give the goddess Hecate (and any friends that might be accompanying her) a lot of honor and a fairly wide berth. When darkness descended they wisely retired to the fireside for supper, but put the leftovers outside as an offering to Hecate and her hounds.

That the homeless and destitute were often the actual beneficiaries hardly mattered...after all, they were under Hecate's protection.

In a similar fashion, food was often left at the crossroads to honor Hecate, especially at junctions where three roads converged --what we often call a "Y-intersection".

Frequently a pole was erected at the intersection and three masks would be hung from it to pay homage to Hecate and to request her guidance in helping to choose the right direction.

Three-faced masks also adorned the entrances of many homes, honoring the goddess Hecate who could, of course, wield her influence over "the spirits that traveled the earth" to keep them  from entering the household. 

It is hardly surprising that a woman who needed to make a trip alone at night would say a brief prayer to Hecate to seek her protection. The goddess Hecate, like her cousin Artemis, was known as a protector of women, especially during childbirth.

Not only was Hecate called upon to ease the pains and progress of a woman's labor, but especially to protect and restore the health and growth of a child.

Similarly, Hecate played a role that, in contemporary times, we would describe as "hospice nurse", helping the elderly make a smooth and painless passage into the next life and staying with them, if need be, in the otherworld to help prepare them for their eventual return to the earth in their next life.

Familiar with the process of death and dying as well as that of new birth and new life, the goddess Hecate was wise in all of earth's mysteries. 

The Greek goddess Hecate reminds us of the importance of change, helping us to release the past, especially those things that are hindering our growth,  and to accept change and transitions. She sometimes asks us to let go of what is familiar, safe, and secure and to travel to the scary places of the soul.

New beginnings, whether spiritual or mundane, aren't always easy. But Hecate is there to support and show you the way.

She loans her farsightedness for you to see what lies deeply forgotten or even hidden, and helps you make a choice and find your path. Oft times she shines her torch to guide you while you are in dreams or meditation.

Hecate teaches us to be just and to be tolerant of those who are different or less fortunate, yet she is hardly a "bleeding heart", for Hecate dispenses justice "blindly" and equally.

Whether the Greek goddess Hecate visits us in waking hours or only while we sleep, she can lead us to see things differently (ourselves included) and help us find greater understanding of our selves and others.

Although her name may mean "The Distant One", Hecate is always close at hand in times of need, helping us to release the old, familiar ways and find our way through new beginnings.

Hecate in myth

From Wikipedia

Regarding the nature of her cult, it has been remarked, "she is more at home on the fringes than in the center of Greek polytheism. Intrinsically ambivalent and polymorphous, she straddles conventional boundaries and eludes definition." She has been associated with childbirth, nurturing the young, gates and walls, doorways, crossroads, magic, lunar lore, torches and dogs.

In Ptolemaic Alexandria and elsewhere during the Hellenistic period, she appears as a three-faced goddess associated with magic, witchcraft, and curses. Today she is claimed as a goddess of witches and in the context of Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism. Some neo-pagans refer to her as a "crone goddess", though this characterization appears to conflict with her frequent characterization as a virgin in late antiquity.

Her name come from the Greek word for 'will' and is the feminine equivalent of Hakatos, and obscure epithet of Apollo. This has been translated as "she who operates from afar", "she who removes or drives off", "the far reaching one" or "the far-darter". Her name is also said to come from the Egyptian goddess of childbirth, Heqet.

Hecate was, in some legends, an invisible figure, appearing only as a glimpse of light, possibly a connection to her status as a “moon goddess”.  Hecate has been depicted as a gigantic woman, holding a torch and a sword. Snakes make up her feet and hair. Thunder, shrieks, yells, and the barking of dogs are heard when she passes.

In Egyptian-inspired Greek esoteric writings connected with Hermes Trismegistus she is described as having three heads: one dog, one serpent, and one horse. In other representations her animal heads include those of a cow and a boar. Hecate's triplicity is elsewhere expressed in a more Hellenic fashion in the vast frieze of the great Pergamon Altar, now in Berlin, wherein she is shown with three bodies, taking part in the battle with the Titans. Hecate has been characterized as a pre-Olympian chthonic goddess. She appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in Hesiod's Theogony, where she is promoted strongly as a great goddess:
Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea.

According to Hesiod, she held sway over many things:

Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. So, then, albeit her mother's only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honors.
Hesiod emphasizes that Hecate was an only child, the daughter of Perses and Asteria, a star-goddess who was the sister of Leto (the mother of Apollo Artemis, with whom she's often conflated). Grandmother of the three cousins was Phoebe the ancient Titaness who personified the moon.

Other than in the Theogony, the Greek sources do not offer a consistent story of her parentage, or of her relations in the Greek pantheon: sometimes Hecate is related as a Titaness, and a mighty helper and protector of humans. Her continued presence was explained by asserting that, because she was the only Titan who aided Zeus in the battle of gods and Titans, she was not banished into the underworld realms after their defeat by the Olympians.

One surviving group of stories suggests how Hecate might have come to be incorporated into the Greek pantheon without affecting the privileged position of Artemis. Here, Hecate is a mortal priestess, often associated with Iphigeneia. She scorns and insults Artemis, who in retribution, eventually brings about the her suicide. Artemis then adorns the dead body with jewelry and commands the spirit to rise and become her Hecate, who subsequently performs a role similar to Nemesis as an avenging spirit, but solely for injured women.

Hecate also came to be associated with ghosts, infernal spirits, the dead and sorcery. Like the totems of Hermes—herms placed at borders as a ward against danger—images of Hecate (like Artemis and Diana, often referred to as a "liminal" goddess) were also placed at the gates of cities, and eventually domestic doorways. Over time, the association with keeping out evil spirits could have led to the belief that if offended, Hecate could also allow the evil spirits in. According to one view, this accounts for invocations to Hecate as the supreme governess of the borders between the normal world and the spirit world, and hence as one with mastery over spirits of the dead. Whatever the reasons, Hecate's power certainly came to be closely associated with sorcery. One interesting passage exists suggesting that the word "jinx" might have originated in a cult object associated with Hecate. "The Byzantine polymath Michael Psellus [...] speaks of a bullroarer, consisting of a golden sphere, decorated throughout with symbols and whirled on an oxhide thong. He adds that such an instrument is called a iunx (hence "jinx"), but as for the significance says only that it is ineffable and that the ritual is sacred to Hecate."

Variations in interpretations of Hecate's role or roles can be traced in 5th-century Athens. In two fragments of Aeschylus she appears as a great goddess. In Sophocles and Euripides she is characterized as the mistress of witchcraft and the Keres.

In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Hecate is called the "tender-hearted", a euphemism perhaps intended to emphasize her concern with the disappearance of Persephone, when she addressed Demeter with sweet words at a time when the goddess was distressed. She later became Persephone's minister and close companion in the Underworld. But Hecate was never fully incorporated among the Olympian deities.

As a virgin goddess, she remained unmarried and had no regular consort, though some traditions named her as the mother of Scylla.

Hecate's epithets

Apotropaia (that turns away/protects)
Chthonia (of the earth/underworld)
Enodia (on the way)
Klêidouchos (holding the keys)
Kourotrophos (nurse of children)
Phosphoros (bringing or giving light)
Propolos (who serves/attends)
Propulaia/Propylaia (before the gate)
Soteira (savior)
Trimorphe (three-formed)
Triodia/Trioditis (who frequents crossroads)

The Hades archetype: an in-depth look

Exceprts from "Gods in Everyman" Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.

Hades as the Ploughton- The Archetype of The Rich One

A different type of reclusive Hades may have sampled the outer world, and know that he
prefers the subjectivity and richness of his interior world - the Plouton or “riches” aspect
of Hades. In our extraverted culture, which emphasizes productivity, people are not
encouraged to spend time alone “doing nothing”.  Thus the introverted recluse is judged
negatively, or considered peculiar for spending so much time alone.

Hades the reclusive Ploughton is, however, a “missing” part in many people, who do not
value opportunities to be introverted in they way that this archetype can be.  Introverts
can live an interior life in touch with their own subjective reactions to outer experience. 
A type of introversion (introverted sensation, in Jung’s psychological topology) may be
experienced as inner dialogues, visions, or bodily sensations.

To have Hades as part of ones psychological nature can be very enriching. Hades the
recluse is a source of creativity that can be expressed through the arts, often in visual
arts. However, without access to Zeus’ view of objective reality, and Poseidon’s
emotional responsiveness, which are needed to balance and make sense of Hades’
subjective perceptions, the person runs a danger of emotional isolation and withdrawal
into a world of one’s own.

Hades the Man

The theme for Hades is how to adapt: Can he stay true to himself and also fit into the
outer world? His innate subjective predispotion is not encouraged; on the contrary, he is
measured against a personality standard that is the very opposite of who he is. He usually
grows up in a culture that is foreign to him, that requires him to grow beyond the
confines of this archetype if he is to find a place in it.

Early Years

The introverted child such as Hades does not usually make a strong impression. The
invisibility for which Hades was noted sets in early. Because he does not have either a
strong will or a get-into-an-uproar personality like his brothers, as far as others are
concerned, he often seems to react unexpectedly, especially to new people and new
situations. How something or someone appears to others isn’t what he is reacting to; how
it subjectively affects him is responsible for how he reacts.

Even if he does nothing out of the ordinary he prefers to hold back and take in
experience rather than reach out for it. So he will appear shy as a little child and serious
and withdrawn as he gets older.

There is something autistic about the Hades personality that shows early. When he is
distressed, the sensations he perceives or the impressions he experiences may be purely
subjective, so that others don’t fathom what is going on

So the Hades boy may thus feel unwelcome in the world as he is and find that his interior
world is, in contrast, a refuge. The Hades boy enjoys his own company, anyway and wants
to spend time by himself - or perhaps with an imaginary friends. From nursery school
onward he is intruded on by others needs for him to be more social, and he probably
continues to thwart the nurturing needs that his mother may have for him to be
dependant on and responsive to her.

Adolescence and Early Adulthood

A Hades adolescent follows a very different drummer and runs into trouble when he tries
to conform to the beat of adolescent conformity. He doesn’t know how others just seem
to know what the fads are, doesn’t get caught in having the “right” clothes and would
just as soon miss most of the “right” parties even if he were invited. If he has developed
an extraverted side to himself that is “good enough” to let him get by, and has the inner
security to be himself, he knows by now that he is a distinct individual and has tested the
conversational waters enough to conclude that he prefers his own company to most
people.  By now he may have one or two friends, which is as many as he wants.

For him to get into college or into a career requires development of other archetypes.
Education promotes Apollo’s rational thinking and objective perceptions and teaches
writing and speaking, which are Hermes qualities. Both gods help him to be more
extraverted.  He runs danger of doing this too well and tries to be what others expect of
him- a risk of entering a work world in which he can be competent, but that has no depth
of meaning for him.


The key that can connect inner and outer worlds for him is to have an interest that grows
out of his inner experiences develop into an occupation. This provides him an in-the-
world identity and means making a living through doing something that has meaning for

This archetype is unempowering, in that ambition, communication and persona are all
lacking. Unless he develops other archetypes, he could “drop by the wayside” in his high
school years and anytime thereafter. He may not be hired for anything other than
unskilled work at marginal pay. Whatever he does do, he often does quite seriously. He
often stays at a repetitious job that offers no challenge because his “real” life is the
interior one.

If a Hades man has a well-developed Hermes (the archetypal communicator- who can
move between worlds and carry information between them- and the conductor of souls to
the underworld) then he may bring the depth level to which he has aces up to the world.
These two archetypes function together in film making, depth psychology, and other
fields. Here he may find that he has special gifts to do deeply meaningful work that he
loves to do for its own sake.


Yet like Dante, who saw Beatrice once and was then inspired by his inner relationship with
her to write The Divine Comedy, Hades men can be deeply affected by their subjective
inner experience of a woman whom they hardly know. A Hades man is also capable of
having a deep soulmate connection with a woman, who can share the riches of the inner

The reclusive and secretive Hades does not know how to enjoy the camaraderie of other
men. He feels apart and makes his way in a world pretty much as a loner. Other men let
him be. Something about him keeps him from being picked on - or included. Being one of
the boys doesn’t matter to him, which gives them no shunning power, and something bout
his inner orientation conveys strength. He is “different” but not in a way that invited
being a victim. The few friends that he might have in his life will have to enter his realm,
perhaps drawn into discussion about his perception.

If he finds a woman to love him, he will get married. Like Zeus and Poseidon, Hades men
also want to establish households, and have stability and order. Marriage is crucial in
determining the course of his life. Without marriage, he will stay a loner, and an outsider,
maybe a recluse. With a wife and children he becomes part of a family and community
through them. His wife mediates between her introverted husband, who is often
inaccessible to others, and other people. Often she interprets to his children as well.

If he has the support of a family a community and works, then most likely he is the stable,
patriarchal head of a family. If he developed an intellectual life, he may be an
academician, absorbed in an interest that allows for a rich interior life. If he has
developed an expressive ability in the arts or literature, his work is highly subjective.

If he has developed and lived out several other archetypes through his significant,
enduring relationships and work, he may have entered both the emotional realm and the
realm of the mind and will as well as the interior realm. Without Hades as a primary or
major archetype, a man may not naturally develop a familiarity with this realm. Many men
do not, especially those who find the outer–world tasks of the first half of life easy. Thus
the Hades man who has had to adapt to outer life is at midlife more often fully integrated
in these three spheres than most men.

Psychological Difficulties: The Invisible Man

Often, like the god who hardly ever left his realm, and had a cap of invisibility when he
did, a Hades man is unseen because he avoids people or, if he’s present, he doesn’t show
himself. Because, he’s not interested in whatever is going on in the world anyway, so he’s
not up on sports, current fads, political news, the chit-chat of a cocktail party and the
backyard barbeque. And his reactions are subjective, anyway, which strikes others as
peculiar, so he’s learned to be quiet and invisible rather than inappropriate.

The Loner Personality: A Schizoid Person

The Hades man has a predisposition to be alone. If  circumstance and people confirm his
tendency to mistrust others and feel inadequate in a competitive world, he will withdraw
into himself. He keeps to himself what he perceives and how he reacts. Others let him be
reclusive, since his nonverbal and often verbal message is “Leave me alone.” As a loner,
he can live in a closed-off inner world, leading a schizoid existence based on a stable but
constricted psychological disorder

Inferiority complex

If we use Jung’s descriptions of psychological types and accept his observations that the
“inferior” function is usually devalued and the opposite of the most conscious, utilized
“superior” function, Hades represents the inferior function in the Western, patriarchal
industrial world. What is valued are hard facts or objective reality and logical thinking;
what is rewarded is the ability to get to the top, to successfully compete for status,
power, affluence. So Hades is likely to suffer from feelings of inferiority, low self-
esteem, and lack of confidence, because he is not up to “the standard” of what a man
should be like.

Inferior performance in this culture is also a source of low self-esteem. It is hard to
compete in a foreign culture, and this situation is equivalent. The dominant extraverted,
competitive culture is foreign to the Hades man. Yet it is possible to compensate, to
develop a  second language, adapt well to a different culture, and even excel. Still, he
often has an underlying feeling of inferiority, a continual monitoring of himself, and a
feeling of somehow being a fake when success comes.

Difficulties For Others

The difficulty Hades creates for others by being himself is that he lives in his interior
realm, and the rest of the world usually lives elsewhere. The direction of his psychic
energy or libido is inward. And his significant others want some of that energy to flow
outward into their relationship or into the world. At the very least, they want Hades to
communicate about what is going on down there. Loving someone with a reclusive nature
is especially hard for extraverts, who may take their exclusion personally and think that
they have done something wrong when an introverted partner or child withdraws. That
very tension and the tendency for opposites to attract can draw Hades out- or can make
the other person more introverted or lonely.

Ways to Grow

A Hades man will be an isolated person unless he develops other aspects of himself. He
needs to develop a persona to be approachable and visible, and to find the means to
express his inner experience.

A persona is the face we wear into the world. The Latin word person meant “mask”, and
referred to the masks that were worn on stage, which made the role the actor was to play
immediately recognizable. A persona is how we present ourselves, the initial impression
we make. A Hades man who lives more in his inner world than in the outer world must
consciously craft himself an appropriate persona, putting some thought into how he
presents himself. Since the small talk that allows strangers to be at ease with each other
does not come naturally to him, he’ll need to put some thought into what he says and
how he wants to come across. A well-functioning persona - like the clothes we wear -
needs to be appropriate to the situation, as well as reflect the person. Hades needs to
make an effort to be both visible and approachable, in other words.

Finding Persephone

A Hades man will do well to find a receptive woman who can mediate for him with the
world. A Hades man will gradually open up and share his perceptions and richness of his
inner life, but he must first be accessible. “Persephone” does this for him, either as a real
woman, or as his anima - which Jung describes as the unconscious feminine aspect of a
man through which he expresses gentleness, emotionality, and sentiment. This
expressiveness softens his more forbidding aspects and makes him more approachable.

Activating Hermes

Hermes was the only god that freely entered and left Hades’ realm. As Messenger god and
psychopomp (which means guide of souls), Hermes delivered messages, guided souls to
Hades, and came for Persephone. He was noted for the suddenness of his appearance-
which is how an intuitive insight arrives on the scene- as well as for the quickness of his
mind and his facility with words. When Hades and Hermes are present together, Hermes is
the means through which the images or shades in the underworld of Hades are understood
and then communicated to others.  This is what C.G. Jung did when he described the
archetypes of the collective unconscious.  If through reading Jung and other analytical
(Jungian) psychologists or poets such as T.S. Eliot, a Hades man finds the vocabulary to
convey the riches of his inner experience, then his own Hermes has been activated.

Drawing on other gods - Going out into the world.

The man who is predominantly and innately an introverted Hades usually has ample
opportunity to develop other archetypes, which is the way he grows. All the years of
compulsory education draw on Apollo qualities. Living in linear time, meeting schedules,
thinking scientifically, rationally explaining cause and effect help develop this archetype.
Putting ideas into words is also a part of school that develops Hermes. And if he is loved
or loves anyone, then the realm of emotions also becomes a place in which he grows.

A Hades man who recognizes himself in these pages and realizes that his family was so
dysfunctional that he withdrew too much into himself, can grow psychologically beyond
Hades as an adult. It begins with a decision and a commitment to do so. Then it takes
courage, to venture out of the world of his own in which he found safety and isolation.

If he realizes that he is spending too much time in his inner world, he might structure his
time to focus more on the outer world; he could take courses that will teach him what he
feels he does not know, or take up a skill and concentrate on it.

The Athena archetype: a deeper look

From Goddess Power

Extroverted and independent temperament--represents the goddess of wisdom and civilization--concerned with career, motivated by the desire for achievement, acquiring knowledge, she possesses a keen intellect, concerned with education, culture, social issues and politics. Athena is father’s daughter. She enters the male arena in the outer world. Athena is also known as one of the three Amazon women. (The myth of the Amazon women spoke of a society of fierce warrior women who lived entirely without men.) The story of her birth: she emerged, fully-grown, out of the Head of Zeus.

She is an androgynous ‘virgin’ goddess who develops a relationship with her own inner masculine part rather than partaking in marriage to an outer male. Her awareness is focused. She relates to men as intellectual companion with whom she shares ambitions, career goals, and ideals. If a primarily Athenian-type woman chooses partnership, she seeks one who possesses sufficient self-confidence and who will appreciate her ambition and autonomy.

The ancient Olympian Goddesses - a deeper look

Athena represents the feminine archetype for logical thinking -- as a woman, not as a man. Her virgin goddess energy can be deeply transformed or sublimated in highly creative ways. By nature the virgin goddesses are more self-directed, self-motivated, focused rather than diffuse in their thinking. She is goal oriented. As a result, virgin goddess types tend toward independence and autonomy more so than their partnership-oriented vulnerable goddess sisters.

    * To the Romans she was known as Minerva
    * Athena’s father was the Greek god, Zeus, who gave birth to her from his head. She sprang forth with a forceful shout and brandishing her sharp spear.
    * The Greek myth states Athena’s true mother was Metis, a Titan, belonging to the pre-Olympian race of deities of the matriarchal period suppressed by the later patriarchy. She was swallowed by Zeus--a metaphor for the matriarchal suppression.
    * Greek image of Athena - maiden with a sword and armor - tall and imposing - associated with violence and action
    * Athena’s true nature, however, demonstrated active concern for the well-being of the community/humanity. She was an activist against suffering and injustice.
    * The goddess Athena rejects sexuality, marriage and motherhood.
    * Athena punishes any man who spies on her naked body, yet with some compassion.
    * Seated beside Zeus, only Athena knows where the lightning bolts are hidden and how to use them.
    * Athena’s archetype is essentially youthful, idealistic committed to a higher purpose.

Challenges facing Athena

          o Finding her relationship to authority--will she dutifully uphold and promote the authoritarian, hierarchical fatherworld as status quo OR emancipating herself, she will she slay the father (symbolically) to become fully herself--overthrowing the father principle--paternalism--corporations, colonialism, oppression, suppression of the feminine principle and carry the torch for the well-being of humanity.
          o Athena has been split off from the mother function as a result of Zeus’s swallowing Athena’s mother (matrilineal society)-- Zeus is psychically at war with the mother principle; therefore, Athena is most out of touch with her need for warm, physical nurturing, attention to her instinctual and bodily needs, and unconditional love.
          o Athena’s strong identification with the fatherworld renders her prone to inherit the patriarchal fear of Dark Mother powers--not recognizing these powers as aspects of her own psychic make-up.

Athena’s dark side

Medusa - intimidating, critical, judgmental toward weakness in others, her air of authority and inapproachability keep others at an emotional distance.

Athena’s wound

Her heart -- out of touch with the two goddesses of love: Demeter, the maternal love, and Aphrodite, sensual love - Her masculine image concealing her vulnerable, underdeveloped inner feminine self--She is emotionally hypersensitive

Athena’s gift

Today, is to empower women’s contribute to the political, intellectual and creative life of our cities, therefore, elevating the integrity and quality of our civilization by bringing forth the qualities of the feminine which have long been suppressed.

Athena’s personality

          o As a child & adolescent:
                + Her nose is in a book.
                + Curious, seeking information, wants to know how things work
                + Daddy’s girl - he may cater to her astute intellect & her urge to achieve
                + She may enjoy educational toys like the microscope - science fairs.
                + She may sew her clothing or enjoy other crafts.
                + She tends to lack close female friends - may prefer platonic male companions.

          o As an adult woman:
                + Motivated by her own priorities rather than the needs of others.
                + Tends to live in her head - not very connected with her body/sensuality.
                + Focused thinking, practical, pragmatic, linear thinker - does things in moderation.
                + Not at all the flirtatious type.
                + A devoted and dependable friend.
                + Achievement oriented, she feels comfortable in fields dominated by men.
                + Career-oriented, ambitious, supportive (goes along with) the male-dominated status quo - manages herself well in the midst of male action/power.
                + Impersonal, rational - well in control of her feelings/emotions - she is able to work closely with men without falling into emotional or erotic entanglements.
                + Her libido is directed into mental, extraverted activities, striving for intellectual fulfillment (achievement is gratifying), creative leadership & decision-making
                + A woman with Athena archetype strong in her nature would be most fulfilled in a meaningful career in which she felt she was making a societal contribution; otherwise, she will tend to feel a sense of emptiness, lack of direction, lack of meaning.
                + As a mother, if she chooses this path, Athena would be less keen on the baby/ child years. She will enjoy an older child’s ability to speak intelligently so that she could engage with her/him in an adult manner regarding learning, goals, projects, and accomplishments.

The Aphrodite archetype: a deeper look

From Goddess Power

Aphrodite possesses an extroverted temperament and focuses on relationship/love--she represents goddess of love (boundless eros) --her primary concerns/interests are mature, adult relationships, romance, sexuality, beauty and the arts. One account of Aphrodite’s birth states that she rose up from the foam on the ocean as a naked and fully developed beautiful woman; and she rode on a scallop shell.

Aphrodite’s origins, in fact, pre-date the ancient Greeks. She is said to be older than Time. An even more ancient deity exhibiting more aspects than love and beauty, she can also be recognized as Astarte or Ishtar. Her origins were Babylonian/Sumerian. Her domain embraced all of nature: vegetable, animal as well as human. Among her powers were associated with fertility and growth/harvesting of crops, war, descent to the underworld, birth/life/love/death and fate. She was also worshiped as sacred ‘prostitute’.

Aphrodite represents the uniting of feminine and masculine energies--through sexual union.

This goddess includes autonomy similar to ‘virgin’ goddesses yet also includes aspects of the ‘vulnerable’ goddess such as relationship-oriented. Her consciousness is both focused--directed, goal-oriented and diffuse--receptive, taking in the relationship between things. Aphrodite does not suffer, however, as did the ‘vulnerable’ goddesses. Although she is known for her numerous sexual liaisons, she is not bound by any man. However, unlike Athena, Artemis and Hestia--‘virgin’ goddesses--Aphrodite did give birth to children. Unlike the ‘vulnerable’ goddesses--Demeter, Persephone and Hera--Aphrodite was never a victim of a man’s unwanted passion for her; the desires were mutual. Unlike her ‘virgin’ sisters, she values emotional experiences with others more than she desires more solitary goals. Although an independent figure in her own right, this independence does not preclude emotional involvement with others. On the other hand, she is not attracted to permanent relational bonds like her ‘vulnerable’ sisters.

Aphrodite type woman admires potently masculine men and their capacity for success and combativeness. Her arena of interaction is in the boudoir or the salon. She feels comfortable with multiple relationships or extramarital affairs. She is attracted to creative men and engages with them as their inspirer. She is said to be attracted to the Son/Lover, as her romantic interests were a generation younger than she--those of the sons of her godly peers.

The ancient Olympian Goddesses - a deeper look

Aphrodite represents the feminine archetype of relationship and love. She is adored for her beauty, her gentle manner and her amorous adventures. She has been experienced by men as fascinatingly exotic, a seductress. Her influence is of civilizing ‘man’kind through her gifts of art, culture, and in particular, her disarming manner of relating. Aphrodite’s divine gift to us is Eros, her divine son, also known as Cupid (Amor). Aphrodite’s gift of loving relationship has the power to melt defenses, leaving her lover disarmed and open--allowing the magic of eros to flow between them.

Mythological history:Most scholars recognize Aphrodite’s ancient ancestors from the Sumerian goddess, Ishtar, circa 3000-1800 B.C.E. much earlier than the Greek myths. In Greek myth, Aphrodite’s father is the ancient Sky God, Uranus, who came before the Greek gods of Olympus. At this period, priestesses served her in temples of love by making love with men as ritual offering. Eros and procreation were considered holy. Any child born to the priestesses in these encounters would belong to the temple of the goddess.

    * Greek mythology accounts that Aphrodite was born from the severed genitals of the Sky Father--an inescapable connection to male sexuality. It was Cronos (Roman god, Saturn--‘Time’) who severed and threw his father’s genitals into the ocean. Although born as a result of a seemingly violent act, white foam spread as sperm and mixing with the sea -- from which Aphrodite emerged--as a fully-grown goddess standing on a scallop shell.
    * Aphrodite’s choices of men for lovers were the second-generation Olympian gods, in other words, the sons of her peers
    * Aphrodite, although she did have one husband, also engaged in numerous love affairs. She had a long-term passionate affair with Ares, God of War, with whom she bore several children. She also had other lovers--gods as well as mortals-- with some of whom she bore children.
    * Aphrodite’s transformative power--Love - transforming the ordinary, the mundane into something beautiful and special through Love.
    * Aphrodite was known to become angry and cast revenge when mortals refused to honor the Goddess of Love or her sacred rites.
    * She appears to have no mother. She is considered older than all the Olympian gods/goddesses.

Today, our culture has lost touch with the mosaic qualities brought by Aphrodite. Obsessed merely with her physical charms, as a culture, the feminine image activates only one aspect this goddess--we are fixated on romance, sexual pleasure, erotic images, pornography, fashion/glamour - as is clearly witnessed in daily life. We have lost touch with Aphrodite’s sacred dimensions.

Psychologically, Aphrodite belongs to the category of ‘virgin’ goddess in that she does not suffer at the hand of any man. Furthermore, although she is relationship-oriented, she possesses the quality of autonomy unlike her ‘vulnerable’ goddess sisters. Her consciousness is both focused and diffuse.

    * To the Romans Aphrodite was known as Venus.
    * Aphrodite woman exhibits an ease of expressing warmth, charm, natural ability to relate with others due to her friendly extraverted interest in people.
    * Aphrodite woman is more interested in relationship, love, and loving than marriage or mothering - less interested in settling down because she sees life as a relational adventure.
    * She can distract a man from his task and direction as a result of her seductive enchantment.
    * Aphrodite woman is attracted to numerous, serial love affairs during her life.
    * She is civilized, sensual - attracted to cocktail parties, clean linen (rather than camping).
    * Social life and social activities/connections are very important to Aphrodite woman.
    * She is comfortable with her body & expressing her sexuality - casual, adventurous attitude toward sex
    * She is connected with sex drive and passion, some Aphrodite women can find themselves with unwanted pregnancies as they react in the passions of the moment.
    * She is keenly sensual, loving all that arouses her senses: perfumes, flowers, clothing that feels good on her skin, beautiful combinations of colors, fine food and drink, caressing touch.
    * Aphrodite woman may learn early in life to place high regard for her ‘lovely mask’ as she repeatedly experiences men’s attraction focused primarily on her outer ‘goods’.
    * Aphrodite types may be drawn to modeling, show business, public relations work, hostessing, cosmetology, the arts, interior or fashion design.
    * Aphrodite types, expressing the more unconscious aspects of this archetype, may fall into affairs with married (often older) men, especially when she is younger.
    * Aphrodite type gives herself up to the intense passion of Love--living fully in and for the moment, despite the price
    * A more keenly developed Aphrodite woman is able to offer a man both erotic as well as intellectual/emotional companionship.
    * Aphrodite woman desires relationship with heart
    * Keenly developed Aphrodite women have the capacity to ‘disarm’ men, teaching them through the powers of Eros, the way to their own heart.
    * Aphrodite women, more keenly developed, have the capacity to bring out a man’s feelings and creativity as well as to expand his capacity for intimate relating.
    * Creative force is a deeper aspect of Aphrodite archetype--promoting a creative force in a woman influencing her involvement in one creative project after another.
    * In later life a mature Aphrodite may be drawn to powerful men (for reasons different from Hera’s). Her gift is that of enhancing their sense of masculinity and in return he provides her entrance, with him, into places of glamorous appeal (the goddess, Aphrodite’s liaison with Ares, the god of war--Venus & Mars in Roman myth).

Challenges facing Aphrodite

          o Her natural instinct of living in the ‘moment’ impedes her considering the consequences of her urges and passions--she may overspend, over indulge, forget about one commitment when wrapped up in the immediacy of another situation
          o Aphrodite types will need to learn balance between emotional priorities and practical considerations.
          o Finding herself, frequently, in the lovers’ triangle as the ‘other woman’
          o The clash between her personal passion for love and sensuality vs. the collective values requiring a woman to be married and settled - a challenge for her naturally polygamous spirit
          o Aphrodite women may buy into the social mores of ‘beauty’ as the only valuable aspect of her gift and subsequently neglect the all-encompassing aspects of her intellectual and emotional gifts of companionship and creative inspiration
          o Our culture has lost all perspective on Aphrodite and her divine gift of Love to humanity.
                + Aphrodite woman’s task is that of bringing civility, refinement and Love into the world around her
                + Regaining her self-respect by regaining access to her body--not as an image of ‘slender’ proportions/perfection (glamour girl), rather as a flesh-and-blood sensual woman of value in her own right--in her ability to connect with heart.

Aphrodite’s dark side: the seductress, ‘femme fatale.’

Aphrodite’s wound

Patriarchy, threatened by her ‘power’ over men, have attempted in every way to restrict, confine, label and demote her from her Queenly position. Furthermore, Aphrodite and Demeter were not allowed to co-mingle in the patriarchal order (in other words, whore and wife had to be kept separate). Aphrodite also experiences alienation from the other goddesses.
          o Media exploitation of Aphrodite’s sacred image--and the resulting schizophrenic urges to both deny [censorship] sensual beauty & pleasure while crudely lusting [graphically degrading pornography], alienation from the body, and a deep fear of intimacy [virtual- reality sex on the internet/telephone sex]
          o As a result of advertising, mainstream women feel incapable of ‘measuring up’ to the image of feminine beauty; while men compare the appearance of the available woman in their midst to the suggested glamorized image of beauty sold to them by the media
          o The psychological consequences of denying Aphrodite any real place in the culture lead to: vilifying her image and then substituting the Virgin Mary for worship; replacing the ‘flesh-and-blood’ woman who possesses a body with the worship of a ‘Virgin’ mother, cut off from physical love; paranoia of witches and subsequent, systematic massacring of mature, independent, autonomous women followed, as a result

Aphrodite’s gifts

          o Her ability to be both sexual and a spiritual guide & confidante to her partner; ability to bring civility, refinement and Love into the world arouond her through her value of relationship and deep caring.
          o Her compassionate nature.
          o Her ability to inspire with eros and creativity--ecstatic, mystical gifts of love and pleasure.

 Aphrodite’s personality

          o As a child & adolescent:
                + Charming, girlishly feminine, innocently coy and flirtatious
                + Unconsciously expressed sensuality apparent to adults
                + Loves being the center of attention, a ‘little ham’
                + Likes playing dress-up, trouncing around in mommy’s high heels, jewelry & scarves
                + Has a boyfriend at school, but differently than Hera, Aphrodite loves the attention
                + As an adolescent she is emerging as sensual, sexually precocious, very social girl
                + Casual attitude toward sex and curiosity about her body
                + She possesses a busy social calendar
                + Dresses sexy and provocatively--instinctively sexual--‘at home’ in her body
                + Young Aphrodite may be attracted to older, more experienced men

        o As an adult woman:
                + Aphrodite expresses qualities of warmth, extroversion, she is relational--bringing people together.
                + She is sensual, at ease in her body and with her sexuality.
                + She loves Love, she loves the masculine aspect, she loves the Arts and things creative.
                + She is attracted to the Warrior archetype (Mars) whose birth is a generation after hers.
                + As a mother she may love to indulge her children, dressing them up, exposing her children to cultural events, giving them treats.

The Persephone archetype: a deeper look

Persephone possesses an introverted temperament (polar opposite to Hera) with issues of inner world control/ power--she represents the goddess of the underworld--concerned with the world of spirit, the occult, matters associated with death. She is mystical, visionary and often possesses spirit guides. Her awareness is diffuse. Persephone belongs to the relationship-oriented ‘vulnerable’ goddess category having a very close relationship with her mother, Demeter. Another aspect of her vulnerability, Persephone was abducted, taken to the Underworld and raped by Hades. Her mother, Demeter mourned, sorrowfully, in the face of her abduction.

Persephone is said to have a younger counterpart to herself--Kore--another name for the young Persephone. Psychologically, this may be a representation of two or three levels of this archetype: Kore, the Maiden, Persephone (or Demeter), the mature Woman, and Hecate, the Wise Crone.

Persephone type woman is more attracted to the spiritual nature rather than the physicality of her partner. She may unconsciously attract destructive relationships or potentially controlling partners. As an unconscious protective measure, she may choose a safe alternative in a younger, non-threatening partner whom she can mother.

The ancient Olympian Goddesses - a deeper look

Persephone - represents the feminine archetype of the mediumistic mystic, connected with the spirit-world. She is also the archetypal child--radiating optimism and good hope.

Mythological history:

Kore, daughter of Demeter, was the maiden aspect of Persephone. Kore, the maiden, was abducted (at the suggestion of Zeus) and raped by Hades and forced to be his wife. In the myth of Persephone, young Kore was plucking flowers in a field when Hades, her uncle and god of the Underworld, abducted her to be his Queen in the dark world below. The goddess, Hecate, strongly associated with the dark side of the moon and with witchcraft - was the only one to witness Kore’s abduction. She hears Persephone’s cries but does nothing, herself, to help and, furthermore, does not seek help from others.

Kore was extremely unhappy in the darkness of the Underworld. She also missed her mother, Demeter, terribly, as they had such a close mother-daughter bond. Kore was ultimately allowed to rejoin her mother, who had arranged Persephone’s release. However, Persephone was obligated to return each Fall to spend four months of each year in the underworld as consort to Hades because she had eaten four pomegranate seeds. It is thought that Kore as ‘maiden’, Demeter as ‘mother’ and Hecate as ‘wise crone’ represent, in more ancient times, the three-fold nature of Persephone in the various life cycles of a woman.

Psychologically Persephone is immersed in the collective unconscious--absorbed & molded by it. She acts out those “unacceptable” aspects in her environment, which others will not acknowledge--therefore, she activates that which others perceived as dangerous--and this becomes her personal problem. Persephone functions as seer, medicine woman. She belongs to the category of ‘vulnerable goddess’ - suffering pain in relationship--humiliation by abduction and rape. Her consciousness is diffuse, taking in all, rather than focused.

    * To the Romans Persephone was known as Proserpine.
    * Typically, Persephone woman possesses a youthful face at any age.
    * She is a pleaser type whose tendency is not inclined toward assertive directness.
    * Her nature--sympathetic, highly tuned into people’s feelings and needs
    * She is responsiveness to the needs of others - has difficulty saying ‘no’ --difficulty recognizing and asserting her own boundaries.
    * Directionally unsure, lacking solidity of purpose possessed by her virgin goddess sisters
    * Musing and intuitive nature rather than intellectual mind - difficulty ‘explaining’ her reasoning as it is an intuitive perception.
    * Less at ease with/in her body & sexuality than other goddess types
    * Strong connection to spirit - deep ambivalence toward outer world & her sense of being misunderstood & alienated from conventional society
    * A primarily Persephone type, keenly sensitive, typically possesses a fragile ego structure, therefore, easily overwhelmed by feelings and impressions from her unconscious
    * Persephone type has difficulty discriminating and has difficulty putting her impressions into words.
    * Keen ability to cross over into other realms of psychic consciousness - very at home in the world beyond the physical senses
    * Attracted to metaphysics, healing, intuitive, service-oriented work
    * By nature she is reclusive/retreating, secretive, possessing a sensitive system requiring time away from external stimulation.
    * “Underworld” understood as ‘unconscious’--then, Persephone has been abducted to the ‘unconscious’--to deal with aspects of her own personal unconscious material and also the collective unconscious.
    * She experiences episodes of depression, and/or bouts of mysterious, difficult to diagnose illnesses.
    * A primarily Persephone type is not promiscuous. She may be unwittingly drawn to partners that attempt to dominate/control her. As a protection she may shift to much younger lovers whom she can mother and with whom she can feel safe.

Challenges facing Persephone

          o Persephone (Kore) was forced to live in the Underworld for part of the year. Persephone woman is, likewise, required to acknowledge and visit her own inner underworld--her Dark side - the consequence of this avoidance is exposure to considerable suffering:
                + prone to attracting people with severe problems or possibly abusive behaviors
                + prone to mysterious illnesses difficult to diagnose or treat
                + sense of deep alienation, isolation, depression
          o Indicators that Persephone woman has not sufficiently completed her ‘Hades’ decent:
                + ever-youthful ‘facial mask’ that defies her actual age by mid life
                + she may tend to wear her hair long and loose in young-girl fashion even into mid life
                + she tends toward flowery, or girlish clothing - having not yet matured her sense of self into the Mother/Crone aspects of this goddess

Persephone’s task

Persephone’s task is to return to the Mother--return to the mature goddess who now knows separation, sexuality and death. In fact, the two goddesses are one - in fact, they are three: the maiden, the Mother and the wise Crone. The cycle of life and death need to be embraced - dualities such as light and dark. When Persephone woman attempts to blot out/deny the awareness of her dark side: anger, rage--she remains the uncompleted maiden. The mature Persephone who has returned from her underworld journey has seen all; she unites birth and death within herself. She has become the wise woman, cheerful, however also having accessed her repressed rage, still retaining her youthfulness as an elder, mature woman.

Persephone’s dark side

The archetypal victim - whereby she feels powerless in the midst of her circumstances - or long-sufferer/martyr - “surviving” on sympathy of others -- and, the flip side -- Hecate - the witch & killer - the one who ignored Persephone’s cries -- unconscious, repressed rage which is projected onto others

Persephone’s wound

A woman overly identified with the Persephone archetype will find herself repeatedly attracted to situations, people or health issues that diminish her sense of personal power. These situations/events do not appear to be her own doing--they seem to happen to her, out of the blue. Yet, she seems strongly drawn to these happenings, again and again and cause her repeated grief.

Persephone’s task

          o uniting the dark and the light sides of the goddess within herself - by increasingly embracing the long-suffering victim/martyr into her conscious awareness. Addressing her issue regarding power. Willingness to look into the face of this suffering and understanding her relation to it--not from a place of blame, rather, empowerment. Recognizing that such a strong attachment to the Light castes a very dark shadow.
          o Persephone must renounce her maiden self (the lovely, nice, gentle persona with it’s lofty ideals and attachment to ‘innocence’, and to renounce her helplessness)- allowing it’s death - as she descends to meet with Hades - and, eventually, emerging as the Woman-- in recognition of her power that she, now, accepts - no longer projecting this power onto others.

 Persephone’s gifts

Her receptivity, intuition, empathy toward the suffering of others, her keen powers of imagination, inspiration, ability to read the hearts and minds of others. Persephone, once matured through her own inner work, is the guide to the Underworld

Persephone’s personality

          o As a child & adolescent:
                + Quiet, unassuming, compliant, eager to please - similar to a willow - will tend to bend along with the circumstances or in relation to stronger personalities around her
                + Introverted, imaginative, often lives in her ‘own little world’ of make-believe, perhaps as a strategy to escape the unpleasantness she experiences in her family environment
                + She often prefers playing alone, by herself.
                + She enjoys her solitude, a Persephone child may be found daydreaming, listening to music.
                + Unsure of her preferences, difficulty making decisions
                + Persephone child is often the family “problem” child or scape-goat because her sensitivities do not conform to family norms.
                + Persephone child often faces trauma in childhood, emotional and/or physical.

          o As a mature woman:
                + The mature Persephone has grappled with the maiden, Kore, aspect of her nature. She is learning to ‘tell her truth’ - rather than avoiding and/or lying to others in fear of displeasing them. She is learning to set healthy boundaries--saying ‘no’, rather than acting in manipulative, indirect or blaming ways to meet her needs--avoiding conflict.
                + The mature Persephone is learning to take care of herself, learning to meet her own needs, responsibly, as she understands, now, how she has blamed others in the past.
                + The mature Persephone is developing a conscious relationship with her ‘inner male’, in Jungian terms, her animus, which means, developing her assertive/action nature.
                + The mature Persephone finds value and meaning in spiritual ritual.
                + The mature Persephone who has undergone her transformative experience in Hades is, now, equipped to guide others in their descent into the underworld. She is most compassionate, intuitive and wisely guides others in connecting with their own depth and meaning.
                + The mature Persephone may be found working as a healer, therapist, herbalist, Tarot card reader, astrologer, writer, photographer, musician, medical intuitive, gardener.
                + Persephone requires sufficient ‘alone’ time to regenerate her energies because she so absorbs the vibrations/emotions of those around her. Music, nature and mystical experiences recharge her batteries.
                + As a mother, Persephone may be connected to her children in intuitive, psychic ways and less focused on their physicality.

I'm not back but I will stop ignoring this blog

I just recently decided to check in and see what, if anything, was going on. And it looks like this is actually quite active! Apolog...