Podcast – Episode 0234 – Goddesses In Everywoman — The Vulnerable Goddess Archetypes
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In this episode, Joel and Antonia continue a short series talking about the goddess archetypes that show up for some people. This episode details the vulnerable goddesses in everywoman.
In this podcast you’ll find:
- Animas and Anima – Feminine and Masculine Archetypes
- Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Bolen
- Gods in Everyman by Jean Bolen
- Vulnerable Goddesses
- Last episode on virgin goddesses
- This podcast we are discussing the three vulnerable goddesses
- They are vulnerable because they find their fulfillment in relationships with others.
- Vulnerable goddesses are marked by a diffuse awareness instead of the targeted consciousness of the virgin goddesses
- Vulnerable goddesses keep their perceptions open and can observe the dynamics around them
- We are questioning the traditional roles of women today, so the vulnerable goddesses may give us some feminine aspects that we have begun to push away.
- Less about empowerment talk and more about tendencies that may sneak up on us.
- All three of the vulnerable goddesses were victimized: raped, abducted, humiliated, etc.
- 3 vulnerable goddesses:
- Hera – goddess of marriage
- Demeter – goddess of grain, harvest, and motherhood
- Persephone – 2 phases: Girl element of all women, and Queen of the Underworld
- Hera – Goddess of Marriage
- Hestia’s sister.
- Consort of Zeus.
- All stories in Greek mythology reference Zeus. He is the great liberator.
- She was revered on one side as an ancient, powerful goddess and denigrated as a jealous woman.
- She was perpetually being cheated on by Zeus
- Her relationship to her children was ambivalent
- Strong jealous streak
- The part of the feminine energy that wants to be a mate in a committed relationship
- Bride-Zilla – marriage day is the most important day of their life
- The Bachelor
- A lot of US President wives have Hera energy
- We tend to denigrate sticking with a situation through hard times
- There can be positivity in sticking with someone when things get bad.
- There is a dark side to the vulnerability of these goddesses
- If you have Hera energy make sure you are not staying in an abusive relationship in an attempt to honor vows
- Hera archetypes have traditional views of femininity and definite ideas of male/female roles
- Heras need to develop independence and competence so they can build self-reliance
- Artemis or Athena energy would be good for a Hera to develop
- Hera archetypes can also create more connections to women alone – not just other wives
- Support structures are essential for Hera archetypes
- Demeter – Goddess of grain and the harvest
- Demeter is the mother of Persephone – they are very intertwined.
- Demeter is most known for her search for Persephone after she was abducted and raped by Hades
- Demeter asked Zeus to bring back Persephone and Zeus said he had sanctioned the abduction
- Demeter – Zeus’s consort – became incredibly grieved
- All harvest and growth died until she got Persephone back.
- Demeter energy is the type of woman who defines herself in her role as mother
- Not uncommon for such women to get to a certain age and start feeling like something is missing if they don’t have a child
- Not all women feel this way
- The Demeter archetype can be missing when some women have children, and they have to work hard on developing that mother energy
- These energies can arise at different times of life
- Demeter energy can also exist in men.
- ISFJ man who fosters terminal children
- Demeter was persistent. She made people suffer until Persephone was returned to her.
- There are a lot of mothers who have created a lot of resources for special needs children because of their persistence.
- Forrest Gump’s mother
- There can be a dark side of Demeter
- Netflix documentary: Mommy Dead and Dearest
- Demeter archetypes can create illnesses in children to keep them dependent
- A Demeter can adopt some Virgin Goddess energy to help them develop lives outside of their mother roles so their children can build independence
- Demeters are very woman-oriented, unlike Hera archetypes
- Foster care or social movements are also good energetic focuses for a Demeter
- They tend toward co-dependent relationships and can end up passive aggressive
- Boundaries and independence are essential to Demeter archetypes
- Athena energy would be good for a Demeter.
- It’s better to have an equal partner in a relationship, not just a dependent
- When Demeter was looking for Persephone, she was raped by Poseidon
- She was so focused on her child she put herself in a vulnerable position
- Demeters need to take care of their needs
- Persephone – young girl and queen of the underworld
- Two very different phases
- All women have experienced a Persephone energy as young girls
- Persephone was guileless and naive which left her open to abduction
- After Persephone’s experience, she is much wiser. No longer an innocent young girl
- After she was abducted and brought to the underworld, Zeus dispatched Hermes to get Persephone so Demeter would let things grow again
- Persephone had eaten from a pomegranate, so she was forced to spend part of the year in the Underworld
- She told Demeter she was forced to eat the pomegranate, but she did so willingly
- She was no longer the innocent child. She is savvier.
- Then she gets to a place where she understands the dark psychological space
- Queen of the Underworld is a compelling title for someone who started out as a naive girl
- Sylvia Plath Bell Jar
- Persephone becomes the concierge of the underworld
- Young girls who experience trauma thru no fault of their own can go from wide-eyed innocence to profound psychological depths
- Such ones become mediums or Shamans and are obsessed with death and the supernatural
- Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones) is a very Persephone type character: young, innocent, victimized, raped, and now is a powerful queen.
- In the modern world, we can extend childhood and innocence longer than previously
- Systemic protections expire at a certain age, and yet the transition to adulthood hasn’t happened in some people.
- They are left sitting ducks without the ability to make decisions and without the systemic protections they enjoyed as children.
- We don’t honor commitments as we used to and Persephone flourishes in that context because she doesn’t want to mature.
- There are a lot of Persephones that are holding onto their girlhood instead of making the transition to Queen of the Underworld.
- It doesn’t have to be trauma; it can just be tackling the challenges of the real world
- When that doesn’t happen, Persephone archetypes can become devious because they don’t feel powerful they feel powerless
- They don’t know what else to do but be devious to keep currying the favor of the ones they need to protect them
- They can also become quite narcissistic.
- Persephone was looking at the narcissus flower when she was abducted.
- They can become self-consumed to get the favor and protection they need from the outside world
- Young girls on social media with all the seductive selfies
- Not authentic, mature seductiveness
- “If I’m hot enough, I may never have to get a job. Someone rich will marry me.”
- Even men have a Persephone energy
- Becoming Queen of the Underworld can be scary, but that is the power of a Persephone.
- They reconcile those darker parts with the reality of the world and show those more profound insights to others
- Lena Dunham’s show “Girls”
- It’s never a good idea to be fully one goddess.
- We want a seasoning of other types to prevent an extreme expression of a single goddess archetype
- If Persephone doesn’t grow up, she will create a dynamic with the world where it feels like it needs to protect her
- It is Persephone’s job to defend herself, find her power, and become Queen of the Underworld.
- We are in a very virgin goddess period. Very Artemis.
- The vulnerable goddess archetypes are within us for a reason.
- We tap into compassion, kindness, love, and imagination with the vulnerable goddesses
- The ideal is to develop the virgin and vulnerable goddesses together
- There are a lot of different energies in the world. Honor people’s differences.
- The alchemical goddess Aphrodite is next.
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I am heavily a Persephone dealing with many of the issues that were mentioned including being a female Peter Pan. I have noticed smaller influences of Hestia and Artemis in my personality, as well, but I do feel “stuck.” I have begun learning about the Shadow and Inner Child, and through this kind of work and healing, I believe I may begin to embody more of Hekate. I find that goddess archetype to be more empowering, but I think Persephone became more confident and dominant once she accepted The Underworld and every aspect of it. Maybe by doing some spiritual (dark), self-reflective exercises – and actually experiencing responsibility (hopefully without reliving abuse) – can Persephone (me) become a true woman.
This series on the goddesses and gods is one of my favorite PH offerings of all time!
(After listening to all six episodes twice over, I was so inspired that I ordered Bolen’s two books… and went even deeper.)
Which has all led me to working with the archetypes in my paintings recently – primarily focusing on Persephone.
Her energy is so strong in me – she’s half the makeup of my anima, and as a man – wow – the feminine takes up a lot of space+energy in my psyche.
What I’m loving most is how I’m following the story of Persephone’s maturation – from innocent/victim to self-empowered Queen of the Underworld – and it’s happening in large part first by increasing awareness of the mythology (as it lives in me), and secondly by painting/concretizing this evolution (Ni -> Se, is how I’m experiencing it).
(All of which is an alchemical process, thanks to Aphrodite:)
I’m also intrigued by the relationship between the archetypes – within one individual. As in: both Hades and Persephone run strong in me… which opens up questions around how might my inner masculine be “abducting” my inner feminine, and how might my inner feminine be role-playing “victim” to my inner masculine?
So much fertile territory here (which I plan on further alchemizing in my work).
Curious if anybody else is tracking inner archetypal relationships?…
I am a 42 year old extremely rational heterosexual man. I have an ENTP personality and was agnostic, as atheism failed my Ti thinking test. I have struggled with bipolar depression in my life, but not much. Usually depression issues and some hypomania that annoys my friends and family.
I found myself in an extremely difficult time in my life two years ago that lead to the first full on manic attack I have had since my early twenties. Work required me to face PTSD level death related stress for weeks, and it broke me.
Immediately following the last and worst of these days; I feel into a deep manic state with delusional thinking and psychosis. Specifically, I felt I was being haunted by a unnamed goddess of death. Including visual and tactile hallucinations of her in my home. (Think the couch ghost scene in the 2001 Japanese film Kairo) I also found myself having extremely vivid dreams of chasing after a glowing white girl through a dark forest. I needed to find her like I lost a part of myself. Multiple synchronicities happened in my life, to the point that my friends started thinking I was haunted. I painted pictures of things before they occurred, predicted the movement of birds like i was in the flock, had a vulture land on my porch next to me and my girlfriend while she impatiently listened to my manic rant that I was being haunted by a death goddess. Because of a hunch, I managed to quickly learn to read 11th century German and researched my family finding documentation from church records stating my mother’s ancestral family was haunted by a white lady. I would like to point out I was a manic ENTP trying to verify I was not crazy, I cannot read the language any more. However, I know i could because I screen shot hundreds of records and translated them later. Eventually, about one month into the mania, I felt I knew i needed to not fear this death goddess who was haunting me. I went out into a field and wrote poetry from 2am until sunrise to get her “hallucination” to return to me to explain what she wanted as I wasn’t scared anymore. She never came to me, instead I found peace of mind. I felt a great interconnectivity of all things, and broke out crying because of a great religious warmth of happiness and love that fell over me. Then my logical facilities were back to normal, and my mania was gone. This was the only time I found religion, and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I am back to being a science man, but I can do art again and managed to get my stuff in a gallery art show for day of the dead. I had not done art for 16 years before this time. I am thankful I went crazy for a bit.
Looking back at it with my now functional rational mind, i think times got so hard then that my logical nihilism was going to kill me. I think I tripped a trigger in my brain and my brain switched to subconscious thinking to prevent self harm. I feel that during the mania episode I was an introverted intuitive and strong feelings were allowed back from the place I was bottling them up at the cost of my ability to tell the objective world from my subconscious.
I think it is amazing how accurate this Persephone archetype fits a shadowy anima protector for me. Thanks for doing this podcast
I am really enjoying this series on goddesses. I could see how our language falls short when trying to this topic without subtle undertones of microaggression towards women and rape culture, especially around Demeter. So fascinating.
What an engaging podcast to listen to! Something fresh to think about. Thank you! One thing I kept pausing the podcast to say out loud is that the Demeter energy does not have to only be focused on children. My husband and I have fertility problems and probably won’t have children. BUT, my “mothering instincts” are still there. I take care of the adults around me in a Demeter way and of course mother my dog. I won’t fight for myself, but become a real mama bear if I am defending a person or cause I care about. I would absolutely starve people out if I had to for someone or something I cherish. So, I wish you had not talked only about children when discussing Demeter energy. It can apply to so much more than that, and thinking of it this way has really helped me accept our fertility problem.
It also stood out to me that Persephone is only the Queen of the Underworld one third of the time. Two thirds of the time, she still gets to play sweet and doe-eyed. So all the Persephones out there just need to learn a little balance, not totally change how they are.
Love listening to your take on things! Keep up the good work.
Persephone struck a cord. Depression and problems with hormones have taken away my innocence. But over the last three years I’ve accepted it, learned to have grace with myself, and am learning to work with its dark rhythm. LOVED the imagery of her being a guide to the dark places. Hope to be that to other women. Growing some Artemis currently and I feel I battle and use the Hera and Hestia energies. Thanks for a great podcast!
Hera as portrayed here I see has having anxious attachment. Getting value from the outside. Lacking it to give to themselves. Valuing the relationship more than the the self. That external manifestation of the structure of love. Codependency. Probably control themes.
So Demeter would have the enmeshment theme. Porous boundaries and not able to determine where herself and her children ends. A fixer/rescuer in the drama triangle. Living out unmet childhood needs in their child. Also making herself feel dead, emotional draught, withholding sustenance/love to self and others, when things are not as she needs it. Manipulating. “My needs are not met so I will starve myself/or let you starve”.
Persephone is refusing responsibility for what she allows and what she is entangled with, lying about her underlying intentions. “Life happens to me, I am innocent to what happens. I am not agreeing to anything. I don’t have control over life.” Victim consciousness. Viewing oneself as a resource, an object, which can be used to actually use others and view them as resources, too.
I see all of these to have narcissistic streaks. And relating to inner coping mechanisms, again. And all of these, as well as the virgin ones, have gifts to harvest if they can heal the wound that is connected with these symtoms. Not only Persephone imo.
Hey! I’m a INFP 4w5 sx/sp and this is the podcast I’ve been waiting for. I listened to the first one in the series but knew i was a vulnerable goddess because the are relationship based which i know about myself. I skipped ahead and found the ebook online and found out i am a Persephone archetype. I actually became emotional reading it. I resonated with being a victimized little girl but i also resonated with putting myself into situations where I’m victimized or “ held hostage” . Especially the story in the book about the husband to a Persephone wife that made him feel like he’s the reason her life was ruined. It hurt to make that connection with my current relationship but that is actually a thing that i do and feel even though i chose to remain in the relationship or “trapped”. Another thing i resonated with was the noncommittal part I’ve never felt like i ACTUALLY wanted to get married or have children. After reading that part i felt like i wasn’t a terrible woman. One only thing I didn’t really relate to was the always the mirror and trying to appear seductive in looks to ensure protection. I moreso ensure my “protection” by being a damsel with potential, meaning i know what i want and where I’m headed i just need a little help (i never ask for help, just complain a lot). Anyways there are so many ways i could relate to this archetype and i appreciate you guys for being it to my attention. Sorry for such a long comment and i promise I’m not as awful as this may seem i only realize these things in hindsight, for the most part. I hope this makes sense lol
Thank you so much for this episode. I also had the feeling that I’d relate to one of the vulnerable goddesses if not also the last goddess (forgot her name, in the last episode). However, Persephone wow! I had to listen to her story multiple times because her whole story has been my life. I was a free-spirited kid until my childhood, my infancy like nature was taken away from me at a very young age. I indeed have committed acts of dishonesty which reminded me of Persephone eating the seeds of the pomegranate therefore she has to go back to the underworld 1/3 of the year. This metaphor of the underworld reminds me that there are times in my life where I want to go into a dark mental state however I don’t allow myself to because of the fear of embracing my past. Anyway I could go on and on about my story, I just thought I’d say thank you so much for sharing with your listeners, you have no idea how much clarity this has brought me, especially being in my 20’s and navigating through the world trying to find myself.
This was interesting to listen to. Even when I resonated strongly with Athena & Artemis as an INTJ, I had some minor aspects of some of these goddesses. I definitely have some Persephone energy, but only some aspects of Hera & Demeter. I had used the Demeter’s energy of self-parenting & nurturing through the lense of Athenian energy. For aspects of Hera, I definitely use it to see the lasting values of relationships of all kinds. So even when I only have aspects of these goddesses, I think they bring important lessons that we can all grow & learn from when used well.
Fascinating podcasts. As an INFJ woman I related to Demeter and maybe a bit of Hera. I’ve always loved taking care of kids and assume a caretaking role often. My career is an elementary school counselor. This system gives me a new language to think about myself and others and our interactions. I know a Persephone archetype that I often struggle to understand but this made a lot of sense. I also loved the GoT examples. Thanks for sharing!
Nice podcast, but I don’t know how to be helped by it. Also, I don’t think I received your previous episode, I checked my email. :/
Identify your archetype. Give yourself permission to show up with that archetype. Increase awareness and do your best to remove the negative aspects of that archetype. Identify the archetypes you lack or are repressing. Explore them to become more well-rounded.
Same pattern as with all personality type systems. 🙂
Two super interesting podcasts. I honestly could not pick one of these. I’m a little bit of Artemis in my solitude, Hestia when a friend is in need, Persephone when I am threatened, Aphrodite when I am under the influence and Demeter when I am lonely. All over the place so I took a quiz and got Athena…Ha! The only one with whose story/description I don’t identify.
I merely wonder, as an INTP woman, what archetype to tap into to feel the most feminine energy. For instance, I have an ESTP male friend that is probably the most interesting human being I will ever meet. I am far too dominant or masculine in my headspace for him to feel drawn to in a sort of protective sense like I would prefer. Although we are very close, I perceive that he finds me to be more of an unbiased entity for his self-development rather than a feminine energy because most of our discussions are centered around understanding each other, society, and other philosophical discussions. What tools could I use to just become this more receptive, vulnerable person toward him while still maintaining the lively, deep interchange we enjoy?
What a fascinating question.
Wondering if you’ve come up with any answers, Lila…
What an excellent focal point for discussion of archetypes!
I’ve been into Greek Mythology since I was a small child, and just last year finally visited Greece. I spent the most time exploring the museums and important sites through the lens of story patterns and narratives, watching closely how the stories impact history and vice versa.
There is a rich intellectual vein here.
When I was listening I couldn’t help but notice that the types of goddesses seem to align well with attachment types. The virgins align well with avoidant types. The vulnerables align with preoccupied anxious. Waiting to see if the last aligns with secure.
What a great observation! I love that these archetypes seem to touch a lot of other models. I can’t help but see overlapping patterns all over the place.
I had such a strong reaction to this podcast! I knew beforehand that I was most likely to identify with one of the vulnerable goddesses, with my limited knowledge of Greek mythology I suspected I had a lot of Demeter in me. What you said about the Demeter archetype does resonate with me to some extent, but when you started talking about Persephone something really struck a chord. I felt so much anger towards Demeter. She should have taught Persephone to be vigilant and pay attention, or if she absolutely wanted to keep Persephone an innocent child she should have been there to protect her. These were my immediate thoughts when hearing Persephones story. Since the age of 3 I have struggled with severe depression, my entire childhood and adolescence was marked by it, and it has made me very aware about mental health, pain, and struggles. Through therapy I have been able to trace my depression back to my mothers inconsistent on/off affection and attentiveness. There are so many parallels to the relationship between Demeter and Persephone in the relationship between my mother and I. This was very interesting, and something I will have to think more about. Thank you for the episode!