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Virgin Archetype

There are many Virgin Goddesses encompassing many different fields of enterprise. What they have in common is the fact that they are self-contained, pure, independent, uncorrupted and unpartnered.

Virgin in this context has more to do with state of mind and attitude rather than physical attributes or sexual status .

Often the Virgin goddesses were unmarried, but this did not mean that they were necessarily asexual. In fact, some of the virgin goddesses expressed their sexuality openly, owning their sexuality proudly and without shame. It was not given away or bartered or owned by their partners, it was wholly and solely within their dominion.

The Virgin goddess appears whenever a woman is pursuing her own desires and ideas for herself . The Virgin or Maiden has been given a bad rap as a selfish wanton being for centuries in a culture that has taught women to only please and look after others to the exclusion of all else. She is now making a come back as women everywhere are beginning to follow their own hearts and dreams to manifest a reality other than that of partnerships, motherhood and child rearing.

Using the Goddesses from Greek mythology we will explore a few of the different Virgins. Other mythologies also have these archetypes by different names. For example the Greek goddess Athena is very similar to the Roman Goddess Minerva. Greek Aphrodite correlates to Roman Venus, and Norse Goddess Hel correlates to the Greek Persephone to name just a few. Just about every culture has these archetypal Goddesses in one form or another.

Another point to remember is that originally there was but one Goddess, but over time she has been divided up into differing personalities. I will use a quote here from Michael Babcock - 'The Goddess Paintings' by Susan Boulet.

'The Triple Goddess, the original trinity symbolises the three faces of the Great Goddess and is the earliest representation of her division into multiplicity. The Goddess with three faces is a universal motif, found worldwide. The Triple Goddess is intimately associated with the changing phases of the moon; just as the moon transforms from one phase to another, the Great Goddess moves among her many roles. Her three faces are usually virgin, mother and crone: virgin representing the strong, self-defined goddess; mother representing the nurturing goddess as source of all nourishment; and crone representing the goddess of death and transformation. This symbolism embraces the role of goddess in all phases of existence, from birth through death to rebirth. The Triple Goddess reminds us of our sacredness regardless of our age or function in life. She reminds us that despite her many forms there is one goddess, always present and always sacred'

Athena Goddess of Wisdom

Primarily mentally focused, Athena is highly intelligent, rational, outgoing, practical and logical. She prefers to be ruled by the head rather than the heart and She thrives in the business, academic, political and scientific arenas.

Diplomacy is another of her strengths and this coupled with her abilities for foresight, planning, and strategy give her the edge in seeing the big picture and overseeing large and complicated projects. She is able to synthesise many differing points of view and ideas into a harmonious and workable whole.

Athena is very comfortable working with men, and as is able to develop friendship and mateship with men without any of the usual romantic and sexual entanglements.

Athena compete's easily with men, being extroverted and adept at the cut and thrust of civilisation and corporate culture. At times Athena may relate so totally to the 'mans world' that she may uphold traditions and rules that limit and restrict women.

She can sometimes be cut off from her feminine side, emotions and her physical body which can result in various menstrual difficulties.

At Her best Athena is courageous and tireless, using her keen mind and intelligence to improve the world.

Artemis Goddess of the Hunt & Goddess of the Moon

Artemis is the ultimate sportswoman; outdoorsy, truly present and revelling in her body, pushing her body to its physical limits. She displays an intensity of focus, can be competitive and enjoys the thrill of the hunt.

Artemis savours her independence, freedom and autonomy. She enjoys being alone in her own company and yet is also profoundly connected to the Sisterhood. In Her role as Protectoress of Women and Children She is often found campaigning for women's rights. Artemis gains her worth from who She is and what She does more than from who She is connected to or partnered with.

As the Goddess of the Moon, Artemis is familiar with charting the wilderness within human souls and navigating her way around the Inner darkness. She does not scare easily and is compassionate and empathetic.

The Artemis archetype has an affinity for nature and is found anywhere where women love to be with nature, enjoy being physical and confronting some wild new frontier.

 

Hestia Goddess of the Hearth

I consider Hestia to be both a Virgin and an Enchantress archetype.

In ancient times Hestia was the hearth keeper. Her job was to literally keep the home fires burning. This task or ritual symbolised the nurturing and continuity of a spiritual force within the home.

Hestia is a Virgin Goddess because of her intense inner focus. She is spiritually orientated and more concerned with the inner world than the outer world. Hestia is not tied to her personal ego but rather tries to meet with and connect with all energy or the universal oneness.

In this way Her focus is on Herself and on Her tasks, She is not concerned with partnership, romance, marriage and other worldly distractions.

In many ways Hestia emulates the Priestess ways of centering and grounding energy. There is a certain calmness and meditative approach that Hestia brings to all tasks. It is the joy of performing the task mindfully rather than with an eye on the clock. It is the Zen and joy of doing each mundane task with love and as a gift to God. Contemplation in the art of doing and being become one.

Hestia is the spiritual warrior. She is with us when we meditate and pray or when we do any task mindfully with an absorption that takes us out of ourselves. She is also with us when we work alone with an inner focus.

The Mother Archetype

Written by Nadia MacLeod