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What is an archetype?

An Archetype is a model of behaviour or pattern of energy that is easily recognisable and resonant to human beings. We can identify with and relate to archetypes as they are primary characters or personalities of the human condition.

Archetypes are everywhere. They are played out in fairy tales, movies, books, TV shows, in our families, our work environments and amongst our friends.

Snow white (Princess) is an archetype, Homer Simpson (Fool) is an archetype... so is Mother, Father, Son and Daughter. We instantly recognise what these roles are and how they are supposed to behave .

So the term Feminine Archetype refers to models or patterns of womanhood and feminine behaviour that are easily recognisable to us.

In describing a few of the archetypal faces of womanhood in the next few pages I will use examples from myth and legend. I will describe ancient Goddesses. This is not to infer any particular type of religion to these archetypes now, but rather simply as a tool to describe the archetypal feminine.

The Virgin Archetpe

Written by Nadia MacLeod