There are three Greek goddesses that represent the traditional roles of women, which are wife, mother and daughter.
According to Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book, Goddesses in Everywoman, that I am basing this series on and quoting from, these three are vulnerable goddesses because they are relationship oriented.
“When Hera, Demeter, or Persephone are dominant archetypes, the motivational pull is relationship, rather than achievement and autonomy or new experience. The focus of attention is on others, not on an outer goal or an inner state.”
” The quality associated with the vulnerable goddesses archetypes is “diffuse awareness.”
” I think of this kind of consciousness as analogous to light from a living room lamp, which illuminates and casts a warm glow on everything within its radius.”
Yes, this is what most women possess. Some might call it the ability to multi-task, or intuitiveness, or being organized…but basically it is the ability to have a household of guests on Christmas yet hear a child upstairs in trouble amidst the din of other children playing, or sense that your husband or family member is upset about something, or to be able to pray for a friend or neighbor while you are also mashing potatoes…
“This receptive, diffuse kind of consciousness can take in the whole or “gestalt” of a situation.”
Victimization in the vulnerable goddess stories :
- Hera was humiliated and abused by her husband Zeus, who discounted her need for fidelity.
- Demeter’s bond to her daughter was ignored, as was her suffering when Persophone was abducted and kept prisoner in the underworld.
- Both Demeter & Persophone were raped.
“Every woman who has ever felt an urge to marry, or have a child, or felt she was waiting for something to happen to change her life—which must include just about every woman—will find herself akin to one of the vulnerable goddesses at some point in her life. ”
” Each of the three has within her mythology a happy and fulfilled phase, a phase during which she was victimized, suffered, or was symptomatic; and a phase of restoration or transformation. Each represents a stage in a woman’s life in which she may pass quickly or in which she may stay for a while.”
To be continued next week…
1st / Basis in this series : Which Goddess; Archetypes in our Daily Lives