Art by Adolphe Bouguereau “L’Aurore”
The Divine Feminine is experiencing a re-emergence—a rebirth into the collective consciousness. For centuries she has been downplayed, demeaned, removed from her place of honor and reverence by the dominant patriarchal culture. We are now in a time when the Divine Feminine is the subject of intense interest and many conversations and she is beginning to receive the veneration and devotion she deserves. The Divine Feminine represents the supreme level of feminine expression and manifestation in the universe. She comprises the best of the feminine in all its measure.
Women subjugated to male thinking and ideals can lack examples and models to nurture their inherent connection to the divine. By considering the stellar qualities of positive, “divine,” archetypes women will find models of thinking and behavior that nurtures spiritual and psychological advancement.
As multifaceted, spirit-embodied beings, we each have a complex psychological and emotional constitution that produces one’s inner health and outer reality. Each one of us, male and female, carries within our psyche both Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine archetype energies. From these archetypes come our conscious thoughts, plans, desires, goals and agendas.
These archetype energies intertwine and cooperate to produce a uniquely personal expression and experience of life. Sexuality is just one expression in which this confluence of energies distinctly manifests. A female gendered person does not mean that only feminine energy is present. Also, a person’s sex (chromosomes) and the archetypal energies present in the psyche are not dependent on each other.
Developing a harmonious relationship of “inner” masculine and feminine is humanity’s evolutionary challenge and a process of spiritual advancement. It is through the integration and harmonization of one’s inner masculine and feminine that we reach higher, integrated, holistic consciousness. For Men: it is advantageous to contemplate and integrate the “feminine” archetype qualities listed here into their inner feminine —or “anima.”
By developing healthy, integrated aspects of the divine masculine and feminine within the psyche real progress can be made in gender reconciliation and establishing an egalitarian society.
Goddess, Queen, Priestess, Warrioress, Lover, Wise Woman
The Divine Feminine comprises a group of archetypal energies that drive and inspire one’s consciousness and felt sense of being. SHE is “anima,” the spark of inspiration, catalyst of change, siren of desire. There are many “feminine” archetypes present in the psyche—six have been chosen to represent those with the strongest influence on conducive psychological functioning and one’s psycho-spiritual evolution. By regular conscious feeding of these archetypal energies—weaker aspects are nurtured to fullness.
A Suggested Practice
Those seeking to discover and nurture their expression of the Divine Feminine will want to:
1 Contemplate what the “fullness” of each archetype expression means to you.
2 How do these archetypes currently show up in your life. Look for areas and ways you are already embodying #1. Don’t look for the places you are deficient or lack in the fullness of the archetype. Only look for what you ARE doing.
As you acknowledge and accept what you are already doing, you will notice more places where you already are, or are beginning to, embody the fullness of the archetype. Its like seeing in a dark room, after some time your sight “adjusts,” or expands, and you see more of what was already there. As you contemplate each archetype, you will notice more and more areas where it already exists in your awareness and behavior. This is due to radiation of the archetype energy spreading out in a “blossoming” or unfolding effect within the psyche and happens whenever archetype energy is accessed and stimulated.
Contemplation also strengthens the awareness. Two things are accomplished—you see what is already there, reinforcing what is presently integrated, and you strengthen what is beginning to emerge in your awareness, behavior, and ability.
Any aspects of the archetype that seem “new” can be integrated by imagining: “what it would feel like?” —to think or behave in this new way and see what shifts of thinking and behaving that produces. As you do, look for circumstances or opportunities that could be positively affected by adopting these higher concepts, principles and motivations and seek to enable their presence.
Artist: Zeng Hao “Kuan Yin”
The Goddess is the archetype that provides transcendent experience, a re-connecting with source, and nurturing of divine essence. Here is a mystery, an incalculable delving into the void—out of which all things come—the unknowable deep abyss that is Love.
The Goddess is the spark of life, the inspirational, dynamic, flowing energy of creation and evolution. She is the primordial first cause, originator, progenitor -Creatrix. Her wisdom is unfathomable, intuitive, untraceable and ever-evolving. Representing the mystery of the unknown and unknowable she ignites Eros, desire and vital force seeking new experience, new associations, new possibilities, new connection out of stagnating, old, technologies and processes.
The Goddess connects one to a constantly elevating transcendent flow of possibility and newness. She inspires one’s soul to new heights of expression and connection with life in its magnitude and fullness. SHE resonates transpersonal, harmonious love for everyone and all beings. The Goddess archetype is the domain of spirituality, mystical experience and intuition.
A woman in the fullness of her Goddess archetype feels like this: She emanates dynamic energy, flowing, ever changing with boundless intuitive wisdom and creativity. Her presence is inspiring and causes one to feel renewed—stimulated and revitalized. She is “immanence” (divine presence) personified, spiritually balanced, transcendentally driven, and emanates love to all without distinction or prejudice. While she is the originator of ideas and solutions she seeks collaboration and consensus in their outworking and manifestation.
Perhaps the strongest archetype, yet most overwhelmed with expectation and duty is the Queen (Mother). It is she who is the authority and stewardess of the “living space” and primary care-giver of progeny. To give birth is the most profound accomplishment one may experience, life giving life, nurturing and guiding this life into self-sufficiency and fullness of being is the selfless goal of the mother. The most significant relationship one has is with the mother of one’s birth. No other bond experiences such connection, attachment, and enmeshment.
It is the Queen who brings order and blessing, benevolence, fertility, balance, compassion, fairness and unconditional love. While the Goddess archetype is the Creatrix -inspiring vision and imagination, the Queen births these into being and actively looks to their growth and prospering. The Queen archetype is the domain of material manifestation, family, “kingdom” (sphere of life influence), also material wealth and abundance.
A woman expressing the fullness of the Queen archetype feels like this: She is concerned with the well-being and happiness of her “household,” and all in her domain of benevolent loving care.
She is a nurturing, stabilizing and calming influence in all circumstances and supports the highest good and soul aligned fulfillment of those in her “household.”
Her demeanor is “seasoned” and carries wisdom with it, not adolescent, fickle impulsiveness. She is compassionate, benevolent, deeply caring, expansively loving, evenhanded, calm, persistent, caring, present, and rejoices in the success and happiness of those who enjoy her care and selfless loving.
The Priestess archetype is possibly the least known and understood, especially in the present patriarchal culture which dominates and subjugates women‘s spirituality. The Priestess archetype is the domain of intuitive awareness and insight, of secret or “occult” (that which is hidden) knowledge of the unknown, spirit realm.
The Priestess has a magical connection to the great mystery, the pregnant void, mother of all creation, source energy. She is a connector, a facilitator between the material and the spiritual, a mediator of powerful spiritual, psychological and emotional energies that make up who we are. The Priestess calls forth and directs energies between unconscious and conscious awareness, affecting our material and spiritual sense of well being.
A woman in the fullness of the Priestess archetype feels like this: She is the master of her spiritual and material realities showing a confidence of bearing that knows how to call forth from spiritual storehouses what is needed to transmute, transduce, and transform energies that would overtake or topple other women not in this fullness.
She is thoughtful and reflective having depth to her presence and intellect. She knows how to detach from inner and outer storms and how to connect deep inner truths and resources with her grounded experience of life. She sees a higher possibility and attunes to its resonance. She is not easily influenced by faddish impulses and brings power and confidence to difficult situations requiring change or shifting - with grace and insight.
Pallas Athene by Klimt
The Warrioress archetype is the least represented and understood archetype for women—distorted and misunderstood by the dominant patriarchal culture. Any expression of warrioress is met with condemnation and judgment—belittled by immature males.
Warrioress qualities are: decisiveness and clarity of thought, selfless service, genuine humility, strength of experiential “knowing,” courage to do what is “right” even when it is a personal challenge to do so, maintaining and supporting established systems and forms without rigidity, loyal to a greater good beyond personal gain.
She is selfless and maintains a warm, compassionate, appreciative and generous connection to whom she serves. She fights “the good fight” in favor of benefiting the greater good and making life more fulfilling for everyone.
A woman in the fullness of her Warrioress feels like this:
Her grounded confidence, calm demeanor, and strength of stature is evident and unheralded. She contributes without fanfare or directing—or requiring attention. She promptly responds to requests of service showing respect to all, especially to those “elder” to her, as well as other men, women, and children, animals and the earth.
She “knows herself” and finds her place in collaborative projects, finding fulfillment and contentment participating without ambition and competition. The woman in the fullness of the Warrioress makes you feel “safe” while not being oppressed by her support. She is decisive, easily responding from the heart without Ego-personality selfishness.
© Art by Richard Stodart
The Divine Feminine Lover archetype is perhaps the most polarized and distorted by modern society. There is a “Madonna/Whore” dyadic opposition associated with the feminine expression of Eros Love. She is either idealized and set beyond the reach of men in worshipful ignorance or is debased and exploited as wanton in her lust and salaciousness. And yet, the fullness of the Divine Feminine Lover archetype can encompass and surmount both of these immature distinctions.
The Lover archetype has been contorted into a selfish and dense expression that lacks breadth or spirit. Yet the Lover is the meeting and combining of sex and spirit, Eros, the universal urge to bond and unite.
Woman naturally, organically, comprise the alchemy that infuses spirit into flesh with desire—prompting sensual engagement and erotic expression. While most commonly expressed in romantic and sexual form, the Lover archetype also contains a much fuller, divine, expression.
The Lover archetype in its fullness is the primal energy of passion, exquisite engagement with life and ecstatic being: an alive and vivid world view. The domain of the Lover archetype are the primal urges of being: sex, food, well-being, procreation—and is manifested in creative adaptation and initiatory experience.
The Lover is the epitome of Sensual. She exudes sensuality in her mood, look, walk, bearing, and engagement. She is intimately interested in all forms of sensory contact, experiencing the world in all its splendor. She is the archetype of play and healthy erotic embodiment without shame.
A woman in the fullness of the Lover archetype feels like this:
She is sensual. She is open and invites you to touch—her mind, body and soul. She relishes connection with others, specifically the connecting aspect—beyond Ego’s fulfillment needs. She appreciates beauty in all its forms, seeing and feeling beauty in herself, realizing her intrinsic connection and possession of such. She is “in her body” animating it with vital energy through dance, or yoga, or movement. She brings, eros and sensuality and a “joy of life” to any engagement or conversation.
The Wise Woman elicits visions of the Shaman, one who not only accesses the spiritual realms but brings practical “technology” to those in her “household.” She mines her fathomless intuitive wisdom and miraculously produces solutions and applications that forward advancement and resolution of opposites, challenges, and disparate circumstances. The Wise Woman has been an essential archetype for the survival of her “clan,” community, family and our human species.
The Wise Woman brings an aspect of advocating “right action,” dharma. She is the expression of the Ego in service to, and “right-relationship” with, the higher Self’s power. The Wise Woman observes, tracks, scans, monitors data from all sources (within and without) and channels wisdom leading to “right action.”
The Wise Woman archetype in her fullness feels like this:
She quietly and deftly orchestrates and imparts wise counsel and intuitive direction that shifts the receiver into new possibilities and pathways that reflect “right action” for their life path. She unobtrusively supports the wisdom of others, not seeking acclaim or notice for her contribution. She is thoughtful and reflective and rests in her felt connection with spirit and grounded connection with the earth, Gaia, the source of her wisdom and intuition.
The Wise Woman’s importance of contribution comes to the fore during crisis and intense need. Through the uniquely formed conduit that the Wise Woman embodies, wisdom and “right action” become clear. With the Wise Woman’s contribution we feel confident and assured that our path is the “right” one for us, we respond to life with a calm easefulness that transitions crisis and change with grace and wisdom.