The Vulnerable Goddesses

HERA

Hera, The Goddess of Marriage, has many sides to her.

All of which come as a result of her intense yearning to be a wife.

Hera’s archetype represents the capacity to be committed, bonded, loyal, and to endure difficulties with a partner. When a woman experiences the desire to have a strong bond with a lover, she uses her will. Her strong suit is bonding with her mate. 

The Hera archetype feels fundamentally flawed in the absence of a partner. 
A women of the Hera archetype may have grief associated to being associated without a partner leading her to intense, powerful, and vindictive action. Conversely, if a Hera woman is mated, she will feel like an absolute goddess on her wedding day (which was of course extravagant) because the marriage represents prestige, respect, and honor that a Hera woman finds the most fulfilling. 

It is helpful to mention the excessive pressure a woman may feel from societal expectation to embody a Hera archetype. This leave the  women who are primarily a Virgin goddess archetype feeling disconnected from society. 

Whether the "wife" role provides meaning or pain and rage will depend on the quality of marriage and the partner's fidelty.

The modern Hera woman can have multiple facets ranging from radiance and joy to jealously and vindictive behavior.

Below I will discuss the positive aspects of Hera and the shadow aspects of the Hera woman.

 

Positive Aspects of Hera

  • Loyal

  • Radiant and joyful when in partnership 

  • Matronly

  • Able to endure difficulties in partnership

Hera’s leading characteristics are commitment, devotion, courage, creativity, and making partnership a high priority.

These are strengths that may be hidden or dormant until we consciously access them, using the integrations and initiations below, along with our best efforts, we can create a context for our partnership to thrive.

 

Shadow Aspects of Hera

 

It is important for Hera women to be aware of these negative aspects because they can become forceful and destructive when they are not consciously acknowledged.​

  • When the instinctual drive to be partnered is unmet, it becomes a preoccupation and can cause much grief if left "un partnered"

    • She may feel incomplete and a failure​

  • If partnered, a Hera woman may constrict her life and become enmeshed in her partner's roles and interests.

  • When a Hera woman is vindictively scorned by a man, she places rage at the "other woman" not to the one who humiliated her

  • Reaction of pain and loss with rage and active vengeance to pursue power to mask rejection

  • She may exclude or ostracize other women and children 

    • especially single, attractive, divorced, or sexually active women that may seem ​attractive to her partner, thus a threat to her

  • A woman may become disappointed if a man is unable to follow through with the "idealized partner" role she has projected onto him as if he implicitly promised something to her.

    • Typically as mentioned, this is but a projection of expectation from the Hera woman in her shadow​

    • She may become critical and angry with her partner when he does not live up to her expectations

  • An unhappy married woman may feel unable to leave her marriage due to the archetypal "fulfillment through others" belief

How to integrate the shadow

 

If you find yourself leaning more towards the shadows sides of the archetype, here are some ways to shine light on those shadow aspects:

 

  • Reflect on past relationships and recognize thoughts, believes, and narratives around each different of the partnership

  • Resist the urge to marry for fulfillment and instead dissect the partner's character, values, fidelity, and compatibility

  • Ask yourself what you desire in a partner and answer HONESTLY to ensure you are marrying from an capacity to love vs. deciding who you partner should become for you

  • Resist the urge to limit your role to strictly a wife as this may limit your ability to grow in expand in your life if the relationship were to come to an end.

  • Become conscious to the things you truly enjoy separate from your partner to grow beyond your role as a wife/partner

  • Consciously choose whom you trust and honor the partner in your life that is supportive and loyal to you

  • If you notice yourself becoming resentful or angry, allow healthy outlets for rage including exercise or any creative endeavor

  • Accept the reality of loss if your relationship ends​​

How to initiate your inner Hera

 

When bonding and relationship is not a strong instinct and you desire a conscious partnership, you must honestly commit yourself to cultivate intentional commitment for that to come into fruition in your life.
Here are some ways to do that:

  • Shift away from the tendency to move from one relationship to the next

  • Shift away from the tendency to avoid commitment

  • Shift away from a one sided life of chasing only achievement

  • If in the past you have found yourself pursuing partners who put you in the shadow aspects of the Hera woman, you need to become disenchanted by the type of men you find attractive and the negative treatment you may have received from them.

If you read through this and have any questions regarding how you relate to this archetype and/or how these are incorporated into our

Born to Heal Course, submit your question below for more information!

 

DEMETER

Demeter, the goddess of grain, nurturer, and mother.

This archetype in a woman is more than merely physical mothering; it is expressed in her ability to instinctively provide others with physical, psychological, and spiritual nurturing. 

 

The "mother" archetype motivates women to nurture, be generous, giving, and find immense satisfaction by providing and care taking. This archetype extends beyond just mothering, but applies to those who work in a helping profession such as therapists, nurses, counselors, etc. 

 

Although Demeter played a key role in the survival of all things that live and grow (goddess of the grain), she represented a vulnerable goddess because of her powerless to prevent her daughter's (Persephone) abduction and return. The Demeter archetype can easily become ‘victimized’ and her voice ignored. 

 

Women in Demeter archetypal fashion may face similar themes in their lives. They may feel victimized by people or circumstances of their lives, they experience a lack of power to impact change in their distress, they either vent or repress their anger, and their feelings of powerlessness leads them to depression

 

Demeter women may also find themselves the overcommitting, "people pleasing" and then feel overwhelmed in her life.

This is another way a Demeter woman can feel powerlessness. She may dismiss her own feelings, judging them as unimportant. She may be subject to self-pity until she examines her own instinctive responses to ‘giving’.

In my breakdown I discuss all of the up and downsides that  accompany the Demeter archetype.

Positive Aspects of Demeter

  • Solid and dependable

  • Practicality and warmth 

  • Generous, outer directed, altruistic, and loyal

  • Strong convictions and difficult to budge when it is important to her

  • Solid friendships with other Demeter women

  • Spiritually nourishing

Shadow Aspects of Demeter

 

It is important for Demeter women to be aware of these negative aspects because they can become depressed and resentful when they are not consciously acknowledged.​

  • She expects herself to be all knowing , all powerful, and capable of protecting her child from all pain

  • Inability to say no if someone needs her help or attention

    • Can lead to depletion and burnout in her nurturing role​

  • Fosters dependency

    • ​If she is afraid she will lose another person close to her​

  • Victimization

  • Power and Control issues

    • Can project "mother knows best" mentality onto others leaving them with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy​

  • Toxic expressions of anger

    • Passive aggressive behavior results from her own feelings and needs being discounted and she works harder to get things done​

  • Depression

    • Loss can take a significant ​toll on the Demeter woman

    • It is possible for her to get "stuck" in loss

How to integrate the shadow

 

Demeter women often have a blind spot when it comes to addressing their own negative feeling states and negative behaviors towards others. If you find yourself leaning more towards the shadows sides of the archetype, here are some ways to shine light on those shadow aspects:

 

  • Must be develop the ability to choose when, how, and to whom she will give her resources to

    • Remember, you are not an endless well of energy for others

  • Letting go of the need to keep other people dependent and tied to them 

  • Boundaries- learning to say no 

  • Become aware and release guilt for having needs as the nurturer

  • Learning to express clean anger vs. bottling up toxic anger

  • When she is asked to take on another role or responsibility, it is helpful to learn to focus on her own needs and first ask:

    • " Is this really something you want to do right now?"​

    • "Do you have enough time and energy for that?"

  • Acceptance of the Life-Death-Life cycle of loss and rebirth

    • ​Going through the grieving process, feeling the anger, and then eventually reuniting with self on a deeper level

How to initiate your inner Demeter

 

Bringing children into the world is Demeter’s greatest joy, but if you are not finding yourself in a maternal role, there are several ways to cultivate more of Demeter in your life. If you find yourself trying to become more patient, persistent, and nurturing you may be unconsciously developing the Demeter archetype.


Here are some ways to do that:

  • The archetype of mother/nurturer can be expressed in other ways not limited to child-bearer/motherhood.

    • Careers in the helping profession: nursing, teaching (especially younger children), counseling, (particularly children), cook, baker, caterer, special education, dressmaker, gardener.

  • Spend time knitting, sewing, gardening

  • Find new recipes to cook for others

  • Develop friendships with other Demeter women

  • Offer to babysit or spend increased time with children

If you read through this and have any questions regarding how you relate to this archetype and/or how these aspects of self nurture, selfless inquiry, boundaries, and compassionate awareness of shadows incorporated into our

Born to Heal Course, submit your question above for more information!

 

©2019 by Danielle McGinnis.
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