The Soul Garden

Goddess Archetypes and You

January 12, 2024 Georgina Langdale Episode 41
The Soul Garden
Goddess Archetypes and You
Show Notes Transcript

This week is all about the goddesses within and looking at goddess archetypes through the lens of a midlife woman. Getting to know these archetypes and working with them to help navigate life can be wonderfully empowering.

In this episode we explore the archetypes of Hestia, Hera, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone and Aphrodite.

If you are interested in the Soul Medicine for the Midlife Woman online programme join my mailing list and I'll let you know when the doors open.

The full NatFem Botanics Collection of products I have created to support women through perimenopause and menopause can be purchased at

The Book I mentioned:
Jean Shinola Boden, M.D
Goddesses in Everywoman - a new psychology of women
Harper Perennial
Published 1984

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life transitions is a key focus of the work that I do at Georgina And also, it's a focus for products I make in the Archeus apothecary. And over the last full well over the course of the last decade really, one of the key life transitions that I've been focusing on is one that women will go through, and it is menopause. It's the perimenopause, transition to menopause, and then life beyond menopause. And it's a huge point in a woman's life. And you know what, I just love supporting women through this time through this transition. And I think I'm very much in the menopause rocks club, in spite of some of the kind of yuck symptoms and things that we go through as we're going through menopause. But to be honest, I think that crossing over this midlife threshold as a woman gives us the power for real empowerment. Last year 2023, I created an online program called Soul medicine for the Midlife Woman. And I put together a program of different things that I thought and I've used and worked with clients to help really take an embrace the power of the menopause transition. I am actually adding to that program at the moment because I did some training last year with the Integrative Women's Health Institute in menopause coaching, really looking at the workings of the endocrine system and how we can help women through menopause by understanding that better. So I'm actually in the process of folding in some of those things that I've learned from that into my soul medicine course to add a kind of a physiological dietary supplementary sort of aspect to to the wider program. But I thought as we get into the new year into 2024, that it might be helpful to give you a little peek at one of the lectures one of the talks I do within the soul medicine course, I will be re releasing soul medicine for the midlife woman but in this augmented enhanced expanded version of what it was in 2023. Plus, I'll be doing some regular live zoom calls with people who sign up for the course. I'm going to use this week's episode of the soul garden just to share with you a talk I gave in insole medicine for midlife women last year on Goddess archetypes and ways that we can work with them for our own self determination. So I'm going to put that recording in here for you now and I'll come back is me in 2024 and say goodbye to you at the end of this talk, the talk goes for 29 minutes. So, I will see you on the other side. Today in this talk, I am talking about the Goddess within our goddesses What don't we all love to be one. The fact is that we are at any one time we can be and contain within ourselves the archetypes of a number of goddesses. And so, thinking of oneself as a goddess is not sort of you know big headed or anything. It can actually be a fantastic tool for her Managing Oneself. Before I go any further I am going to show up a book. This is goddesses in every woman, a new psychology of women so I hope that you can see that and it is by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD and has a foreword by Gloria Steinman and it was published in 1984. You can tell I've gone through my midlife because I have to hold the book further away now to read it. So where are we was published in 1984. I found this in a secondhand bookshop, but you know, you could probably get it on your online shop of choice. The thing is about it, this is a great book. And so if you can find a copy of it, I really recommend that you get it. Why? Because Jean Shinoda Bolen is a psychiatrist. And she did a whole heap of work around working with archetypes for women, and for our development and our progression and the way we show up in the world. I went into this book with a sort of open mind, but I got to the end of it, and I just thought, wow, she's fabulous. This is like, a really beautiful elder. In fact, if I talked about Jean Shinoda Bolen as an goddess archetype in writing this book, I would say that the predominant archetype was of Hestia, the Greek goddess Hestia, who's the goddess of the hath, and is a wise woman. Now, why would we work with goddess archetypes, because they can help us figure stuff out, they can shine a light on the different and nuanced aspects of our character and our hopes and our fears and our passions, and can become a really effective tool for navigating ourselves through life. So I'm going to now just quickly introduce 123456 Greek goddesses from Greek mythology, but I'm looking at them through the lens of being a midlife woman. As we know this transition. It's kind of, we have an opportunity to change, to grow, to develop, to let things go and bring things in. And these amazing ladies, these goddesses can just help us do that. Right, so where to begin? The first goddess I'm going to mention is Artemis the Greek goddess Artemis, also known as the Roman goddess, Diana. So Artemis was the known as the hunter. She's the one that is has her her hounds with her. And she's kind of this pretty ruthless Hunter. But she's also known as a moon goddess, or a goddess of the woods in a way because she was very comfortable. In night, at night in the forest, she owned the space. And then there's this whole legend that some guy came along and she she also seemed to be a kind of protector of virgins. She's not very keen on men. And one day she and her virgin priestesses had stopped at a pool, stripped off garden for a swim and to sort of bathe and some bloke came along and spied on them. He didn't have the sense to run away when he sees a goddess bathing. And Artemis saw him and turned him into a stag and his own hunting dogs that he was was torn to pieces. Pretty vindictive, really. But the hunter is an archetype for the women. For a woman, the Artemis archetype is all about sovereignty, about an identity that's not built on the relationship that you're in the man you might love the woman that you might love. It's it's kind of self contained and powerful. And there's, you know, the hunter goes after its prey. She's pretty amazing. So when we're in midlife, as we're going through this transition, and we're trying to think about how am I going to really make the most of everything the stage of life gives me and moving onwards, getting a little bit of Artemis within In my help give the drive and the single mindedness in a way to go after the things that really matter to you for yourself self governance. On the other side of that coin is Hera. Hera is the goddess of matrimony. She's the complete opposite of Artemis Hera places the husband at the center of her life, you know, marriage husband, that is all that matters. It could also apply to the career woman whose career is all that matters, nothing else matters. So this is a really interesting archetype for women in midlife, especially if we've spent our younger years absolutely playing second fiddle to our partner. It may be that their career has been able to progress at the detriment of your own, there can be that feeling often that one's own identity gets subsumed by the partner, husband, whatever, or that company one works for you become so enmeshed with a company you lose your own sense of self. So in midlife, a lot of this can kind of come under the spotlight of one's own scrutiny. Is the marriage is the husband still working for me? Am I secure in the marriage, often women with the hara archetype can be very possessive and jealous. And then what happens if that relationship ends, what happens if there's a parting of the ways or your partner dies? What happens to her then so the challenge often for women with a strong head or archetype is to be able to navigate those sorts of changes without falling into a big depression. If one is a woman that that heroine magnet myth, that Hera archetype is really central to them, they've spent all their years focusing on doing everything for the partner, or husband or whatever. What happens in that situation changes. At that time, the HERA archetype would do really well to call on the other goddesses to give her a hand to lift her out of the collapse of her worlds. And we'll talk about that a bit more in a moment. Diameter is the Greek goddess of grain. She's the mother, she's a classic maternal archetype. She is all about nourishing others, that's my she's this Goddess of grain and crops and you know, all these things that feed us. She is the Goddess that provides a nourishes, and mothers, the family, children, husband, friends, whoever local community shall be the one with a pie, you know, take stand at the local fate or whatever. Often in a date with someone with a strong diameter archetype is probably drawn to working in the caring professions. A number of things can happen for the diameter archetype as we head into perimenopause, and then through the menopause transition and the big one for the Demeter archetype is often around biological clock ticking, there can be often a desire for children when maybe you haven't had children before or another just you know, wanting another child that's wanting to birth something and care for it, the biological clock ticking can be a thing, it may be that she also may call on other archetypes to help her through this, for example, maybe she would call on Aphrodite to help her channel that desire for nurturing and creation into some sort of, I don't know new art form or, or something that that does something nourishing for others in a different sort of way. The Empty Nest can also be a really huge change for the diameter archetype woman, if one's a soul is fed by the feeding of others and the caring of others. When those kids leave the nest, that is just huge. So what the wonderful Jean Shinoda Berlin says in her book is The diameter archetype after the emptiness and midlife can grow by learning to be her own good mother. She can grow by learning to be her own good mother. Often I think we possibly are all guilty of this at times, the Demeter archetype just can't say no, she wants to help. Oh, yes, I'm going to help here and I'm going to help here and Carmen let me do this and wonderful, beautiful, generous, hard, but it can lead to her her own self, getting overburdened, burnt out, fatigued, all of that sort of thing. So the key to management of managing one's own diameter archetype in oneself is to be your own good mother. So that lovely, right, another Goddess is Persephone, Persephone is or she's the maiden. She's all about youthfulness and, you know, fresh faced and joyful and, and, and there's a certain naivety about her. And as she ages as that archetype ages, there can be issues around accepting that one doesn't possibly look quite so youthful anymore. In terms of us as midlife women, the Persephone archetype may make us struggle with the actual physical reality of aging. And so again, if we can identify that, then we're able to call on these other archetypes to help us through it. You know, this is what I love about this is it's all about Women Helping Women and they're all inside you. You truly are a goddess. So I've got two more to go. One is so we got Persephone, who's kind of youthfulness in the maiden. And then we've got Aphrodite. The Greek in Greeks, called her Aphrodite and the Romans she was called at Venus. And she is all about beauty sensuality, sexuality, seduction, love, you know, passion, all of womanliness just VAVA voom she you know people like the goddess Hera, who's sitting placing everything around her husband just can't cope with the Aphrodite archetype type coming into the orbit with her husband because she was going to be trouble here, but there might not be but Aphrodite kind of has a huge presence and we all know an Aphrodite somewhere, don't we? But we all have her within ourselves too. And so for me the things that I've been thinking about in midlife with regards to Aphrodite or Venus is not losing sight of living in the sense your world you know for me, I interpret Venus Aphrodite beauty sensuality etc. Beyond just six but right through into the foods I eat, the art I make or look at the music I listen to the song I sing the fabrics I wear the colors I surround myself with the the the tactile sensation of my dog or a beautiful ceramic pot. For me all of those things really play strongly to my my sense of my Aphrodite archetype and you know for the first part of a woman's life what I'm going to speak from the I hear the first half of my life or more pre perimenopause as a young woman, that Aphrodite archetype brought with a sense of never really living up to it. Oh my god, you know, I'm not beautiful enough. I'm not attractive or not seductive enough. I'm not sensual enough. Am I good enough in the sack, all of that sort of stuff in midlife, so I'm finding that I'm exploring Aphrodite and Venus's relationship sense your relationship with the world beyond the bedroom. And, and that is just wonderful. I also think that going through menopause, your hormones are changing well. I'm going to speak from the eye again. And and it can be that actually, all of that youthful Persephone made In time of our lives when we're kind of the world is full of opportunity and in Venus, Aphrodite is going to make a lot of that opportunity about you know, relationships and love affairs and romance and more, there's more room in my head because I'm not thinking about that stuff so much anymore. But I am thinking about my vibrant the vivacious, vital, energizing, inspiring way of living with a sense your world. What inspires me? What do I want to create? What creativity Do I just does it build me up? So Aphrodite Venus archetype can, I think moved from this kind of womanly body thing to a relationship with the world and a bit of both. In a funny sort of way, I call on the Aphrodite archetype. In post menopause, I'm working with her to help me feel good about my body in a way that I never used to. And that goodness gets enriched and enhanced by its connection and an interplay with the sense your world around me. And then finally, there's the goddess Hestia, Greek goddess Hestia. She was known as by the Romans as Vesta, you may have heard of the Vestal virgins. Hestia is the goddess of the hearth. She's known as the wise woman, and she's known not so much for her deeds, but for her rituals. Good old ceremony. Again, her symbol is the circle. And in the ancient cities, cities, like the Renaissance remodeling of Florence was based on this idea of the Central Part being a fire that was burning that was for Hestia, or for Vesta. And this symbolizes the importance of this goddess, keeping the home fires burning, keeping the house safe, protecting the city. So her significance was really in rituals. And yes, we would then see that these fires Hestia or vistors, fires, were tended to by these virgins the word hath means Focus comes from the roof, the word focus focusing inward into the center. So here steer is like this wise woman goddess, she looks inwards. She has a deep and rich spiritual life. This archetype is the wise woman, elder, she looks inward, she's honored. She's about spiritual illumination, the fire of wisdom, the burning away of what is not needed, a really wonderful archetype. So when we work with archetypes, I'll give you another example. I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who is an author and psychotherapist, he said to me one day, he said, something along the lines of you as strongly Artemis. You know, you have a strong Artemis archetype, but you're also actually led by Venus, but she can want a lot, but maybe you should give her a bit more than you're giving. And I was like, wow, what is that? And then I thought, Oh, that's really cool. So all my life, I've done art and things, you know, bit here and there. But I thought I could bring Venus out to play a lot more with those things that I love to make and create. And how might I dress differently as a woman I midlife that is really honoring my Aphrodite? And how can Aphrodite and Artemis team up on me to give me the drive to get things done to achieve what I want to do? So I sort of see at the moment a trinity of goddesses Hestia because of that, spiritual illumination and WISEWOMAN elder, joining hands with Aphrodite, giving me that sense your connection with the world. And then Artemis keeping me focused and on track with the things I want to do and just telling you my story to help illuminate ways we can work with the archetypes. So for example, let's say you have a strong hero archetype, the goddess of matrimony, and you're in and, and then you're divorced. And you've got to kind of start from scratch. In a situation like that you might as per se right, I want to pull in more Venus more Aphrodite, to help me love myself again, and Adam is to help me get the things done I need to do as a newly single woman. Or you might go, Gosh, my marriage is over. I'm single again, I feel quite battered around by this change. Or, or, finally, I'm free. I am going to connect and build and work with my Persephone archetype, the maiden to give me a bit of that lightness of being, you know, to just enjoy this new beginning for me as a woman out in the world. What would be another one? diameter, the mother, let's say, you have a strong diameter archetype. And you've been mothering and the kids have all left the home, they've all flown the nest, they've gone off traveling or university or whatever it is they're doing, and you're thinking, Oh, heck, what comes next maybe diameter could team up with with Artemis to get that Artemis archetype, part of us being able to say, I'm going to do some things for myself. Now. I have spent years looking after everyone else. Now. It's my turn to look after me. There could be need, or you've been carrying for years for your parents who are aging and maybe passed away now. And that is tough work on every part of you on mind, body and soul. So maybe there comes a time of then saying right now Artemis is going to help me put some boundaries around. So I can just take care for myself for a while and I'm going to spoil myself. So hey, Aphrodite, come on in. Let's get looking at the things that delight and inspire me and move me and those sorts of things. I think that as women in midlife, working and familiarizing firstly, ourselves with these goddess archetypes is fantastic. And then playing with them, getting to know them within you. How are they showing up? Who's taking the lead? And where can they help you get to where you want to go in life. I hope that you've enjoyed this talk about goddess archetypes. They are so so useful. So I really do encourage you do to play with them and use them as your pack of empowerment sisters, if you're interested in the sole medicine course that this comes from. As I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast episode, I am in the process of augmenting it with information around some of the endocrine stuff that happens as we go through menopause and how to find ways to help manage some of that what I recommend is you head over to my website, Georgina And join my mailing list because I will be letting my subscribers know when that course is becoming available again. And if you're listening to this and you're a woman in midlife or beyond, whether you're going through the menopause transition or you're out the other side, I make a range of products called the NatFem Botanics collection which is designed specifically to help and support women's body beauty and mind in midlife and beyond. And I make products there for all sorts of things that we kind of have to deal with at this time of life. And you might want to check out things like my NatFem Super soothing balm for everyday comfort and those special moments. Okay, ad break over and I really am so delighted that you could join me this week in the soul garden. My name is Georgina Langdale and I really look forward to talking to you again next week. You can find links to my websites in the show notes below. And I'll also put down the name of the author in the book that I mentioned in this Talk, take care. Embrace the Goddesses within and see you next week. Bye