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Historically, masculine rulers/conquerors of lands and societies, usurped the goddess power in these societies they conquered and absorbed and distorted these goddesses into their own beliefs of whom they most resembled.For example, under Roman rulership, many of the Celtic goddesses were taken over--such as Brigit, who seemed similar to the Roman goddess, Minerva (Greek Athena).Consider: male and female organs are, in fact, symbols for the archetypal energies known by the Chinese as yin and yang.Archetypes also go beyond the psyche bridging inner and outer worlds.A goddess is the form that a feminine archetype may take.Goddess types represent models of ways of being and behaving that we women all share and recognize from the collective unconscious.Jungian analyst, Jean Shinoda Bolen, a clinical professor of psychiatry, has also authored a very popular, and perhaps a somewhat more personal book on Goddess types.Her book, The Goddesses in Everywoman, 1985 & 2004, explores seven feminine archetypes.
In this way, we bring into balance our hidden goddess qualities and better actualize our gifts.In fairy tales this archetype may be revealed to us as a queen, a princess or a witch.In our nighttime dreams we tap into the collective unconscious whereby we access the common pool of archetypal images.Goddesses, as a feminine archetype, remain alive to this day in the psychology of women; and, depending upon which energies are more pronounced, influence her personality with a distinct character, a way of being, a way of relating in the world--a way of offering her special gifts.
In other words, women are a blend of these types with particular types predominating while other qualities may be more recessive--out of her conscious awareness.
Personally, the ancient Greek historian, Hesiod's interpretation of the Olympian goddess myths is preferred and used, here, over the perspectives of Homer. FOR FURTHER READING, SEE BOOKS CITED BELOW Jungian psychologists Jennifer and Roger Woolger provide a most outstanding and complete academic coverage of the influence of goddess types in their book, The Goddess Within: A Guide To The Eternal Myths That Shape Women's Lives, 1987.