Virgin, vulnerable or alchemic: Greek female deities have changed in the mythology, but some essential characteristic can be identified and taken as example for some healthy introspection. Which Greek goddess are you?
According to the myth of the Greek prophet Tyresias, one day while he was walking he came upon two copulating snakes. Since he felt annoyed by the view, he killed them, provoking Hera’s rage who decided to turn him into a women. Tiresias spent seven years like this, till Hera gave him his original shape again. It occurred once that Zeus and Hera interrogate themselves whether the greatest sexual pleasure is attainable by women or by men: Hera was convinced that men could, while Zeus was convinced of the opposite, In order to solve the dispute, they interrogated Tiresias. He said that pleasure is divided in ten parts: Women can enjoy nine, while the remaining one is left to men.
Is it true? Hard to determine.
Nonetheless, it is true that women played important roles in Greek myths, especially in the oldest versions where patriarchal structures hadn’t been established yet. In particular, some scholars identified three categories of goddesses according to their peculiarities: virgin, vulnerable and alchemic divine women.
They embody specific virtues and weaknesses which you may find in your personality too. And their stories might be enlightening for your story too..
Artemis: She’s the goddess of hunting and the moon, from some academics identifies as the archetype of feminism as her independence, strength and resilience can oppose male prevarication.
Strengths: the Artemis woman is strong, self’confident, her self esteem does not rely on others but only on her own capacities and therefore she’s not looking for approval. She’s trustworthy and loyal, especially with other women and she deems women to be equal to men.
Weaknesses: she can be ruthless if her principles and her freedom are at stake or if someone shows passivity and weakness. She may take the stand against men despite of everything and have a partial feminist point of view which she is not willing to give up. Intimacy is hard to achieve.
Athena: She’s the Goddess of War, of Wisdom and of Crafts. When she was born she was already adult and voted to chastity. She was born from the head of Zeus who had swallowed her mother Metis.
Strengths: She has a strong character, a strategic mindset, she’s witty and studious. Rationality tends to prevail over feelings.
Weaknesses: As for Artemis, she might be a bit too cold and emotionally distant. Furthermore, according to the myths, she is ruled by the head and not by her heart. Usually she allies with men and supports patriarchal logics. She may be ruthless for the achievement of her goals and lacks creativity and spontaneity as she’s never been a child.
Hestia: Goddess of the Heart and Home, she represents the wisdom of a close relative, wise and unmarried.
She strives to maintain cohesion and harmony, which are the greatest value in her world. These two are the result of good familiar examples which prompt her to value the family and warm empathy as the most important qualities.
Strengths: Emotional intelligence is the keyword of her personality. She’s a tender mother and nurse and tends to avoid power conflicts.
Weaknesses: Ambition and combativeness are not part of her personality so that she usually tries to avoid conflicts and keep a low profile. Due to her familiar background, she lacks self’ confidence and competitive spirit. She may be easy to subdue.
Hera: She’s the Goddess of Marriage and Fidelity. In fact, she’s the majestic, faithful and solemn wife of Zeus and queen of Heaven. She is the first deity for whom a temple was erected. According to some, in the beginning she was the goddess of matriarchy who later handed over her power to Zeus and marked the beginning of patriarchy.
Strengths: Faithful and pragmatic, she’s an anchor.
Weaknesses: The lack of self confidence is her biggest weakness and prompts her to rely on male figures in order to fulfil herself and get social recognition. She is too relationship-oriented and this need could limit her personal growth.
Persephone: Daughter of Demeter, she depends on her mother from spring till autumn and from her husband Ade in winter.
Strengths: She’s reflexive and introspective, empatic and sweet, like a blossoming adolescent. As she’s the queen of the underworld, she has the power to cast light on depth and darkness and therefore represents a guide to achieve self’ awareness.
She features creative resilience, vitality and patience.
Weaknesses: She may be too complacent and remissive with her mother and as an eternal adolescent, she can’t really release aggressiveness. This may be a problem in her relationships with men, as she tends to passively accept anything.
Demeter: Goddess of Harvest and Agriculture. If she had a modern job, she would be a teacher, a psychologist or a paediatrician. She’s a mother more than a wife.
Strengths: Patience and spirit of sacrifice for the offspring. She is an emotional point of reference and can give good advices and encouragement.
Weaknesses: Her intimate relationship with her sons and daughter might become too possessive. Furthermore, her strive towards the ideal of the perfect mother can stress her out.
Aphrodite: She’s the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Transformation. She was never a victim in Greek mythology.
Strengths: The most significant quality that marks her is her predisposition for change. This is what makes her creative, sensual, empathic. She is willing to know and be known by others and is able to achieve a playful yet intimate love with a partner. She can accomplish full sexual and sentimental union. She’s free, independent and lives in the present with intensity.
Weaknesses: Due to her seductive power, she may be considered a mere sexual object at first, and some women may feel threatened by her attitude. Her playful personality may be misunderstood and taken as superficiality.
These models serve – of course – as archetypes, while reality of psychology is much more complicated. But still you may be able to find the red thread of your personality.
Which one you recognize yourself in? And which one you prefer the most?
Let us know!