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Goddesses Within: Guide to female myths (Part 1, Oct. 30, 2009)

The Jungian psychologists, the Woolger couple (Roger & Jennifer Barker), wrote that each female harbors qualities of 6 goddesses in certain ratios; the goddesses of power, civilization, eros (sexuality), underworld, nature, and mother. The mixture of qualities can be determined by answering sets of questions; thus, a female can be represented in categories of ratios on a goddess wheel.

The goddess of worldly power, ruler wife, tradition, morality, and matriarch is represented by Hera, wife of Zeus. For example, Elizabeth Taylor represents Hera in “Cleopatra, & The taming of the Shrew”, Julie Harris in “A Doll’s House”, Mary Tyler Moore in “Ordinary People”, Liv Ullmann in “Scenes from a marriage”, Shirley MacLaine in “Terms of Endearment”, and Marlene Dietrich in “Witness for the prosecution”.

The goddess of wisdom, civilization, education, city culture, careerist, competitor, intellectual, dutiful daughter, or rebel father world logic is represented by Athena. For example, Athena is Holly Hunter in “Broadcast News”, Jane Fonda in “The China Syndrome”, Rita in “Educating Rita”, Faye Dunaway in “Network”, Sally Field in “Norma Rae”, Meryl Streep in “Plenty and Silkwood”, and Jill Clayburgh in “An unmarried woman”.

The goddess of love, sexuality, body as sacred sensuality, romance, beauty, passion, salons, and patroness of the arts is represented by Aphrodite.  For example, Greta Garbo is an Aphrodite in “Anna Karenina”, Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen prefer blonde and Some like it hot”, Vivien Leigh in “Gone with the wind”, Ingrid Bergman in “Indiscreet”, Debra Winger in “An officer and a Gentleman”, Brooke Shield in “Pretty baby”, Ellen Burstyn in “Same time next year”,  and Meryl Streep in “The French lieutenant’s woman”.

The Goddess of occult medium, visions, dreams, transformation, inner guide, and healing psychic power is represented by Persephone. Deborah Kerr represents Persephone in “Black Narcissus”, Sissy Spacek in “Carries & ‘Night, mother”, Lee Remick in “Days of wine and roses”, Farrah Fawcett in “Extremities”, Jessica Lange in “Frances”, Ruth Gordon in “Harold & Maude”, Kathleen Quinlan in “I never promised you a rose garden”, Katharine Hepburn in “Long Day’s journey into the night”, and Barbara Streisand in “Nuts”.

The goddess of the wild, Amazon shamanism,  blood mysteries, adventures, huntress, lover of wilderness, and lady of the beasts is represented by Artemis.  Sigourney Weaver represents Artemis in “Aliens & Gorillas in the mist”, Jane Goodall in “Among the wild Chimpanzees”, Daryl Hannah in “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, Karen Black in “Killing heat”, and Brigitte Nielsen in “Red Sonja”.

The goddess mother, of menstruation, body as vessel lady of plants, childbearing, earth mother, generation nurturance, and daughter is represented by Demeter. Jessica Lange embodies Demeter in “Country”, Cher in “Mask”, Sally Field in “Places in the heart”, Sissy Spacek in “Raggedy man” and Shirley MacLaine in “The turning point”.

There are motion pictures on dialogues among goddesses such as “Cat on a hot tin roof”, “Gone in the wind”, Hannah and her sisters”, “Juliet of the spirit”, “Suddenly last summer”, and “The turning point”.

The names of the goddesses are Greek but you can borrow names from other ancient myths that the Greek and the Roman adopted in their mythologies such as Isis and Osiris, Ashtar, Ashtaroot, Annana, Adonis, Baal, or El.

There are follow up posts on the book “The Goddess within: A guide to the eternal myths that shape women’s lives“, including the set of questions that define your blend of Goddesses.




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