Posted on October 18, 2010
Can a modern gal Get Real by getting into ancient archetypes?
We think so. Timeless models of female wisdom provide real inspiration for women navigating their lives through a modern culture that does not.
Throughout time, wisdom has been represented as feminine, even in very patriarchal cultures, according to Jean Shinoda Bolen who spoke on camera for our documentary.
Classic female archetypes of wisdom are relevant today because they are based on something very real – the potential of a woman to become wiser, more powerful and more valuable as she grows older.
Let’s stop obsessing over our wrinkles and embrace our inner wise woman. The world needs us.
Here are some archetypes that inspire us:
The Triple Goddess. She embodies the maiden, the mother and the wise old woman. These three become one in the crone, representing the wholeness of female wisdom. Hecate is one of her names as is Triformis. She is beautifully associated with lunar phases – the full moon evokes the fullness of female wisdom.
And from ancient Egyptian scripture: In the beginning there was Isis, the oldest of the old.” She was the Goddess from whom all becoming arose. She was known as the One who is All and the Giver of Life.
Unfortunately, in Western culture the early church did much to suppress the female archetype of wisdom. But she resurfaced in the Virgin Mary and a later Madonna cult.
The ancient Vedic manifestation of the female trinity is alive and well in India today as Kali, the embodiment of eternal energy, the source of creation and destruction. Here the maiden, mother and crone are recognized as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer.
We don’t have space to explore all the female archetypes here. But ponder this: for centuries female energy was known as the creator of time, the universe and life. And still is, in many cultures. Perhaps we can reject the influence of our superficial society’s negative attitude toward aging women and embrace our potential to become wise old women.
For a deeper understanding of how these archetypes can inform modern life check out Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives by Jean Shinoda Bolen.