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Greek Goddesses

The female goddesses faded into the background, and women in society followed suit . . . [w]e may find ourselves wondering to what degree the suppression of women's rites has actually been the suppression of women's rights . . . (Bolen, 1984, p. 21).

Bolen (1984) cites seven Olympian goddesses as embodiments of the essential female archetypes. These are the following: Demeter, the maternal goddess, and the embodiment of the mother archetype; Persephone, daughter of Demeter; Hera, the wife; Aphrodite, the lover; Artemis, the sister and competitor; Athena, the strategist, and Hestia, the hearthkeeper. Bolen (1984) affirms the social significance of such archetypes:

Myths and fairy tales are expressions of archetypes, as are many images and themes in dreams. The presence of common archetypal patterns in all people accounts for similarities in the mythologies of many different cultures. As preexistent patterns, they influence how we behave and how we react to others (Bolen, 1984, p. 15).

Bolen (1984) notes that the original twelve Olympian god-

figures included six gods and six goddesses: Zeus, Poseidon,

Hades, Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, and Hestia, Demeter, Hera,

Artemis, Athena and Aphrodite. Hestia, the original goddess of the hearth, was replaced by Dionysus, the god of wine, thus making the balance of males to females seven to one. This

appears to comport with the patriarchal tendency of Greek mythology.

Hall (1980) describes the archetypes in terms of four

complex types based on Greek mythology. These are Mother

(Demeter), Amazon (Artemis), Sexuality (Aetaira/Aphrodite)

Campbell (1949) describes a different hierarchy of

female archetypes, beginning with the Queen Goddess of the

She is the paragon of all paragons of beauty, the reply to all desire, the bliss-bestowing goal of every hero's earthy and unearthy quest. She is mother, sister, mistress, bride (Campbell, pp. 110-111).

Campbell's description of t...

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Greek Goddesses. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:58, August 18, 2017, from
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