Hidi is an old soul with a passion for writing about femininity and traditional living in modern society.
The Seven Feminine Archetypes
Hello, and welcome to the Ms. Heartland blog!
In recent society, the ideas and standards for what a valuable woman looks like has changed, so for any young women looking to find a strong, albeit traditional female role model, that may prove quite the challenge.
However, since the beginning of time, cultures have identified their ideal and collectively agreed upon characteristics for the human condition. This concept was developed by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, and is now known as the Jungian Archetypes.
I've been doing research on Jungian archetypes as of late, so today I wanted to share with you all the seven feminine archetypes that we have agreed upon in Western society.
When I think of the ultimate feminine woman, my mind instantly goes to Grace Kelly. She appeared gentle, kind, humble, empathetic, and beautiful inside and out.
With this being said, however, I don't think that every woman needs to be photographed with perfectly curled ringlets and a glowing disposition in order to portray their femininity. I think these things could certainly help, but today I want to delve into the multiple forms that femininity can take, so that we might better understand them. Without further ado, let's get into The Seven Feminine Archetypes!
This is probably the most obvious depiction of a feminine archetype, as it is referenced in nearly every Western fairy tale, movie, TV show, etc. The idea of the nurturing, selfless mother is one that we all appreciate, and it is likely that you, my lovely reader, have probably idolized someone, whether that be your actual mother, a teacher, or anyone else that exhibits these traits because of how important to us this woman really is.
The femininity of The Mother is depicted in her idealized kind nature and giving spirit. The Mother is loving and selfless, because to her, it is the needs of her family that come before her own, and she is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to keep her loved ones safe. While The Mother is known for being gentle, it takes tremendous bravery and courage to take on this role.
A mother's job, when boiled down, is to raise her kids, and considering the pressures on a mother to raise productive members of society -who do indeed have minds of their own and might not always be so willing to accept their mom's authority- I believe that The Mother also displays confidence and insanely strong will.
In total, a Mother who understands her role and fulfills it with the grace that we all strive for is truly one of the most valuable people that we can have in our lives. Not to mention, she is a terrific role model for femininity.
The Maiden/The Virgin, call her what you will, is a symbol of a woman's purity and independence; of her uncorrupted strength. I most associate The Maiden with young ladies as she does not yet have the wisdom that comes with age, but she pursues her life with rose-tinted glasses.
The Maiden is confident in herself, and is often portrayed as a young woman still uncommitted to any one way of life -whether that be a man, a career, etc.- but embraces the many possibilities that she faces with enthusiasm and authenticity because really... What's stopping her?
The Maiden represents young women, so she is going to be most concerned with her own affairs. As prefaced earlier, The Maiden's duty is to grow, and out of her naivety, blossom into a woman of strength. When The Maiden does evolve entirely into herself, she and those around her will be much better off for it.
I would probably fall under this archetype, being a single student, so if you are a fellow "Maiden" I hope you'll allow me to share some things that I've learned.
- Be mindful of your future - You will most likely want to settle down, or commit to a way of life at some point, so try to strike a balance between enjoying life in the present and making decisions that you'll thank yourself for making down the road.
- Make conscious choices - The aspects of society that you surround yourself with impact your growth, so when choosing people, music, books, TV, and any other media to associate with, make sure that they promote your growth and not the opposite.
- Nurture your Maiden archetype - One important trait that accompanies femininity is nurturing ability, and though this is most perceived as a trait held by The Mother, The Maiden also displays nurturing ability by nurturing her own positive traits.
Now, for The Queen archetype, I am not necessarily referring to the "yasss slay queen" kind of queen or that popular band from the 70s. A Queen has rulership in a royal court, but beyond that, this particular archetype represents the authority and power in women.
Due to The Queen's power, she is rarely seen with a trustworthy safety net of peers. Because she is in a position of authority, she must take measures to defend herself and her position, which often forces her to take on an arrogant disposition that pushes others away.
The challenges that this archetype faces mostly pertain to control and leadership. The distinction made in fairy tales between the benevolent Good Queen, and the malevolent Evil Queen provides the clearest depiction of this. In these fairy tales, The Queen usually serves as a device for a character of the Maiden archetype to discover herself or find true love -yes, Disney is the biggest fan of archetypal stories- but this archetype is present in women in positions of power in the real world as well.
I am currently listening to my Celtic Woman playlist on Spotify, and the lyrics to Walk Beside Me perfectly tie into this subject. For women that relate to The Queen, or see her in someone you know, find (or be) a good friend that allows The Queen to resonate with these lyrics.
"Don't walk in front of me;/I was not born to follow./Don't walk behind me;/We were all born to lead./Don't walk without me;/I might need you tomorrow./Walk right beside me/Be the real friend I need."
The Wise Woman
Though the Wise Woman is often seen as a symbol of loss; loss of fertility, loss of external beauty, and eventual loss of life, she is actually our most superior self, according to Jung's philosophy.
The Wise Woman is, as her title suggests, wise. She symbolizes ultimate maturity and life experience, so it makes sense for her to be "superior." She has experienced interactions and relations with the other archetypes, so her knowledge would naturally far exceed that of the other feminine archetypes.
The Wise Woman has made mistakes and learned from them. She has gone to great lengths in her lifetime, and picked herself up when she fell. She's seen love and heartache, life and death, and just so much that I couldn't even fathom.
I guess my only piece of advice for ladies interacting with the Wise Woman is "respect your elders."
The Huntress embodies the independent, fierce female spirit. I would say that of all of the feminine archetypes, The Huntress is probably the most popular and most idolized archetype among young women today, if what is portrayed on mainstream media is correct. You see her in Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, Aelin Galathynius, Black Widow, well, this list itself could be a blog post of its own, but you get the point.
She totally embodies the idea of "girl power," with her self-sufficiency and willingness to take risks. Considering this, I would say that The Huntress takes on some rather masculine traits, as characters with her traits are often involved in stereotypical masculine activities.
This is not to say that The Huntress is a masculine stereotype in any way. Like all archetypes, there is a corresponding archetype that men might take to, but The Huntress displays "masculine" behavior oft in order to help support someone in need; this takes form in a family, friend group, job setting, charity, and even for oneself.
Though she seeks adventure and action, some part of her longs to settle at some point down the line. Treat The Huntress as an equal; though she likes to provide, she needs someone to look after her as well.
I don't know about you, but when I think of The Mystic, I think of Phoebe from Friends. She is just... different. She's eccentric and concerned with the importance spirituality and morality. Now, Phoebe is just a character on a sitcom, so she's bound to deviate from this archetype for the laughtrack's sake, but this is an example of The Mystic in pop culture.
I've found that the key to the Mystic's character is, as sad as it sounds, her suffering. This archetype does not experience much in the sensory world, but relies on intuition and her beliefs to guide her. The Mystic has a love for that which she cannot see, hear, touch, see, or smell, but simply has faith in it regardless. She will be deeply spiritual, but because she deals with "unearthly" concepts, she faces a lot of inner turmoil that she cannot possibly express to peers.
In stories, The Mystic is often seen as a very eccentric and extraordinary character (much like Phoebe Buffay in Friends) so she is very often used as a plot device, but she can be characterized by her devotion to the thing that she loves -which is often not any earthly thing- and her self-inflicted suffering by the faith that she has in that which she loves.
Taylor Swift has shown some different sides of herself in her past few albums, but I used to be a pretty big fan of Taylor's music (anything of hers before the Red album was my jam back in fifth grade), and what her old music portrayed was a lot of what The Lover archetype symbolizes.
The Lover is passionate, devoted, and the biggest idealist you'll ever meet. They will bring new meaning to the term "going all in," which can sometimes result in being obsessive and totally consumed in pursuit. This pursuit could be of anything from a love interest to bringing about world peace.
Though The Lover might come across as overbearing, they are also incredibly willing to receive and provide love. This could cause them to be a light in your life, but as prefaced earlier, they have the propensity to become obsessed, and will thus change themselves in order to improve your image of them or the situation, if it is not to their liking.
When interacting with The Lover, offering love, compassion, and patience is the best way of going about it. I would be surprised to find that "Better Than Revenge" was written after Taylor got home from a super sweet and romantic date. Yeah, I don't think so.
Well, that's all I have for the seven feminine archetypes, and I thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read this. Though I have delineated between the various feminine archetypes that we see in society today, please keep in mind that regardless of which archetypes you favor or most relate to, every feminine archetype is equally feminine, and they just display the most extreme aspects of what is in each and every one of us as a feminine ladies.
With love always,