Goddess Archetype with Examples

Introduction

The goddess archetype is the primary feminine archetype based on the female persona. She radiates femininity and feminine powers to demonstrate what it means to be a female figure. In literature, she is presented as having radiating grace, power, and glory with a magnetic pull to illuminate context and perplex others. The enigma of such archetypes demonstrates nurturing power, guidance, sexuality, and maternal wisdom. However, the other aspects may include vanity and self-indulgence.

Character Traits of Goddess Archetype Characters

As a goddess archetype is always a feminine or female figure, she presents her pulling power through her enigmatic character. She is inspiring, loving, appreciative, and protective. Even fertility and nurturing power are attributed to a goddess archetype. Although at times, such archetypes could be revengeful and furious, they always work toward constructive purposes. The best positive traits of such characters are their feminine power, attraction, compassion, and inspiration.

Weaknesses of Goddess Archetype Characters

Although the goddess archetype characters are always positive, they turn to negativity in their shadowy aspects. In this situation, they display wrath, vengeance, selfishness, and even inconsiderate character traits. These negative attributes often couple with meanness and jealousy and ultimately wreak havoc upon the victims around the goddess archetypes. Their emotional strength turns into indifference, and they become highly cruel and barbaric.

Types of Goddess Archetype Characters

Goddess of Wisdom Archetype Characters

Like Grecian mythology, every mythology has gods and goddesses. Some of them are attributed to have wisdom and sagacity that they transfer to their human subjects. Some goddesses possessing wisdom are Methias in Grecian mythology and Shekhinah in Irish mythology. They not only have skills in transferring wisdom but also have mystical experiences on the basis of which they achieve this status. Hecate in Greek myths is also stated to have this status.

Goddess of Wrath Archetype Characters

Some goddess archetypes are attributed to have wrath that they transfer to their subjects. For example, the Egyptian goddess, Sekhmet, and the Hindu goddess, Kali, have been shown to possess wrath. They express this wrath and transfer it against injustice and cruelties. Although it brings justice to the social fabric, in its extreme form, it leads to devastation and causes havoc in society.

Goddess of Happiness Archetype Characters

Such type of archetypes possesses cheerfulness and playfulness to spread happiness around them. In Grecian mythology, the goddess, Baubo, is stated to release tension through humor. However, this humor does not mean humiliation of someone or malice against someone. Such archetypes are often sharp in tongue and humorous in wit. They demonstrate a sense of unity through this humor to spread cheerfulness and happiness.

Goddess of Compassion Archetype Characters

Such types of archetypes spread kindness, warmth, love, and understanding and transfer these attributes to their subjects. Kannon, the goddess of compassion in Japanese mythology, spreads love and generosity, while Guanyin is a lady of mercy in Chinese folk literature. Both spread compassion, love, and mercy to the subjects.

Goddess Archetype Character Examples in Literature

Example #1

Circe in Circe by Madeline Miller

Published back in 2018, this fresh novel from the American writer, Madeline Miller, presents the story of Circe, that appears as a witch in Odyssey. In Odyssey, her role is turning comrades of Odysseus into animals. Miller’s art lies in presenting the same thing from the feminine perspective. The book presents Circe in all of her bewitching qualities and benefits accruing from that. This seems a perfect example of a goddess archetype.

Example #2

Glinda in The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Referred by Frank Baum as the good witch of “the South”, Glinda appears in almost all the other versions of this novel, including this one. However, she appears very late when all others go to the South to have her advice about their journey. With her white dress and beautiful face, she seems to be the perfect goddess archetype for her inherent goodness and for confronting the Wicked Witch of her region. She guides the Princess of Oz to bring prosperity and peace to the land.

Example #3

Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Although she is just a magical character, her role in the book, published back in 1926, is highly interesting after she takes the charge of the Banks children. Not only does she prove a good teacher, but she also teaches how magic could be used for good purposes. However, the interesting thing about her is that she is a helicopter ward taking care of the children from an English perspective with a cockney accent and stern face. Yet, her persona is appropriate to be called a goddess archetype.

Example #4

Aphrodite and Artemis in Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Published in 2007, Marie Phillips has stretched her imagination to include the gods and goddesses of Olympus in her book to make them live in Hampstead instead of the ancient age. Presenting both of the goddesses as a sex chatline and dog-walker, she has highlighted how Aphrodite and Artemis respectively behave in this modern age. Things turn topsy turvy for the goddesses when they come across Neil and Alice. Although the goddesses do not treat Alice humanly, nevertheless, their characters represent goddess archetypes.