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The Basics of 7 Feminine Archetypes from Jungian Psychology


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Jungian Psychology explains that there are 12 Feminine Archetypes, in this blog post I'd like to focus on the 7 that resonated most with me; the Innocent, the Caregiver, the Beloved, the Explorer, the Scholar, the Outlaw, and the Ruler. These may have different names depending on which resource you're looking at. Each archetype represents a different type of person with certain characteristics and energy. I like to think of the archetypes as personifications of energy within.

We can usually see parts of all of the archetypes within ourselves, but are often drawn to and associate with one or two of the archetypes more strongly than the rest. We can use these archetypes to reflect on the qualities that we already possess, and the energy we want to cultivate more of. 

Since diving into this research, I've found myself using the archetypes as a tool to call in certain types of energy. For example, I see many of the attributes of the Explorer Archetype within myself, as I'm very goal oriented and independent. I love this about myself, but I'd also like to strengthen other qualities. I'd like to spend more time creating a warm home environment and to make more time for family and friends. I can use the Caregiver Archetype to express the energy I'd like to call in, as she is nurturing, family oriented, and calm. As you can see, it can be helpful to use an archetypes to personify the energy you'd like to foster in your life. 

Jungian analyst Jean Shinoda Bolen uses greek goddesses in addition to the 12 feminine archetypes to describe the different types of women we might find within ourselves. In her book, Goddesses in Every Woman, Bolen makes important insights into female psychology and helps women embrace their power and live with more authenticity and purpose. She explains that the feminine archetypes and the goddesses associated with these archetypes can be used to elevate self-awareness, cultivate inner wisdom, and develop our strengths as we navigate who we are and how we interact with the world around us.

Below you'll learn about 7 of the 12 Jungian archetypes, the goddess that represents that archetype, and ways in which to embody these energies. 

Each archetype also has a shadow side, this just means that the characteristics found within the archetype may hold negative qualities and consequences, and it's important to be aware of these. 

purple flowers in tall grass

The Innocent

The Innocent is youthful and enthusiastic. She is excited about life, energized, and ready to take on the world, not yet jaded by life’s hardships and shortcomings. She’s comfortable in her skin and is completely authentic in who she is and how she presents herself to the world.

There is a sense of naivety and innocence about her as she lacks life experience and has yet to learn many lessons. She can represent what we are like when we are young or starting something new.

She does not yet have the wisdom of age and experience, but is positive, hopeful, and optimistic. 

Shadow Side:

  • Obedient 
  • Attached 
  • People pleasing 

Goddess: Persephone, Goddess of Spring from Greek mythology, as she expresses a woman’s naivety, innocence, and need to please and be liked by others.

How to Embody this Archetype: 

  • Get creative
  • Make a plan
  • Make conscious choices
  • Choose play

 

 

trees in the forest

The Caregiver  

The Caregiver is nurturing, abundant, and generous. She is caring and compassionate, and is able to look after others. She is bursting with fertility, and she has a drive to provide for her loved ones.

Embodying the caregiver archetype may mean to embrace motherhood and have and nurture children, but it can also mean to create and sustain what you’ve created, allowing it to blossom. Examples of this are nurturing a new business venture or putting time into a creative project.

She is attune with nature and the natural cycles of the planet. 

Shadow Side:

  • Over-giving
  • Codependent
  • Controlling
  • Can experience a loss of self

Goddess: Demeter, Goddess of the harvest in Greek mythology, as she represents the archetype of Mother. In greek mythology, Demeter's grandmother was Gaia, the personification of Earth, itself. 

How to Embody this Archetype:

  • Nurture loved ones 
  • Take care of your home
  • Create something with your hands
  • Spend time in nature connecting to Mother Earth
  • Learn to be resourceful

 

 


The Outlaw 

The Outlaw is an awakened, untamed, and fierce soul who challenges the status quo. She is deeply connected to her intuition and is sure of herself and what she wants. She is confident and demands abundance for herself. She enjoys solitude and focuses her energy on inner fulfillment.

Shadow Side: 

  • Can be chaotic
  • Unpredictable
  • Destructive 

Goddess: Kali, the Hindu Goddess, as she is the quintessential embodiment of shakti, female power.

How to Embody this Archetype:

  • Spend time alone
  • Be with your thoughts
  • Set clear boundaries
  • Spend time in the wilderness
  • Practice speaking your truth with conviction
  • Know what you stand for

 

 

beach at sunset

The Beloved  

The Beloved, also known as the Lover in Jungian Psychology, is creative, playful, and confident. She is connected to her sensuality and her emotions. She has a deep desire to connect with others and have deep intimacy. She has a passion for life, she is magnetic, and she loves being the centre of attention.

Connected to wealth and abundance, she attracts these things into her life.

Her love can be healing, but she can also use her feminine power to get what she wants. 

Shadow Side:

  • Using sexuality to manipulate people
  • Controlling
  • Can attract drama 

Goddess: Aphrodite, Goddess of love in Greek mythology, she represents love and beauty.

How to Embody this Archetype:

  • Dance
  • Wear clothes that make you feel confident
  • Be creative, paint, draw
  • Indulge in delicious food
  • Send someone a love letter 

 

 

small river in fall

The Scholar

The Scholar, also known as the Sage in Jungian Psychology, is a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. She is peaceful and sincere. She is introspective and tuned into her intuition. She is secure in who she is and doesn’t compare herself with others. She is a teacher and shares her wisdom freely with others. She speaks truth, she knows her power, and is fully awake.

The Scholar has completely embodied her shadow side, she has met her shadow many times. She has learned from her mistakes and has turned her wounds into wisdom. 

Shadow Side:

  • May become introverted 
  • May feel lonely
  • May feel like she doesn't belong

Goddess: Athena, Goddess of wisdom and knowledge in Greek mythology.

How to Embody this Archetype:

  • Teach others 
  • Read about something that interests you
  • Embrace change 
  • Learn to let go

 

 

The Explorer 

The Explorer is a vibrant soul, who lives life on her own terms. She works hard toward her goals and achieves them. She is courageous, competitive, and self assured. She relies on herself and doesn’t need a partner to complete her. She’s a natural activist and stands up for what she believes in. She is a protector of others and is at home in nature. 

Shadow Side: 

  • avoids vulnerability
  • can push people away
  • can resent other women

Goddess: Artemis, Goddess of hunting and the moon in Greek mythology.

How to Embody this Archetype:

  • Start a new adventure
  • Take on a new challenge
  • Go for a Hike
  • Set goals and go after them
  • Take part in a competition 
  • Stand up for a cause you believe in  

 

 

The Ruler 

The Ruler embraces her power, she’s confident and a natural leader. She knows her worth, and doesn’t tolerate negative, unhelpful attitudes around her. She is loyal, protective, and responsible, and she can make good decisions for others.

She knows the importance of investing in herself and looks to surround herself with the best mentors and experts around. She is always growing and leveling up. She’s on a divine path and is here to make great change. 

Shadow Side: 

  • can become judgemental
  • shallow
  • image conscious 
  • easily threatened 
  • vengeful 

Goddess: Hera, wife of Zeus and Queen of the Gods, and is known for being the Goddess of marriage and birth in Greek mythology. 

How to Embody this Archetype:

  • Invest in your growth
  • Make big decisions
  • Spend money on yourself
  • Make upgrades
  • Call on the best advisors  

As I mentioned, I resonate with the explorer energy, and I'd like to cultivate more of the caregiver and sage energies. I'm so excited to dive deeper into this, perhaps there needs to be another blog post on this topic!

Which archetype do you resonate with most? Why do you think that is? I would love to hear from you, leave a comment down below!

"When you live in your own truth and know who you really are from the inside-out then it is easy to find connection, purpose, and true happiness in this world"

- Jean Shinoda Bolen


10 comments


  • dan

    Your use of the shadow makes it seem like the shadow is a bad thing. the shadow represents the repressed parts in a person that they are not ware of


  • Mobina

    Very good 👏 thanks ❤️but i think The description of the last archetype does not match Hera. In my opinion, Hera is an archetype who loves marriage and husband and is also dependent and does not focus on improving his level.


  • Rosaura

    Thank you for sharing this content. Easy to read and to the point.

    At this stage of my life, I relate to all the feminine arquetypes, presented in their negative and positive descriptions. The process for me has been to balance these…which will never end! Amazing!

    Thanks again.
    Rosaura


  • Suzanne Fortescue

    So many specific people came to mind as I read the various archetypes. Thank you for an informative and intriguing post. I’m going to get the Goddesses book you recommend too. 🙏


  • Tanaz

    Love love love this piece of writing I was doing research on 7 feminine archetypes and found you.
    Written so beautifully. Thank you.
    I see myself as a mix of them but more so with the wild woman and the wise woman…of course a little bit of all…I like to integrate more of the huntress and Queen…


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