Archetypal energies reside in everyone and are universal to all women of all cultures. Many of the energies have been either unhealthily conditioned in us or remain absent due to past wounds and experiences, or lack of healthy role models. Below we explore the 5 key archetypes that as women we tap into during our most primal, human moments – as parents, as lovers, as leaders, as healers, as students, as teachers. The Mother bathes us in her unconditional love. The Lover teaches us to rest in our hearts and bodies and have a sensual appreciation for love and life. The Priestess teaches us to be empty; a conduit for Love and Spirit, and to trust the wisdom of our heart over our mind. The Warrior teaches us to create healthy boundaries, stand up for ourselves and be willing to see and face the truth.
The feminine path of spirituality is largely the embodiment of these four archetypes which culminate in the unstoppable Queen. By working consciously with these archetypal energies, you can call on them to enrich, empower, enliven and evolve your life.
THE 5 KEY FEMALE ARCHETYPES
I refer to the Great Mother here, not the personal mother who birthed you, but rather the archetypal mother who is all nurturing, has what you need, can be there for you, show up for the child inside of you, and who can support you in your own mothering. If you feel you weren’t adequately mothered, this inner mother can support you in those areas where you didn’t receive loving, nurturing, mothering energy.
Compassion, love and forgiveness are all attributes of the Mother archetype. She has tremendous strength of heart and when she feels hurt, she sees those who hurt her through the eyes of understanding and forgiveness. This is not weak, passive or submissive, but takes more strength than holding on proudly and refusing to forgive. Being in the Mother archetype doesn’t mean you don’t have boundaries, it just means that the suffering of an unforgiving, unloving heart dissolves.
The Mother is devoted to the burning, sacred heart of unconditional love.
When we embrace the Mother, we give love as medicine to our children and our loved ones, and practice selfless service when needed. Every action or decision that we make is from the heart. When there is a relational challenge, the Mother can automatically drop her attention into her heart and keep love in the centre. This is because the heart, when truly felt, is beyond right and wrong, beyond the illusion of separation and beyond ego. When the sperm of attention penetrates the womb of the Mother’s heart centre, she meets the mundane, holy, and horrible with love beyond imagining.
Initiatory Prayer: Divine Mother, help me to rest in my heart and offer unconditional love and compassion to all my relations and to my own inner child.
When our Mother archetype is in shadow, the wounding with our own mother may be profound. We may not know how to take care of our own physical needs, be in our bodies, or nurture our children. We may feel incompetent as mothers, or become narcissistic and deny our children their needs, individuality or experiences. Shadow Mother appears in the feminine who is totally absent to her kids and is ineffectual, controlling, demanding, manipulative or guilt-inducing. Shadow Mothers don’t mind their own business and they may not know how to make real contact. Caretaking as a source of validation and approval is also a strong trait of the Shadow Mother where we overly mollycoddle and please to compensate for our own lack of mothering, only to feel resentful afterwards. So, we become Martyrs and Victims. Shadow Mother will be more self-focused than self-serving and will not know how to extend love unconditionally because they have never been graced with such love, from themselves or from others.
* * *
The Lover has a sensual, celebratory appreciation of love, life and sensuality. When we are embodying our Lover energy we are resting in bodily sensation, receptivity and surrender, feeling what is present, completely, without abandoning ourselves. She is playful, uninhibited and childlike. She loves connection and wants to engage the world with her body, her senses, and her heart. Relationships with ourselves and others, with animals and the natural world, are primary to the Lover within. She is sensual, sexual, playful, embodied, creative, inquisitive and in touch with her emotions.
The healthy Lover accepts and loves herself as she is, also understanding that the most important person in our life who can give us consistent, warm, nurturing, loving personal support and acknowledgement is ourselves.
As we become more responsible for our own needs and wants, our ability to open and surrender heightens because we are becoming familiar with a peaceful safety. Embodying the magic of the Lover – self-care, self-esteem and self-love – means that we no longer feel the pull to enmesh with another because we have a fulfilling healthy intimacy with ourselves. The deeper we embody the Lover and truly love ourselves, the easier it is to receive love without the censor of poor self-worth. When you love yourself enough to really feel the completeness of what it’s like to be truly loved, that’s when you can authentically open to others in your loving energy.
The Shadow Lover is the victim, the unhealthy seductress, the needy grasper, the controlling, manipulative, power-crazed cobra who throws daggers and/or punishes with the withdrawal of her love. She is not to be denied if we are to live from our healthy lover. If she is denied she will seep out unconsciously and dangerously. The Lover falls into shadow when we are traumatized, abandoned, sexually abused or in some way hurt as children. She can also fall into shadow in adulthood after a rape, abusive relationship or deep loss of someone we love. If we had mothers and fathers who didn’t know how to make contact with us, or didn’t hold us or truly see us, our Lover may not feel safe enough to come forth.
The traits of the Shadow Lover include: neediness, aggression, guilt, repulsion, pouting, withdrawing, attention seeking, making ultimatums and endless demands. She either uses emotions as weapons to control, guilt and manipulate others, or sacrifices herself to another’s feelings, needs and demands since deep down, she feels small and disempowered. She has forgotten that she is Love embodied and that everything ‘out there’ mirrors her own vibrations.
Commitment for the Shadow Lover is co-dependent and becomes a prison based on obligation and ownership. Both partners sacrifice their own freedom, depth and potential as they are trapped in the soul-destroying cycle between distancing and merging, fear and desire. Conversely, when two ‘whole’ beings come together they neither control the other, nor allow themselves to be controlled. They are equals who honour themselves as they honour each other. Their commitment has nothing to do with guarantees and sacrifices but everything to do with innocence. They are committed to the open heart of healthy Lover energy which melts away all wounds and distortions with a tender gaze and compassionate arms, seeing the other as an Innocent Divine Child and as a mirror.
The Warrior creates healthy boundaries, so we can stand up for ourselves. She is willing to see and face the truth. In creating healthy boundaries, she sets limits for personal well-being and self-respect. She is not a Victim and she trusts herself to face her fears and protect herself. We can call on our Warrior to provide strength and protection. She is essential to creating the safety needed for our Inner Children to come forth. Warrior boundaries are also essential to creating healthy friendships and intimate relationships. Often our greatest Warrior challenges are to be faithful to the Truth as we know it, especially when our ego doesn’t like it or want it, and to not abandon ourselves, but rather stay present to ourselves.
The Warrior will always tell herself the truth and then be honest with others, even if it means risking losing that person’s love, because truth takes priority.
The Warrior archetype is not society’s ‘ideal woman’. She feels everything unashamedly and is brave enough to be with all her emotions. She doesn’t feel obliged to give anything other than her authentic presence. If she feels unwell she doesn’t put on a mask with a happy smile, keeping it all inside for it to blow up into an insidious fight later. Rather, she is honest.
Of all the archetypes, the Warrior is where we become most powerful and free because she is the one brave enough not to deny the shadow in the first place and to truly be herself, whatever the cost. She is scrupulous in her inner-work and is faithful and devoted to the truth beyond her own ego and how she presents herself. Her energy calls to strengthen you to meet your fears, your traumas, your wounds, and to face your shadow – She is courageous!
Initiatory Prayer: Warrioress teach me to serve the Truth, and to tell the Truth, especially to myself and to assert my boundaries
The Shadow Warrior serves the ego rather than the deepest Truth. When our Warrior is in shadow, we may feel completely ineffectual, unassertive and incapable of making or following through with a plan or a task. A woman with a passive Shadow Warrior may be unreliable with her time, commitments, or agreements. She does not create boundaries for herself, so people invade her space or walk all over her. She does not say ‘No’, may not know how to defend herself, nor know how to protect her Inner Child. She may be disabled by her fears, low on confidence and self-esteem, or afraid to ask for what she wants or needs.
The Shadow Warrior can appear defensive, aggressive, invasive, disrespectful of others and their boundaries – a ‘tough girl’. She projects her anger and is very volatile. Fear is behind this behaviour, but it is hidden, and most likely her vulnerability is not even felt. These behaviours arose at some stage in her life to protect herself in difficult circumstances but are no longer helpful and can be transformed when the fear and vulnerability are met and felt, or when anger and rage are channelled healthily.
The Priestess is a medium between worlds and has learnt to be empty. She recognizes that she knows nothing and trusts what comes, relying on her intuition and psychic abilities over her rational mind. She is connected to mysticism and is continuously falling in love with the unknown. She trusts the voice of Spirit and has a strong practice in disidentifying with the mind. The Priestess within us fires our longing for the mystery and sources our journey Home to self-realisation. While a lot of us attach our longing to the external world (through partners, money, status, substances, chocolate, etc.) the Priestess realizes that all longing is a longing for the Sacred.
It is the Priestess in us that sends us on a search for knowledge: spiritual, metaphysical, psychological, intellectual, scientific, technical – all kinds. She draws us to the Unknown—or the Unknown draws us to it via the Priestess archetype. She serves as the receiver from other dimensions: dreams, visions, art, music, poetry, healing energy, insights, instructions, guidance, information, dharma and endless other possibilities. She can bring us a great deal of sensitivity to energy, sensation, feelings and unseen or unacknowledged occurrences which may be happening in our own bodies, or beyond to our families and the world
Initiations in the Priestess realms call us to impeccability, high levels of discernment, and scrupulousness in our spiritual practice and service to the Sacred. We must learn and be committed to the right use of spiritual power. Initiation teaches us to listen deeply to our hearts and bodies, as well as to the silence, to bring us to a place of recognizing the voice of internal spiritual authority.
Initiatory Prayer: Priestess, teach me to fall in love with the unknown, to rest in not knowing anything and to tune into realms beyond 3D reality
The Priestess in shadow has been wounded in numerous ways. As children, she is so exquisitely open and aware of things others can’t see – like angels, fairies and people who have passed on. She sees things going on in her family that may be denied, like alcoholism or abuse. When she is punished or made to feel crazy or bad for what she sees or knows, or when adults behave as though these things don’t exist, or the abuse didn’t happen, she learns to shut down, or at the very least hide that part of her. She learns to shut down her intuition and psychic abilities.
On the other side, our Priestess may go into hypersensitivity for self-protection and turn painfully hyper-vigilant with a lack of trust in the world. This can express as a cut-off from her sensitivity in varying degrees and even an insistence that only what is rational is real with a fear of deeper knowledge and psycho-spiritual energies and abilities. Another shadow expression can be an egoic identification with the spiritual energies and powers and the use of them to manipulate, control, or invade others, rather than to serve the Sacred. Shadow Priestess can also appear when one is wide open to all kinds of input and energies, but no one is in the driver’s seat mediating them, so chaos reigns and is brought into various situations.
* * *
The Queen is in all women, and she becomes radiant and empowered as she has been through countless initiations around the wheel of the Sacred Feminine. With each initiation, she comes to rest increasingly in non-dual awareness, realizing there is no separation and that everything is an emanation of the One Presence with all its paradoxes. The Queen lives her life in receptive devotion to serving her community. She realizes her life as it is, and her spiritual path, are the same.
Through initiation, the Queen has embodied a number of profound truths, namely: the deepest, most challenging, most essential inner work is to open to what is, as it is. She only suffers when she wants things to be different than they are; there is nothing to fear but her own stories about what is happening.
The Queen realizes that she cannot control anything for she truly knows in her bones that Spirit takes care of everything, including her life; there is nothing happening but Divine Presence, appearing as a woman, a newborn child, a dog, a tree, a tsunami, a flower or war.
Queen initiations call a woman to access what is needed from her archetypal Mother, Lover, Warrior and Priestess to better serve the Sacred and her community. Her community may be her family, her clients, her students, her co-workers, her church, or her tribe. She treats those who work for her with kindness, respect and loving warmth. The Queen is empowered from Source. She gets her ordersfrom the cosmic headquarters and her life is lived through the heart in service, in surrender to Love. She is committed to a life-practice of letting go of all stories, moment to moment, opening to what is here, now.
Initiatory Prayer of the Queen: Sacred Feminine, I give myself over to you, to be a vessel and emanation of your love. Your will is my will.
The Shadow Queen is corrupt and uses her power to have power-over rather than to serve the full awakening of her community and those she loves. She is capable of both destroying those who dare to come up against her and punishing those who cross her. She is competitive and will beat down those she perceives as a threat and is entangled with those she supposedly serves – filled with hidden motives that are directed towards self-gain. Her relationships are not very important to her and she becomes bitter and resentful to anyone who takes time from her climbing the proverbial ladder of success to grow her status. She has lots of people working for her, not to extend her service even more, but rather to save her from feeling discomfort, anger or pain. She treats her employees with little respect and operates from a hierarchical system rather than seeing her ‘team’ as equals. She does not know devotion and instead controls everything and everyone around her.
* * *
How to Work with the Archetypes
Do you resonate with one of these archetypes more than another? Can you see what archetypes the women around you predominantly exist in? Or maybe you resonate with one of the shadow archetypes and can see an area you need to work on or cultivate further in your life.
I encourage you to explore these archetypes in your daily life. Meet and explore their energies within your own being and call in the ones you feel you need most. You could use movement, sound and breath – there are lots of music playlists online to help you embody these archetypes, or maybe you can gather with the women in your life and serve as a reflection of the different energies to each other. If you feel inspired, you could even create an alter or medicine wheel of the feminine archetypes the way you see it – use your intuition!
* * *
If you are looking to explore these archetypes further then our upcoming BEING WOMAN retreat in Tiruvannamalai, India from Friday 26th October – Friday 2nd November is for you!
Is your heart being called on a journey of deep self-exploration, to the sacred land of India? Are you ready to meet & animate the many faces of the Goddess that reside in us all? Are you open to manifesting a life that reflects your heart’s desires; allowing for unfiltered pleasure and joy?
Then join us for an 8-day, women’s pilgrimage where you will learn, practise and embody the ancient wisdom of Tantra, Kundalini and the path of the Sacred Feminine, at one of India’s most venerated holy sites – Tiruvannamalai.
You will be guided by renowned Tantra teacher Chantelle Raven into deep intimacy with yourself, allowing you to embody the different feminine energies known as Archetypes. These archetypes reside in everyone and are universal to all women of all cultures. Many of their energies have been either unhealthily conditioned in us or remain absent, due to past wounds and experiences, or lack of healthy role models.
By discovering your personal Sacred Feminine Archetypal Wheel (Mother, Lover, Priestess and Warrior) through deep practices, rituals and ceremonies, you will connect right to the source of your authentic power & wholeness, dispelling those shadows and wounds that stops you from truly living.
YOU WILL BE INITIATED INTO THE SACRED ARCHETYPAL ENERGIES OF MOTHER, LOVER, WARRIOR, PRIESTESS & QUEEN
Full course description HERE
Purchase tickets via Trybooking
Contact Tara Meegan (Eliyah Event Manager): email@example.com