This information provided by: Robert L. Johnson, Ph.D., M.Div., L.M.H.C. (FL lic # MHC 0001426), Specializing in Jungian Process (Holistic Approaches to Personal Development & Psychotherapy) Telephone: 850-948-7926
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Feminine Archetypes - A Quaternity
The formation of quaternities in Jungian thinking is quite common. Jung thought that all complete systems were four-fold. The best known quaternity in Jungian thought is the "Function Type" quaternity of Thinking, Feeling, Sensate, & Intuition. Quaternities are formed via specific rules and must meet some specific criteria. The ends of each axis must be polar opposites and functionally exclusive of each other. There must be a common trait on each axis. The trait of each axis must be opposite to the trait of the other axis. Diagonal pairs must also have a trait in common.
Quaternities form a natural whole. For instance, the 4 archetypes listed below show 4 different aspects of the feminine personality. As a unit they cover a broad range of the female personality. Although not totally inclusive, the thought is: To successfully integrate all 4 aspects of the quaternity you would have had to have integrated many other related archetypal aspects which should produce a wholeness within the structure of that area of your psyche.
I offer this archetypal combination to both honor Toni Wolfe’s original labeling and to acknowledge that there is an aspect of this complexual form that does not have to be a biological mother. The queen/mother aspect of a woman is a complex that has a personal relationship with her subjects and assumes the responsibility of providing an environment in which her subjects can thrive and flourish and find the relational qualities necessary for harmony to exist in the queendom. Her very presence in life leads her through experiences to discover the role that awaits her. Her role will be to instill in her subjects the qualities that she, by her own inner sense of things, deems important. Her dedication to this labor force her to surrender some aspects of her natural sensuality. Her seductress is commonly one of the first victims of this commitment. She may even be tempted to convert her relationship with her lover into that of mother-son, which will provide her mate with a safe place to exist in so his energies are free to provide financial and maintenance support to her family. She tends to be very supportive of social systems that provide an extended environment in which her children or subject are safe to explore and then return to her. The mother has truly surrendered herself and her path as an individual. Her view of wholeness is not simply herself, but the oneness of herself with her self defined charges, be these children or adults. She, of course , will sacrifice herself for her charges, for she has traded her individual path for the opportunity to be the creator and inspiration of her charges who in her creative side she hopes will fulfill and surpass the dreams that she sacrificed to care for them. So, the accomplishments of her subjects become her fulfillment.
The Inquisitive Nurturing Princess
This is the female child form of the creative queen/mother. This is the young girl who has a natural interest in life outside herself. Her most obvious trait in pursuing that life is the feeling of relatedness. Whatever she pursues, she becomes one with it. She enjoys being helpful and assisting others in fulfilling their desires. She readily takes on challenges that she deems important such as rescuing injured animals and nursing them back to health. She is not possessive of these accomplishments, but she does appreciate the acknowledgment of her efforts. A little praise goes a long way with this young female. As with her adult form, she thrives in harmony and suffers in discord. However, she is not apt to remain in discord long before attempting to seek out relationships that can assist her in bringing harmony back to her environment.
This aspect of the shadow mother recognizes her pre-maternal sacrifice, but does not think that she has been sufficiently reimbursed for her sacrifice by her subjects. The lack of reimbursement is converted into a sense of lack of appreciation, but all of the verbal appreciation in the world can not compensate her sacrifice. So, expressing your gratitude to her is a never ending task. Words cannot compensate the sacrifice of her pre-maternal path. She is disappointed in her subjects as she thinks their accomplishments have not met or surpassed the expectations she had for her own life. This martyr aspect commonly complains and uses guilt to manipulate her subjects. Her only happiness is experienced in those fleeting moments when her manipulations produce the desired effect. However, the guilt commonly serves to distance her subjects rather than inspire them. This inevitably leads to schisms in her queendom as it is contradictory to the harmony the true queen desires. This active aspect of the queen’s shadow commonly works in union with the saboteur.
This is the immature version of the martyr. Like the martyr, the young woman does not really understand her environment. She never has a good view of the over-all or long term situation. She has not learned of life and does not trust it. With every new acquisition, she consciously or unconsciously plots as to how she can use this information or insight or object to force the environment to focus on her and her importance. Like her adult form, one of her favorite tools is guilt. She learns early that whining can produce results from both adult males and females alike. Her lack of relatedness compels her to force relational qualities out of others. As with the martyr, it serves the moment, but causes long term problems in her world.
This passive shadow aspect works quietly and usually unconsciously behind the scenes. She is passive in that she neither wants to be seen nor accepts responsibility for her actions. She is motivated by a grandiosity (ego inflation) that her greatness can never be matched by her subjects who are simply incapable of meeting or surpassing her expectations of her own life which she, the saboteur, has never really sacrificed. Rather, she has compromised herself and needs to justify her non-sacrifice by proving her subjects are feeble and incapable. Her favorite means of operation is to set her subjects up in double binds so no matter what they do she can find justifiable fault. She may also create or be aware of upcoming theological, psychological, sociological, or physical roadblocks for which she does not adequately prepare the subject to encounter, which inevitably brings about failure, which in turn re-enforces the saboteur’s grandiosity. The problem is that she is not only sabotaging her subjects, but she is sabotaging herself in that she remains inflated and trapped between her conscious life and unconscious desires which are both going nowhere.
The Damsel in Distress
This is the immature version of the saboteur. Like the saboteur, this young woman remains self-absorbed, aloof, and does not really understand her environment. It has become disappointing to her as it at best has not met her needs and at worst has entrapped her. Her lack of prior inquisitiveness has left her untaught, ill-prepared and unable to provide for herself. She needs to be rescued from her own life. Unfortunately her lack of relatedness has left her stranded with out known options that would be able to bring about resolution. As in her adult form, her distance from her own needs not only undermines the environment, but sabotages herself. Her need to relate is trapped within her, i.e. self-absorbed, she is well aware that she has needs, but does not have a clue as to how to bring them about. She is trapped, and awaiting divine intervention.
The Male Anima as Mother
The most common form of this aspect of a males anima is a projection of his mate as a traditional house wife. He sees her as providing a womb environment into which he can retreat each evening. There will be no significant challenges in this environment outside of keeping up the physical plant and providing financial resources. This males ego remains immature and usually incapable of forming significant relationships unless they are approved by his wife. He will commonly display more bravado traits with other male friends in her absence, but will quickly conform to her wishes when in her presence. She really becomes his best defense against having to encounter the immature aspects of both the masculine and feminine aspects of his personality. In her he finds the same safety and security that his mother provided in his early life.
Like the mother, this aspect of the feminine is personally related to her subjects. Unlike the mother, she is not interested in family or community. Rather she is interested in one-on-one relationships with males that challenge her and in which she can challenge them. She is not at all interested in providing some womb like environment of safety. Rather she is interested in providing the opportunity for the male to challenge himself to stretch his ideologies, philosophies and perceptions of life to include feminine perspectives with challenge him to level 3 and 4 anima projections which may lead him to develop the Sophiic qualities of wisdom. The hetaira may limit herself to an individual male, but may as well feel very comfortable having such relationships with more than one male. The hetaira is not interested in holding onto relationship that are not growing and maturing. She has either formally or informally spent a lot of time studying the ways of the world and the ways of the male. As with the mother, she innately understands the power of her feminine nature, but she understands it as a psychological vessel rather than a physical vessel. She has an excellent grasp of the relationship between the physical and philosophic worlds as well as her inner and outer realities. Sexual intimacy is not strictly a physiological experience for the hetaira, although traditionally she is very creative in such relationships. The choice to indulge in sexual intimacy is based on the hetaira’s personal preferences and interests. However, one minimal requirement is that the male readily and willingly rises to her creative ideological challenges. Only with such effort will he have even the slightest possibility of indulging in the sexual joys of the hetaira. Regardless of sexual choice, her main interest still lies in being a friend and confidant to the male and encouraging him to expand his horizons to the broadest of possible perspectives.
The Electra Child
This is an aspect of the child female personality that like the oedipal male is destined to be attached to her contra-sexual parental archetype. The electra is attached to the psychological/theological aspects of her father. She finds his mind and thoughts interesting and intriguing. She does not want to follow him around while he accomplishes his daily deeds. She is not attached to him in this way. Rather, she wants him to spend relational time with her discussing the reasons behind what he did and why he did it. Like her adult hetaira form, she is friendly, approachable, and inviting. However, also like her adult form, the electra is not interested in being forced to participate with him in menial tasks, especially if he is not meeting her needs. In exchange for his instruction, storytelling, sharing, etc. she is very willing to supply him with the creature comforts of crawling up onto his lap and falling asleep in his arms.
This is an active shadow aspect of the hetaira. The seductress plays a major role in the activation of the complex. The Femme Fatal, like the hetaira is interested in having a personal relationship with the male, and like the hetaira she is very willing you use her physical presentation to assist her in attracting him. She is also very patient and does not jump right into bed. However, what is missing in her is a commitment within herself to honor wisdom. She has replaced the goddess of wisdom with a desire to simply have personal ideological power over the male. Her greatest joy is found in his willing to compromise valid principles in order to be with her. However, like many shadow positions, this joy is short lived. Once the male is fully comprimised or overly projected onto her, she can no longer maintain any interest in him and must move on to her next prey.
It may seem odd to use such a term to describe a child female archetype, but this active shadow aspect of a female’s personality develops long before she is a mature woman. The young seductress realizes early on that she can manipulate the world, and especially her personal relationship with men through implied favor. To the seductress, presentation is everything. She refines the fine art of how to make men think what she wants them to think without ever stating it. Her joy is found in their fascination with her. Although her favorite tool is her physical (not necessarily sexual) body, she also learns that males also fall prey to her clever wit, intellectual abilities, artistic performance, etc. It is important to remember that the seductress practically never follows through on her implied promise. She may dangle it or tip toe through it or even let them taste it, but she always leaves them hungry and wanting much more.
This is a passive aspect of the hetaira’s shadow. She like the hetaira innately knows the power and worth of her femininity. Like both the hetaira and the femme fatal, she holds out on sexual contact until she gets what she wants. Like the femme fatal she has lost her service to wisdom. She has placed a monetary value on her worth. Unlike the hetaira and the femme fatal, once the price is paid she must deliver he goods. This in itself compromises her spiritual grounding and thus destroys her true spiritual value as a hertaira. (As a note here let me say that all woman who exchange sex for money (including married woman)are not archetypally prostitutes even if society commonly considers them such. Nor are they necessarily in any violation of there feminine archetypal principles. They may well be acting out other creative feminine archetypes such as mother, lover, whore, etc., but they are not offering hetaira.)
Daddy’s Little Princess
This is the child female form of the prostitute. This is a young female who is commonly being used to replace the adult male’s wife/mother projection which has grown distant and dead. In the child the male finds friendship, hope and comfort. If only he had developed the things he needed to know, this young lady could become a fully blooming hetaira. Unfortunately he has not developed his personality sufficiently to instruct her, and through a somewhat incestuous psychological relationship has convinced this young girl to accept what he has in trade for offering him personal comfort. So, this young girl learns that she can get her environmental needs met and maybe a little more if she just pays a lot of attention to daddy, even if he is in a bad mood, or especially if he is out of sorts with mommy. In exchange, he promises her greatness, but none of the tools to achieve it. Ill-prepared, but well trained, she graduates to prostitution.
The Male Anima as Hetaira
When the male decides to project his anima onto a hetaira, he is in for one of the most exciting rides of his life, as long as he can hold on, for there are no safety belts or safety devices. Hetaira projections fall into the third and fourth level of anima projection for the male. At this stage of a male’s life he realizes that his education of knowledge and facts is incomplete. These islands of information must be connected and integrated in order for him to se the full dimension of the divine province. He turns to his hetaira to assist him in completing this work. In this search a man hopes to find a woman who wants to dance with his highest expectations of himself. Dealing with mundane and practical matters will not be a part of this experience. Initially he may think he is pursuit of some idealistic Camelot situation that will rescue him from the "same old same old" that has become him life. However, if he is fortunate what he will find will be much more than Camelot. He will find a woman who will dance with, wrestle with, walk on the edge with, cut, devour, dismiss, reflect, energize, distort, wander, wonder, and guide him on the feminine journey of spiritual wisdom. His hetaira will teach him of everything, and nothing, and opposites and gods and goddesses of which he has never dreamed, and time and space, and shortness and length, and of the moment, and how woman go about making the experience of love happen. All of this and more awaits a man in his hetaira.
This is the impersonal masculine and experiential aspect of the adult female personality. Contrary to some sources, I feel that this aspect of the female is heavily influence by her animus. However, what is critical in this is the understanding that she is not in any way sold out to her animus complex. The amazon is an impersonal form in that it does not depend on a particular relationship(s). She will take on any and all challenges that come her way and does not care if her competition changes horses mid-stream. This is an aspect f the feminine which is focused and clear in her intent. She finds great satisfaction in encountering males on their own ground. She likes the challenge of dismissing her physical feminine attributes as a non-disadvantage and takes on that attitude of "Anything you can do I can do better". She likes men and women alike. She hold no resentment against the "system" for putting her at some technical patriarchal disadvantage. Rather, she sees an unfair playing field as simply a greater challenge. Relation interest with males will center around those males who either challenge her in her environment or can be of assistance to her in getting her onto the playing fields on which she wishes to complete. She has no interest in nurturing a relationship or even in developing long term relationships. Relationships are their to serve her greater goal of the thrill of competition or the thrill of the chase. This does not mean that she is insincere in her relationships, for she does not lack the ability to investment or commit. It is simply unlikely that her investment or commitment to a relationship will override her investment and commitment to her chosen vocation or interest. Men are much more exciting if she is running the gauntlet with them, and she is much more likely to be interested in entertaining them sexually if they give her a run for the money.
This is the child form of the creative amazon. This is the adventurous spirit of the young girl who want to go out and explore her environment. She want to know the territory that surrounds here. She wants to take up the challenges that are necessary to master this territory. This may be a physical challenge (swimming across a pond that only the older boys swim) or a mental one (challenging herself to win the school spelling bee), but she is always up to facing it whatever it is. There may well be a "Tom boy" quality in there somewhere, or a desire to master the piano. Either way, her intention is focused and clear. This is the quality that will bring her into her fullness as an amazon. She enjoys being praised for a job well done. She is not interested in how those who competed against her feel, but she will be the first to recognized another’s valiant effort regardless of which one of them was ultimately victorious.
This is the active side of the shadow aspect of the amazon. We may even call her in some cases the castrating bitch. This is a woman who has many of the traits of the amazon, but has the added problem of being angry at them or having to prove something about all woman based on the momentary competition. Her anger may come from many places, but commonly is based in a perspective that the "patriarchal system" has fixed the game, and that is unfair. So, unlike the amazon, complaining is one of her favorite things to do. Her anger at males is commonly acted out in her personal relationships. She enjoys finding faults with males and then beating them up with the information. She will commonly stay in a relationship much longer than is truly useful to her just to whip up on the guy. She is trapped in vengeance because she does not accept the game rules as they were offered. She wants to change the rules with her announcements, which is her undoing. Her strength lies in the area of participation, not in the verbal rallying of the repressed feminine masses to her side.
This is the active shadow aspect of the of the immature feminine adventurer. Her experiences have led her to the rebellious nature. She, like her adult form the bitch, has decided that all of the rules and regulations are unfair. She rejects creative guidance and discipline as simply things in her way. She has no thought of learning how to use these same rules to her advantage. She has a lot of creative energy, but no creative direction to take it. She commonly feels that things are stacked against her and that know one understands her needs. Her defiance isolates her or worse yet pushes her toward the wrong teachers. She then commonly discovers that there are less rules on the dark sides of life and finds it more to her liking to play there. Of course, she is trading all of this for the discipline and training that she will need if she is going to mature into the amazon rather than the bitch.
This is the passive shadow aspect of the amazon. This is the woman who holds some of the same perspectives as the bitch, but has run out of fight. Her body has succumb to the crushing pressure of the unfair competition and there is really nothing left to do but lick the wounds that she will never allow to heal. This is an aspect of the adult woman that lives in the lost battles of the past. This protects her from having to regroup her resources and return to the field of competition and challenge. She is beaten, but like the bitch, she will not retire verbally. She goes on endlessly describing how each lost battle was stacked against her. She had to become a mother and give up her career because society insisted. She never received the promotion because the "good old boys" always promoted their own. She couldn’t get through medical school because they made it harder for woman. Men in the work place got more with less effort... and on and on and on. Even though this all may be an experiential truth in a patriarchal society, she is the one who quit and retired to the world of verbal complaint. No one said this would be easy. Each day she makes the choice to remain worrier victim or once again take up the warrior sword of Athena.
The Wounded Child
This is the passive shadow side of the immature female adventurer. Like her mature counterpart, the victim, this child has been wounded. This wound may have indeed come from a mature male whom she depended upon for training who let her down, or an absentee male who did not appear at a critical moment, or a mother who constantly rebuked her for her "Tom boyish" ways. But, regardless from whence the wound came, there she sits claiming that she is unable to get up and play anymore with the big kids. This girl will often seek the protection of a non-related female such as a school teacher or next door neighbor to serve as a mother protector. She will not commonly seek her own mother for this service because that would make her too trapped in the home environment. However, this adopted mother figure will not serve her well or truly be appreciated if she allows her to remain long in her protection. The girl resents being there in the first place and blames other for forcing her to be there. She will be appreciative to the adopted mother for the shelter, but will soon resent her for the feeling of entrapment. This young woman needs to be out there taking on the world, not learning how to bake brownies.
The Male Anima as Amazon:
A male who wants to activate the amazon aspect of his anima sees woman as true equals and respects the healthy aspects of the battle of the opposites that have existed since the beginning of civilization. He sees in the challenge an opportunity to take on an opponent who competes as effectively as he does, but with slightly different weapons. Initially he may resent some of her arsenal, since he simply does not have access to that type of equipment. But, soon he realizes that she is only leveling the playing field and then agrees to let the games begin. Males with these types of projections commonly fall into two groups. The first are like the amazon herself and simply thrive on the competitive spirit. Competition itself is sexually exciting, and competition against your own potential sexual partner is all the more thrilling. The other group are males that are competitors themselves who are not of the highest quality or males that know how to compete but for one reason or another no longer can do so. These males are interested in projecting onto an amazon to encourage and prepare her for competition with their knowledge and skills. Their payoff is in her beating the competition that they are not able to beat themselves. This can be in the world of business as well as actual physical competitions. In both cases the thrill of the competition and victory feed the sexual libido for the male.
This aspect of the adult feminine is impersonal as is the amazon, but opposes the amazon in that the fields she play in are the fields of spirit and unconscious ideation. The medial is a channel from the external world to her internal or from the collective unconscious to potential consciousness. She is naturally in tune with her environment and with her intuitive abilities attunes herself to the vibrations that surround her. Her strength is in her ability to trust the internal message over what is obviously standing in front of her as the two commonly oppose each other in the world of the medial. She has some Hecate or witch like qualities about her in that she knows what she knows. But, this knowing does not come to her through reason or exploration. Rather, if she comes near it, it just invades her and demands recognition. When she is surrounded by light creative energy all is well with her and those about her. However, when darkness or discord appear on the horizon of the unconscious, she is the first to sense it. If she denies the intuitive invasion, then the dynamics are pushed into her own shadow and she may be forced to act out the discord in physical or psychological illness. However, the structural form of the medial is truly a vessel, not a receptacle. Therefore, she can avoid this illness by simply allowing the energy of the intuition to pass through her by announcing it to consciousness (either hers or to whomever it may belong). One of the tricky aspect of being a medial is determining for whom her bells tolls. She can easily cause great discord herself by confusing inner messages from her own unconscious with collective material or by assuming that every thought that ripples through her head is a message for someone. Just like the amazon needs to refine her skills, so the medial needs to refine hers. Her unwillingness to apply discipline and wisdom to her gift can be her seriously detrimental to both herself and those close to her.
This is the creative aspect of the immature medial female child. This is the young girl who lets life flow through her and channels it into various forms of artistic expression. She may paint or make up stories or freely dance around the back yard. All of her expression may not be reflective of the light side of life, but even when she expresses the darker sides she is embraces and accepted. People around her are interested in what she is saying through her art. They are open to the possibility that it may well be expressing energies beyond herself.
The Fortune Teller
The is the active form of the medial’s shadow. In this form rather than creating a channel that allows unconscious messages to pass, the woman sets up a booth and goes rummaging around in the unconscious of her victims looking for random stuff which may or may not be relevant to her victim’s immediate situation. The shift of energy from the simple channel to the seeker can often distort the message as well. The medial is motivated by her need to speak the spiritual unconscious message that has entered her. The fortune teller is being paid to guess where the psycho-spiritual fish happen to be swimming around in the ocean of the collective unconscious. The problem is that if she refuses to guess then she does not get paid, which forces her to guess even when the percentages are against her.
This is the active side of the immature artist’s shadow. Like the artistic child, she is looking for something to express, but going about it in all of the wrong ways. Like her adult form, the fortune teller, she is search for something in hopes of getting something in return. In the child form, she is less sure of what she is searching for and less sure of what it will return, but here and there a payoff occurs and she realizes that passing along random information can occasionally be beneficial. If this is reenforced by adults in her immediate circle, then a pattern of reward is set in place and she becomes a seeker of possibilities rather than an artistic channel.
There are of course two forms of the innocent. The first is the true innocent that simply speaks what is in the purest form and has no sense as to what they are saying or the potential impact on the listeners. This form would fall under the umbrella of the medial but would technically not be a shadow form as there would be no differentiated ego position. The second form and the one of which we shall speak is the passive shadow form in which one has been forced into innocense by some type of coercive events. In this form the adult woman has figuratively taken a vow of deafness and silence and chooses never to hear or speak of the messages from within. The cost of this choice is dear, since it cuts her off from her own path of wisdom. In these situations the woman is commonly surrounded by those that cannot hear and true innocence is her only escape from the choices of ridicule and illness. From her perspective the whole situation is too volatile and dangerous.
This is the passive side of the immature artist’s shadow. I pick this term because this child feels externally and internally theologically abandoned. Her attempts at expressing her artistic nature have either been ridiculed, thwarted, and simply dismissed. The connections she has with her immediate external world are threatened by her own gift. She must now choose between abandoning her external world or abandoning her gift and in turn her connection to her own inner world. She common opts to abandon the latter since she does not have the psychological resources at such a young age to stand against the forces of logic and reason. In so doing she opts for a life lived in a persona of social conformity and self abandonment.