2. Gods, Goddesses, Archetypes, Culture and Civilisation

Multiple Personality Ordered?!
Are you a straight-shooting, active and competitive female Artemis (Goddess of the hunt) - abrupt and straight-forward, unconcerned with having children or complying with society’s insistence on marriage?
Or an activity seeking Aries, pumping iron and participating in jock-like sports, easily branded ‘’toxic male’?
Both types equally fetch media criticism and Instagram frowns.
Yet humans are not one-dimensional or conform to a single expression or type!! Contemporary women wear many hats, playing many roles: mother, friend, nursemaid, assistant, psychologist, sex kitten, businesswoman, wife, go-getter, teacher, homemaker, sister, daughter … multiple personalities make up our internal board, coming out at different times!
Men are also under pressure. They are expected to be nurturing partners and parents, yet hunks in the gym and gods of industry and decisiveness in the workplace!
Some might say things were simpler in the past, yet even the Greeks and Romans revealed through their stories the complexity these two genders still experience. Their anecdotes show different types of women and men, expressing themselves through distinct roles with observable characteristics – and we unconsciously conform, by playing out these socially scripted, ‘’pre-loaded archetypal apps’’.
We default to underlying ancient schemata or patterns (as old as humanity itself), as a result of the stress and trauma we encounter, hurtling through modern-day living. Understanding  human conduct through these characters in their stories, enable us to see ourselves and others more objectively and forms the bedrock for increased success in business, parenthood and relationships.  
Why Mythology? 
Jung called these roles/types “archetypes” or ‘’enduring ways of being in the world’’. They are still expressed through women and men today, irrespective of age, race, creed or class.
The Greeks illustrated ‘’these ways’’ through their stories in which their deities played a colourful role. This serves as entertaining reference and reflects our socio-psychological subconscious structure and patterns that govern our behaviour, even to this day.
For instance:
  • nurturing mother aspects are personified by the Greek goddess Demeter, and her sensitive male counterpart Dionysis,
  • go-getter and achiever characteristics are revealed by Artemis, goddess of the hunt, lover of nature and beasts and revealing a competitive spirit when interacting with others, such as her twin brother Apollo who sports a similar bent;
  • Athena, the strategising warrior goddess’s approach to life, is embodied in educators and businesswomen rubbing shoulders with conceptually oriented male counterparts (like Zeus -the god of business and industry ) in the workplace;
  • sexy Aphrodite is found in a woman’s impulse to attract and love, (as reflected in featuring in her dangerous affair with the war god Aries) whilst married to the Hephaestos, craftsman and smith;
  • Persiphone embodies the empathic and understanding friend and counsellor, traumatised in fable and contrasted with Hades, the threatening, psychologically disturbed god of the underworld, while
  • Hera - the wife of Zeus (king of the gods) - represents the supportive companion that aids her partner (often the CEO) in achieving and performing in the world.
The gods and goddess model, represents “the ability to create”. The topic is not religion - it is simply choosing consciously to amplify certain energies in our lives (exemplified by mythological figures) to create a more satisfying and fulfilling experience - personally and publicly.
We are all a blend of each of their characteristics, made up of how we:
  • distinctly dress,
  • choose fragrance or aftershave,
  • textures and hobbies,
  • homemaking or craft,
  • as genders engage each other, family and team members,
  • express our sexuality,
  • view childhood and children,
  • work, relax and assert or subvert ourselves at home or work.
By using the Greek story-model, we get in touch with our ability to consciously shape our outcomes and experiences.
 Choosing activities, attitudes and behaviour in keeping with these characters, lead to predictable outcomes in alignment with that, instead of defaulting to the types our parents, community or the society at large, have programmed us to adopt, without question.
Stand out or Slot in?
It seems we still find our lives organised around the roles of mother, husband, wife, executive, competitor, entrepreneur, counsellor, sex kitten or stud, yet feel marginalised when we show a strong bias toward a particular expression, not in keeping with the flavour of the day.
The nurturing, homemaking, mothering Demeter often feels devalued and powerless in a world of women expressing Athena-like characteristics (the warrior woman’s quest for fulfilment in a male-dominated career world).
Men donning the Hades hat, the god of the underworld, appears caught up in their own world (displaying a rich inner world paired with spy -, horror -, thriller movies and online war games, maybe obsession with Marvel hero and Lord of the Ring fantasies).  
However, every archetypal role, reveal a light and shadow attribute coupling – inseparable, like the two sides of a coin. The characters in Greek mythology, give us names for our old-as-the-hills, modern behavioural patterns.
How does this model help?

Psychological - and spiritual health relies on integration of these facets. Sometimes we use some of the stereotypical energies to suppress others (i.e. living the business woman at the expense of the nurturing mother) and in so doing, all kinds of pathologies, imbalances and discomforts in interactions are created.
 Difficulties with partners, such as jealousy, role conflict and frustration, balancing work and home responsibilities, problems with co-workers and in teams, family, friends and lovers, can be traced back to an imbalance in our unconscious choices to emphasise some types at the expense of others. The result is lack of self-acceptance and self-celebration, which lead to obsessions, compulsions and addictions, in turn giving rise to burnout and disillusion.
As a mental SELF- MANAGEMENT TOOL, the model is unbeatable. Understanding the basic driving forces underlying these roles mean we can change our style or type, to suit the type of woman (or man) we are addressing or to whom we’re ‘’selling’’ personally or professionally. This type of assessment helps us be more, since we know how to grasp another person’s attention effectively, as a result of being in touch with our own archetypal characteristics as well as those of the people with whom we interact. Having a model that simplifies the complicated task of “selling” our ideas to a variety of personality types, enables better impact on others and connection to create favourable results for all.
Archetypical tools help us celebrate our uniqueness as an expression of a collection of types as old-as-the-hills. It creates a sense of being anchored and acknowledged as a valuable and legitimate part of humanity, in the greater mosaic or grid of life. Actions coming from this knowledge, lead to greater authentic expression and fulfilment, at home and in the workplace.
- Karien "Kay" Rothmann
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Hi Anna,
We do indeed. We’ll drop you an email and schedule a meeting with you!

Leo Rothmann

What an wonderful insightful article , would love to learn more … do you offer workshops on this topic


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