When I use to teach literature, I was in love with Greek mythology and the narratives of art, love, culture, war, passion, temptation, betrayal and the lessons in all of them. One of the most significant pieces of Greek literature (and my favorite) that happens to embody all of those themes in one story is The Odyssey by Homer. The Odyssey is about a man, Odysseus, who has to leave his family and his kingdom behind to fight in the Trojan War. And on his journey there and back, he encounters many obstacles and experiences that reveal his character, his strengths, his leadership, his weaknesses, his pride and his wit. Along his odyssey, we’re introduced to several gods, muses, creatures and goddesses who contribute to his revelations about himself.
After having read and taught this epic poem countless times, I grew to appreciate the themes of Greek literature and the roles of the goddesses. And I often found myself comparing my character, my strengths, my leadership, my weaknesses, my pride, my gifts, and my wit to that of Odysseus and obviously to the goddesses. I wanted to understand myself through these immortals. I was allured by the charm and the grace of the goddesses. I began to have revelations about myself through these stories and other epic tales in history. I wanted to know how far back could I transport myself into different historical time periods as a Greek goddess, an African queen, and a British royal. (Perhaps I’ll write a blog post about the latter two another time.)
So, I began to research the archetypes of a few Greek goddesses. Some questions I had for myself when I researched the archetypes were:
1. Who are you in the face of adversity?
2. What do you have to give to the world?
3. How do you nurture your relationships?
4. What’s your personal code of ethics?
5. Are you a peaceful person and do you leave people with a feeling of peace?
6. Are you artistic and creative?
7. Are you a powerful force in leadership settings? Does it come natural for you to lead others?
Those questions all had relevance to the themes of the narratives each of the goddesses appeared in. Once I was able to answer those questions I could identify more authentically with other powerful women – mortals and immortals. It was cool to read about other female warriors who had the same fortitude and ambition for life like me.
Knowing your personality type can help you to improve your personal relationship with yourself as well as with others, help you to understand your strengths and how to use them in your career, and how to harness your power, your beauty and your importance…as a woman…and as a Goddess Rising.
So, below is a list of goddesses with short descriptions about them, and I am challenging you to do a little research on the Goddess archetype that is a reflection of you. First, answer the 7 questions above, and then begin your research. Note that these goddesses have been curated from different Greek stories, not necessarily from The Odyssey.
1. Nike – Goddess of victory.
2. Eos – Goddess of the dawn who brought hope to a brand new day.
3. Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty.
4. Athena – Goddess of war, wisdom, poetry and art.
5. Artemis – Goddess of hunting, nature, and birth.
6. Atalanta – Goddess of competition, adventure, and was an amazing runner!
7. Demeter – Goddess of harvesting, growing and preserving.
8. Dike – Goddess of moral justice.
9. Eirene – Goddess of peace.
10. Hera – Goddess of marriage.
11. Hygeia – Goddess of cleanliness, hygiene and good health.
So, what did you think? Leave some comments below and tell me which goddess are you and how her story resonates with your life?
I hope you were able to find this activity meaningful, and more importantly – I hope it can serve as a resource for your journey to empowerment and self-actualization.
Until the next blog post, Go and Glow!
xo, Natasha Cole