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The Female Archetype in Different Mythologies: Goddess Made By Men

Archetypes are primitive concepts embedded in our unconscious from the very beginning of socialization. They make up the backstage of our whole mind and are expressed through symbols. These archetypal representations can be found in different myths behind the culture of many groups. 

Mythology sets out to represent – epically – human nature, so can classical myths understand the formation of womanhood? In these epic stories are reflected values imposed on women to this day, such as beauty, chastity, and submission. These goddesses made by men create a vicious pattern that a woman’s power comes only from motherhood, fidelity, sensuality, and family. Let’s talk about this with two specifically examples:

Afrodite, Greek Mythology – Goddesses of love and beauty

To think of Aphrodite is to think of sensuality. She is considered the personification of beauty in ancient times. Unfortunately, the strong divinity is reduced to this. In a shallow reading, this is the archetype associated with Aphrodite, that of beauty and carnal love. However, it is possible to see her as the protector of unselfish love in which the carnal part appears as a consequence of this feeling, not as an absolute highlight. 

Supreme Court
Photo by Claire Anderson from Unsplash

Lilith , Sumerian Mythology – Goddesses of heaven, Jewish-Christian Mythology – The first wife of Adam

The feminine can also occupy another extreme in mythology: villainy and or cruelty. This is what happens with Lilith. Her story suffers variations according to different cultures. It is through her myth in the Jewish-Christian tradition that we can see how religious symbols impose certain behaviors on women.  Lilith was incorporated into Adam’s story, making her his first wife. By refusing sexual submission and abandoning her husband, she becomes a demon. She stands for the archetypal, unwanted, of feminine rebellion.

 Frigga, Nordic Mythology – Goddesses of fertility and union

The name Frigga means “she who loves”. Protector of the family, mothers, housewives, a true symbol of sweetness. Her power is linked to the home and domestic activities, such as weaving and cooking, and in the myth of Frigga, women or female energy was responsible for promoting peace.


Athens , Greek Mythology – Goddesses of wisdom 

Athens is the goddess who was born ready-made. The divinity brings together the visions closest to the ”male being” in the world. She was born from the head of Zeus, so she is the woman who was born without a mother and does not understand the connection with other women. All the relationships she has are already strategic for her to grow and develop. Athena is a warrior. Besides wisdom, she is the goddess of strategy, she also encompasses the archetype of virgin goddesses.

Chastity is central to her myth; to be a warrior she had to give up motherhood and marriage. 

Female divinities are not given the same status as male gods, even though they have fascinating stories and great potential. It is about time to resignify the myths.


The article above was edited by Larissa Mariano.

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Vitória Prates

Casper Libero '23

Estudante de Jornalismo na Faculdade Cásper Líbero. Além da leitura e da escrita, passo horas problematizando tudo ao meu redor, tagarelando sobre o mundo e devorando minha interminável lista de filmes.
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