The female archetypes provide insight into your deeper instinctual nature. Like a horoscope, they offer a clear sense of self and a solid foundation of attitudes and thoughts that assist you better understand yourself. However, they also reveal your instincts and your connections to the world around you. When you constantly repeat the same behaviours, your conscious mind is at work too. A study by Dr Joseph Murphy of the University of British Columbia in Canada found that people have the same interpretations of the same images on various levels.
The most obvious female archetypes are the natural born woman. These are usually nurturing and gentle by nature and prone to protectiveness of those they hold dearest. The female maiden stands at a crossroads between adolescence and adulthood, longing for an earlier age but also eager to find her own path in life. The feminine spirit and the energy of childhood. The period between one’s youth and maturity represents the transition between childhood and adulthood. In the cycle of life the female remains as a budding young woman, looking for identity, protection and acceptance of her own self, until she sheds her childish phase and settles down into marriage, childbirth and child rearing.
Another example of archetypal female archetypes is the warrior. Usually depicted as a fierce, conquering force, a modern day warrior Woman has no equal in either literature film or games. Usually depicted as a confident, strong, independent woman, she stands at the forefront of society determined to do what it takes. She is strong and confident, unafraid to assume a position of leadership. This definition is not limited to any gender. There are many strong, determined female counterparts to the crusader in literature and movies.
The buccaneer, pirate and vagabond are three archetypes which serve to remind us of our earlier social conditioning. Buccaneer and pirates are both synonymous with violence. However, the buccaneer was originally outcasts who roamed the high seas, seeking to ply their trade. This definition can easily be applied to most of society, although the women are often excluded from this archetype. The pirates were, more often than not, men who were seeking a place on uncharted waters in order to establish their fortune. Vagabond, on the other hand, are generally seen as wandering souls, seeking a life of adventure and non-conformity.
Feminine archetypes, by definition, are those who possess inner values and personal integrity. Those who are honest and trustworthy are typically portrayed as strong, courageous and independent, while those who are dishonest and not trusted are usually portrayed as weak, greedy and not worthy of trust. These archetypes provide useful insights into how we can develop and increase our own inner values. This helps us realize that our own sense of self-worth is rooted in our own inner values, so by knowing ourselves and our own value systems, we can learn to increase our own inner value.
One of the first archetypes to come to mind when discussing archetypes of the inner maiden is the fairy. This archetype represents purity, innocence, the girl child, all of the traits and qualities that are essentially feminine. Fairy tales, movies, comics, play, and even folk customs tell us that the fairies do not like to share the gifts of youth, until a certain age, that they must be ready to experience these things. The Fairy is also an archetypal symbol of the inner maid, who for many women, represents motherly duties, and who does her very best as motherly figure. In the menstrual cycle of every woman, the fairy will appear as a reminder that there is a time in each woman’s life when she must be willing to give up her freedom, her happiness, and her freedom of action and expression in favor of fulfilling her obligations to her family, friends, and society. The fairy encourages the inner maid to follow her heart and do what is right, no matter the cost to her own ideals and personal freedom.
The next archetypal character to dwell on as you explore the mystery of the female psyche, is the failed environmentalist. As we all know, environmentalists are usually the female characters who are really affected by the larger forces of nature and the world. These characters are usually the first ones to voice the warnings of destruction that occur through environmental abuse. They are usually the first to see and notice that the damage that has been done has not only affected the living creatures on land and water, but has also threatened the very existence of the very earth itself. In their attempts to save the planet, these protagonists often have to sacrifice themselves to do so. In short, these archetypal female characters are the protectors of the weak and the vulnerable, even though at the expense of doing great harm to themselves and to others.
The final archetypal figure that we will discuss as we explore archetypal female characters is the nurturer. What is a nurturer? A caring, compassionate person who seeks to understand and care for others in need? Sometimes these characters are the loving mothers who give up everything to give their children a better life, sometimes they are the domineering, yet nurturing mothers who have everything they want but little time to give to others. Most of the time the nurturer will stand back and let others do the caring and protecting, only offering advice when asked. In this way, the nurturer is not actually a female, but a combination of all three archetypes.