All women have different modes of expression, but each woman carries the universal expressions of four main archetypes embodying the feminine essence: The Maiden, The Wild Woman, The Nurturer, and The Wise Woman. She may be the wise woman in her social circle, the maiden in her love relationship, a wild woman in her career and the nurturer when she’s gardening or with her children. Many women are all of these archetypes and their expressions shift many times a day, influenced by her environment, tasks, activities and experiences. Often these expressions reveal themselves in dominant form from one phase of her cycle to the next due to shifting hormones and how those can trigger sensory and emotional responses.
Most women are not in touch with these natural expressions of the feminine spirit, and if they are I tend to find over-expressions or under-expressions creating imbalances. There are a lot of underlying reasons for disconnection that carry themselves over from each woman’s unique life experiences. One common factor that I have encountered on every single case I have studied, researched and woman I have worked with is this: the over-masculinization of self identity and expression in relation to the outside world.
A couple of examples of this are:
trying to compete and measure up to men to achieve respect and equality
doing the work of both a man and a woman by either raising children on their own, or by balancing careers with raising a family.
Today, society still enforces that the family is the woman’s job; not a shared job. Even if both parents have entered the workforce, this idealistic value is indoctrinated in everything from education to movies to advertising and marketing. Women are nurturers, as you will read below.
We are designed to nurture. But not all women are designed to cook, clean and wipe butts. There are many grey areas here, so for the sake of keeping this short, I won’t get too far down that rabbit hole. I will just close the paragraph with this: globally, women perform 75% of the unpaid labor, and that includes both women who stay home and women who have paying jobs outside of the home.
There’s a great imbalance in our society that pushes women into masculine roles and expressions of self. This creates an imbalance of physical, emotional and mental/spiritual energy and I see the shadows of each archetype express themselves. The more women push themselves into competing, overworking, over-doing, over-everything-ing… the more they burn themselves out.
In the opposite direction of a shadow shines the brightest light!
Full disclosure, I recognize in myself the imbalances of energy shared across two of my main archetypes and have been doing a lot of shadow work to bridge that healing. It’s tough, frustrating and often very confusing but the journey itself is so rewarding. Every new insight and level of awakening is like being reborn! Which connects you with the creator archetype (the nurturer). Let’s explore these archetypes below.
♀The maiden’s shadow is revealed when she is repressed by shame, but still consciously or unconsciously knows the power of her sexuality can be used to manipulate, redirect attention to her benefit because she has not paid attention to or loved herself, and then reenact circumstances throughout her life as the victim.
When she reconnects with the maiden, she offers herself love and expresses that self love through her benevolence, excitement for life and all its experiences and through her natural sexuality without shame because she knows its her gift, not a tool.
The Wild Woman
♀ The wild woman is repressed (and suppressed) by fear and eventually expresses her shadow self through resentment and destruction; often towards herself.
When she reconnects with the wild woman, she is strengthening the connection with passion and intuition. She uses the feminine energies within her to activate her creativity and ambition, allowing herself to naturally draw boundaries that do not serve her purpose.
♀The repression or suppression of the nurturer (or mother) archetype through conditions of guilt and sacrifice can show up in the shadows as the martyr.
When she reconnects with the nurturer, She pours love into all she creates, protects them, nourishes them and will do all she can to preserve them. She experiences the magical harmony of body, mind and Spirit and uses this love to energize her home, her business or career, projects, relationships, children, her ideas, and her health- all of it.
The Wise Woman
♀When the wise woman is repressed by anxiety and fear or suppressed by doubt, the shadows of judgement and criticism are awakened.
When she reconnects with the wise woman, she is synthesizing her pain and darkness into light bodies of truth and wisdom. She lives beyond fear, embodying the discerning advisor when greeted with great challenges or life adjustments. She is rooted in her knowledge but knows to re-examine herself through introspection in order to continually grow compassion for herself and others.
To learn more about how each of these archetypes plays a key role into a woman’s health and wellness, as well as performance, be sure to check out Sara’s advanced course at the C.H.E.K. Institute, Holistic Health & Performance for Women, and listen to her and Paul Chek dive really deep into this conversation on his podcast Living 4D with Paul Chek.