Advertisement

The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

An Archetype That Fits

What is an archetype? The literal definition of archetype is “the original pattern or model from which all things of a similar kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; a prototype. Archetype also refers to an ideal example of a category, the quintessence of a class.”

In Jungian psychology, an archetype is an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience, which is present in the individual unconscious. An archetype is an image-idea, a stylized pattern that we carry within our psyche, a mythic model that guides our development and gives direction and meaning to our lives.

The Triple Goddess — The Maiden, the Mother and The Crone — offers women a role model for their developing youth, for their creative, nurturing years, and for their old age. But these archetypes don’t include me or other women in our middle years. They do not address our issues and needs. They do not even recognize our existence.

Advertisement

The old stereotypes simply do not apply to us. We haven’t been Maidens in decades, we are no longer Mother material, and we are definitely not old Crones. We women of a certain age who are excluded from the tripartite paradigm also need a model with which to identify.

We need a larger-than-life archetypal framework to help us to elevate our personal aging process to legendary proportions. A mythological mirror of our own midlife experience, so that when we look into its depths, we can see a clear reflection of our own potential.

When I could not find a role model within the Triple Goddess archetype to describe my life as a midlife woman, I created my own. Was this hubris? Who am I to conceive an archetype? Well, I am in fact, a proud member of the pioneering Sixties Generation, and consequently, I have a certain modest amount of experience in rebelling against the status quo of old systems and beliefs and striving to replace them with new, more inclusive and relevant ones.

Advertisement

Our generation has demonstrated time and again that it is possible to create our own characters, compose our own scripts, and author the sagas of our own lives. We are our own role models. Bereft of affirming depictions of our lives, today’s midlife women are more than ready, willing, and perfectly capable of creating our own.

Each one of us has a story, a myth, a legend to create — and to live. The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own mission in this lifetime: her own path, her own dreams, her own symbols and sensibilities, her own visions and designs, her own way of learning, her own personalized hard-won lessons. That every one of us must figure out for ourselves the fullest, richest, most effective, ethical and satisfying way in which to do it; and moreover, that each and every one of us possesses the wisdom, the power and the response-ability to make it so.

Advertisement

In our search for new archetypes, we look to the past for grounding, look to the future for courage, look to each other for inspiration and support, and look to ourselves for the answers.

What is your vision of an ideal role model to guide you along the path of your life?

***

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

Previous Posts

A Revelation
  By Alicia Keys For as long as I can remember, I've hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an ...

posted 6:00:40am Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

A Matter of Choice
  by Joan Chittister Most of us know when we’re at a crossroad in life, when old answers have gone dry, when our souls have gone dry here, when nothing but another choice is possible. Then come the struggle and the dickering, the ...

posted 6:00:36am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Peace in Hot Times
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is sizzling at its most intense in August. This period is referred to as The Dog Days of Summer. Though named after the Dog Star, Sirius, this is the weather when, according to Noel Coward, only ...

posted 6:00:32am Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Attractive or Sexy?
By Doris Jeanette A clear distinction between being attractive and sexy became clear to me while going over the final version of a book I am working on, "Safe and Sane: Heart-felt Answers for the Pain You Feel." It is a group of questions and ...

posted 6:00:38am Aug. 21, 2015 | read full post »

6 Things French Women Can Teach Us About Aging Gracefully
By Shelley Emling Before moving to the New York City area, I lived in London for seven years. During that period, I traveled more than two dozen times to France, a place where five- or six-week vacations are the norm and many people retire ...

posted 6:00:18am Aug. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.