Female Archetypes

The Diva Digest has received a warm welcome from the web community and a lot of questions about how to discern the different feminine aspects.  In that interest, we have created the following exploration of the archetypes to help delineate the lines between Maiden, Mother, Diva and Crone.

It is important to note that we are not addressing a chronological event, although by natural progression, it is most typical that a Diva will be between the ages of around 40-60, although I have met plenty of Divas who were in their 30′s and 70′s.  As I said, it’s not always chronological, it’s life experience meets mindset. 

THE MAIDEN: 

Maidens giggle.  Maidens do not feel complete or content without a lover or spouse in their lives.  It’s not just that they enjoy being in a relationship, but that they NEED to be in a relationships.  Maidens are dependent upon a network of friends on an ongoing basis with lots of contact via phone and e-mail and face-to-face visits.  Maidens are coy and flirtatious around those to whom they are attracted and sometimes have difficulty remaining faithful.  Maidens love to play and explore their physical world.  Maidens love romantic chick movies, especially with their team of girlfriends.  Maidens tend to be nervous about voicing their own opinions and ideas, seeking validation from those around them before assigning value to what they think and intuit.  Their ideas are very fragile and can easily be evaporated or muted by the input of their peer groups.  Maidens are very emotionally expressive and sometimes volatile.  They are given to outbursts of anger or anguish as quickly as to a good giggle sessions. It can be difficult to follow their emotional transitions.  They are given to tantrums and gushy expressions of affection.  Maidens are often rebels who protest passionately against any form of established thought or paradigm.  The other side of the Maiden is one who is timid and mousey, hesitant to offend.  Maidens are often “lost” or unprepared for dealing with the circumstances and lessons life throws their way and subsequently, feel overwhelmed by life events.  If a Maiden becomes a parent, she is a playful, carefree parent who will be a joy to the child until the difficult times inherent to parenthood approach.   Maidens do not enjoy being alone or being in silence.  They will nearly always have a TV or radio or some other type of external “noise” going on and must be entertained at all times.  They fall to boredom easily and when this happens, they will move heaven and earth to get unbored.  Maidens are very experimental and adventurous and enjoy exploring the power behind their sexuality. 

THE MOTHER: 

Mothers smile warmly, sometimes wanly.  Mothers tend to be chronically fatigued and self-sacrificing.  They often are wrestling with their own demons from the past as they have lived enough life to have regrets that have not found reconciliation, but have not had time (because mothering is so pervasive in one’s life) to sort through it all and make peace with the darkest shadows.  Mothers tend to hold on to the past, both close and distant, with very emotional ties to the days gone by.  Mothers are often very emotional, from stress, fatigue, the drain of nurturing and from often neglecting the task of filling themselves up again.  Mothers do not necessarily have children.  There are many, many mother aspects to extend that intense nurturing to their co-workers, pets, friends and associates.  They micromanage, hover, worry and fret, seldom being able to trust others to work competently on their own and not even trusting themselves to handle any screw-ups others might make in being left to work unmonitored.  Mothers insist on cleaning up the messes of others, figuratively and literally.  They tend to offer their advice in abundance and are quick to offer comfort and pick me up to people who are in despair for any number of reasons.  They have a seemingly limitless font of love and nurturing, but since their font isn’t endless, they tend to despondency when their account is overdrawn, so to speak.  Often, they will allow the love and nurturing to flow long after their cup is empty, then they may become resentful to their keep even as they continue to flood them with attention.  Mothers tend to place unspoken agreements and expectations on their relationships, then feel resentment and anger when those expectations are not met.  A good example of this is the woman who nurtures everyone around her without being asked, then fumes when the same is not returned to her.  They dote on their husband when he’s sick, carrying in soup and magazines, fluffing pillows and taking temperatures, then whining because he does not do the same for them when they are sick.  Mothers frequently give and give and give with the return on their investment being unspoken or unknown until it becomes due and payable, at which time, the Mother becomes hurt and volatile for not receiving it and the poor partner (be it spouse, child or friend) being confused about what they’ve done or not done that upset her.  Mothers often work heavily in guilt manipulation and martyr complexes. 

Mothers can be quite intimidating in their strongest form, but more often than not, provide a soft place for the people around them to fall.  Their drive to nurture gives them an uncanny ability to sense what those around them are in need of most and an undaunted drive to fulfill that need.  Mothers show incredible stamina and are extremely resilient and creative.  Their problem solving abilities are unrivaled and they are able to multitask like no other.  Mothers live to counsel and a great deal of their own self-worth and identity is wrapped up in solving the problems of others or giving them a shoulder to cry on or a word of advice. 

Like the Maidens, Mothers are seldom comfortable with silence or lack of sensory stimulation, which is part of the reason why they surround themselves with people who need them so much.  Not only do they construct much of their ego on being needed, but also it provides a curtain of noise that keeps the unresolved ghosts of the past at bay.  It’s not so much that Mothers are unwilling to deal with issues of the past and put them to rest, but more of the Mother’s life being so wrapped around the needs of others and hallmarked by self-sacrifice that there is seldom time or energy left to work on their own issues.  This can result in a passive or aggressive resistance to resolving the dark places inside.  They may be unable to do so due to time and energy limitations or that may be the world they create to keep from dealing with the shadow side… chicken/egg… who knows?  Regardless, it is impossible to fully embrace the identity of the Diva until those issues have been fully managed and reconciled. 

THE DIVA: 

The Diva laughs boisterously. Diva has already been discussed at length in the “Who is the Diva” section of this site.  Diva is arguably the most empowered time of a woman’s life as she carries within her the wisdom and experience of life without yet being physically disadvantaged by age.  Diva is a state of mind and a state of living one’s life. It is the “arriving” at a particular place in life where the way we deal with the outside world shifts dramatically and a weight falls off of the shoulders.  That “lightness” of being is what heralds in the Diva.  The Diva is fully able to nurture, but does so with balance.  She is protective of her need to self-nurture in order to be able to give.  She has reconciled her past and lives comfortably in the present.  The Diva is often perceived as aloof and elitist, but she’s not elitist with malice; she’s discerning.  Having moved from the full on nurturing mode of the Mother, the Diva has become extremely discerning about where her energy goes and the people with whom she surrounds herself.  The Diva is very comfortable with only her own company and anyone who infringes upon that time with herself, must be more entertaining than she considers herself to be or accentuate her life in some positive way.  The Diva is guards her environment diligently against stress factors, but can handle herself well when under fire.  She just doesn’t like to do it.  Her relationships are particularly sweet because both she and they know that they are in her life because of their own merits and value, not out of sympathy, pity or habit.  The Diva has no difficulty cutting the dead wood out of her life and streamlining her processes so that she works from the most simple of bases.   The Diva is clear and direct, not given to energy-expending outbursts or lengthy diatribes.  She doesn’t break down and cry much in conflict and will not coddle her opponent when she knows she’s right.  Most importantly, The Diva does not give to anyone a part of her time or herself that she feels she will later resent.

THE CRONE: 

The Crone chuckles wisely.  The Crone has left her Mother phase and taken the Diva aspect to its highest level.  The Crone holds court and is honored by all.  She revels in grandmotherhood and her wisdom is not freely offered like the Mother’s… it must be sought out.  She looks back on life with joy and pride.  The Crone, like the Diva, is comfortable with her own company, but enjoys visiting and sharing with others.  She is uneasy with needing things from others and while she is wise enough to accept assistance with grace, she often feels at a loss if physical degeneration is occurring.  While the Mother has yet to resolve her issues with the past, the Crone works to resolve her issues with the future:  death.  She begins the process of acceptance of the other side as she prepares for her adventure into the afterlife.  She often walks between the worlds as a Shamaness, feeling as comfortable in the other world as in this one during this transitional time.  It’s as though the Divine takes the human Crone for walks on the other side to acclimate her to what is to come and slowly integrate her into the new life that is to come.  Having mastered this life, she begins the process of acclimating to what comes next.

 

MAIDEN

MOTHER

DIVA CRONE
       
GIGGLES  SMILES WARMLY  LAUGHS BOISTEROUSLY  CHUCKLES 
NEEDS A MAN  NURTURES HER MAN  MEN ARE NICE, BUT EXTRANEOUS  MEH, WHATEVER 
USUALLY DOES NOT HAVE CHILDREN  ALWAYS HAS CHILDREN OR NURTURE TARGETS  MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE CHILDREN  GRANDCHILDREN 
IS CREATING HER PAST  IS UNEASY WITH THE PAST  RECONCILED THE PAST  HONORS THE PAST 
FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE  NURTURES EVERYONE  TIGHTENS CIRCLE, LIMITS PEOPLE IN HER LIFE  ENJOYS COMPANY 
NEEDS VALIDATION FROM OTHERS  GIVES SUPPORT TO OTHERS  INDEPENDENT, SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO SOME  MAY BE DEPENDENT ON OTHERS SOMEWHAT,
GIVES GREAT WISDOM 
INSECURE  ACCOMMODATING  DISCERNING  WELCOMING 
EXPLORING THE WORLD  HELPING OTHERS’ WORLDS  MASTERING THIS WORLD  BETWEEN THE WORLDS 
“I’LL TRY IT”  “I’LL HELP YOU”  “I’VE DONE IT’  “I’VE MASTERED IT” 
EXCITEMENT  WORRY  FAITH  PEACE