Heroine Archetype Quotes


“Women’s mythology is all about cycling from larger to smaller, pregnancy to slimness, waxing mother to waning crone.” – p 173

“Once, the whole Goddess reflected the entire spectrum: kindly and terrible, as the awesome Mother Earth. However, the conquering patriarchy split her into three aspects.” p 174

“Antonia Wolf, longtime mistress of Carl Jung, formulated four feminine archetypes: Mother, Hetaera, Amazon, and Mystic.” p 174

“To women, struggling to discover the Self, centuries of literature and symbolism that consider her man’s helpmate and support undermine her journey.” p 175

“When these archetypes are placed in a circle, patterns appear. It is most important to note that each archetype’s shadow, or direct opposite, appears clearly across the circle.” p 176

“Thus the heroine’s journey is mirrored by the shadow’s journey, as the Terrible Mother descends into the darkest realm of the self and ascends to cronehood as the fairy godmother, who gracefully ages until she passes into the realm of the spirit, the greatest power of all.”  p 177

Smart Girls Rule! The Adolescent Questor

“Here is the traditional heroine – the simple, good-hearted girl carrying food through the forest or outwitting demons and kings.” p 182

“Even in the Bible, women were once celebrated for their feminine potency, in a way that modern tradition has in many ways forgotten.” p 186

“Here is the heroine’s task: pure creativity and life-force, wielding craft, magic, and devotion as weapons to accomplish her goals.” p 187

“Facing death, acknowledging its power and inevitability, is part of the heroine’s journey, as is saving one’s loved one from its grip.” p 187

SOURCE: Frankel, V. E. (2010). From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 9.23.17 PM The Heroine’s Journey

“Our task is to heal the internal split that tells us to override the feelings, intuition, and dream images that inform us of the truth of life. We must have the courage to live with paradox, the strength to hold the tension of not knowing the answers, and the willingness to listen to our inner wisdom and the wisdom of the planet, which begs for change.” p 11

Separation from the feminine

“But on the personal level, the old order is embodied by the mother, and the heroine’s first task toward individuation is to separate from her.” p14
“The rejection of the feminine occurs in both directions, from daughter to mother and from mother to daughter. As a girl enters puberty and discovers her sexuality, her mother may reject or demean her daughter’s physical body.” p 24

Identification with the masculine

“In the second stage of the heroine’s journey a woman wishes to identify with the masculine or to be rescued by the masculine. … She puts on her armor, mounts her modern-day steed, leaves loved ones behind, and goes in search of the golden treasure.” p 36
“A young woman may appear to succeed while bleeding herself dry internally. Because of an innate fear of female inferiority, many young women become addicted to perfection, overcompensating, and overworking because they are different than men.” p 41

Road of trials

“As they learn to anticipate others’ needs they consciously or unconsciously expect that their needs will be anticipated and taken care of as well. When a woman discovers that her needs are not being considered she feels that something is wrong with her. She may actually feel share that she has needs too.” p 49
“Strengthening her skills of communication helps the heroine to get along with different types of people.. And having the courage to present her vision inspires other women to trust their images and words.” p 56
“When a woman is liberated or liberates herself from the belief that her fulfillment comes at the hands of a man, then she can find a partner who is an equal and enjoy true romantic love. ” p60

The illusory boon of success

“During the road of trials a woman transcends the limits of her conditioning. It is a particularly harrowing time, an adventure fraught with fears, tears, and trauma.” p 61
“When the unconscious masculine takes over, a woman may feel that no matter what she does or how she does it, it is never enough.” p 68
“When  woman can find the courage to be limited and to realize that she is enough exactly the way she is, then she discovers one of the true treasures of the heroine’s journey.” p.69

Strong women can say no

“There is also a strength in saying no, in being self-protective, in listening to one’s authentic voice, in silencing the inner tyrant.” p 82
“When a woman stops doing she must learn how to simply be. Being is not a luxury, it is a discipline…. Anything less than that aborts growth, denies change, and reverses transformation. Being takes courage and demands sacrifice.” p83

Initiation and descent to the goddess

“The descent is characterized as a journey to the underworld, the dark night of the soul, the belly of the whale, the meeting of the dark goddess, or simply as depression. It is usually precipitated by a life-changing loss.” p88
“A woman moved down into the depths to reclaim the parts of herself that split off when she rejected the mother and shattered the mirror of the feminine. To make this journey a woman puts aside her fascinatino with the intellect and games of the cultural mind, and aquaints herself, perhaps for the firs time, with her body, her emotions, her sexuality, her intuition, her images, her values, and her mind. This is what she finds in the depths.” p90

Urgent yearning to reconnect with the feminine

“When a woman has made the descent and severed her identity as a spiritual daughter of the patriarchy, there is an urgent yearning to reconnect with the feminine, whether that be the Goddess, the Mother, or her little girl within.” p111
“Most women have lost that sense of power connected with their sexuality.” p 114
“In dreams and artwork. many women today are reclaiming the image of the vessel, which speaks to the inner-directed aspect of the feminine. The vesica piscis (“vessel of the fish”) is a symbol of the feminine as vessel in both pagan and Christian religions.” p128
“The heroic quest is not about power over, about conquest and domination; it is a quest to bring balance into our lives through the marriage of both feminine and masculine aspects of our nature.” -129
“She brings us wisdom about the interconnectedness of all species; she teaches us how to live together in this global vessel and helps us to reclaim the feminine in our lives.” – 129

Healing the mother/daughter split

“In their desire to heal the split with their inner feminine, they are reaching out to other women, coming together to name their experience of the sacred, honoring their connection with Gaia, and undergoing female rites of passage through women’s gatherings and vision quests. Healing the mother/daughter split is a cocreated journey; to hear her own vice and to affirm her direction, a woman needs a supportive community.” p140

Finding the inner man with heart

“The only way a woman can heal this imbalance within herself is to bring the light of consciousness into the darkness. She must be willing to face and name her shadow tyrant and let it go.” p158
“The sacred marriage is the marriage of ego and self. Th heroine comes to understand the dynamics of her feminine and masculine nature and accepts them both together.” p 163

Beyond duality

“She must develop a positive relationship with her inner Man with Heart and find the voice of her Woman of Wisdom to heal her estrangement from the sacred feminine.” p185
SOURCE: Murdock, M. (2013). The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness. Shambhala Publications.

Featured image in post: English: Sculpture in Pershore A sculpture in the graveyard of the former St Andrew’s church in Pershore is a two-sided modern sculpture of the ‘Garden God’ (known locally as the Moon Goddess). The sculpture is by Peter Inchbald.