In my recent blog post on archetypes, I introduced the idea of the four feminine archetypes – The Virgin-Warrior, the Mother-Creator, the Wild Woman-Enchantress, and the Wise Woman-Crone. As women, it’s so valuable for us to understand these four major archetypes, because they help us to understand our human experience, find strength and wisdom within ourselves, and to maintain balance in our lives. These archetypes represent the changing stages of our lives, and the changing phases of our monthly moon cycles. They also represent universal patterns of energy that are always present within us, so no matter what phase of your life or your moon cycle you are in, you can learn to tune into their energies. Over the next couple months, I’ll be doing a post on each of these archetypes (which I also envision as Goddesses), sharing their strengths, shadow sides, and how to work with them in your own lives. The first post in the series is on the Virgin-Warrior Goddess.
Since archetypes can be nuanced, everyone’s specific interpretation of an archetype (including the name they use for them) will be individual to that person, but the overarching patterns will be similar. Below is one interpretation of the Virgin Warrior Goddess. As you begin to observe each of these archetypes within yourself, you will develop your own unique understanding of them, which may be different than what is presented here. As always, follow and trust your own experience.
Who is the Virgin-Warrior Goddess?
The first stage of this journey through the archetypes begins at menarche, when we get our first period. In this stage, we step into the energy of the Virgin-Warrior. The Virgin-Warrior is raw potential. She is the ability to grow whatever she wants. She carries the seeds of all life: anything is possible, and all possibilities are within her. Armed with this divine knowledge of endless possibility, she is fierce and powerful, knowing that nothing can stop her.
She experiences her energy of newness and possibility through playfulness, curiosity, and enthusiasm. Her sense of adventure is her best friend as she seeks to explore the depths of her soul and learn who she is as a woman. She especially seeks to challenge herself, because it is through challenges that she finds the shape of her being.
She is called Virgin not because of her sexual status, but because she is whole without other. She needs no one else to call herself complete. She finds meaning within herself. She does not limit herself by the needs or beliefs of others.
What does The Virgin-Warrior’s Energy Feel Like?
It is important to be able to recognize the energy of the Goddesses in our lives. In this way we can learn to call on them at times when we our intuition tells us their power is needed.
We feel the energy of the Virgin-Warrior in our life when we experience the creative fire of a new beginning. We feel her energy in us when we envision what we want and go for it, without stopping to wonder what others will think. We feel her energy in us when we won’t take no for an answer. We feel her energy in us when we clearly and proudly know who we are, when we can confidently deflect shame and criticism that others send our way, knowing that it is not a part of us.
As we learn to recognize her powers within us, we can also learn to strengthen those powers so they are more available to us. As we strengthen those powers, we begin to step into our most divine selves.
The Shadow Side of the Virgin-Warrior
All archetypes have a shadow side. The shadow side is essentially the natural powers of an archetype running unchecked and out-of-balance, their strengths misaligned from our true selves. This can happen if an archetype’s energy is not properly allowed to express itself, if it is denied, covered up, shamed, or otherwise unappreciated. It can also happen through influence from others – those who have fallen into their own patterns of disempowerment.
When the Virgin-Warrior’s shadow appears through any of these means, her strength, curiosity, and potential become distorted.
She may turn her natural strength inward and become self-destructive. Remember that she is raw potential – she can create anything she wants…anything…even her own personal hell. She may develop addictions of any kind – drugs, alcohol, perfectionism, eating disorders, sex – using her intense power and sense of individualism to hold on to these patterns that are limiting her from reaching a higher potential. She may even use her strong-headedness to convince herself that these patterns are the path to her highest potential.
Her shadow may also exhibit the need to win at all costs, abandoning ethical principles to prove her superiority to herself and others. This could show up as a narcissistic personality that feels easily threatened when her ego and beliefs are questioned. Or she may take her sense of self too seriously, and not let anyone get close to her.
Conversely, if she does not spend the necessary time and energy discovering and establishing herself from her most divine place, she may “lose herself” and then risks not knowing who she really is. She may deny her individuality and decide to go along with what other people are doing.
The Virgin Warrior’s Sacred Work
The Virgin Warrior has the important task of laying the groundwork for her own life. She must decide what her values and purpose will be, and what her meaning in life is. She must find herself and her voice. She is planting her seeds and setting her sights for her own future. In modern days, this aspect of the feminine has been denied as young women are taught that they must please others. Learning to set healthy boundaries is therefore an essential part of her journey as well.
This work is especially important for the next stages of her life because it will serve as the foundation for the rest of the phases. The other Goddesses benefit from her work in establishing herself, so they can feel comfortable and safe to achieve their highest expressions.
The Virgin-Warrior in the Moon Cycle
The Virgin-Warrior rules the follicular phase of our moon cycle. This is the week after bleeding, when we are becoming new again. We have just gone through a period of shedding old things and are more able and willing to accept new experiences, ideas, and friends. This is the time of your cycle to try new things, meet new people, put yourself out there. It’s a good time to sit down and map out what you want to do in the future (whether near or far). It’s also a good time for starting projects, since your energy is high and will continue to build through your next phase.
Finding the Virgin-Warrior Within You
Take some time to reflect and journal about where you see this Goddess within yourself. What experiences did you have in your young womanhood that indicate her power was moving through you? What experiences do you have now that indicate her presence? Where in your moon cycle do you feel her energy most strongly? How does it show up? Do you see signs of her shadow self either now or in your past? Why do you think her shadow was appearing at those times? What practices could you do to strengthen her energy inside you?