A few people have asked me to explain the Goddess Wheel Workshop in more detail, and to clarify some terms. Thinking about this has opened up a wider field that feels worth exploring in more detail.
The term ‘goddess’ means different things to different people. Some people are comfortable with the term, others are not. I use this word in regards to this workshop as it refers to specific archetypes portrayed in specific myths. The ancient Greeks referred to these archetypal patterns as goddesses. An archetype is an original blueprint or pattern which has certain qualities and principles contained within it. In the Goddess Wheel, there are primarily 6 goddess archetypes which together make up the Great Feminine Aspect or Great Mother. An archetype, because it is an original blueprint, is much more than an individual man or woman but can be expressed through an individual. In terms of chakras the archetypal realm is above the physical body – in the 8th/9th and 10th chakra position. The best way to explain this is to give you a couple of examples. Let’s think of an imaginary friend that we both know. She is a mother of 4 children and mothering comes as easy to her as breathing. We might say that she is a ‘natural born mother’. This woman would have a strong ‘mother’ archetype running through her. Many women are mothers but not all just ooze that mother archetype from every pore. Let’s look at another example: If we say that a particular person we know has a very strong ‘warrior’ energy about him/her, we would all know exactly what that meant, even if we didn’t know that particular individual. That person has the warrior archetype strongly connected to them. How about the person who is an artist? Everything about them is artistic, creative, quirky – their art, home, outlook, dress sense. They just have the archetype of the artist flowing through them. You get the gist.
So when we look at the Great Mother archetypes we are looking at the facets or defined aspects of the Sacred Feminine which together seem to make up Her fundamental qualities. Every woman has these facets within her, but some are more developed or active than others. Some have been repressed or denied or over-exaggerated. This affects us on every level. When we understand our particular make-up of archetypes or goddesses, we are much better placed to bring a better harmony within and without. We can re-balance ourselves and seek to nurture those aspects that haven’t had much of a say – or at least acknowledge their existence.
When thinking about this further it seemed to link into another question that I’ve been reflecting on. I’ve noticed that a number of people who’ve attended the animal communication workshops – although they get good results during the workshop – struggle afterwards. Of course part of the answer is practise and identifying what blocks you have which hinder the communication flow. However, it’s also important to understand that ‘animal communication’ is an attribute of one of the archetypes belonging to the Sacred Feminine. In Greek Goddess terms animal communication belongs to the archetype of Artemis (although Persephone can also play a role here). What prominence these archetypes have in your life and consciousness can affect how easy you find animal communication, as does their relation to the other goddesses in your individual make- up. Let me give you an example. If you have a strong or over-dominant Athena archetype running through you and maybe her attributes and qualities have been narrowed down or distorted – then you may find you keep running everything past your rational mind and reasoning sense to the extent that she stifles most of your intuitive function. Athena was born from Zeus’s head – she is of the head with a high intellect, often to the neglect of the body and intuition, especially if she is not balanced by the other archetypes. She may also express her energy by you becoming too impatient and driven to achieve the subtle connection needed. Etc.
When you begin to understand how the goddess archetypes are working within you and start to bring them into a greater balance and harmony, this can help to develop your animal communication skills and to understand the blocks that may be present. You may realise, for example that Athena has been ruling the roost at the expense of the other goddesses and that it is indeed Artemis who is seeking to be heard. Perhaps Demeter wants a voice too because you have been so much in your head you have forgotten to nurture the body or to be embodied which means you don’t pick up the subtle communications that your animals are giving. Perhaps Persephone, who is highly intuitive, has been relegated to the bottom of your goddess wheel and is desperately trying to get your attention.
A few examples of issues that imbalances of these archetypes can bring forth are: lack of boundaries or over-exaggerated boundaries – emotional/psychic as well as physical. Feeling out of place whether where you live or in your job. Yearning to express something which you cannot put your finger on which leads to a sense of loss. Being in a relationship and yet feeling the need to be alone. As a mother, you love your kids but you’re going crazy being a home mum. A feeling that you lack purpose. Always being at odds with your mother, sister, a female colleague etc. You’ve suffered much trauma or illness in your life, or you seem to keep attracting unhealthy relationships. Feeling stuck in one mode of being or doing and knowing you need to change and yet you just cannot find the way to do this….
Working with these archetypes can open up a vast wealth of hidden resources and talents as well as hidden strengths. You begin to recognise when each archetype is actively working within you and when another is asking to ‘lend you a hand’. You also begin to see them clearly in the other women in your life which gives a new perspective and appreciation of who they are.
I think it is also important to note that the horse was one of the symbols for the Great Mother in ancient times. I can understand why. I’ve found that working with these Goddess archetypes has directly influenced and bettered my relationship with my horses and helped to take it to a whole new level.