Female Archetypes

A Zurich analyst by the name of Toni Wolff, who studied under Jung, wrote a 4 page paper entitled “Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche”. In it, she identified 4 basic female archetypes. She called these 4 archetypes the Amazon Woman, the Mother, the Medial Woman, and the Hetaira. The Amazon was identified with her intellect, the Mother with her nurturing capabilities, the Medial type with her inspirational abilities, and the Hetaira with her personal relationship to men.

The psychologist Dr. Toni Grant, in her book Being a Woman, has evolved her own theoretical construct based on Miss Wolff’s paper. In her formulation, she continued to call the Amazon aspect the Amazon and the Mother aspect the Mother.

1. THE AMAZON WOMAN
 — is highly focused, ambitious, assertive, goal-​oriented and self-​sufficient. She relates to the men in her life as companions, co-​workers, and competitors.

2. THE MOTHER
 — is a caretaker, a woman who thrives upon her attachment to others. She nurtures not only her own children, but other relatives and female friends, as well as the men in her life.

What Miss Wolff refers to as the Medial Aspect of woman, Dr. Grant calls the Madonna.

3. THE MADONNA
 — the aspect of a woman which is inspirational in nature and imparts standards, values, and ideals. The Madonna is reflective. She embodies the quintessentially feminine virtues of patience, of silence and faith. Rather than seeking to attain greatness for herself, she inspires the man in her life to greatness, supporting him unconditionally in his quest for fulfillment and achievement.

4. THE COURTESAN
Dr. Grant has renamed the Hetaira aspect the Courtesan — Geisha, playmate, and Prostitute are other terms for this aspect, but none of these words quite communicates the full meaning of the Greek term Hetaira, a woman who operates primarily in personal relationships to men, not only sexually, but intellectually and emotionally as well.

Note: For the charts of the 4 archetypes that follow, I have used the term Wise Woman in place of Madonna/​Medial Woman, and have added the archetype of the Queen to that of the Mother.

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