Exploring and working with the feminine archetypes has been a transformative journey for me, as I believe it is for all women.
I call on these different archetypes depending on which part of my life I’m tending to. For example, in my sacred work, I often embody the Healer, Creatrix, and the Goddess. The Warrioress energy is also very familiar to me, as I’m someone who loves to set new goals and challenges and stand up for what I believe is right. And the more I deepen my understanding of my menstrual cycle, the more I find myself connecting with Wild Woman.
As you read through each of the descriptions, you’ll likely recognize parts of numerous archetypes within yourself. You will probably resonate with a few of them more deeply than the rest and feel magnetically drawn to others that you wish to embody more of. This is normal. Trust your intuition and allow it to guide you here.
I’d like to point out that there are no good or bad feminine archetypes, although some are more celebrated and revered by our patriarchal society. Each archetype has her own positive energies and negative side. But when you know what these look like, you can cultivate the positive qualities and work through any shadows.
What is a feminine archetype?
An archetype is a combination of qualities, thoughts, and behaviors that a woman or man displays.
We all have divine feminine and divine masculine energies within us. However, we live when the feminine is not valued, which means the shadow sides of both the feminine and masculine can be seen on both a small and large scale.
A divine feminine archetype is when a woman embodies the highest expression of her feminine energies.
We are in the age of reclaiming the feminine. Every day more women (and men) are slowly waking up to what has been lost. The more we develop the qualities of these feminine archetypes and integrate them into our lives, the more nourished and balanced we will feel.
“Once a woman can tune in to the different parts of herself and can listen, observe, or feel her differing priorities and competing loyalties, she can then sort them out and measure their importance to her. She then can make conscious choices: when conflicts arise, she decides what priorities to place above others, and what course of action she will take. As a result, her decisions resolve inner conflicts instead of instigating internal wars.”
What are the main feminine archetypes?
A lot of the information out there on feminine archetypes is confusing. Some say there are three or four feminine archetypes, Jungian psychology claims there are at least seven, while some spiritual teachers say there are as many as 13.
What are the 4 feminine archetypes?
- Wild Woman
These are the four feminine archetypes that correspond with a woman’s menstrual cycle, which you can read more about here.
What are the Jungian archetypes?
- Wise old man
These are seven of the many archetypes as defined by psychologist Carl Jung. And while they offer a great foundation into the feminine archetypes, Jung was notorious for failing to see women as independent human beings and perceived them only as how they served or related to men. This is why these archetypes don’t fully capture all the roles and qualities women embody.
Here are the 11 sacred feminine archetypes I’ve identified:
- Wild Woman
- Wise Woman
You may know a different name for some of these archetypes. I have tried to include as many of these below as possible.
In this article, I’m exploring both the light (positive) and shadow (negative) qualities of these feminine archetypes, along with how you can embody more of each archetype within.
Feminine archetype #1: Maiden
The Maiden (or Virgin as she’s sometimes known) has an innocent, youthful, playful spirit. She has a passion and excitement for life, is bursting with energy, and ready to take on the world single-handedly. She is positive and optimistic, yet to be jaded by challenging life experiences that only come with age. And she is comfortable in her own skin and not afraid to show the world who she is at heart.
The Maiden phase is usually experienced before a woman discovers her career ambitions or enters marriage and motherhood. This woman is yet to find herself but is thoroughly enjoying the journey to get there and isn’t afraid to break some rules along the way!
The Maiden in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Maiden’s innocence and lack of wisdom can make her vulnerable and leaves her open to others taking advantage of her. She may become compliant or obedient to satisfy her need to please others and be liked. She is also at risk of becoming codependent in a relationship and being drawn to risky situations.
How to embody the Maiden archetype
- Unleash your creative energy
- Focus on yourself
- Think outside the box
- Make a plan or set a goal
- Explore your personal boundaries
Feminine archetype #2: Lover
The Lover is fully connected to her sensuality and sacred sexuality. She is confident, passionate and radiates magnetic energy. She craves deep connection and intimacy with others while simultaneously desiring freedom. The Lover has an abundant mindset and a hopeful outlook which means she draws all of these things into her life with ease. She is grounded in the present moment, and she has a presence that can be felt, which often makes her the center of attention—which she loves!
When we embody the Lover archetype, we open ourselves fully to receive pleasure, adore our bodies as they are, and feel confident expressing our sexuality. She encourages us to create a blissful life filled with the things that turn us on.
The Lover in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Lover can become controlling, attract unnecessary drama into her world, and use her feminine power to manipulate others and get what she wants. She may also be vain, be stuck in an unhealthy comparison trap, lack self-love, and self-esteem and have a distorted image of her physical self.
How to embody the Lover archetype
- Practice self-love
- Work on building your inner confidence
- Indulge in self-pleasure
- Work with a healer or therapist to heal past wounds (including any trauma or abuse)
- Write yourself (or someone else) a love letter
- Wear clothes that make you feel like a Goddess
- Use meditation as a practice to help you enjoy the present moment
Feminine archetype #3: Mother
The Divine Mother archetype is tuned into her nurturing, caring, and compassionate side. Whether she has children of her own or is childless, she has a deep desire to protect, nourish and take care of others and/or her creations and watch them bloom. This can include a business venture or creative project. She is selfless and will often put others’ needs before her own.
Just as Mumma Earth nourishes everything on her planet and gives abundantly, the Mother shares similar gifts. She teaches us to trust, follow our natural rhythms, and discover balance in our lives. She can also connect to our inner child and heal our younger self. With the Mother, we feel safe, protected, and cared for.
The Mother in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Mother archetype can over-give to the point where her resources become depleted. She is neglecting herself and is therefore unable to show up as her best self. This can sometimes lead to a loss of her own identity as a woman, independent of her other roles. She can also become codependent and controlling as a caretaker and can struggle to let go when it’s time to.
How to embody the Mother archetype
- Practice self-care
- Don’t be afraid to put your own needs first
- Think about how you can become less codependent
- Connect to your sacred cycle, or the moon cycle
- Spend time in nature
- Heal your own mother wounds and end the cycle
Feminine archetype #4: Enchantress
The Enchantress is sometimes also known as the Maga archetype, and this phase takes place during the Autumn phase of a woman’s life—after her childbearing years, but before menopause (after Mother, but before Crone).
The Enchantress enters a very different phase of her life if her children are now grown or have left home, and she stands on the cusp of menopause. This gives her a beautiful opportunity to rediscover who she is once again, in a later stage of life. She will likely have more time to explore her hobbies and passions again (or discover new ones) and has maturity and wisdom, and clarity to guide her on this new journey.
With her mind on her grandchildren and future generations, she is devoted to contribution, giving back, and immersing herself in her community to leave the world a better place.
You may think of this as your rite of passage before you are ready to take your place as the Wise Woman.
The Enchantress in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Enchantress can lose her sense of self as her children move on with their own lives, and she feels empty, unfulfilled, and lacks purpose. This may lead her to withdraw from life and miss out on the opportunity to rediscover herself.
How to embody the Enchantress archetype
- Explore old and new hobbies, interests, and passions
- Lean on friends and family for support during times of challenge
- Embrace this new stage of life, and look for the gifts it presents
- Integrate yourself into your community
Feminine archetype #5: Healer
The Healer archetype is embodied in the Witches and Midwives of our world. She deeply nurtures and nourishes herself, enabling her to extend that care to everyone and everything in her world (friends, family, clients, the wider community, and her own dreams).
The Healer loves unconditionally and enables us to create strong, healthy relationships based on genuine connection. She is an alchemist, showing us what love, grief, and acceptance can transform into if we are willing to face it, and a natural space holder for herself and others. She is patient, present, and compassionate. Although she cannot do your healing for you, she will stand by your side and support you once you commit to your soul work.
The Healer in her shadow side
The shadow side of the Healer can be difficult to recognize as many of her qualities are celebrated by our current society. But a common shadow is feeling responsible for solving everyone’s pain and struggles, even when your advice or presence has not been called on.
The Healer is also at risk of over-giving and neglecting herself, which can lead to her feeling depleted and drained of her natural resources. She may also have a “gifted” complex and believe no one can heal unless they have her special knowledge and skill-set. In her shadow, the Healer may be focused on self-gratification as the driving force for offering help, rather than focusing on the person’s healing.
How to embody the Healer archetype
- Create space for yourself
- Practice the art of active listening
- Engage in your own shadow work
- Focus on helping and supporting from the sidelines, rather than taking control
- Recognize your true intentions for offering help
Feminine archetype #6: Creatrix
The Creatrix archetype is sometimes known as the Goddess or Muse. She is the artist, the writer, the poet, and the storyteller. She is dedicated to unleashing her authentic self and creative energy without fearing external judgment. Overflowing with ideas, everything she creates originates from a deep place within and is a true expression of her soul. She shows up with honesty, integrity, and purpose.
The Creatrix recognizes that she is being worked, and everything that is born and manifested through her is done in co-creation with the Divine.
The Creatrix in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Creatrix can doubt herself and the inspirations and ideas she receives from the Divine. She can also be paranoid, get trapped in a “starving artist” mentality, and copy other people’s ideas, and ventures out of fear that hers are not good enough.
How to embody the Creatrix archetype
- If you suffer from self-doubt, discover the root of it so you can heal it
- Give yourself enough time to just be rather than do
- Focus on deep, uninterrupted periods of making art (whatever that looks like for you)
- Connect to your soul/higher self
- Embrace and learn to love your authentic self
- Let go of limiting beliefs that you are not creative. Write a new story that empowers you.
Feminine archetype #7: Priestess
The Priestess archetype represents our unique soul path in this lifetime. She tunes in to her intuition and womb wisdom, trusts and accepts Divine guidance and inspiration as she walks her path. This is the archetype we must embody to live our grandest, most inspired, fulfilling life.
The Priestess aligns with our highest values and sacred purpose and our desire to be of service in some form. She is a sensitive soul and spiritually connected to her higher self, the Divine, other guides and realms. She has a deep desire for higher knowledge and is patient and peaceful in her quest for this. The Priestess grounds herself in nature, and follows the natural cycles of the earth and moon.
The Priestess in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Priestess may struggle to differentiate between her intuition and ego, and therefore struggle to trust her own inner compass and follow it. She may be conflicted between a path that society wants for her and the soul path she came here to walk. She may also struggle to be in her body and feel grounded and present.
How to embody the Priestess archetype
- Take walks in nature
- Tune in to the moon cycle, and your own sacred cycle
- Journal regularly
- Meditate (a body scan could work wonders for helping you connect with your body)
- Ask yourself if you’re living the life you truly want to live
- Immerse yourself in a Priestess initiation journey
- Think about how you can use your gifts to serve other women
Feminine archetype #8: Queen
The Queen stands rooted in her power and is a natural leader. She is sovereign, fiercely loyal, and confident in taking charge, whether it’s in her romantic relationship, her business, or with her family. She sets goals for herself and is motivated to achieve them, taking one actionable step at a time.
The Queen understands the importance of investing in herself as a woman, which is why you’ll regularly find her reading books, taking courses, heading on wellness retreats, working with the best coaches and mentors. She believes she is here to evolve each day and is on a mission to do just that.
She is also a social butterfly and regularly plans to see friends and family, and thrives on meeting new people. But she has no time for whining, complaining, or negativity—she will quickly move away from anyone who tries to kill her vibe.
In many mythical stories, the Queen archetype is devoted to her own marriage and protecting the sanctity of marriage. Today she is simply a powerful woman who devotes herself wholly to whatever she chooses to focus her energy on.
The Queen in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Queen can be shallow and very image-conscious. She is prone to judgment (of herself and others) and can become controlling, which is rooted in her strive for perfection. She can feel easily threatened by other women and be blinded by jealousy when someone has something she desires.
How to embody the Queen archetype
- Invest in your growth (click here for ideas)
- Upgrade something in your life today
- Find a coach or mentor
- Work on your confidence
- Get comfortable making decisions (big and small)
- Have a loyal team of people you trust around you
- Let go of the need to be perfect
Feminine archetype #9: Warrioress
The Warrioress is sometimes known as the Huntress or the Amazon archetype. She is an independent female spirit whose primary goal is to achieve freedom and sovereignty of her life. She is very goal orientated, competitive (with herself), and committed to the causes she cares about, always standing up for what she believes in.
The Warrioress relies on no one but herself and is also a natural protector of other women, particularly those who are vulnerable or find themselves victimized. She is self-assured, courageous, and doesn’t believe she needs a partner to feel complete—she is whole on her own. She feels most at home in nature.
The Warrioress in her shadow side
In her shadow side, the Warrioress can be aloof or emotionally unavailable and end up pushing people away by withholding her love. She may avoid vulnerability in an attempt to maintain total independence. She can sometimes resent other women.
How to embody the Warrioress archetype
- Set yourself a new goal or challenge
- Plan an adventure
- Explore the outdoors (hike, swim, run, backpack, etc.)
- Join a cause or movement you align with
- Plan regular alone time for yourself
- Let other people into your heart
Feminine archetype #10: Wild Woman
The Wild Woman is one of four archetypes that we cycle through as women in our days, weeks, months, and lifetimes. She has many faces and many names, which makes her difficult to define within ourselves. She is also known as Medicine Woman, the Witch, the Hag, the Sorceress, and the Wise Woman (although I keep the Wise Woman label reserved for the Crone).
Wild Woman is the source of the feminine or the female soul. She is at home in her body and knows and accepts all of herself. She confronts her shadows and is not afraid of the death and rebirth cycle. The Wild Woman is alive with passion, creativity, and a heightened connection with her inner wisdom. She is wild in every sense of the word. To know her is to know your soul.
“The Wild Woman carries the bundles for healing—she carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She carries the medicine for all things. She carries stories and dreams and words and songs and signs and symbols, she is both vehicle and destination.”
The Wild Woman in her shadow side
In her shadow side, Wild Woman can cause mayhem during the premenstrual phase of our cycle. This can present itself as physical, mental, or emotional pain, darkness, denial, and destruction—often broadly termed as “PMS.”
How to embody the Wild Woman archetype
- Meet your shadow self and engage in regular shadow work
- Bring awareness to your deepest emotions and feelings
- Get to know yourself intimately
- Unleash your raw, authentic nature
- Journey all the way to your edge, and keep going
- Track your menstrual cycle and meet your Wild Woman each cycle
Feminine archetype #11: Wise Woman
Wise Woman is also sometimes known as the Crone—a wise, older woman or community leader. The Wise Woman represents a loss of fertility, external beauty, activity, and youth. But she has exchanged this superficial value for experience, great wisdom, and knowledge, which she shares with others freely. She can be deeply introverted and tuned in to her intuition. This woman is fully awake.
Wise Woman is deeply connected to the other world and the Divine. She offers us intuition and wisdom to guide us into the next phase or chapter of our lives, allowing us to elevate and evolve. And in turn, we can offer compassion and guidance to those around us, particularly to other women.
The Wise Woman in her shadow side
The Wise Woman in her shadow may become so introverted to the point that she socially isolates herself from her family, friends, and community. This can lead to a feeling of external disconnection and deep loneliness. She may also struggle to feel a sense of belonging in this world.
How to embody the Wise Woman archetype
- Share and teach your wisdom and knowledge
- Embrace your new gifts
- Create moments of stillness to tune in and reflect
- Strengthen your connection to Divine wisdom (through meditation, journaling, oracle card readings)
- Remember to connect with the outside world
We cycle through these feminine archetypes every day
You know how when you do a personality quiz online, it gives you one answer and says you’re that?
Well, the feminine archetypes don’t work this way. You could have all of these archetypes within you right now, or you could have any combination of them at any time.
Certain archetypes are more common during specific times of a woman’s life. For example, when a woman is raising her children, she is likely to embody the Mother archetype. When a woman is running her own business, she is likely to activate the Queen archetype. And when a woman is in the middle of creating something, she will call on the Creatrix.
But you are likely working many of these feminine archetypes at once and cycling through them every moment of every day. There may be moments where you feel uncertain and pulled in different directions. This is the pull of the various archetypes at the table, all sharing their opinions with you. Certain archetypes will work harmoniously together, and others will clash.
Having read the descriptions above, you probably have a good sense of what your dominant archetype currently is or several that you regularly embody. If there’s one you feel you’re presently lacking and want to channel more of, use the tips above to help you do this.
Remember, this is the practice of a lifetime. We will work with these feminine archetypes throughout our lives as we grow, walk our soul path, and evolve.
I’d love to know what you think your dominant archetype is? And which of the feminine archetypes would you like to embody more in your life today?
Let me know in the comments below!