Unleash your authentic power, potential, and creativity by cultivating inner access to archetypal energies within you.
Deepen your self-understanding and experience greater harmony, joy, and wisdom.
What You’ll Learn In Liberating the Gods Within You
In the Liberating the Gods Within You, Jean Shinoda Bolen will guide you through the masculine archetypal forces, insights, and patterns you’ll need to discover and embrace to successfully embody these transformative energies and aspects of wisdom that are connected with both women and men.
Each contemplation and exploration session will build upon the next, so you’ll develop a complete, holistic understanding of the insights you’ll need to identify and animate the gods in you, which can deepen your soul’s journey and capacity to realize your full potential.
Module 1: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Journey
The Integration of the Archetypes of the Gods
From babyhood on, certain archetypes may be welcomed in boys and suppressed in girls and vice-versa. Consciousness-raising is changing “who” we can become, as the range of human potential — in which we activate certain archetypes within us.
In Jung’s psychology, everyone has both male and female qualities. However by his definition which was consistent with the era in which he lived, the masculine element in women, called the “animus,” and the feminine in men, the “anima,” were inferior masculine or feminine attitudes or attributes — less conscious.
A woman could be “animus- possessed” a man “anima-possessed.” Wherever the stereotypical roles are the only acceptable way of being a woman or a man, the contra sexual elements are less developed and less conscious, and are often unacceptable and therefore suppressed.
When our outer roles express our inner archetypes, then there is depth and joy in what we do, but when expressing and developing male archetypes that would be sources of meaning are suppressed as “unfeminine,” we cannot come into our wholeness.
When archetypes cannot be lived out, we are likely attracted to people who are outer representatives of the inner male god-archetypes. In adolescence, we are growing into becoming who we can be: this is responsible for “hero worship” and “crushes,” which lose fascination when we develop them in ourselves. At various stages of our lives, we project what is unconscious but close to the surface in us, onto others, only more discreetly.
More than any time in history, women and men can develop and integrate male and female archetypal qualities into their personalities. At different stages in life, shifts occur in our psyches, as we are drawn toward wholeness, psychological, and spiritual growth.
Hestia was present in the temples of every god and goddess. She was the sacred fire that illuminated and warmed the premises. In their temples, the gods personify the positive qualities of the archetypes that connect to the Self. Each also had shadow qualities.
Module 2: The Mythology of Patriarchy & Embracing the Positive Attributes of Zeus
The sky realm is of spirit and mind. If you’re someone who’s decisive, can easily see the big picture, knows what you want and has the capacity to go for it, and also gets over loss easily, then you have qualities of Zeus.
Zeus was the chief and most powerful of the gods. Ruling from Mt. Olympus, he imposed his will and exercised power — using lightning to punish. His energies within you can bring light or darkness, snuffing out lifeforce or inspiring you as a giver of light.
You may recognize Zeus in your father or boss — as one standing in power or acting as a generous provider. Zeus may also rear his willful head within you, causing you to sway too far from the feminine by being too rational or controlling or “living in your head” and denying your heart.
Zeus’ symbols are the thunderbolt and the eagle. He’s the ruling archetype in patriarchal culture as well as of the dynastic father and today’s CEOs, kings, and alpha males.
Module 3: The Other 2 Father Gods in Greek Mythology
Poseidon God of the Sea & Hades God of the Underworld — Archetypes in Their Own Right and Undeveloped, Devalued Aspects of Zeus
As psychological realms, the sky realm is intellectual, mental, hierarchical (superior/inferior), judgmental, and the exercise of will through power. Poseidon as God of the Sea, ruled the psychological realm of emotions and instincts, which he expressed with spontaneity and immediacy; he could erupt with rage or jealousy, hold a grudge and be vindictive.
Moods are metaphorically like oceans, which can be turbulent or placid and peaceful. Moods — evoked by this archetype — become more intense and out of control when alcohol is added.
Hades’ realm was the underworld which is the introverted, inner world of memory and the unconscious realm of images. This is the realm of personal and collective unconscious, dreams, spontaneous images, fantasy, reverie, archetypal connections.
There are inherent predispositions built into us — our psychological typology: extroversion or introversion, thinking or feeling, intuition or sensation which will dovetail with specific god-archetypes. What is devalued by those whose judgments carry weight has the effect of devaluing or not-developing qualities in the psyche of children and adults.
They may be actively suppressed by shame and humiliation such as “Boys don’t cry,” leading men to be cut off from feelings and emotional responses. Women who are natural leaders may have been told they were “bossy” and “nobody will like you.” The messages is “Don’t be yourself.”
Module 4: The Generation of the Sons
Apollo & Hermes (Whom Patriarchy Rewards)
Apollo, Hermes, Ares, Hephaestus, and Dionysus are second-generation Olympian gods. These archetypes can shape and define men or the masculine aspects in women, or be the “types” to whom women are attracted to or idealize. These are archetypes that fare well or badly in patriarchy.
Apollo and Hermes are both are at home in the mental realm of Zeus, and where competition and capitalism value acquisitions, recognition, and prestige — in schools where grades and accomplishments, entry to prestigious colleges matter, these are the usual active archetypes in both women and men who are on the road to achievements.
Apollo was the God of the Sun, the Lawgiver, the archer with the golden bow and arrows. He drew the chariot of the sun across the sky, can be counted on to be on schedule. At home in the sky realm, he was an emotionally distant god and archetype. He was the favorite son, the “fair-headed” god of the Greeks. His twin sister was Artemis, Father Zeus, Mother Leto, a Titan.
Hermes was the Messenger God, who could freely travel everywhere, including to the top of Mt. Olympus or the Underworld. He was the communicator, known as the friendly god, he was a traveler, a trickster, and also the guide of souls. He was a son of Zeus and Maia, a minor goddess.
Module 5: Ares & Hephaestus
The Rejected Sons of Zeus & Hera
The sons that Zeus rejected did not use their mind or words. They both expressed themselves through physical action. Both were embodied and manual — rather than mental. Both were motivated by emotions and expressed their feelings either directly (Ares) or indirectly through what he created with his hands (Hephaestus). They were rejected by both their parents.
Ares, God of War, was the embodiment of aggression, but also of the dancer and the lover. He was the least respected and honored of the 12 Olympians by the Greeks, because he was irrational. In marked contrast, known as Mars by the Romans, he was held in high regard.
As an archetype, Ares is present in passionate, intense reactions. A surge of emotion is likely to evoke an immediate physical action. Ares predisposes women and men to be in touch with in their bodies’ feelings — passion which often leads to lovemaking or aggression-brawling.
Hephaestus, God of the Forge, archetype of the Craftsman or Craftswoman, Inventor, Loner personifies a deep human urge to make things, to create objects that are functional and beautiful. Rejected and thrown off Mt. Olympus, Hephaestus was not appreciated in the sky realm, where power and appearance matters. Instead he worked alone in his forge under the earth.
His attributes are similarly devalued in patriarchy as manual work; he is introverted in an extroverted world, communicates through what he makes, not words. He was the least blessed by attributes and most unhappy of the Gods.
With his club foot Hephaestus is the archetype of the wounded writer, artist, or craftsman. He was known as Vulcan by the Romans. The fire of his forge was volcanic fire.
In the lives of contemporary women, Hephaestus often does not emerge until the second half or last third of life when she takes an art class and discovers this hidden part of herself.
Module 6: Commune With the Divine
Dionysus as Lover, Wanderer & Shaman
Dionysus represents the full spectrum of human emotions — from pain to ecstasy — and is the archetype for the wildness within us that extends to all of nature. Embodying both life and death, the ethereal and earthly, he creates conflict within our psyches and societies.
Worshippers of Dionysus were predominantly women, who celebrated and communed with this god in orgia (orgy), induced by frenzied music and intoxicants. The drug-induced ecstasy associated with the free love period of the 1960s in America was a Dionysian movement.
Yet, this male archetype is so much more, inviting you into communion with the Divine… deepening your experience of Oneness.
Dionysus is also representative of enthusiasm and emotion, which are in opposition to Apollo, who represents form and rational thought. This tension of opposites can help create a healthy balance of the masculine and feminine within your psyche.
Module 7: Wholeness & Authenticity
The Gods & Goddesses in Us
In this session, we sum up the ways the pantheon of the Olympian gods and goddesses are potentials in us all, and how a centered woman or man with consciousness and choice is able to discern, embody, act, and grow through them.
Mythic insights will guide us. For example, Procrustes and his infamous bed show us what it means to be “dis-membered” or cut off from parts of ourselves that were not welcomed.
And the god which Zeus feared would emerge from Metis — is feminine wisdom and love. Our personal and collective evolution hinders on the principle of choosing love rather than power.
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