The Greek Gods, we know about them. We read stories, we secretly laughed about Zeus who was always fooling around with girls.
But do the Greek Gods still play a role in our life? Let’s explore.
Greek Gods: Archetypes
In the ’80s Jean Shinolda Bolen wrote a book called: Goddesses in Everywoman. It became a huge hit.
(Do you ever wonder like me why nobody wrote the same book for men?)
The book had the appealing assumption that Greek Mythology was based an archetypes. Jean Shinolda Bolen had carefully selected 7 (my favourite number) archetypes that characterized typical behaviour in women.
7 Greek Goddesses:
The queen of the hunt, an old mother goddess archetype. Jean associated her with the “workaholic” lady.
My personal favourite. I always loved the story that she was born from her father’s head. The science nerd lady.
The nun. Queen of hearth and solitude.
The Queen of marriage.
The Mother archetype: always pregnant.
The Queen of the underworld, the Gothic Lady.
Always on a date, the Queen of Love
Do you want to know who you are? Here is a quiz.
Greek Gods: The Cradle of Civilization
Greece, Athens is seen as the cradle of modern civilization. The place where democracy started. But I will let you in on a little secret. The Greek Gods were assholes.
In mythology, we have gotten so addicted to the Hero story of Campbell, that we really would like those 12 Greek guys and girls up the Olympus to be really cool dudes who want the best for mankind.
They stole, raped, murdered and tortured…
Let’s start with the “Big Brothers”.
Zeus, King of the sky, was a typical wind god. These are the gods of fertility. He fooled around, changed shape and multiplied himself whenever he could.
Prometheus was punished severely for giving humanity fire. You might be aware of the fact that fire, cooking our food, gave us humans, time to do something else with our day than just to sit around and digest.
Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock, where an eagle came and ate his liver away each day..
Doesn’t that remind you of God’s anger towards man when Adam and Eve ate the Tree of Knowledge? Somehow Gods don’t like humans to empower themselves…
Poseidon, his brother and god of the sea. Having a blue beard and a trident, he was considered the god of the earth quakes. Like his brother he was always out to have some fun with women.
In a contest about who will win the control of the city of Athens, Athene touches the ground witha spear and an olive tree emerges. Poseidon, on the other hand, struck his trident on a rock and produced a horse.
And.. the olive tree not only symbolises economical growth, but also peace. Remember the biblical dove with the olive tree in its mouth?
Hades, the third brother was king of the Underworld. It was his job to make sure that the deceased did not escape his kingdom.
Hades decided to abduct the daughter of Demeter, Persephone. Demeter decided to mourn her daughter in winter when she was at Hades.
On the other side: it is a mythological script for every girl. Going away from mother, becoming queen of your own kingdom.
The rest of the Gods had their problems and neuroses too. But I wanted you to be aware that the magical number 3 and 12 are important in Greek Mythology. We will explore that in next paragraph.
Greek Gods: Mythology and Magic Numbers
In almost every mythology, the number three (three brothers: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) and the number 12 are important. Why?
In Norse Mythology the number three is mentioned again and again. There are three wise women, three Norns at the well of Urd who determine the fate of humans.
In the bible, Jesus died for three days and came back from the death. There is the holy trinity: father son and holy spirit.
It is the first number with ‘something in the middle’ like a new birth. And it has a connection to the moon, that is gone for three days (or nights) to be reborn.
The number 12: 12 gods live on mount Olympus. Jesus had 12 disciples, Odin had 12 followers…
The number 12 is associated with completeness. If you interpret the Gods as psychological energies within your own psyche, you will see that you have got a whole range of conduct to choose from. It is up to you to make a conscious choice. It can be the challenge of a life time!
THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!
What is Mindfunda about?
My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independent site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.
This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.