Age progressions of women as reflected in Greek goddess archetypes.
AuthorMontgomery, Carrie Sue.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study was an empirical investigation to reveal the goddesses that women identify with over the life cycle. The approach was designed to reveal how women experience these images. Every subject was asked to indicate how much she experienced each goddess as representing herself or as representing something she has experienced in herself. The Coan Inventory of Masculine and Feminine Dimensions (1989) was utilized to assess: nurturance, emotional accessibility, aesthetic-imaginal orientation, piety, ascendance, concrete action, impulsivity, autonomy, orderliness, activity, expressiveness vs. reticence, and sensuality. The inventory scale scores indicated the qualities within each goddess that women were relating to. The study explored: (1) whether patterns of goddess identification varied with age, (2) whether dimensions of femininity and masculinity varied with age, and (3) how masculine and feminine dimensions related to goddess identification. The results indicated: Hestia and piety rose progressively with age; Demeter appeared in women of 30 and 40; Persephone and Aphrodite were repressed in the sample, although women wanted to develop Aphrodite more; Athena predominated in women of 30; and Artemis was the goddess women of 60 wanted to develop more. There is the suggestion from this research that the Women's movement with resulting cultural shifts in the 1970's and 1980's have produced strong Athenas. In the late 1980's, Hestia seemed to emerge as a spiritual archetype. A dawning archetype among women in the 1990's, as indicated by the subjects in this study, will be Aphrodite.