Because self-knowledge must be earned, it is helpful to understand the differences between external and internal power. It is also useful to understand the power of archetypes because they (including the Goddess archetype) are aspects of power you were born with. How wisely you use your power in the world will determine the quality of your life.
External Power – Survival and Positive Actions
You learn about how to use your external power in the world before you learn about relational, internal power. So in the first half of life you develop an ego strong enough to take on the world and also a sense of personal identity adequate to help you survive in the world. Once your survival needs are met, your external power could be directed toward positive actions that support yourself, those you love and all other beings. Using your power in these ways would empower you. But in these narcissistic times we think we can buy inner mastery and happiness. We mistakenly use our power for the satisfaction of endless desires resulting in outer wealth but inner poverty and unhappiness.
Internal Power – Relational Power in Service to Love
Internal power is the Divine feminine or relational aspect of your power. It is the distinct feeling of giving love, being known, being loved and being of service to whom and what you love. Internal power begins by learning about your self and growing your self-esteem based on the realization of your unique gifts, contributions and conscious actions in the world. Self-knowledge begins the process of guiding you to make wise choices that give you a meaningful inner life. Knowing yourself and loving yourself aligns you with your highest purpose and connects you with the eternal in every created thing. By shifting your power from outside to inside, from your ego to your soul you can begin asking “what and who are you now called to serve?” Being of service is not only self-empowering but also the most meaningful thing you can do for the planet.
How the Goddess Archetype Can Empower You
The cultural spell we are currently under is patriarchy, which is a culture of servitude through fear and “authority over”. Patriarchy animates the Indentured Servant and Victim archetypes in both women and men. The Indentured Servant is bound by conditions of service not of their choosing. This archetype can symbolically block you from becoming empowered because it prevents you from realizing you always have a choice. It also binds you to the Victim archetype through passivity, confusion and blame.
People sometimes make the mistake of thinking they are being of service when they are actually in a patriarchal based fear-state of believing they are under the control of another person. It takes a great deal of effort to break free of these cultural constructs because to do so you must have enough courage and stamina to take full responsibility for your own destiny and follow your own truth.
This is why the archetypal power of the Goddess is so important to understand and integrate. Through Her relational essence, She can free you from “authority over” and guide you toward more “personal authority” and a more holistic definition of yourself and the world. When women and men can define themselves in terms of honoring the unique way in which they experience and view the world, then they learn how powerful they really are.
So, to liberate ourselves from a culture of patriarchal servitude, we must not continue to be captivated by how a culture limits and defines feminine (internal) power as weak, unimportant or unreal. When we honor and integrate the power of the Goddess we break that patriarchal spell and gain access to the relational power of our own intuitive inner guidance system.
Becoming empowered liberates the Indentured Servant archetype and makes you aware of how you can be of the highest service to your self and to others.
Using Archetypes as a Guide to Greater Self-knowledge
An archetype is an aspect of power you were born with. Archetypes are the big picture road map of your life that can guide you to greater self-knowledge and help you discover your natural gifts and talents. Knowing your archetypes gives you the ability to ascend to a higher altitude, to see how your unique life-contract aligns you with your highest aspirations.
We all share the same archetypes (like the Goddess archetype) to a greater or lesser degree. However, the main archetypes in which you most resonate will point you towards your own personal mythology. Your particular combination of archetypes will guide, animate and trigger you to action and certain choices that energize your life. Learning about your own particular archetypes can help you wisely use your personal power and authority in the world. If you want to learn more about your own archetypes read Sacred Contracts, by author Caroline Myss. This is an excellent guide book for creating and understanding your own sacred life contract.
The Goddess Archetype
People who feel a strong connection to other people, living beings, the planet or the cosmos will resonate the most with the Goddess archetype in any one or more of her many primary forms, such as Mother, Lover, Queen or the hundreds of her other named forms such as Loxmi, Aphrodite, White Bison Woman, Pellia, and Shatki to mention just a few. Even if the Goddess archetype isn’t a primary archetype in your particular life contract, she represents the Divine Feminine principle within all men and women. So, in order to break the spell of cultural servitude, you must begin to develop an interior dialogue – a task of the feminine aspects of the self – and learn to act in accordance with those insights. If you deny or fail to integrate the feminine aspects of your power then the outside world will have the power to control the quality of your life.
This is why developing your own interior is so important because self-reflection connects you with what is of meaning and value to both yourself and the human community. The Goddess brings you back in touch with your own body, your own imagery and truth and awakens you to the mystical realm of spiritual truth and to the life your soul has been longing to live.
How to Come Into Your Own Internal Power Through the Goddess
Looking inward is a feminine principle of “learning to see behind your eyes” and an important developmental task for both men and women. The Divine Feminine way to power starts with getting to know yourself through rigorous and honest self-inquiry. If you don’t know who you are how can you make decisions that empower you?
Since no one is born with knowledge of their own power or self-esteem, we must all learn through life experience and a continual process of thoughtful self-inquiry. For most people self-reflection begins only after you develop a strong enough ego to survive in the world and come to realize that your external power is limited and the physical world cannot be controlled. You then must choose whether or not you strengthen your own interior so the outside world can’t destroy you.
The way most people end up in an endless cycle of disempowerment and self-betrayal is that they make their decisions based on their head rather then listening to their heart. This is because in patriarchal cultures we are taught the power of logic, reason, and cause and effect in the visible world. We are not taught about the importance, power, and possibilities of relational intelligence and intuition – the invisible quantum world or the world behind our eyes. So you won’t have access to relational power until you have enough self esteem to listen to your own intuitive inner guidance system.
The way you get to know yourself and build self esteem is by developing stamina and integrity and by becoming congruent in your words and actions to yourself and other people. If there are failures, you take responsibility for them rather then blaming others and becoming a victim. You become aware that every choice you make is an opportunity to empower or disempower yourself. This is why you need to build a strong interior so you don’t betray yourself. Otherwise difficult life decisions will become a power struggle between your head and heart.
Goddess Power is Empowerment (internal power united with external power)
Empowerment represents mastery of your emotions and thoughts in response to the outer world and gives you direct access to your own personal authority. By building a strong interior you shatter the illusion of the outer world having control of your life. A strong interior gives you the authority, stability and stamina to withstand anything that happens to you in your external life no matter how difficult and the wisdom to make choices in service to love that become creative acts of outer power that benefit everyone.
Integrating the archetypal power of the Goddess gives you the ability to stay in the sea of unknowing while knowing you are not lost. She puts you in direct relationship with your own body and other human beings in an intimate and manageable format. Over time your inner vision and awareness grows to include the profound sense of divine essence in all beings and the cosmos.
Tasks to Developing and Integrating Goddess Power
-Learn to see behind your eyes through acquiring self-knowledge. Regularly reflect on your own behaviors and ways of relating to others and your environment
-Be in touch with your own body, imagery and truth through the non-linear intelligence of your intuitive guidance system – the wisdom of your heart
-Learn to see the big picture by putting together the parts to make a whole
-Recognize the mutual interdependence and inter-connectedness of all things for survival, well-being and evolutionary vibrancy
ABOUT AUTHOR AND ARTIST PAMELA WELLS Pamela Wells has been working as a fine artist, commercial illustrator and graphic web designer for over 20 years and specializes in creative work that leads to greater understanding and awareness. Her goddess art incorporates her interest in the study of transpersonal psychology, integral transformative spiritual practice and the evolution of human consciousness. She cares deeply about both men and women and also about the ecological preservation of the planet which benefits all living things. To order a copy of Pamela’s most recent book and card set, Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess, www.ArtmagicPublishing.com
All articles may be republished or printed providing author credit (above) and a a link is provided back to the website http://www.artmagicpublishing.com.