Virgin, Martyr, Saint, Witch?
20 Saturday Dec 2008
Boys can play too!
Who was it who said that there are no new stories in life, just stories retold in new circumstances?
Yet for each of us, our story is completely unique. It is still unfolding and perpetually fascinating!
The circumstances of our busy lives of 2008 are different from the lives of our great-grand parents 100 years ago. Our lives are less scripted. We can shape them much as we please.
In large part, we write our stories, or at least our treatment of the circumstances that we can come across along the way.
The common stories of the central characters of a story, that is you and I, are called archetypes, I understand.
Woman often rail about the common stories in which we are cast.
One of my pleasures of the last year was discovering the works of Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian writer. Last week I read The Witch of Portobello. One of the supporting characters introduces her acquaintance with Athena, the main character, with these words.
We women, when we’re searching for a meaning to our lives or for the path of knowledge, always identify with one of four classic archetypes.
The Virgin (and I’m not speaking here of a sexual virgin) is the one whose search springs from her complete independence, and everything she learns is the fruit of her ability to face challenges alone.
The Martyr finds her way to self-knowledge through pain, surrender and suffering.
The Saint finds her true reason for living in unconditional love and in her ability to give without asking anything in return.
Finally, the Witch justifies her existence by going in search of complete and limitless pleasure.
Normally, a woman has to choose from one of these traditional feminine archetypes, but Athena was all four at once.
Which storyline resonates with you?
Are you torn between two story lines? Which makes you feel relaxed? Does knowing the four common story lines help resolve choices?
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