Part III Sources of Female Leadership
First, Feminine Leaders, to fulfill your role properly, would do well to embody the best qualities represented by at least one of the following archetypes. Archetypes are, by their very nature, universal and eternal. They are based on rational forms of thought, and if we accept the idea of a collective consciousness as an image for a deep cultural foundation common to Humanity, then they are universal—hence their power to move, to affect and influence. The archetypes are practical because they provide us with a natural way to understand the essence of a group of traits that connect directly with the unconscious mind.
These archetypes provide both spiritual and emotional pictures that immediately connect with individuals and groups. It is a better way to grasp a feminine model of leadership instead of relying on intellectual analysis of individual attributes.
I will borrow Carl Jung’s archetypes for female leadership. He distinguished himself from noted Psychologist at the time. He recognized the presence and meaning of the personality —which earlier thinkers have called the spirit. Jung recognized and valued those aspects of a person’s whole being.
Jung accepted the spiritual dimension. He knew it was a way to understand the character and the complex system of beliefs, attributes, and virtues that make up a person. If we are to understand leadership as a character trait, then it too becomes amenable that we assign it a more spiritual understanding.
Jung’s concept of the archetypes arises from the repeated observation he made, for instance, of the myths and fairytales of world literature. The literature contained definite themes that cropped up everywhere. We often see the same themes in fantasies, dreams and delusion of individuals living today.
Leadership is an elusive subject not easily recognized because there are complex qualities in the actions of others that elude easy categorization or analysis.
In ancient times “natural leaders”, were persons who possessed the ability to motivate and direct others. Ancient leaders assumed the role of leader at birth or rose to the province. If the person happened to be of weak leadership ability, training would compensate for the weakness in leadership ability. Culture became more complex and social roles followed. Leadership roles have mainly become increasingly “gendered” to reflect social realities.
Paths for Girls and Young Women (The Faerie)
If the Prince develops through the path of the warrior, the princess develops through the path of the Faerie. If you are to evolve to your fullness, you must earn your Queen-ship through a path that involves trial and suffering as the way to experience and maturity. It is the path to Queen Ship.
The Faerie is a symbol of all that is fair and beautiful, all that transcends material existence. She produces poetry, music, and history. The Faerie virtues are intangible and ethereal. At times, they can seem self-sacrificial. Just as if the warrior appears most fully when he gives himself over to death in an act of self-denial, the Faerie seems most complete when she denies herself intercourse with men. This is the source of her power. She places herself outside of any man’s power. Thus, the Faerie can inspire and attract.
An example of Faerie to Queen is Ester in the Bible. Ester agreed to marry Xerces King of Persia, as a possible mate for the sake of her people. The people selected her to be the new Queen. Since she does not marry for love, but rather for duty, she is free of passionate attachments and partakes of the Faerie.
She embraces an unrestrained life force of Eros or pleasure in life itself. This archetype is lifeaffirming and creative; one known modern example is (Beyoncé). She shuns order, sacrifice, and rational knowledge. She is not easily resolved with the orderly world of Queen. She poses a problem in the context of leadership because she is a with a man.
There were many lovers in my life. I thought I could have their power. My husband labeled me as insatiable. This feeling was akin to a hunger that could never be quite satisfied. I wanted to be lost in the sexual passion and lose myself inside of this man, become one with him and absorb the power I thought he had.
(The Wise One)
Another path to Queen Ship leads through the archetype of the Wise One. The Wise One lives in the shadows. She is at home near the earth, even inside the earth, inside the dark, moist primordial womb; she is at home on the land. The Wise One is no longer young. She is mature, rooted, and likely to be old. She is a Mother or likely a Grand-Mother. She has been a companion to male, she may have even loved a man, but she now transcends all that. She has reached a state of superior wisdom.
Her subtle mind seeks not to penetrate beneath the surface of things and probe the mysteries of nature; rather she looks inward into the mysteries of being alive. This earthly knowledge extends to the body more specifically the distinct realities of the female body. The male does not understand this type of woman. She is not under his control. Thus, during the time of the Inquisition, men in power labeled these women as witches and killed them.
It is natural for the Wise-One to seek separation from her sisters who toil in the world. Her quest for unique knowledge requires long hours of solitude for study and reflection. The Wise One becomes a Seer or an Advisor. She may rise to be Queen becoming, “The Wise Queen. “Historically the Queen of Sheba and her counterpoint Solomon fit in this category. The most powerful and inspiring of the archetype of the Wise One is the mystical Figure of Sophia—The Rise of Sophia as the symbol of Divine Wisdom.
The Lover is suspicious of the knowledge of the Wise One because The Wise One has transcended the Lover phase. The Lover seeks to empty herself out and merge or become the beloved. The Female Lover gains the tremendous power of transcendence, but she is subjected to “the other” and, therefore, lacks freedom of the other archetypes. This is her power and limitation.
I too myself have lived a life of solitude. When I was young, it was a source of suffering. A friend drew the conclusion when asked where I had been. My time spent was with a man. Now I understood the power of the Lover in her quest for power which I will allude to later. Female leaders, to fulfill the role properly, would do well to embody the best qualities represented by at least one of the mature feminine archetypes.