I did a guest blog on writerunboxed.com and people were really interested in the term Virgin. The main reason I used this term was my choices, based on other people’s references to this archetype, were Princess, Maiden or Virgin. Since I’m making the point that this archetype refers to males and females equally (we all have a masculine and a feminine side), Virgin seemed the only term that would work. I don’t know any men who would admit to being on a Princess journey. (While I’m on the subject, when I say she or her I mean s/he or her/him. I default to the feminine for Virgin archetypes and the masculine for Hero archetypes but both are implied.)
I found the term works really well. Exploring the historical use of the term Virgin gave me insights into the archetype. For instance, first I learned it means ‘of intrinsic value’ as in a Virgin forest. The Virgin’s journey is to look inside herself and see her authentic nature and bring it to life, despite what everyone else thinks she should do with her life. This definition really worked for me.
Another definition is that she is ‘a woman unto herself’ or as I like to say ‘a person unto oneself’. This captures the goal of knowing yourself and being yourself despite the demands around you. This is what she must do as there will always be many emotional pulls around her. She is on a journey to know her values and trust that out of the chaos this brings, life will organize itself around this way of being. Greek goddesses that were described as Virgins were said to own their own values. This meant they could choose who they were going to have sex with or not have sex with. They did not let societal expectation control them. I love the contrast between this definition from M. Esther Harding’s Women’s Mysteries and patriarchal definitions.
Patriarchy defines Virginity as inexperienced sexually which gives a man confidence he was not being compared to another and his children were from his sperm. In actuality the patriarchal Virgin is a Victim archetype as she does not control her own values. So, in my small way, I am trying to reclaim the original definitions of Virgin and add it to the mix.