In times of weakness and self-doubt, looking to leaders, archetypes, and heroines can be great sources of inspiration. Draw strength from these ten powerful women.
For women in the 21st century, it can be hard to find a strong feminine role model. Although you may have strong mothers, grandmothers, and sisters, in this stage of evolution you may be working on goals that are often misunderstood by your living ancestors. This is where your chosen female heroine or archetype comes in.
An archetype isn’t defined by any specific characteristics. An archetype can be anyone who has a trait or traits that you admire and would like more of in your life. You can draw inspiration and strength from them and even celebrate their achievements as your own. The following women are some of my personal favorites along with a few others who may inspire you.
Women in History
Florence Scovel Shinn
Born in 1871, Florence defied what was considered normal for the American woman and for American religion. She took her intuition and passion for changing the world into her own hands and began to write. She shared her knowledge of universal love and empowerment even though it went against everything that was expected from a woman of her time. Her first book The Game of Life and How to Play it established her as a spiritual leader offering advice for how to empower yourself through a positive attitude.
Empower Yourself Through Florence:
- Spreading the knowledge that people like Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, and Wayne Dyer share today could not have been an easy task for a woman of Florence’s time. Whenever you feel like you’re being judged or misunderstood by those around you, read up on this fabulous lady.
- Programming a new response to negativity can be one of life’s greatest challenges. In doing so you essentially have to reprogram yourself. Florence had a way of sharing her positive outlook with everyone she met. Look to her for inspiration and guidance.
Princess Diana showed young girls and women of the world that even though she lacked nobility, anyone could wear a crown. Not only did she wear a crown, she used it to empower the distressed, poor, voiceless, and sick. Her life became a solid stance of motherhood to not only her own boys but also to the world. Many felt they personally knew the Princess of peace and love, and wept as though she was family in her last hour.
Receive the Love the World Gave Diana:
- To receive love, you must give it. Diana seemed to have a selfless way about her that drew love from people who had never even met her. You too can receive this love. In your times of self-doubt or mental weakness draw upon the love and admiration of others. And no, you don’t need to know them or speak to them for this to work.
- Give a voice to those who feel voiceless. When you’ve been jaded, giving love to those around you can be difficult. But this act can be more life changing for yourself than those you’re helping. Find that side of yourself, with no thought of what you will gain, and it will open the door to true self-love. Whenever the hurt from your past halts the action, turn to Princess Di for inspiration.
This is a woman of pure feminine and equal rights power. Angela was, and still is, a strong force in fighting for equal rights of the black American population. In this fight she learned that women of all races felt as though they were not equal. This awareness drove her appetite for feminism and other equal rights as well. She was a professor and despite the fact that she could (and did) lose her job this didn’t stop her from speaking publicly against war, racism, sexism, gay rights, and the prison industrial complex situations. Her time in prison did not stop her, nor did public criticism. Angela is certainly one of my favorite female heroines, taking a stand on any and all oppression without letting fear of the consequences rule her.
Stand Tall Like Angela:
- You may have no interest in fighting these battles as your life’s purpose but you can enact change on a smaller scale. When you witness a wrongful act in the workplace do you shrink back in your chair when you really picture yourself with a sword and shield coming to someone’s rescue? Do you think about it for days, while it eats at you because you chose your paycheck over a human act of kindness? Angela would be the archetype to help pull this from your core. Let Angela inspire you to stand up when it burns that strongly inside of you. Tune into the purpose you play and decide what’s more important—how you feel you should lead your life, or the alternative. Angela believed that the Universe would provide if she were true to her purpose. I believe it will do the same for you.
- Angela is also a woman with the personal power of public speaking on controversial subjects. When you may find yourself in a situation that needs this voice, turn to her words and videos to find the same strength in yourself.
Since the birth of her baby, Mary has been viewed as the ultimate feminine essence in many religions. Both Christian and Islamic cultures hold Mary in high regard. In fact, Mary is the only woman called by name in the Quran. Although neither religion views Mary as divine or in the same respect as Jesus, she is the prototype of a chosen female archetype in their views.
Catholics have devoted more thought, time, and prayers to Mary than any other religion. She was the virgin (pureness), the mother (nurturing), the wife (balance for the male energy), and the angel (thought of as earthly flesh saved). Mary, the bearer of the Messiah, became viewed as the best of all that a female could represent.
Turn Everyday Acts Into Divine Acts:
- You may not get to give birth to Jesus but you can turn what you do have planned into a divine act. This doesn’t mean doing anything outside of your day-to-day agenda other than changing the intention of the outcome. For example: a nurse performing her regular rounds can visualize Mary before beginning her shift, thus setting a divine intention for the day. As a result, her patients might feel more nurtured.
- In a world that can feel very male-dominated, even to this day, Mary is a woman who is shown respect by millions of men on a daily basis, thousands of years after her death. When you feel insignificant or dominated in the work place by male energy, think of Mary during a short meditation or even a quick restroom break. You may be surprised at how the thought of thousands of men doing their Hail Mary rituals can boost your confidence.
In the Ancient Egyptian Kemetic System, Auset is the mother goddess. She is valued for her knowledge in agriculture, magic, and loyalty. She is also known for being a devoted wife and for her motherly love. This story may be thousands of years old but we can certainly still relate to Auset today. The people loved her and her husband Ausar for all that they provided to the community. Sharing their knowledge in crops, magic, and personal spirituality they were admired and appreciated by all.
In one story, Ausar’s brother cut him into pieces then spread him across the earth. Auset, being a devoted wife, gathered the pieces and used her magic to bring him back to life. Their son Heru was born through the use of magic, in a story similar to that of a virgin birth. In the Kemetic knowledge, Auset is known as the mother of all the earth.
Balancing With Auset:
- Balancing a husband, children, and a home while working full time is challenging. Auset can help bring the focus back to your family after a long day of work. Stress from work can easily flow into your home. When this happens keep in mind that you, the mother, give this stress to the husband and the children. Focus on Auset to help you flip the switch from career woman to mom.
- Agricultural knowledge represents nutrition, although this does not mean you need to start a garden. What it does mean is that when you buy and prepare food for your family, you should keep pure, organic thoughts. This care is just as important as where the food is grown.
- Add some magic to your life. It doesn’t have to come from a top hat either. It can be a small blessing or miracle, or it can be an everyday occurrence. Pay close attention to the things that are going on around you for a couple days. Your ancestors would think your life is filled with magic with things like a phone, car, computer, and credit card. Magic happens every day, yet we ignore it, give it little credit, even curse it at times. Open your eyes to the magical moments that happen now.
This Hindu goddess of time, change, and destruction is a woman not to be messed with. She is best known for her time of rage, killing masses when her husband lay down to stop her. So enraged she didn’t even notice him lying on the ground and stepped on his chest. Her foot on his flesh is what calmed her when she saw it was her love she was hurting. This temporarily ended her killing spree.
Stand Strong With Kali:
- Destruction is a necessity. Without it we have no birth or renewal, and we leave behind unopened doors. Still, it can be hurtful, difficult, and scary to leave things behind such as jobs, relationships, and even our own “old ways.” Focus on Kali whenever you have a hard time letting go. Destroy those emotional reasons for holding on. Lean on family and friends (like Kali did her husband) to calm your emotions.
- If you’re ever in a situation where you have to summon great strength, or defend yourself, think of Kali and bring on all her powers of destruction. The thought of one single female slaying thousands of men as if slicing through butter will surely build the confidence and power in you to fight your best fight. You can even channel Kali when you might otherwise be afraid. Exude confidence and you may even ward off danger.
Storm is a descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses. While she has many great attributes, she is widely known for her ability to control the weather. She is great at teamwork although often doubts her leadership abilities. Her story shows that even when in doubt you can guide a team into greatness when your intentions are caring. She has the ability to fly, using the wind to carry her. She also has a great connection with all of the creatures and plants of the earth. Her downfall is that her powers are also triggered by emotions, causing havoc when she’s upset.
Weather the Storm With Ororo:
- Controlling the weather sounds crazy, but I’m going to share a personal story with you. My husband and I were fashion show coordinators for an outside event. The weather was calling for a very bad storm. After months of planning, booking models, advertising, and securing stage rentals and music performers, we could not let the event be destroyed by the weather. We both decided that we would concentrate on sun for that day. It could storm all it wanted the day before or after, but on that day, in that city, it would be a hot sunny day. Our thoughts manifested into 98 degrees and clear skies.
- Just like Storm, you must be emotional and you must state what you want, not what you don’t want. Say, “it will be warm” instead of “I don’t want it to be cold.” Give it a try.
In the Marvel comic series, Mystique is the shape-shifting mutant who can mimic the appearance of anyone. She is great at strategizing and planning out her goal. Although a villain, most of the time you can’t help but love her ingenious enterprise.
Adapt Like a Shape Shifter:
- Whenever you find yourself outside your comfort zone, say in a room full of strangers, think of Mystique. Mystique was born with blue skin covered in scales. How comfortable do you think she is in a room full of humans? About as comfortable as you would be in a business meeting covered in mud. By channeling Mystique you can learn to adapt. Change your perception and your entire look, energy, and level of relaxation will flow with your surroundings. It is only your perception that you do not fit in or belong where you are. When you share with others a true comfort level they appreciate it and before your very eyes you will begin to see the ways in which you are the same.
- Mystic is a strategic planner and may be a helpful archetype in the workplace. The next time you’re chasing a goal, be strategic. Work smarter rather than harder. Pinpoint the real goal and be sure your action steps align with that goal.
Ambassador, actress, loving mother, wife, badass, sex symbol, peace advocate, humanitarian, and award winning since 1998. It’s not hard to find something to admire when it comes to Angelina.
From A to Z with Angelina:
- This woman is a living, breathing archetype that you can admire for almost any aspect you’re looking to fulfill. Channel her strength and confidence when you feel intimidated. Meditate on her good will when you need a little inspiration. If she doesn’t inspire you, perhaps one of her many great movie characters can.
Yes, Oprah is a successful talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. But those aren’t the reasons to put Oprah at the top of your living archetype list. It’s her strength, passion, determination, and giving spirit that draws people in.
Overcome With Oprah:
- Oprah was told that she did not belong in television but that didn’t stop her. In fact, it’s those denials that probably made her stronger. Now, Oprah’s capabilities seem limitless. Choose her as your archetype whenever someone says, “you can’t.”
Positive thinking, vibrations, energy, meditation, and spirituality have guided Oprah in times of hardship and happiness. She has always been quite vocal about her truth and struggles. When in doubt of who to turn to for guidance, she is easy to find. Oprah’s heartfelt guests and personal words are inspiring to say the least. Also check out the Oprah and Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience. With Oprah and Deepak in your ears, you won’t have to look far in your search for a momentary archetype.