Goddess Archtypes

September, 2017

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The Goddesses: Artemis Athena Hestia Hera Demeter Persephone Aphrodite

The Gods: Zeus Poseidon Hades Apollo Hermes Ares Hephaestus Dionysus

The Gossip (who's with whom)

The Results


The following types are inspired by the books Goddesses in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman by Jean Shinoda Bolen, and are based partly on her descriptions and partly on my own research. (Some types are pretty much the same, while others are quite different.)

I first discovered Bolen's books in my 20s, and like her, I took a relativistic approach to the archetypes, picking and choosing the ones I identified with the most based on her descriptions. Years later, in my 40s, I reread Goddesses in Everywoman out of curiosity, and was shocked to discover that (a) the types I had previously identified with were not me and never had been - I'd just thought they were who I was supposed to be based on the assessments of others - and (b) the one type I did fit actually predicted the type of life I had been having. And the main reason I had not picked this up at the time was because the description of my true type (Persephone) was so negative hardly anyone would have chosen to identify with it. Plus of course I hadn't known myself very well at the time.

Needless to say this required further investigation. I read hundreds of biographies, typed these people as best as I could, updated the descriptions, and posted them online with some personality scales for people to do, pick a type, and see how they matched up. I had them up for many years, and only took them down this summer. You can see the writeup of my results at the end of this document. In the meantime here are the descriptions as they were on my website.

Very Brief Descriptions

(For more detail click on the links at the left or scroll down.)


Artemis: independent and unconventional - tomboys and artists, e.g. Angelina Jolie, Emily Brontë.

Athena: the archetypal career woman, e.g. Hilary Clinton, Nancy Drew.

Hestia: the practical conventional woman - a common type, e.g. Agatha Christie, Mother Teresa.

Demeter: the motherly nurturer - probably the most common female type, e.g. Maria Montessori, Natalie Portman.

Hera: the status- and marriage-minded alpha female, e.g. Nancy Reagan, Barbie.

Persephone: unusually sensitive, young/old, e.g. Charlotte Brontë, Loreena McKennitt.

Aphrodite: the butterfly - likes and gets along with almost everyone, e.g. Goldie Hawn, Smurfette.


Zeus: mastery in the material world, e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andrew Carnegie.

Poseidon: mastery of emotional and philosophical realms, e.g. Freud, Shakespeare.

Hades: mastery of deeper realms, e.g. Jung, Batman.

Apollo: the straight arrow, e.g. Jimmy Carter, Superman.

Hermes: the clever trickster - probably the most common male type, e.g. Jim Carrey, James Bond.

Ares: the warrior/protector, e.g. Sylvester Stallone, Hercules.

Hephaestus: the master craftsman, e.g. Michelangelo, George Lucas.

Dionysus: androgynous and youthful, likes women, e.g. Prince, Jesus of Nazareth.

Diagnostic Questions

The Goddesses

Arranged in the same order as in Jean Shinoda Bolen's Goddesses in Everywoman.

Artemis (Diana)

Artemis was the goddess of the moon. She was also goddess of the hunt, of wilderness and wildlife, especially young animals, and of midwifery. She was young, energetic, athletic, competitive and independent, frequently going off into the wilderness with her hunting dogs and band of nymphs. She was never in an official relationship (although she and Orion the Hunter were lovers at one point, before she killed him by mistake), was not generally into men, never married, and even had one hapless man torn to shreds by his own hunting dogs when he saw her naked. She was quick to protect the vulnerable, and quick to punish those who stood against her.

While Artemises today are never as extreme as Artemis the goddess, they too are tough and independent, going off and doing their own thing while the rest of society conforms. They are decisive, energetic, competitive, goal-oriented, fearless, adventurous, and young at heart. They are often athletic and love being out in nature, or alternately, they may be drawn to the urban wilderness of bars and night clubs. Often protective, they are frequently drawn to causes such as feminism, animal rights, and environmental issues. As artists, they tend to be pure, bohemian or avant garde, rather than commercial or romantic. They are often found in New Age and other unconventional environments. For Artemises marriage is not a necessity but equality in relationships is. Artemises usually like kids, in a big sister kind of way, and have a tendency to take in all sorts of strays: kids, friends, animals. Artemises are the most androgenous female type. They tend to be early bloomers.

Artemis is currently a trendy type for women in the West - many examples abound in Western films since the 1970s.


the adventurer; the athlete; the activist; the tomboy; the androgyne; the bohemian; the Artist; the "bad girl"; the all-American girl; the ice maiden; the Amazon; the warrior woman; the wilderness woman; the tough chick; the free spirit; the animal lover; the pioneer

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

the moon; the stag, doe, hare and quail; the boar; the wild horse; the bear; bow and arrows

Modern symbols

the moon; the pentacle; the double-headed axe; the stag

Other goddesses

Diana (Rome)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Activists: Josephine Butler* (Victorian feminist/abolitionist); Betty Frieden* (feminist writer/researcher); Helen Keller* (deaf/blind writer/activist); Gloria Steinem* (feminist writer/journalist); Terri Crisp* (disaster animal rescue); Eva Perón* (politician - Argentina)

Scientists: Marie Curie* (chemist); Dian Fossey* (primatologist); Biruté Galdikas* (primatologist); Jane Goodall* (primatologist); Temple Grandin (cattle expert); Karen Horney* (psychoanalyst); Melanie Klein* (psychoanalyst); Mary Leakey* (archaeologist)

Athletes: Princess Anne (horsewoman); Amelia Earhart* (pilot); probably most professional female athletes

Actors/comedians: Lucille Ball*; Brigitte Bardot*; Roseanne Barr*; Drew Barrymore; Monica Bellucci; Sarah Bernhardt*; Carol Burnett*; Jennifer Connelly; Courtney Cox-Arquette; Jamie Lee Curtis; Bo Derek*; Marlene Dietrich*; Minnie Driver; Elvira; Mia Farrow; Farrah Fawcett; Carrie Fisher; Jane Fonda; Ava Gardner*; Elizabeth Hurley; Nicole Kidman*; Keira Knightley; Veronica Lake*; Lucy Lawless*; Lindsay Lohan; Shirley MacLaine; Penny Marshall (actress/director); Bette Midler; Demi Moore*; Kim Novak*; Reneé O'Connor*; Miranda Otto; Sarah Jessica Parker*; Michelle Pfeiffer*; Julia Roberts; Isabella Rossellini*; Winona Ryder; Susan Sarandon; Sharon Stone; Meryl Streep; Amber Tamblyn; Charlize Theron; Uma Thurman*; Grace Lee Whitney*; Kate Winslet; Anna May Wong*; currently the default type among actresses

Music/performers: Josephine Baker*; Liona Boyd*; Mariah Carey; Cher; Rosemary Clooney*; Natalie Cole*; Cheryl Crow; Aretha Franklin*; Faith Hill*; Billie Holiday*; k.d. lang*; Queen Latifah*; Avril Lavigne; Frida Lyngstad* (ABBA); Madonna*; Reba McEntire*; Liza Minnelli*; Joni Mitchell; Alanis Morissette; Anne Murray*; Diana Ross*; Britney Spears*; Barbra Streisand; Tanya Tucker*; Tina Turner; Shania Twain*; most female pop/rock performers

Artists: Emily Carr*; Mary Cassatt*; Berthe Morisot*; Georgia O'Keeffe

Writers: Maya Angelou*; Nevada Barr; Emily Brontë*; Daphne du Maurier*; Marcia Muller; Mary Shelley*; Alice Walker*

Also: Cindy Crawford (model); Eleanor of Aquitaine*; Linda McCartney* (photographer/activist)

Fictional Artemises

Xena, Warrior Princess; Storm of the X-Men; Wonder Woman (originally; since then she has been portrayed as a variety of types); The Huntress (DC Comics); Faith and Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Lara Croft (Tomb Raider); most Bond girls; Pippi Longstocking; Sharon McCone (mystery novels by Marcia Muller)

Athena (Pallas Athene; Minerva)

Athena was the goddess of wisdom, the intellectual goddess, born full-grown out of the head of her father Zeus. She was logical, rational, decisive, practical, and urban. As master strategist, she protected cities and armies, and introduced civilized legal proceedings with juries and due process, outlawing personal retribution. She was also the goddess of the practical arts, overseeing artisans such as weavers, goldsmiths, potters, dressmakers and shipbuilders. She gave people the tools for civilization, including plows, rakes, chariots, bridles for horses and yokes for oxen. She was associated with men rather than women (her father Zeus; the mythic heroes of ancient Greece), but she never married or took lovers - she was too intellectual for that. Athena wore armour and carried a spear and shield (the power suit of classical Greece).

Today Athenas wear power suits and carry laptops rather than body armour and weapons of war. They work within the system in positions of responsibility, and they get the job done. They are status oriented, and often gravitate towards men in power. They may marry and have children, but only if it doesn't interfere with the work they want to do. Athenas are logical, analytical, clever, politically astute, mature, and not given to extremes. They are calm, cool and collected. They are practical, sensible and rational rather than imaginative or idealistic; "tradesmen" rather than "artists". They can have their hearts broken just like anyone else, but they don't let their hearts rule their heads, and keep their cool under fire. Athena is the woman who does the job when it takes a woman to do a man's job.

IMPORTANT!!! Athena was known for her keen intelligence, but being intelligent does not make a woman an Athena. Gifted women come in all types, and it's not her intelligence that makes a woman an Athena, but the way in which she uses it.


the career woman; the political leader; the lawyer or lawmaker; the practical artisan; the savvy businesswoman; the capitalist; the father's daughter; the practical scholar/researcher; the "suit"

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

the owl; intertwined snakes

Modern symbols

the owl; the scales of justice

Other goddesses

Minerva (Rome); the morning star; Lady Liberty (USA); Guanyin (as portrayed in Journey to the West)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Business: Elizabeth Arden* (cosmetics); Coco Chanel* (fashion designer); Edith Head* (costume designer); Jane Pauley* (journalist); Helena Rubinstein* (cosmetics); Dr. Laura Schlessinger* (radio talk show host); Martha Stewart* (lifestyle guru); Pamela Wallin* (journalist); Oprah Winfrey* (television talk show host)

Politics/law: Hillary Clinton (politician - USA); Elizabeth I* (England); Anita Hill* (lawyer - USA); Condoleeza Rice (politician - USA); Margaret Thatcher* (British Prime Minister)

Science: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross* (physician)

Actresses: Kirstie Alley; Gillian Anderson; Glenn Close; Claire Danes*; Tina Fey (actor/writer/comedian); Jodie Foster*; Katharine Hepburn*; Kate Jackson; Nichelle Nichols*; many actresses who play doctors, lawyers and other professionals on TV

Writers: Jane Austen*; Simone de Beauvoir*; Patricia Cornwell; Ayn Rand*

Fictional Athenas

Dr. Crusher, 7 of 9, and other women on Star Trek (the most common type of woman in the Star Trek universe); Kay Scarpetta (in novels by Patricia Cornwell); Nancy Drew; Kitty Pride of the X-Men

Hestia (Vesta)

Hestia was the goddess of the hearth. She could be found in the sacred fire on the hearth in every home and in every temple, and would be carried from old homes to new ones, or from old cities to new settlements. Hestia had no human form in mythology, and did not go about generating gossip like the other gods and goddesses. She was simply present, in home and temple, providing a sense of comfort, security, and continuity for the family or community. As a goddess, Hestia had marriage offers, but vowed to remain virgin instead. Hestia was the oldest of the Olympians and may well date back to hunter-gatherer campfires.

Modern Hestias are often equally calm and unobtrusive. They live quiet lives, not getting worked up about anything, maybe marrying, maybe not. They're solid, dependable workers, but they don't normally have major career aspirations. Few become famous, and those that do often inherit their position rather than go after it themselves. They're homebodies, enjoying immersing themselves in the daily chores of home and work without rushing or becoming overwhelmed, laying out the table nicely, giving everything a homey touch, quietly doing their own thing. Hestias are often calm, orderly, relaxed, unruffled, quietly cheerful and sociable. They are practical, conservative, cautious, apolitical. They are self-contained and self-sufficient, with an inner toughness, cheerfully oblivious to things that stress other people out, even to the point of appearing bullet-proof. They are conventional: religious rather than mystical; happy to work in traditional female occupations like nurse or teacher, or to be homemakers and traditional wives.


the nun; the nurse; the nanny; the housekeeper; the teacher; the sensible one; the volunteer worker; the mouse

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.


the circle; the hearth fire

Other goddesses

Vesta (Rome)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Public figures: Laura Bush* (First Lady - USA); Queen Elizabeth II (UK)*; Indira Gandhi* (prime minister of India); Katharine Graham* (newspaper publisher); Eleanor Roosevelt* (First Lady - USA; social reformer); Mother Teresa of Calcutta* (nun)

Scientists: Anna Freud* (child psychoanalyst)

Actresses: Julie Andrews*; Anne Hathaway; Angela Lansbury*; Majel Barrett Roddenberry; Meg Ryan; Jessica Tandy*; Joanne Woodward*

Filmmakers: Alma Reville* (collaborator/wife of Alfred Hitchcock)

Writers: Agatha Christie*; Catherine Cookson*; Mary Francis* ("Dick Francis" coauthor)

Fictional Hestias

Anne of Green Gables; Alice on The Brady Bunch; Mary Poppins; probably quite a few women on Coronation Street

Hera (Here; Juno)

Hera was goddess of marriage, and queen of Olympus, official consort of Zeus, the king of the gods. She was maiden (or debutante if you prefer) in spring, bride in summer, and widow in winter. June, the month of midsummer and the peak month for weddings, was her month and is named after her. She was frequently jealous and vengeful towards Zeus's many mistresses, but not normally towards him. She once borrowed Aphrodite's magic girdle (hip belt with heavy tassles that would swing sexily) to seduce Zeus away from the Trojan war. She had no problems riding into war, either, when it suited her, once boxing Artemis on the ears and sending her off the battlefield in tears.

Modern Heras like men and like marriage. They pursue boys as soon as they're allowed to, and love being in official relationships with men they admire. When they're with someone, they want the whole world to know it, because it's fun. They like the prestige of being singled out and taken seriously by men they admire. While many Heras make powerful career women, they are not willing to do without marriage, and if they can't have both they'll take marriage first. Heras have a knack for power and the social scene, even as children - it comes easily to them. They like a high status lifestyle (relative to their culture/subculture) and appearances are important to them. They like to hang out either with their men and other couples, or with a like-minded group of women (the queen and her ladies-in-waiting) who like to talk about relationships, clothes, The Rules, and other important women's issues.


the wife/girlfriend; the queen; the matriarch; queen consort/first lady; the socialite; the debutante; the southern belle; Mrs. Establishment

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Published works of note

The Rules (book); The Women (stage play/film)

Ancient symbols

the sacred cow; the Milky Way; the earth (earth goddess)

Modern symbols

the lioness; the she-eagle

Other goddesses

Juno (Rome); the Queen of May


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Royalty and executive class wives: Diana, Princess of Wales*; Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother* (UK); Princess Grace of Monaco*; Princess Margaret* (UK); Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis*; Nancy Reagan (First Lady - USA); Queen Victoria* (UK)

Career women: Barbara Frum* (journalist); Estée Lauder* (cosmetics); Clare Boothe Luce* (writer/politican); Diana Vreeland* (fashion editor)

Actresses: Jennifer Aniston; Lauren Bacall*; Joan Collins; Bette Davis; Annette Funicello*; Zsa Zsa Gabor*; Judy Garland*; Greer Garson*; Sarah Michelle Gellar; Rita Hayworth; Catherine Zeta Jones; Vivien Leigh*; Sophia Loren*; Rachel McAdams; Mary Tyler Moore; Molly Ringwald; Jane Seymour; Norma Shearer*; Alicia Silverstone; Elizabeth Taylor*; Shirley Temple*; Kathleen Turner; Lana Turner*; Reese Witherspoon; Natalie Wood*; Renée Zellweger

Singers: Maria Callas*

Writers: Barbara Taylor Bradford*; Barbara Cartland*; Judith Krantz*; George Sand*

Fictional Heras

Barbie; Buffy and Cordelia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Mrs. Howell on Gilligan's Island; Jean Gray of the X-Men; Scarlett O'Hara; Draupadi (The Mahabharata); Medea (Greek myth); Miss Piggy

Demeter (Ceres)

Demeter was the goddess of grain, or agriculture, who provided food for humankind. While sometimes tall and blond (like wheat) she was usually portrayed as matronly. She was the mother goddess who provided for her children: the "meter" in Demeter is Greek for mother. In the myth of Demeter and Persephone, celebrated annually in the Eleusinian Mysteries, Demeter was devastated when her daughter Persephone (a child at the time) was abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld to be his bride. She was so depressed at the loss of her daughter (and presumably upset at the danger she was in) that she went on strike and all the crops failed until Zeus agreed she could have her daughter back, but because Persephone agreed to marry Hades, it would only be for the summer half of each year. In the summer Demeter has her child with her, she is happy, and the crops flourish. In the winter her child is beyond her reach, she is unhappy, and there are no crops.

Modern Demeters are as motherly as Demeter was, and are happiest when they have children in their lives in some capacity or other. Demeters are very nice in an uncomplicated kind of way. They are just so nice. Only children can really appreciate the incredible niceness of a Demeter woman. Children grow up and leave home - it's a fact of life - but a Demeter will want them coming back for regular visits because she will always be their mother. In my experience Demeters also make good managers, because they take care of their employees instead of leaving them to fend for themselves. Demeters are generally outgoing, friendly, warm, unjudgemental, very positive, traditional and solidly conventional. Family is extremely important to them.

DEMETERS ARE IMPORTANT: the mother-child bond (especially the mother-daughter bond) is the strongest social bond among mammals, and is the glue that holds communities together. Demeters are probably the most common type among women.


the mother; the family-centred woman; the early childhood educator; the children's entertainer; the universal grandmother

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

a sheaf of grain

Modern symbols

a plate of brownies; milk and cookies

Other goddesses

Ceres (Rome); the Madonna with child


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Actresses: Alexis Bledel; Sally Field; Audrey Hepburn*; Natalie Portman*

Other: Barbara Bush* (First Lady - USA); Mary Higgins Clark* (writer); Maria Montessori* (physician; educator); Suzanne Pinel (children's musician)

Fictional Demeters

Sally Webster on Coronation Street; Mrs. Weasley (Harry Potter books/films)

Persephone (Proserpina)

Persephone's lifecycle followed the seasons. As a child she played in the springtime until Hades kidnapped her (a metaphor for trauma or death). After her mother Demeter rescued her, she spent summers above ground and winters below. Her main role was Queen of the Underworld (or Queen of Faerie) and wife of Hades. She acted as a guide to all who ventured into the underworld. She was also a source of magic: when Aphrodite set a series of "impossible" tasks for Psyche to do, one was to collect a jar of special beauty ointment from Persephone. Persephone was the underground (introverted) counterpart to Aphrodite, and a female counterpart to Dionysus, who also died and was reborn every year. Dionysus's wife Ariadne is another variation of Aphrodite and Persephone.

Modern Persephones are deep, intense, introspective, imaginative, poetic, often mystical or spiritual, sometimes psychic, with high intrapersonal intelligence. They are introverted, unconventional, and unusually sensitive, and are better at seeing people's dark sides than most people are. Persephones are nice in a complicated kind of way, paying attention to who other people are and what they have to say. They genuinely want to know what other people care about. They can be so quiet, receptive and attentive to the "voice" or psyche of others that they become mirrors: people often tend to project what they expect to see onto them instead of seeing them for themselves. Persephones sometimes have an air of purity or innocence about them (think unicorns) even if they've seen a lot of evil. They are also often seen as mysterious by other types. They are often late bloomers. They are usually solitary or very close to only a few soulmates - a husband, or siblings, sometimes other family members. Some Persephones have Dionysuses as soulmates and are more like Ariadne, the wife of Dionysus who lived above ground, than like the deeper Persephone, queen of the underworld and wife of Hades.


psychologists; mystics; women dragged into the underworld who can learn to live there without being poisoned by it; Queen of Faerie; the gothic heroine; the dark heroine; the dark queen; the fairy godmother; the mystic, shamaness, spiritual guide; the princess and the pea; the innocent or sensitive one; the otherworldly person or spirit; the recluse; the girl genius; the pure one; the virgin

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

the pomegranate

Modern symbols

the unicorn; the crow

Other goddesses

Cerridwen (Britain); Ariadne (Greece); Hecate (Greece); Arishkagal (Sumeria); Hel (Northern Europe); Lakshmi? (India); Sati/Parvati? (India)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Psychologists: Alice Miller

Mystics: Hildegard of Bingen*; Joan of Arc*; Teresa of Avila

Actresses: Ingrid Bergman*; Sandra Bullock; Toni Collette; Hilary Duff; Greta Garbo*; Julia Ormond; Jaclyn Smith; Madeleine Stowe

Music: Agnetha Fältskog* (the blonde in ABBA); Ella Fitzgerald*; Jenny Lind; Loreena McKennitt

Writers: Margaret Atwood*; Anne Brontë*; Charlotte Brontë*; Elizabeth Barrett Browning*; George Eliot*; Sylvia Plath*; Christina Rossetti*; Donna Williams*

Fictional Persephones

Jane Eyre; Hermione Granger in Harry Potter books; Counsellor Troi on Star Trek; Sita and Anasuya in The Ramayana; Melanie in Gone With The Wind; Raven (DC Comics)

Aphrodite (Venus)

Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty and love. Golden Aphrodite's magical energy made people fall in love and inspired them to great creative heights. She was beautiful and was often portrayed nude or semi-nude, comfortable in her skin. She chose Hephaestus the craftsman as her husband, but also had many lovers and children outside her marriage. No one could own Aphrodite. She often came to the help of mortals in love, bringing the statue of Galatea to life for Pygmalion, giving Hippomenes golden apples to woo Atalanta with, helping Paris win Helen of Troy as his bride and then defending him in the seige of Troy. Eros (Cupid), the god of love, was sometimes considered to be one of her sons. Aphrodite was the aboveground (extraverted) counterpart of Persephone, and a female counterpart of Dionysus, who also inspired people.

Modern Aphrodites are mere mortals, and cannot be all things to all people like the goddess was, but they're still free spirits. Being with them is fun - they rejuvenate you, make you feel special, but then they're on to the next person. Don't take it personally - they just like everyone. They're in love with life, and everyone and everything in it by extension. Aphrodites are unconventional, outgoing, energetic, enthusiastic, bubbly, creative, intense, and unpredictable. They are typically informal, natural, playful, fun, unpretentious, candid, maybe even ingenuous. They can be irreverently funny or dramatic, and may laugh or cry easily. They enjoy change and move impulsively from one passion to the next. They are likeable, considerate, generous, and cheerfully positive. They often go blonde to match their sunny natures. Aphrodites are typically sensuous, comfortable in their bodies and unselfconscious about sex. However, Aphrodite was the goddess of falling in love, not the goddess of casual sex: she has a vulnerability that is part of falling in love, and modern Aphrodites also have a soft sensitive core. Relationships are important to them. While Hera is associated with men, Demeter with children, and Persephone with soulmates, Aphrodite is associated with everyone. She loves everyone and everyone loves her (especially children). Aphrodites are probably the most popular type.


the sex goddess; the ditz; the Girl Friday (sexy secretary); the dizzy blonde; the bad girl in a sexually repressive society

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

the dove; the swan; flowers, especially roses; sweet scents; golden apples, pomegranates and other fruit

Modern symbols

bees and honey; Labrador Retrievers; gold; golden light; the chalice

Other goddesses

Venus as the evening star; Inanna, Astarte, Ashtoreth, Asherah, Ariadne?, Chione? (Middle-East and Greece)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Actresses: Loni Anderson*; Pamela Anderson; Clara Bow*; Geena Davis; Cameron Diaz; Dawn French*; Betty Grable; Jean Harlow*; Goldie Hawn*; Lisa Kudrow; Cheryl Ladd; Tina Louise; Jayne Mansfield; Marilyn Monroe*; Suzanne Somers*; Betty White

Other: Shere Hite* (sociologist); Sarah, Duchess of York* (U.K.)

Fictional Aphrodites

Smurfette; Ginger on Gilligan's Island; Jennifer on WKRP in Cincinnati; Aphrodite on Hercules and Xena; Starfire (DC Comics)

The Gods

Arranged in the same order as in Jean Shinoda Bolen's Gods In Everyman.

Zeus (Jupiter)

Zeus was the most powerful of the gods, and their chief. His domain was the sky, and he ruled from the heights of Mount Olympus. His bird's eye view of the world conveniently allowed him to dominate the earth as well (it was technically supposed to be neutral territory). Zeus was adept at negotiating alliances and building a power base, initiating the successful overthrow of his tyrant father and the rescue of his trapped siblings. He protected kings and maintained law and order. From his lofty position in the sky he could send down destructive lightning or nourishing rain on his subjects, depending on how he felt about them. Like many kings of the time, he had many wives and lovers, treating them like members of a harem, and fathered many children. He was often (though not always) a good father, protecting his children, mentoring them, setting them up in their careers, negotiating conflicts.

Modern Zeuses also have a knack for leadership and power. With their gift for strategy, they have an instinct for winning in business, politics, and war. They want to be kings, or at least on the fast track to the top, rather than remain followers forever. They are empire builders. Zeuses are self-starters, natural networkers, savvy negotiators and decisive risk takers. They are single minded, self reliant, independent, individualistic, objective, strong willed, competitive, entrepreneurial and hard working. They are practical rather than idealistic. Plenty of people are good at organizing if it's for a cause, but Zeuses enjoy organizing for its own sake. They are doers, and tend to see themselves as self-made. Zeuses believe they have the right to lead based on their abilities, and often do make good leaders, establishing and building up the organizations that provide the infrastructure society needs to work properly. Zeuses invest in people and organizations they believe in.


the natural leader; the enforcer; the self-made man; Master of the Universe; the beleaguered white male; the business executive; the war lord; the master strategist

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Books of note

Sunzi, The Art of War; Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince


the lion; the eagle; the thunderbolt

Other gods

Indra (India); Jupiter (Rome)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Business: Andrew Carnegie* (steel); Louis-François Cartier* (jewellery); Louis Cartier* (jewellery); Karl Fabergé* (jewellery); Bill Gates* (computer software); David Geffen* (entertainment industry); John Paul Getty* (oil); Lee Iacocca (automobile industry); Steve Jobs* (computers); Joseph P. Kennedy* (finance, real estate); John Molson* (brewer); Rupert Murdoch (publisher); Aristotle Onassis (shipping); Ross Perot (electronics); Booker T. Washington* (educator)

Politics: Nicolae Ceausescu* (Romania); Jean Chrétien* (Canada); Sir Winston Churchill* (UK); Bill Clinton (USA); General Charles de Gaulle* (France); Benjamin Franklin* (USA); Rudy Giuliani* (New York); Abraham Lincoln* (USA); Mao Zedong* (China); Ronald Reagan (USA); Theodore Roosevelt* (USA); Joseph Stalin (USSR)

Scientists: Alfred Adler* (psychiatrist); John Kenneth Galbraith* (economist); Lewis M. Terman* (psychologist)

Film/Television Industry: Desi Arnaz* (actor, producer); Warren Beatty* (actor, director, producer); George Cukor* (director); Walt Disney* (producer); Michael Douglas* (actor, producer); Clint Eastwood* (actor, director, producer); Jonathan Frakes (actor, director); Samuel Goldwyn* (producer); Burt Lancaster* (actor, producer); Arnold Schwarzenegger (actor, producer); Steven Spielberg* (director)

Music Industry: Sonny Bono* (singer, songwriter, producer); Sean "Puffy" Combs* (producer, performer); Andrew Lloyd Webber* (composer, producer); Ike Turner* (pianist, band leader, producer, talent scout)

Other: Prince Edward* (UK)

Fictional Zeuses

Commander Riker on Star Trek; Charles Townsend on Charlie's Angels; Mr. Howell on Gilligan's Island; Charles Xavier of the X-Men

Poseidon (Neptune)

Poseidon was lord of the ocean, and was god of earthquakes and tsunamis. He was a powerful alpha male like Zeus, but his oceanic realm gave him a deeper point of view. Poseidon did not surround himself with acolytes the way Zeus did - he was not running an underwater government. It was simply him, as a force of nature. His power could be quite dramatic, sinking ships and inundating coastal communities, and sailors prayed to him for safe journeys. He expressed his emotions in the ocean currents, in the turbulence of the waves, in whirlpools and tidal waves and also in rippling of the land in earthquakes. The ocean is angry, sailors would say. Or, the ocean is calm today. Or the earth is angry. In his personal life, Poseidon tended to overwhelm women (like a tidal wave) rather than strategically seduce them like Zeus did, and many of his children were monsters (at least to unsophisticated primitive peoples - to us they might look like misunderstood artists) rather than heroes like Zeus's children were.

Poseidon's watery domain symbolizes emotion and instinct. Modern Poseidons tap into this domain easily. They feel things very strongly, sometimes so strongly that it becomes an effort to put their experiences into words. Their intense instinctive energy may be expressed on the physical plane (e.g. sex, food, drama or dance) or through intense intellectual activity or idealism. They are more emotional than practical, but emotion has its own logic. Poseidons can be individualistic, stormy, dramatic and dominating, but they can also be deep, sensitive, nervous and vulnerable. They may become either ascetics or anarchists, and sometimes both together. Poseidons like to move people, to shake them up, to make them think or feel something they haven't experienced before. Poseidons are emotional, not empaths - it's their own truths they are trying to express, or universal truths, rather than the personal truths of others not like them. Just putting their own truths into words is a full-time job.


the Artist; the anarchist; the prophet; Svengali; the puritan; the ascetic; the drama king; the revolutionary

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.


the bull; the horse; the trident

Other gods

Neptune (Rome); Varuna? (India)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Political Figures: Prince Charles (UK); Gandhi* (India); Lenin* (USSR); Socrates (Athens); Trotsky* (USSR)

Scientists: Albert Einstein* (physicist); Sigmund Freud (psychoanalyst); Stuart Kauffman (biologist at Santa Fe Institute); Lawrence Kohlberg (psychologist); Fritz Perls* (psychoanalyst)

Actors: Kenneth Branagh*; Richard Burton*; Ralph Fiennes; John Gielgud*; Anthony Hopkins*; Ian McKellan; Laurence Olivier*; Peter O'Toole; William Shatner

Artists: Pablo Picasso*; Vincent Van Gogh*

Dance: Rudolf Nureyev*

Directors: Woody Allen*; Atom Egoyan; many art house directors

Writers: Gene Roddenberry*; William Shakespeare; Percy Bysshe Shelley*; H.G. Wells*; Tennessee Williams*

Fictional Poseidons

Svengali; Prometheus

Hades (Pluto)

Hades in mythology represents three different things. Hades the event is the trauma that sends people to the underworld, for example kidnapping or death. Hades the place is the underworld - not hell, but the place spirits live. Some parts of it are frightening, while others are pleasant places for spirits to hang out and enjoy the afterlife. And Hades the god is the lord of the underworld, the guide you meet when you go there, either by dying or by undergoing some sort of shamanic journey. Hades is not only associated with death and shamanic trance, but is also associated with the wealth found underground: gold, jewels, other rich minerals not available on the earth's surface. The spirit world is also a source of spiritual/psychological wealth and insight, for those who are willing to dig deep within themselves. Hades was known as "the invisible one", was a shadowy figure in the underworld, and almost never left it. When people went there, they usually dealt with his wife Persephone rather than him. He owned the place; she handled customer service. Hades and Dionysus are both aspects of the dying god, who lives it up in spring and summer, dies with the harvest, lives in the underworld in winter, and is reborn in the spring, in parallel with Persephone.

Modern Hades are people who are interested in aspects of human nature most people are either not interested in or feel threatened by, including uncomfortable truths and evil deeds. They typically show a lifelong interest in such esoteric areas as spirituality, religion, psychology, paranormal phenomena, Faerie, fantasy worlds, or criminology. Hades are deep, sensitive, and imaginative, and can be wise. They may be dreamy, spiritual types, with rich fantasy lives. They can also be eccentric, with an ironic sense of humour. They tend to be chivalrous romantics at heart, and are often considerate, which can make them vulnerable. They may have a spiritual or mystical bent, and may prefer a life of voluntary simplicity. They may be deeply musical, in a spiritual kind of way. (Music is often included in worship, and can be considered a form of deep spiritual wealth.) They often love the wilderness because of its deep quiet and beauty. They are quiet, introverted, reclusive, private, self-contained, with an air of mystery or unknowability. Sometimes they are even socially invisible.


psychologists; mystics; underworld figures; dark heroes; druids; the Faerie king; hidden riches; the recluse; death; faith; the shaman, the spiritual guide, the muse; the demon; the deep one, the unfathomable one, the alien; the outsider; Father Time; the Angel; the good counsellor

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

the cornucopia; gemstones; precious metals; shadows

Modern symbols

the crow; the vulture; the unicorn

Other gods

Pluto (Rome); Yama (India); Helman (Celtic)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Politics: William Lyon Mackenzie King* (Canadian prime minister)

Scientists: Carl Jung* (psychiatrist); Jean Piaget (psychologist); Immanuel Velikovsky (psychiatrist)

Actors: Paul Bettany; Humphrey Bogart*; Charlie Chaplin*; Robert De Niro*; Harrison Ford*; Brendan Fraser; Jet Li; John Malkovich; Ricardo Montalban; Viggo Mortensen; Leonard Nimoy; Joaquin Phoenix; Alan Rickman*; Tim Roth; Jason Statham

Artists: Paul Cézanne*; Rembrandt*; Johannes Vermeer*; Bill Watterson

Directors: Luc Besson; M. Night Shyamalan

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach*; Ludwig van Beethoven*; Johannes Brahms*; Johnny Cash*; Art Garfunkel*; George Frederic Handel*; George Harrison*; Sergey Rakhmaninov*; Pyotr Tchaikovsky*

Writers: Dante Alighieri; Michael Crichton; Robertson Davies; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle*; Patrick O'Brian*; Edgar Allan Poe*; J.D. Salinger*; JRR Tolkein; Leo Tolstoy*

Fictional Hades

the boy who saw ghosts in The Sixth Sense; Harry Potter; Comic book characters: Batman, the Phantom Stranger, the Shadow, the Spectre; Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes; Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye); Sherlock Holmes; Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre; the Beast in Beauty and the Beast


Apollo was the sun god and twin brother of Artemis the moon goddess. While Artemis protected the wilderness, Apollo maintained harmony, law and order in the cities, overseeing the arts (especially music - he had a lyre), law and medicine. He also had a shrine at Delphi, where the Oracle made prophecies, and where seekers after truth were encouraged with the mottos "know yourself"; and "nothing in excess". Apollo himself was not a prophet - he administered the site, while his Delphic ministers acted as interpreters of civil and religious law throughout Greece. Apollo was the golden boy of Olympus, beautiful, radiant, and popular. He wasn't married, being known more as a brother (of Artemis and Hermes) than a lover, but he did have one son, Asclepius, god of healing and medicine.

Modern Apollos are generally responsible, practical, loyal members of the establishment, who like working within the system. However, if they believe society is clearly wrong they will disobey, invoking higher laws. Even then they follow due process instead of becoming anarchists. They are typically objective, practical, rational, logical, realistic, moderate, prudent, cooperative and emotionally stable. They can sometimes be cool, dry and intellectual. They like order and harmony, and they like to do the right thing. They are generally well behaved as boys and want to look respectable. They are goal oriented, and value recognition, but don't need to be at the very top (although they might not object, either) so long as they have at least some status in recognition of their loyalty. They make good team players, often gravitating to team leadership, and work well with women. In relationships they tend to be collegial, supportive and dependable, rather than intense or emotional.


the good son; the beta male; the straight arrow; the boy scout; the preppie; the yuppie; the second in command; the pillar of the establishment; the doctor, lawyer or academic; the abstract idealist; the intellectual

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

the bow and arrow; swans; ravens and crows; snakes (e.g. at Delphi); wolves; the lyre; the laurel wreath

Modern symbols

the dog; the sword; the scalpel; the microscope; the scales of justice; the prism

Other gods

Apollo (Rome); Dharma (India)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Astronauts: Neil Armstrong*; John Glenn* (astronaut, US senator)

Politics: George Bush (US President); George W. Bush (US President); Jimmy Carter* (US President); Al Gore* (US Vice-president); John F. Kennedy* (US President); John Turner (Canadian prime minister)

Scientists: Hans J. Eysenck* (psychologist); Viktor Frankl* (psychiatrist); Stephen Hawking* (theoretical physicist); John Nash* (mathematician); Nicolaus Steno* (geologist); David Suzuki* (geneticist, environmentalist)

Actors: Alan Alda*; LeVar Burton; Kevin Costner; David Duchovny; Colin Firth; Henry Fonda; Richard Gere*; Jake Gyllenhaal; DeForest Kelley*; Sidney Poitier*; Christopher Reeve; James Stewart*; George Takei*; Burt Ward*

Art: Auguste Renoir*

Music: Felix Mendelssohn*; Sergey Prokofiev*; Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov; Igor Stravinsky*

Others: Tom Brokaw* (journalist); Arthur Miller* (playwright); Denis Thatcher* (businessman; husband of British Prime Minister); Prince William* (UK)

Fictional Apollos

Superman, Cyclops, Captain America, and other straight-arrow superheroes; Oedipus Rex

Hermes (Mercury)

Hermes was the messenger god, known for his quickness. He was quick on his feet, quick thinking, and quick talking. He was young enough to be just starting a beard, wore a winged hat and winged sandals, and carried a winged staff (the caduceus). As a fast mover, speeding between Olympus, earth and the underworld with ease, he ran errands and delivered messages for the other gods, guided souls to the underworld, and protected travellers. As a fast thinker and fast talker he was god of communication and protector of thieves and businessmen. He also protected athletes, invented the lyre, invented numbers and the alphabet, and brought people luck. His quickness made him a charming trickster, who stole Apollo's cattle (on the day he was born) and lied about it, then gave Apollo his lyre in trade for the cattle. Hermes had many affairs and many sons but never settled down with anyone.

Modern Hermes are also known for their quickness. They think quickly, and talk easily. They are verbal, enjoying spinning stories and entertaining people. They can be persuasive, guileful and charming. They like attention from other people and so make a point of being likeable. Hermes tend to know everyone and know their way around. They are curious, friendly, gregarious, good networkers, and often very relaxed socially. They can get into trouble easily even as small child ("normal boyhood hijinks"), and can be restless, impatient, impulsive, adventurous, irrepressible, spontaneous and mercurial. Bored easily, they are often on the move and don't like being tied down. They often love things that go fast: horses, cars, boats, planes, and the feeling of freedom they give. They may be inventive, ingenious, mischievous, a prankster, and gadget-happy. They tend to soak up a lot of general information rather than study anything in serious depth and prefer practical information over more esoteric material.


the adventurer; the boy who won't grow up; the hyperactive kid; the clown; the explorer; the airman; the spy; the regular guy; the communicator; the journalist; the preacher; the jack of all trades; gadget man; circus/vaudeville performers; the playboy; the Fool; the prodigy; Mr. Clean; the schmoozer; the story teller; the travelling bard

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.


wings; quicksilver (mercury); monkeys; snakes; "snips and snails and puppy dogs' tails"

Other gods

Mercury (Rome); Enki (Sumeria); Coyote, Raven (North America); Loki (Northern Europe)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Athletes/explorers: Lance Armstrong* (cyclist); Buffalo Bill Cody* (frontiersman, showman); Jacques Cousteau* (undersea explorer); Harry Houdini* (escape artist); Howard Hughes* (aviator, filmmaker, businessman); Evel Knievel* (stuntman); Ted Turner* (sailor, media tycoon)

Communications: Edward de Bono* (corporate consultant); Walter Cronkite* (journalist); John F. Kennedy Jr.* (magazine publisher); Michael Moore* (documentary filmmaker); George Palmer Putman* (publisher, publicist)

Politics: Ralph Klein* (Canada); Franklin D. Roosevelt* (USA)

Ministers/evangelists: Billy Graham*; Malcolm X*

Scientists/engineers: Thomas Edison (inventor); Francis Galton* (geographer, psychologist); B.F. Skinner* (psychologist); Alexander Thom* (engineer, archaeoastronomer)

Actors: Harry Anderson; Dan Aykroyd; Orlando Bloom; Michael Caine*; Jim Carrey*; Jackie Chan*; Bill Cosby; Hume Cronyn*; Tom Cruise*; Billy Crystal*; Tony Curtis; Matt Damon; Leonardo DiCaprio; Errol Flynn*; Michael J. Fox*; Clark Gable; Cary Grant*; Hugh Grant; Gene Hackman*; Tom Hanks; Woody Harrelson; Dustin Hoffman; Walter Koenig; John Larroquette; Jude Law; Jack Lemmon; Roger Moore; Eddie Murphy; Bill Murray; Mike Myers*; Paul Newman*; Jack Nicholson*; Brad Pitt*; Vincent Price*; Dennis Quaid; Robert Redford*; Jerry Seinfeld; Spencer Tracy*; John Travolta; Rudolph Valentino*; Vince Vaughn; Robin Williams; Owen Wilson

Artists: John Callahan*; Caravaggio*; Leonardo da Vinci* (also an engineer); Edouard Manet*; Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley* (also a journalist, traveller, athlete); Norman Rockwell*; James Thurber* (also a writer); Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec*; Andy Warhol*

Directors: Ron Howard; Ivan Reitman; Robert Rodriguez

Music: Bryan Adams; Fred Astaire; Nat King Cole*; John Denver*; Marvin Gaye*; George Gershwin*; Joseph Haydn*; Billy Idol; Julio Iglesias*; Elton John; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart*; Donny Osmond; Luciano Pavarotti*; Tom Petty; Paul Simon*; Sting*; Richard Strauss*; Giuseppe Verdi*; many many other popular musicians of all eras

Writers: Giacomo Casanova*; Roald Dahl*; Charles Dickens*; Ian Fleming*; Dick Francis*; Ernest Hemingway*; James Herriot*; Rudyard Kipling*; Louis L'Amour*; C.S. Lewis*; Jack London; Jean-Paul Sartre*; Sir Walter Scott*; John Steinbeck*; Mark Twain*; Jules Verne*

Also: Prince Andrew (UK); Prince Harry* (UK); Prince Philip (UK)

Fictional Hermes

James Bond; Ross, Chandler and Joey on Friends; Peter Pan; Superheroes: Nightcrawler, The Flash; Don Juan; Dennis the Menace; Tom Sawyer; Huckleberry Finn; Hanuman (The Ramayana); The Monkey King (The Journey to the West); Wile E. Coyote (Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show); Robin Hood; Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)

Ares (Mars)

Ares was the Greek god of war. He wore armour, carried weapons, and looked vigorous and buff. He thought and fought with his body and his heart, not his mind, and did not see war as a game. The Greeks feared him for the irrational battle frenzies (berserker rages) he could go into, while the Romans appreciated him for his skill as their protector. Ares didn't start wars (though he was a brawler), but repeatedly came to the aid of armies he believed in, joining the fighting and encouraging flagging soldiers. It was his courageous strength soldiers in the field turned to during combat. Being very physical, Ares was also known as a dancer and a lover, particularly as the long term lover of Aphrodite, who was quite happy with him. Ares had many children, not only with Aphrodite, but also in other longterm relationships with women (he didn't just seduce women once then leave them like other gods did), and was protective of his kids.

Modern Ares are equally physical. They think with their bodies and are drawn to action and intensity. They are intense, impulsive and explosive, often with great physical power and strength. Their feelings tend to boil over easily into action. Rough diamonds, they tend to be private, laid back and casual, preferring hanging out with other men in blue collar or sporting environments, bonding in shared activities, to dressing up and being seen. They often play sports as well as watch them, especially agressive sports like football or hockey (they need the exercise). They work well on teams of equals, motivating each other while thriving on the competition. Ares also think with their hearts. They can be loyal and generous, and naturally protective of people they care about. They look after their own. Ares like women as women, though they are not typically marriage minded. (They tend not to think that far ahead.) Ares are also great with kids, very physical with them, and very protective.


the warrior; the fighter; the champion; the action hero; the protective father; police, fire, ambulance, and search and rescue workers; the blue collar worker

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.


the colour red

Other gods

Mars (Rome); Thor (N. Europe); Nergal? (Chaldeans); Anubis? (Egypt); Wolf-star? (Middle East); Skanda (India); Archangel Gabriel? (Hebrews); Huitzilopochtli? (Mexico)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Actors: Richard Dean Anderson; Sean Bean*; Mel Gibson; David Hasselhoff; Michael Keaton; Nick Nolte; Burt Reynolds*; Kurt Russell; Kevin Sorbo; Sylvester Stallone*; Patrick Swayze; Mr. T; Bruce Willis

Athletes: Muhammad Ali* (boxing); Bruce Lee* (martial arts); Mario Lemieux* (hockey); Mark Messier* (hockey); Mike Tyson (boxing); many athletes in rough sports

Military: Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire* (UN Field Commander, Rwanda)

Fictional Ares

Wolverine; Beowulf; Achilles; Herakles/Hercules; The Incredible Hulk; Rambo; Rocky

Hephaestus (Vulcan)

Hephaestus was the Greek god of subterranean fire and volcanos, and god of the forge. He lived under the earth and used volcanic magma to fire his forge. As god of the forge, he was responsible for crafting all the nice things the gods needed: armour, chariots, palaces, furnishings, ornaments, and the luxury items no royal court can do without. He also created Pandora, the first woman, on Zeus's request as part of a revenge scheme. While Hephaestus was a creative genius, he also had a club foot that made him pitiful to others. He lived alone, underground, with his robotic maidservants made of gold (the original fem-bots). He was married to Aphrodite - a source of creative inspiration for him, but was basically married to his work.

Modern Hephaestuses are often very hard workers, putting in long hours, channelling their intense feelings into hands-on creative work, whether it's making beautiful things that will be admired as well as used, or doing intensive laboratory work. Hephaestuses tend to identify themselves (and be identified) primarily or exclusively with their work. Creating things is how they show others who they are. They start working producing things at a very young age and then just keep going. Hephaestuses tend to be introverted, sensitive, serious, perfectionist, intense, very focussed, easily frustrated and sometimes explosive. They have a genius for technology and "things". They like to work independently, and need to have as much control over their work as possible (genuinely necessary for creative genius), preferring to do something themselves whenever possible rather than delegate. They have a sentimental streak, but in general people are someone else's department. People seem to like seeing geniuses of this sort as handicapped - it appeals to them - but it's the genius itself that's the handicap, because of how difficult it makes it to communicate.


the misunderstood genius; the master craftsman; the technical perfectionist; the mad scientist

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.


the hammer and forge

Other gods

Vulcan (Rome); Tvashtri (India); Vishvakarman (India)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Film Industry: James Cameron; Kerry Conran; Alfred Hitchcock*; Peter Jackson; George Lucas*

Art: Edgar Degas*; Michelangelo*

Fictional Hephaestuses

Dr. Jekyll; Dr. Frankenstein; Dr. Moreau; Pygmalion (a sculptor); Feanor (The Silmarillion)

Dionysus (Bacchus)

Dionysus was the youngest god of Olympus. He is the Baby New Year who takes over from old Father Time (Hades) on New Year's Day. He is born with the new year (early spring in ancient Greece), is young and playful in the spring, more mature and settled in the summer, dies with the harvest, and goes to the underworld in the winter, where he becomes Hades. Then he starts all over again the next spring. Dionysus represents new life, rebirth, rejuvenation. His energy is revitalizing. The life-giving fluids - sap, blood and wine - are his domain. When we encounter Dionysus, we come away renewed, refreshed, alive again. Sometimes Dionysus is too much for people and they go insane, into a frenzy like his female followers the Maenads, the original groupies. A nature god, Dionysus was the male counterpart of Aphrodite (who rejuvenated people as well, and who was the aboveground counterpart of Persephone) and Persephone (who also lived and died with the seasons). He was surrounded by women: his mother and nurses as a child, his wife Ariadne, and his groupies.

Modern Dionysuses have a rejuvenating energy to them. They are charismatic, intense, emotional, alive. They are also idealistic, open minded, empathic, dreamy, mystical, sensual, relaxed, imaginative, sensitive, gentle, sweet natured, and boyish. They are androgynous mavericks, poets and bohemians. They love nature, children (who are full of life), and animals. They may have a shamanic, mystical streak, and are often drawn to New Age practices and exotic religions (e.g. Native North American, Buddhist, Indian). These days, they're just as likely to be yoga-practicing vegetarian non-drinkers as wine lovers or drug users. Dionysuses are into girl power - they like hanging around with women, are fun for women to hang out with, and are generally feminist. Other men call them girly, and people often wonder if they're gay (or at least used to), but usually they're not. Relationships are important to them.


the Green Man; the bohemian; the dying god (Jesus, James Dean, Elvis); the hippie; the neopagan; the ecstatic; the mystic; the dreamer; the visionary; the poet; the guru; Baby New Year; the environmentalist; nature boy; girl power; kid power

Any type can be a hero, a villain, a victim, a lover, or really smart/gifted/talented.

Ancient symbols

the grape vine; the ivy; the fig; the pine tree; the bull, the goat, the panther, the fawn; the lion; the leopard; the tiger; the ass; the dolphin; the snake

Modern symbols

holly, ivy, mistletoe; the dolphin; the dove

Other gods

Bacchus (Rome); Pan (Greece); Vishnu, Shiva, Rama, Krishna (India); Cernunnos (Britain); Tammuz, Adonis, Osiris (Mediterranean/ Middle East)


"*" indicates I have read biographical material on this person

Scientists: Thor Heyerdahl* (prehistoric travel); Konrad Lorenz* (instinctive animal behaviour); James Lovelock* (chemist)

Charismatic leaders: Saint Francis of Assisi; Uri Geller* (psychic); Adolf Hitler* (Germany); Jesus of Nazareth; T.E. Lawrence* (of Arabia); Pierre Trudeau* (prime minister of Canada)

Actors: Jamie Bell; Marlon Brando*; Jim Cavaziel; Montgomery Clift*; Russell Crowe; James Dean*; Val Kilmer; Heath Ledger; Keanu Reeves; Giovanni Ribisi

Artists: John Audubon*; Robert Bateman*; Paul Gauguin*; Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Directors: Alfonso Cuarón; Joss Whedon*

Musicians: Béla Bartók* (also folk song researcher); Bono*; David Bowie; Claude Debussy*; Jerry Garcia*; Glenn Gould*; Paul McCartney*; Meat Loaf* (Michael Aday); Elvis Presley*; Prince; Raffi*; Richard Wagner*

Writers: Hans Christian Andersen*; L. Frank Baum*; Robert Browning*; Lord Byron*; F. Scott Fitzgerald*; Grey Owl*; Gabriel García Márquez*; Farley Mowat*; Robert Munsch; George Bernard Shaw; Henry David Thoreau

Fictional Dionysuses

The Little Prince; Hamlet

The Gossip

Hera, Hestia, Demeter, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades are all brothers and sisters.

Hera is married to Zeus, who cheats on her with just about everyone he can. Hera always goes after the 'other woman' with a vengeance, even when it's rape. They have one child: Ares, who is a disappointment (too emotional). Hera also had Hephaestus (no father), but she didn't like him either (born with a club foot).

Artemis and Apollo are Zeus' twin children by Leto (an affair). Athena is Zeus' child by Metis, his first wife. Zeus heard that Metis' son would overthrow him so he swallowed her when she was pregnant. Some time later Athena was born full-grown out of Zeus' head, in armour with spear (think business suit with briefcase), with no memory of her mother and total loyalty to her father. Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia. Dionysus is the son of Zeus and Semele (who died before giving birth, so Zeus sewed Dionysus up into his thigh and gestated him himself). Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione in one version, but in the other she is born out of the sea foam after Uranus' (Zeus' grandfather) genitals are cut off and thrown into the sea (and therefore is older than Zeus). Either way she's a law unto herself.

Artemis, Athena and Hestia never marry, although Artemis had a boyfriend (Orion the hunter) at one point. She killed him in a competition by mistake. Demeter has a daughter, Persephone, by Zeus (one of his earlier marriages, before Hera, who is wife number seven).

Persephone is abducted by Hades with Zeus's permission, but in the end decides to marry him and spend part of the year in the underworld with him, and the rest above ground with her mother.

Aphrodite is married to Hephaestus, but carries on a long term affair with Ares. She and Ares have three children: Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror), and Harmonia (Harmony, sometimes known as Discord, her other aspect). Aphrodite and Hermes have a bisexual child called Hermaphroditus. Eros (Cupid) may be her son, with no father. Aphrodite also has an affair with Adonis, a variation of Dionysus, who is slain by a boar sent by the jealous Ares and ends up spending four months of the year with her, four months with Persephone in the Underworld, and four months recovering from both of them.

Poseidon is married to Amphitrite, but cheats on her, and then has to win her back (oops!). Apollo is single. Hermes is single, but is paired with Hestia in temples (she inside, he outside the door). Dionysus is initially single, but then marries Ariadne, a variation of Aphrodite, and they party on. Dionysus, incidentally, is the dying god (like Adonis) and therefore is also seen as the consort/son of Persephone, queen of the Underworld, and the above ground aspect of her husband Hades. Hades tried to get it on with a couple of other women but it didn't work, since he just isn't smooth enough (unlike Zeus and Poseidon), so it looks like he's a one-woman man by default. (Though it's interesting that Freud (Poseidon) and Adler (Zeus) were not philanderers while Jung (Hades) was.)

Famous Couples (+ some successful marriages in my family)

Artemis and Zeus

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (1940 - 1960, ended in divorce)
Ike and Tina Turner (1962 - 1978, ended in divorce)
Sonny and Cher (1964 - 1975, ended in divorce)

Artemis and Poseidon

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1814, m. 1816 - 1822, ended in his death)

Artemis and Hermes

Amelia Earhart and George Palmer Putnam (1931 - 1937, ended with her death)

I'm not going to name names, but many many many Hollywood couples are of this type (mostly because Artemis is so over-represented in Hollywood, and Hermes is the most common male type), and their relationships usually last about 5-10 years before falling apart.

Artemis and Dionysus

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (1920 - 1940; ended with his death)
Paul and Linda McCartney (1969 - 1998, ended with her death)
an aunt and uncle: 40 years +

Athena and Zeus

Hilary and Bill Clinton (1975 - )

Athena and Apollo

Margaret and Denis Thatcher (1951 - 2003; ended with his death)

Athena and Hermes (in mythology: Athena and Odysseus)

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (1929 - 1980; ended with his death)
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (1942 - 1967; ended with his death)

Hestia and Poseidon

Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry (1969 - 1991, ended with his death)

Hestia and Hermes

Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy (1942 - 1994, ended with her death)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (1947 - )
Dick and Mary Francis (1947 - 2000; ended with her death)
Angela Lansbury and Peter Shaw (1949 - 2003; ended with his death)
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (1958 - 2008, ended with his death)

Hestia and Apollo

George W. and Laura Bush (1977 - )
an aunt and uncle (1970? - )

Hestia and Hephaestus

Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville (1926 - 1980, ended with his death)

Hera and Zeus

Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg (1927 - 1936; ended with his death)
Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti (1957 - 1962, annulled; 1966 - 2007, ended with his death)
Barbara Taylor Bradford and Robert Bradford (1963 - )
Jacqueline and Aristotle Onassis (1968 - 1975; ended with his death)
an aunt and uncle: 50 years +

Hera and Poseidon

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh (1940 - 1960, ended in divorce)
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (1964 - 1974; 1975, divorced twice)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana (1981 - 1996, ended in divorce)

Hera and Hades

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (1945 - 1957, ended with his death)

Hera and Apollo

Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy (1953 - 1963; ended with his death)
my father's parents (early 1930s - 1979, ended with his death)
my parents (1963 - )

Demeter and Apollo

George and Barbara Bush (1945 - )

Persephone and Hades

Charlie Chaplin and Oona O'Neill Chaplin (1943 - 1977, ended with his death)
George and Olivia Harrison (1974, m. 1978 - 2001, ended with his death)

Persephone and Dionysus

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning (1846 - 1861, ended with her death)
Marian Evans (George Eliot) and George Henry Lewes (1854 - 1878, ended with his death)
Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson (1972 - )

Aphrodite and Ares

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (1983 - )

The Results

I originally posted the goddess/god types, four personality scales, and the opportunity to also indicate the Myers-Briggs type (MBTI, determined elsewhere) and whether or not someone was autistic and/or gifted. (I had originally had just autistic and the IRI to see if autistic people were lower in empathy than others, added some more to see how giftedness related to personality, then went whole hog on the goddesses. Autistic people cover the full range of empathy, low to high, same as everyone else, as has been published elsewhere using the IRI. Gifted people come in all types, though we may be more common among the more unconventional types.)

The four personality scales were the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI, which measures empathy), the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire - Revised (EPQ-R, aka the "Big Three" which measures extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism), The Big Five Inventory (BFI, which measures extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness), and the Hartmann Boundary Questionnaire (HBQ) which measures boundaries in the mind.

I did find differences between the different goddess/god types and these scales, but I don't think I had a big enough and diverse enough sample to say anything definite. I have since deleted that data. I also compared the different goddess/god types to the MBTI, and am reporting this below. There was a huge response bias in this sample, in that Persephones (who like psychology) were by far the most common type. The vast majority of them were introverted (I) and intuitive (N) on the MBTI, contrary to Bolen's assumption that Persephones were high in sensation (S), which is the opposite of N. There were no Heras or Ares. Some of these don't make sense, e.g. extraverted Hades, but others make a lot of sense. I don't know what to tell you - maybe people are identifying themselves wrong? Most likely I just don't have enough to make a representative sample. Most of the subjects are intuitive (N), of course, since that's who does personality quizzes online.

MBTI versus goddess type (# of subjects)


MBTI versus goddess type (# of subjects)