In ancient times, the Greeks created the gods and goddesses to represent the various personalities of human nature. In Gods and Goddesses in Love, Agapi Stassinopoulos tells the stories of the primary goddesses and gods, and how their myths can provide insight into your own romantic relationships.
Included are two fun and fascinating quizzes: one for women to determine their own dominant personality type and which goddess she most embodies; and a second that will help every woman understand more about the "god" she is involved with, or searching for.
In the book, the seven archetypal goddesses are portrayed in modern terms, highlighting not only each goddess's unique strengths but also the pitfalls or stumbling blocks she is likely to encounter in a relationship with her partner. Also included are interviews with real couples who reveal how they overcame obstacles to find true love.
For anyone who desires the self-knowledge and empowerment to find their ideal other, Gods and Goddesses in Love is an uplifting, instructive, and enlightening guide for achieving greater fulfillment in love.
"Three thousand years ago, my Greek ancestors tried to identify the forces playing themselves out in human nature and created the eight gods and seven goddesses of Olympus," begins Stassinopoulos in this follow-up to her Conversations with the Goddesses. Here she sketches seven human personality types based on the traits of the famous ladies of Olympus--Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hera, Hestia and Persephone. To help readers discover which goddess they most embody, Stassinopoulos offers a 12-question quiz that could have come straight from the pages of Cosmo; there's a similar quiz designed to help them figure out which god their man most resembles. A Demeter woman, Stassinopoulos writes, "knows mothering as the most honorable occupation for a woman" and would pair well with a Poseidon man, while a Hestia lady is "centered and a great listener," but might need to be drawn out of her shell by a Hermes man. A native of Greece (and, incidentally, the sister of political commentator Arianna Huffington), Stassinopoulos capably relates the deities' lives to that of contemporary women. But finding an absolute match among the broadly drawn goddesses is difficult and only cursorily addressed. Stassinopoulos's prose can be both hackneyed and awkward, but her examples of real life couples (e.g. "Elaine and Mike: Opening the Channels of Communication") ground the book's flights of poetic and mythic fancy.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 16, 2004
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Excerpt from Gods and Goddesses in Love by Agapi Stassinopoulos
Three thousand years ago, my Greek ancestors tried to identify the forces playing themselves out in human nature and created the eight gods and seven goddesses of Olympus, giving each of them a name and a story. Each one exemplifies an authentic pattern of feminine or masculine human nature. These gods and goddesses have fascinated me since my early years. Fearless, magical, flawed yet awesome, they have been with me throughout my life's journey. They were with me when I first fell in love, as I discovered how to express my gifts and develop qualities I didn't know I had, as I learned to build boundaries and turn inward for my source of happiness, and as I moved into pivotal events that would shape my life today.
In writing my first book, Conversations with the Goddesses, I embraced the seven goddess archetypes and learned to bring them down off their pedestals into our everyday life. I used them to fulfill my passion, which has been to inspire women to become all that they can be and create their own lives. Yet as my work evolved, the gods kept nagging me; they wanted to be sure I didn't forget them. As I began to focus my attention on them, I saw how they play in the psyches of the men I know, and men in society and history. I saw how the goddesses and the gods go together. In their myths we see them drawn together into perfectly imperfect unions -- which is exactly how these relationships are designed to be. The myths show us our own relationships played out on the big screen of Olympus.
In ancient times, there were no therapists, no relationship workshops, no dating services, and no divorce lawyers. Instead there were the myths, the stories of these gods and goddesses. Many centuries later, the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung called these deities "archetypes," which means "ancient types" in Greek. He identified the gods and goddesses as part of the collective unconscious, and pointed out how they make up the software of our psyche. These archetypes live within each man and woman, and the stories of their relationships and notorious adventures on Mount Olympus, as well as here on earth, provide a basis for understanding human personalities and behavior.
In their stories, we recognize familiar scenarios. Zeus is unfaithful to Hera as he pursues liaisons with other goddesses and nymphs. She becomes angry and vengeful and ultimately leaves him to find herself. Aphrodite enters into an arranged marriage with Hephaestus and then, driven by eros, has an affair with his brother, Ares, as well as with other gods, demigods, and mortals. Athena remains a virgin and bonds with men as their protector, while Artemis has nothing to do with men and prefers the company of women. Apollo is constantly experiencing unrequited love. Persephone is raped and abducted by Hades, god of the underworld, and ends up marrying him. Demeter sleeps with Zeus, has one daughter, then moves on to become a devoted single mother. Unlike the fairy tales in which everyone ends up living happily ever after, the Greek myths teach us that, in reality, relationships bring friction.
Each of us is born with a predominant archetype that is our driving force and directs our actions and choices. Yet each of us also contains all of the archetypes, and at different times in our lives we may favor one over another. We have all the gods and goddesses in us, but in differing degrees of intensity -- some stronger, some weaker, some in the foreground, some in the background. A particular god dominates our lives at a particular stage only to retreat when we move on to a different stage. For example, a woman might have a strong desire to be married. That is her Hera speaking. When she feels the calling to have children, that is her Demeter tugging on her. And once her children are grown and independent, she may feel the urge to find meaningful work. This is her Athena stepping forward. She might suddenly awaken to her Aphrodite and want to have an affair or refuel her marriage with a new eros. Or she may feel a yearning to serve, to give back, to follow an inner path of spirit; that is the Hestia principle governing her.
The archetypes play themselves out through us. It is easy to get caught in those patterns. We find ourselves making certain choices without really knowing why. For instance, a Persephone woman may find herself getting involved in relationships that are destructive. Or an Athena woman may want a relationship, but feels too caught in the work ethic and is disconnected from her body to open up to love. Both of them are caught up in their myths.
Who is running the show?
As we become familiar with the archetypes, we begin to see the unconscious patterns that act themselves out in us. Then we can start to make wiser choices, based on what our real needs are.