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4 Conflictual Archetype Pairs that Might Live Inside Today's Woman

Whether you're a stay at home mom, a career woman, a working mom etcetera I often find that there are 4 conflictual archetype pairs that may live inside you. And, I always believed that we manifest things from the inside out. So, if that's the case, unless we integrate these archetypes we will continue to find that they annoy us out there, and in our romantic relationships!

Here they are:

1- The Divine Feminine vs. The Lower Feminine:

The Divine Feminine archetype is the Goddess-like nurturing, process and relationship-oriented energy that wants joy, beingness, acceptance and presence.

In contrast, the Lower Feminine energy can be clingy, over-protective, nagging, critical, smothering and overpowering.
If you have more Feminine energy in your relationships, do you tend towards the Divine Feminine or the Lower Feminine? Are you the breezy contented goddess or the smothering mother? Traditionally women who were home often struggled with these two archetypes because they self-identified as both mommy and wife and sometimes this felt constraining. Do you relate to this?

2- The Divine Feminine vs. The Lower Masculine:

Women who struggle with the Divine Feminine vs. the Lower Masculine sometimes feel victimized by men or male authority. This can happen in different realms- sexually, romantically or at work. They may feel patronized or persecuted by Masculine energy and as a result, they don't trust it. This may then make them disavow their own Divine Masculine power in the world, making it challenging to achieve, make decisions and lead. In this case the Lower Masculine archetype scares them because they view it as controlling, persecuting, competitive and logical ( above feelings and compassion).

As a result, sometimes these women may not choose to have a romantic relationship, or if they do try to have one with a man, it isn't very trusting or balanced.

These women may choose relationships over career in the outer world , not because they consciously prefer it, but because they associate their Masculine energy with something more negative and destructive.

3. The Divine Masculine vs. The Lower Feminine:

Women with a conflict between the Divine Masculine archetype and the Lower Feminine archetype are often go getters in the outer world. They may love reason, intellect, achievement, action and the ability to lead and mold their outer world. But, they may see the Feminine energy as something passive, weak, emotional and overly dependent and receptive.

In relationships these women like to take control but struggle with expressing their more vulnerable emotions, being receptive sometimes, being present, having fun, acceptance of the moment and being feminine.

4- The Divine Masculine vs. the Lower Masculine:

These women are quick witted, action oriented and successful but they struggle with whether they are being 'too masculine' because they know the lower masculine energy can become greedy, destructive, hierarchical, competitive and ruthless at the extreme.
These women may worry that they will be overbearing, competitive and unable to allow for an equal relationship with a mate due to an unconscious conflict about wanting to be in control all the time.

Life generally isn't ideal (and neither are our psyches) but if psychological evolution favors wholeness than the Royal Marriage is the conjunction of the Divine Feminine with the Divine Masculine archetype, in wholeness, balance and love. The truly noble couple fosters the greater good, servicing the kingdom as well as themselves.

This is harmony between active and passive, relationships and work, the process and the results, inner and outer, being supportive and achievement-oriented, having relationships and independence, yin and yang etcetera.

We can look at our inner life to see where we still get hung up and conflicted with these archetypal energy patterns. it will be a helpful tool if we ever want to create equal, balanced partnerships, within ourselves and between men and women at home and at work. As Gandhi advised, we need to become the change we seek.

I'd love to see balanced marriages where women feel that they can express their gifts in the world and men feel they can be more fully involved in parenting and domestic life. Perhaps at different times partners can switch off in which domain flourishes. And this would feel familiar in our outer marriages if we have already married these energies within.

I wish you the best in Love,


Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and the author of “Dating from the Inside Out,” “When Mars Women Date and 18 other books. She also works as a love coach on dating and relationship issues in Manhattan. Learn more at: and

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