Credit: Kylie Jenner Instagram


Understanding Archetypes Generally

Broadly speaking, an archetype is a representative model or universal example of something. They are frequently seen as elements of the collective unconscious. This means they are often symbols of nebulous spiritual needs that are projected onto other people to help individuals understand the world in which they live.

who is the Mother?

MOTHER (light)

~ idealised version of motherhood

  • giver of life
  • provide physical, mental & spiritual sustenance
  • caretaker
  • nurturer
  • selfless
  • caring
  • provides unconditional love & support
  • allows & supports individuation of that which is loved
  • connected to nature & cycles (inner knowing of inter-connectedness)

MOTHER (dark)

  • fierce love
  • ferocity of love through truth
  • has access to the full spectrum of emotions including, rage, anger, despair, grief, frustration and channels them through the heart of the mother
  • allows her vulnerability to be exposed, undefended and open to the strength of her deepest values

MOTHER (distortion)

~ shadow of idealised version of motherhood

  • gives until exhaustion
  • martyr
  • no boundaries
  • fears abandonment (becomes enmeshed with child)
  • enacts betrayal to gain love
  • passive aggressive/aggressive
  • manipulates to gain
  • dominating (over-controlling)
  • possessive
  • smothering
  • lacks own identity
  • unable to access love (wounded)
  • neglectful (wounded)


MOTHER (light) 

Terra Mater (Roman) Gaia (Greek) Isis (Egyptian) The Virgin Mary (Christianity)

MOTHER (dark) 

Black Madonna (Christianity) Mary Magdalene (Christianity) Hecate (Greek) Ceres (Roman) Kali (Indian)

MOTHER (distortion) 

Martyr Victim Abandoned Neglectful

Notes on the Dark Mother

The Dark Mother, as a figure of mythology, is created at the collective archetypal layer of the psyche. Her image appears in all cultures: African, Hindu, Christian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and countless other cultural and religious sources.

gifts of the erotic mother

“The Erotic Mother is an emerging Archetype that is the integration of the mother as a sexual being, capable of and who experiences herself as sexually free, liberated and integrated”


  • self-sourcing nourishment of intimacy and self love 
  • connected to sexual and sensual self 
  • radiance 
  • capacity to uplift and celebrate the inherent sexuality and sensuality in others 
  • integrated eroticism (can contain as required) 
  • embodied experience of self that manifests as confidence, high self-worth, creatively expressed 
  • sex & heart connection – love is infused with aliveness (eros) and sex is infused with devotion (love)


  • can express herself sensually without discomfort or awkwardness 
  • experiences arousal, lustfulness and a desire to connect with herself or others sensually or sexually 
  • feels comfortable talking about and engaging in acts of love, affection and intimacy 
  • confidently makes decision about her own body, boundaries and desires 
  • communicates clearly and articulately her boundaries & desires 
  • self-sources her requirements for intimacy and self-love 
  • makes decisions in line with high self-worth 
  • more adept at weathering the highs and lows receptive and responsive

what does it mean to be erotically integrated?

  • self-sourcing nourishment
  • integrated sexuality
  • connected to sensual self

shadows of non-integration with the erotic mother archetype

but first … what is a ‘shadow’?

A ‘shadow’ is an unconscious aspect of the personality that the conscious ego does not identify in itself, or the entirety of the unconscious; that is, everything of which a person is not fully conscious. “According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.”

shadows of non-integration with the erotic mother archetype


  • sexually stunted or frozen
  • erotically ashamed
  • over identification with the Mother (light) and so perpetually in shadow (see Mother Shadows p6)
  • unable to self-source experiences of connection or intimacy (with friends, lovers or family)
  • disconnection from familial intimacy and affection
  • projection of intimate needs onto children


  • sexually judgemental of self & others
  • unable to express desires for intimacy or connection
  • unable to connect with own sensual or sexual self
  • unable to access erotic life force
  • unable/unwilling to express self as sensually & sexually embodied
  • trapped in pleasing, self-sacrifice, burnout
  • disassociation from self (as an erotic and embodied human)
  • lacks spontaneous upwelling of affection, love & joy
  • dull energy (lacking vitality, radiance and creativity)
  • unable to access creative spark
  • discontent & disconnection in intimate relationship
  • unable to self-source experiences of connection or intimacy (with friends, lovers or family)
  • smothering and overly fearful of abandonment from children
  • oversharing and seeking of emotional support from children