The Seven Faces of Woman explores the seven universal female archetypes or essences in relation to their fundamental personality types and their action and interaction with the world at large. The Seven Faces of Woman are examined in the following categories: the Messenger, the Warrior, the Mother, the Queen, the Priestess, the Martyr and the Lover.Our intent is to help a woman identify the one or more faces or archetypes which most closely represents her own nature. It is meant as a general guide in the understanding of these archetypes particularly for women who have not yet figured out who they are and where they fit in the scheme of things. Younger women whose identity and sense of self may not yet be fully developed will be able to get a clearer sense of themselves and the faces which they tend to reflect most strongly.

We arrive at seven faces based on the Law of Sevens, probably considered the most mystical number after the number three. It refers to all universal manifestations which occur in a pattern of seven. The Law of Sevens is reflected in the following: seven days in the week, seven major planets in the solar system, seven notes in the musical scale, seven colors in the rainbow, Seven Pillars of Wisdom in Middle-Eastern tradition, Seven Sages in Vedic lore, Seven Wonders of the World, seven seas, seven continents, seven angels or celestial guides for each soul, seven chakras or energy centers in the body, and the seven year cycles that a person passes through which bring maturity, responsibility and evolution, beginning with age 7, the age of reason; age 14, the age of puberty; age 21, the age of adulthood; and age 28, the age of maturity.

1. The Messenger

The Messenger has something to say, a message to deliver. And she needs to be heard. Her mind is quick, bright and highly intelligent. Her faculties, gifts and talents are wide-ranging. It is more a question of, "What can't she do?" than "What can she do"? Her resources and resourcefulness know no bounds. Her curiosity is endless and she subsequently wants to know how everything works and the reason behind things. Her focus is highly concentrated but her attention span is short. She becomes easily bored and requires regular renewed stimulus. In a given day, she needs various things to sustain her interest - not the same thing all day long. She is the ultimate multi-tasker. The Messenger may follow two or even three careers and may do so simultaneously. And this she is able to do rather effectively.

The Messenger is restless and mercurial. She seeks frequent change or stimulation in order to overcome boredom. Her emotional nature is fickle and vacillating. She may make a decision one day and the next day she will find herself in emotional turmoil, questioning her judgment. The old adage of "changing her mind is a woman's prerogative," especially applies to the Messenger archetype. Her restlessness may require frequent changes of residence or many short journeys or perhaps a regular commute or even a job which demands travel. Her need for the renewing stimulus of variety and change will also be reflected in the many changes she will undergo in life. Travel provides her a fresh perspective and she can easily be persuaded to take a "road trip" at the drop of a hat.

Some Messenger women never run out of things to say and may talk incessantly, filling the empty spaces. The evolved Messenger speaks only when something needs to be said and only after thinking first and only when what she says will have benefit for others.

Emotionally, it may appear that she never knows what she wants or cannot decide on something and stick with it. Part of the difficulty may be that she doesn't allow herself to actually feel her emotions within her heart space. She spends too much time letting them rattle around in her brain. Rather than listening to the soft clear voice of her intuition buried beneath the cerebral debris, she tries to analyze and over-analyze her options, calling upon her distinctly clever but nonetheless limited intellectual contortion. She avoids entering into the realm of true feeling by rationalizing and justifying her actions in response to the challenges her environment presents.

The nervous system of the Messenger woman is somewhat fragile or easily overwhelmed by stress, tension, worry or fear. This may result in various nervous habits, such as biting her nails, smoking cigarettes or twirling her hair. Or it may result in a nervous condition, such as restlessness, insomnia or nervous tics. Or in a particularly unbalanced state, it may produce diseases, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit syndrome, anorexia, bulimia or Tourette syndrome.

The Messenger excels in literary pursuits, publishing, journalism, communications and information technologies. She can thrive in scientific fields or any discipline where an extensive knowledge base is required. She prefers practical knowledge and does not necessarily want to fill her head with useless information that cannot be readily applied down here on the ground. Although most Messenger women may require intellectual stimulation, some tend to express themselves more through their hands and prefer to develop various skills which display their uncommon dexterity and creative genius.

The Messenger must be careful not to have too many irons in the fire and end up spreading herself too thin. In this scenario, she may start things and not finish them. If that becomes a habit pattern, then she could get into real difficulty completing tasks and responsibilities. Since so many ideas and truly good ideas originate in the mind of such women, they tend to abandon what they are currently involved with in order to pursue a new and exciting idea which has entered their fertile brain. Subsequently, old unfinished projects tend to fall by the wayside.

The Messenger woman possesses an eye for detail. Nothing usually escapes her exacting glance. She must be careful not to develop an overly critical attitude toward others, holding to her own high standards people whose lives are not meant to reflect hers. She prefers to have her things in order and to live her life in an orderly fashion. A well-grounded Messenger will be practical and hardworking. She will be rather particular in habits of dress, eating, health and personal hygiene.

The Messenger can serve as an inspiration to others through her talent, intellect, eloquence or creativity. If she is here to deliver the message, her challenge is to find a message worth delivering in an effort to serve and uplift others.

2. The Warrior

The Warrior is impelled by her passions. Her emotions can be like a tornado, spinning her into action, or reaction if she neglects due reflection. She is convinced that what she does is in her own best interests. In fact, she insists that it is so. But she must be careful that she doesn't confuse the legitimate fulfillment of desire with the gnawing of neediness or the demands of desperation.

She is at her best when she is fighting on behalf of others or perhaps for a cause in which she believes. She is the strategic advocate and consummate champion on behalf of the those who are dispossessed or put upon. More than anything, she must learn patience for her success or failure has much to do with striking at exactly the proper moment and retreating when prudent.

Her temper may flare up rather quickly like a fire igniting within her breast. Her heart begins to pound, her face flushes and her body becomes moist with perspiration. But this flash of anger can subside as quickly as it arises and may soon be forgotten.

If you want the Warrior to act in a particular manner, you must never command her, you must only offer suggestions when pleading your case. For she is fiercely independent and will make her own way in life with or without your sanction. If she asks for your opinion at all, it is because she respects you and will consider well your words of advice. But if she listens to your opinion without having asked for it, it is because she is humoring you and will forget your words as quickly as they tumble out of your mouth. If she is about to embark on a course of action that will inevitably be wrong for her or that you regard as a mistake, let her be, let her go. For she must tread the path and make the mistake herself in order to gain the wisdom and experience such folly may offer.

Judgments made against the Warrior are taken by her in a very personal manner. Since she is a woman of action, it is difficult for her to separate herself from her actions and the responses those actions engender from others. Her tendency is to strike first and ask questions later. That is why she always keeps her sword close to her side. Since her passions burn brightly within her and her ideology is the fuel that fires her existence and her emotions are white-hot embers glowing just beneath the surface, the Warrior Woman may have a tendency to dominate others emotionally. If she is less evolved, her dominance will arise out of her own insecurity and uncertainty. If she is more evolved, her dominance will occur naturally because she feels more strongly than others and is prepared to act on her feelings with decisiveness. Further, she is willing to cloak herself with the mantle of commitment which typically frightens away the faint of heart since they fear collapsing under its weight.

The Warrior must be careful to avoid the swing of the pendulum from one extreme to another. Her desire to live life in its most heightened state with great intensity may cause balance and equilibrium to elude her. And without balance, she may feel as if she is bouncing from one wall to the other. In youth, she may be able to accommodate such volatility, but the older she gets, the more difficult it becomes and equilibrium must be sought.

Due to her innate leadership ability and independence, the Warrior may unrealistically demand to be the center of attention. She may feel threatened by others and become jealous or possessive. When she feels she is losing control of the situation, she may resort to manipulation. This can be prevented by overcoming her irrational fears and unfounded insecurities.

When hurt or attacked, she must learn to forgive or at least to let go. Otherwise, there is the danger of living for the opportunity to pull the dagger of revenge out of her own heart and plunge it into the back of her tormentor. This must not be her raison dՐtre or considered by her to be a worthy goal. She must be careful not to slip into victim mode, thinking that things happen to her over which she has no power. Such an attitude is truly disempowering and will transform a life of strength and potential into one of pathos and self-pity.

The Warrior must have a worthy goal or objective for which to live. Her life must be a sacrifice toward that end. She must throw down the gauntlet at her own feet and take up the challenge worthy of her capacity. Her life must be one of romance and adventure. At every turn, she must triumph over trepidation and feel the palpable elation and exhilaration of facing the unknown. Only this will make the blood course through her veins and her heart pound in her chest. Only this will make her feel truly alive, at the vanguard of the forces or at the peak of the mountain.

3. The Mother

The Mother steps softly, the fingers of both hands caressing an open cup which she carries wherever she goes. The cup, fashioned from pure mother-of-pearl, is her heart, and though she would sometimes prefer to put a protective cover over it, she cannot. It is always open and exposed to the elements and the vicissitudes of life.

The liquid of love which is contained within the cup is sometimes buffeted by the winds of change and upheaval. At other times it is battered by the rains of strife and sorrow. At other times, it is darkened by the clouds of confusion. And yet, at other times, it is warmed by the sunbeams of joy. Though it appears that the cup has a limited capacity, its looks deceive. For there is no limit to the depths of emotion that she can delve into. And there are no boundaries to encompass the intensity of feelings, and little chance of containment or suppression when they rise up from the depths of the vessel.

Though the cup is the heart of the Mother, in all circumstances, she leads with it and holds it always out in front of her as she moves forward or retreats. Everything is felt and everything makes an impression upon her, just as a grain of sand dropped into the cup will cause the entire surface of the liquid to send out ripples of reaction and response to the farthest reaches of the vessel.

Where will you find her and where does she most like to dwell? At home, of course, near the hearth. Her peace and well-being rest firmly on the doorstep of home and family. Marriage and domestic security are essential to her emotional health and mental balance. Her influence can be seen and felt throughout her home. It is warm and inviting and once there, you have no desire to leave. You feel 'at home,' even if you don't live there.

The meals she prepares are inspired by her creative imagination and are cooked and assembled while immersed in a reverie of meditation. She never merely cooks, and certainly never for herself alone, but rather, she creates her culinary artistry while focused on the object of her devotion - perhaps a friend, perhaps a child, perhaps her husband, or, if she has raised her consciousness high enough, perhaps God Himself/Herself. And how does such a meal taste? Like nothing you've ever tasted before. Uniquely memorable and ultimately, unforgettable. Very little digestion is required because the main ingredient which is love causes the food to melt the moment it enters your mouth. Her food does not merely nourish the body, it heals the heart and fills the soul. When the meal is over, you are a step closer to true contentment and freedom of spirit. Why? Because by eating the food, you've actually tasted love. And though the memory may fade from your tongue, its effects will remain in your heart.

The Mother is the veritable personification of motherhood. She represents the power of giving birth, of bringing into being. She is the bearer of the egg. She is the womb of the embryo. She is the carrier of the infant. As the bearer of the egg, she conceives within her heart the form or idea she wishes to bring into being. To the extent that she can conceive of her offspring in the most perfect form possible, to that extent will she give birth to a similar perfected being or idea or creation. As a mother of children, her patience and love know no bounds. As the matriarchal figure, she opens her heart to others by listening attentively and patiently. Her empathy is so well developed that she actually feels and understands what others may be going through. She vibrates in harmony with them to such an extent that she absorbs the pain of others while simultaneously applying the poultice of compassion that begins their process of healing.

The shadow side of her sensitivity may make her too impressionable and sensitized to the feelings, opinions and criticisms of others. She may become easily affected or hurt and may even imagine the ill intentions of others. In these circumstances, she may recoil and withdraw her limbs into the protective darkness of her shell where she may brood or slip into self-pity.

The intuition of the Mother is so highly developed that the third eye is often wide open and functional. The third eye is located in the center of the forehead between the two physical eyes. Though not physical in nature, it is nonetheless able to perceive thoughts, feelings and perceptions that elude the two physical eyes. The Mother will receive impressions about people with whom she has a strong connection. She will sense if they are in distress or she may know who is calling when the phone rings or she may know instinctively when it is time to contact somebody. She may know what a person is going to say before he opens his mouth to speak.

The Mother is the world mother. Her role is to give birth, to suckle and to nurture. May you come to know at least one Mother in your lifetime. May she rock you gently, press your head against her bosom and kiss your tears away.

4. The Queen

Because the inner male is so strongly developed in the archetype of the Queen, her indomitable will is the guiding force in her life. She may be accused of being stubborn or obstinate and this may often be the case. She knows that she must stay her course even in the face of opposing winds. But, in order to fulfill her purpose, she realizes she must be resolute. Others may see this attitude as self-centered and, in a sense, it is. But without it, she may allow those same adverse winds to buffet her ship and she may never reach her port of call.

The Queen may only act when motivated by her deepest purpose, the thing she has come here to do in this lifetime. She rarely indulges in the frivolity or whim of idle desire and fancy. She is not the quintessential girlie-girl, nor does she have much patience for those who are. Others may regard her as arrogant. In a Queen who has not matured emotionally, this would be true. However, in an emotionally mature Queen, others will mistake her confidence for arrogance. She rarely hesitates. Once she has decided upon a course of action, she carries it forward and doesn't look back. She makes no excuses for her behavior and is unlikely to avoid responsibility or pass the buck when things fall apart or the going gets tough. A Queen who is less mature, however, may seek attention and flattery in order to establish a sense of self-importance.

The Queen is a natural leader and abhors taking orders, especially since there are very few people that she looks up to, or who win her respect. Few are qualified to tell her what to do or how to do it. Yet, she is no fool. She will readily take advice from a cadre of capable advisors. One of her greatest qualities is that although she may not know everything, she knows exactly where and how to find out everything she needs to know. As it is so beautifully stated in the Way of Kings: "There is no letter of the alphabet without the power to transform when arranged in the right combination of words and sounds. There is no root or plant that does not possess medicinal properties when applied to fit the disease. So also, there is no one who is completely without qualification. However, the rarest thing to find is the person who can formulate the letters into words, apply the plants to counteract the disease, and find the person to fit the task." And the one who accomplishes all things by demonstrating resourcefulness like no other is the Queen.

On the domestic scene, she will have a tendency to dominate unless she finds a man who is strong enough to assume the male role in their relationship. That man may be hard to find but she will not be happy in her role as queen of the castle if she does not share the castle with the man who would be king. In this more desirable scenario, she may still be the guiding force within the home but it will be expressed in a less obvious or overt manner.

An intrinsic weakness for the Queen may be her emotional pride or condescension toward others which she must always guard against. She cannot possibly be right all the time and she must let go of the need to be right at the expense of others being proved wrong. She must rise to her own magnanimity. And in this, she must inspire and uplift others in their own individual attainment, knowing that fostering others will never be a threat to her own position, but that those helped will become future allies and assets. A Queen who possesses a high degree of emotional insecurity may assume the persona of the prima donna or drama queen, believing that simply expressing how she feels is never enough without a dramatic confrontation accompanied by a display of fireworks and an operatic soprano shrieking her tragedy on the background soundtrack.

There is a deep and genuine desire for the Queen to feel loved and to love. She very strongly needs to be appreciated and to experience a loving reciprocation with others in various kinds of relationships. Her passion needs a voice and an object. It is quite frustrating for her if her efforts go unnoticed or unrecognized. In which case, she sometimes may not say anything but under the surface she may fume or even explode at some point, seemingly for no particular reason or in a display of overreaction.

The Queen has a flair for the dramatic and knows how to do things in ways that grab attention and cause people to sit up and take notice. Though born to shine in the spotlight, some Queens do so reluctantly. Those with the greatest need to be noticed rush to the place on the stage where the spotlight is focused and happily step into it while those who don't require a lot of attention will find that as they walk across the stage of life the spotlight will follow them automatically. One way or the other, she'll find herself in the spotlight.

The Queen is always seeking to better herself as an individual and to improve her lot in life. She is goal oriented and when one goal or set of objectives has been attained, new achievements are put into motion. Rarely does she rest on her laurels.

This woman loves social affairs and functions particularly centered around the home and family, such as traditional holidays and celebrations. In such a circumstance, she is the quintessential co-ordinator and hostess. Thrilled with the thought of outdoing her friends at festivities, she is the natural center of the celebration and the catalyst for bringing people together for fun and new connections.

Her home is often a showplace of beauty and art. She is dedicated to the improvement of her children in appearance and achievement and she tirelessly organizes things on their behalf, sometimes whether they want it or not. Whom she regards as "her children" may also include those who did not take birth from her womb but who have taken shelter under her wing. She also loves sporting events and art openings, especially when they feature the top people in their respective fields.

5. The Priestess

The Priestess must position herself on the bridge between matter and spirit, between the mundane and the divine. She is the intermediary between humans and God (Spirit). She must have an open, dynamic communion with the Divine in order to successfully intercede on behalf of humans. She is the counselor, the advisor, the healer and the therapist. She is the white witch, the psychic, the mystic, the shaman and the yogini. Whatever path she may choose, her duty is to minister to the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of others, depending on her discipline.

In many cases, the Priestess does not choose her path or her work - it chooses her. Many Priestesses are reluctant participants in the divine plan. Many just want to live a simple, mundane or material life but are seemingly not permitted to do so. Theirs is a higher calling which usually requires a certain degree of surrender of their own self-interest. I have met many people who want to become the Priestess but do not succeed since this is not a path of one's own choosing, it is more a case of divine dispensation. Humans do not determine who will become the Priestesses among them. Higher powers make those determinations.

This is also the reason why such people cannot work solely for money. They cannot simply accept a job because it pays a certain amount. They may be able to do that for a while but not for long. Their work must reflect their life purpose. It must be based on principle, not payment. Priestess women are highly ethical, honest and forthright. They abhor duplicity and fraudulent behavior - in themselves as well as in others. Their life is ruled by a lofty ethic or philosophy. Subsequently, the consequences of their actions for themselves and others are always gravely considered before any action is undertaken. They must act in harmony with their own truth. And if they don't, they do not get away with it for very long.

The Priestess is exceedingly idealistic and generally has much higher standards than those around her. Again, this reflects a loftier principle or objective in all she undertakes. But she must be careful not to spin a web of fantasy and set parameters which may be unrealistic. Every creative matrix or idea must ultimately take a form or shape down here on earth and not remain stuck in the clouds of her imagination. It all comes down to practicality.

At some point, the Priestess is usually confronted with the decision to accept the religion in which she has been raised, to change her religious affiliation, or to move out of the confinement of religious dogma and into the all-embracing expanse of spirituality. This crossroads typically appears when she no longer wishes to be weighed down by the scaly skin of fear and punishment for her transgressions which most religions preach from a pulpit of hellfire and brimstone. She decides to shed this old skin in favor of a dynamic, loving relationship with God/Spirit which affords her a light body and a lighter body. This new-found philosophical freedom is motivated by a reciprocal loving exchange between Creator and created - between God as purusha and living being as prakriti, or yang and yin.

What often happens with the unevolved Priestess who remains chained to the dogmatic dictates of her religious belief is that her narrow-mindedness creates tunnel vision. Worse, she may actually believe that she and her religion are in some way superior to all those who follow a different religion or embrace a different belief. In this case, she becomes caught in the sanctimonious snare of holier-than-thou, egotistical superiority. It is then only a question of time before she falls into the hole hidden beneath this unforgiving trap.

The Priestess loves foreign cultures and foreign shores which can only be found through extensive travel or taking up residence in foreign countries. Many Priestess women will abandon their place of birth and live happily amidst so-called strangers in strange lands. Oftentimes, they will feel even more at home than they did among their own people and culture.

Being sensitive to the needs of others, the Priestess archetype will often become involved in social, charitable, benevolent, altruistic or humanitarian concerns. She cannot live in a world and remain oblivious to the suffering or misfortune of her fellow citizens, human and animal alike.

The Priestess may possess intuitive insight and perception beyond the range of human cognition. Her impressionability and delicate sensitivity may create psychological vulnerability for her at times. In effect, she is tuning into frequencies and wavelengths concerning which most people have no awareness. This can often create a feeling of loneliness and isolation for this mystical maven. With her own protection and preservation in mind, she may withdraw emotionally and seek seclusion from the onslaught of humanity. It is a relatively simple process for this gentle soul to attune herself like a psychic sponge and soak up the thoughts and emotions of other people and animals as well. With a little practice, she can easily develop her ability to see the past, present and future concerning people and events.

The Priestess must dedicate herself to the upliftment, inspiration and healing of the world around her. Her profit and reward comes in the form of the transformation the world undergoes and the gratitude it feels in the loving care of her healing hands.

5. The Martyr

The Martyr can be a tragic soul who must bear a cross or a burden in life. That burden may be placed on her by herself, a pivotal person in her life or circumstances with which she finds herself inexorably entwined. Her life rarely feels like her own. It is always to be lived on behalf on some one or some thing. In other words, it is a life of reparation and sacrifice. She rarely acts solely for her own self-interest. She feels herself forcefully swept along by the currents churned up by the winds of fate. She may believe she has no choice in such matters. It is what must be done and she must be the one to do it. She may often believe within the depths of her being that she has no power to change her lot in life.

Her overwhelming need to sacrifice herself to a person or purpose which she deems much more worthy or important than she herself is spawned from one of two seminal sentiments - love or guilt. If this sentiment is the former, then it can be divided into two separate motives. On the one hand, reciprocal, balanced and rewarding love and on the other, co-dependent, insecure, jealous or possessive love. The former is often the devoted woman who is the lynchpin behind the man in whom she truly believes. She lovingly gives her support and will do anything to further him and his cause. And without her, many a man would never realize his goal or fulfill his potential. The latter may be the mother figure to a husband who never grew up. He went from his mother's house to his own house where his wife was expected to fulfill the role of mother - cooking, washing, cleaning, etc. Further, expecting her to be perfect in every act, he blames her when any little thing goes wrong. His main goal however, is to suck the life force out of her day in and day out since his own life force never matured into anything he could actually use out in the world. She knows he would crumble into pieces without her and she would feel responsible for what happens to him if she would leave him. But she would never do this because then he would be forced to actually grow up and become a man. And at that point, he may no longer need her. And where would she be then? Obviously, such men will effectively control the mate using guilt to undermine and disempower their willing marital victim.

I had a client in Australia whose husband, a successful businessman with a lot of money, would never let her use the family car. That was his car. She had to take the bus or buy her own car to get to her job. But he would never give her any money or buy her anything. Only household maintenance was provided by him. If she wanted a car, she would have to buy her own by saving the little money she made as a retail clerk which she needed to buy herself clothes. She was not allowed to have friends and certainly never allowed to have anyone over to his house. He would go on vacation twice a year to beautiful, exotic places - without her! If she wanted to go, then she would have to buy herself an airplane ticket and pay for her accommodation and meals which of course she could not afford.

When working with clients, I never make decisions for them. I simply try to help them arrive at the best decision to suit their circumstance. In marital issues, I never tell a person to leave her spouse unless there is physical violence. Then I tell her to leave right away which of course doesn't necessarily happen. But in this case, I told this woman to leave this character immediately. They had been together for twenty years. It took her a couple of years to do it but she did go forward with the divorce and has been happier than ever before. Needless to say, all his money was hidden and/or placed in overseas accounts so all she received was enough to buy herself a condo. This is an example of an over-the-top Martyr who could not see her position with any degree of objectivity. It took her many years to throw off the cross of negative martyrdom. She kindly said my help was instrumental in bringing this about.

Having mentioned the two types of love - reciprocal, balanced and rewarding love on the one hand and co-dependent, insecure, jealous and possessive love on the other, let us look at the second seminal sentiment of guilt. The Martyr who is motivated by guilt does not feel worthy, adequate or deserving. She may unconsciously sabotage herself or throw obstacles into her own path in life. She may not even realize that she does this or she may recognize that she does it but does not know why she does it. This underlying sense of guilt is actually a product of actions from past lives for which she has judged herself guilty. All of this typically takes place unconsciously without her knowledge of it. I have seen this thousands of times among my clients. Such a woman must come to a stage of self-forgiveness at the core level of her being, her soul level. This is the karmic or causal level of existence wherein reactions are determined for actions performed. In hundreds of cases of persons whom I have personally worked with, these karmic determinations or negative judgements will effectively operate over the course of several lifetimes, throwing a wrench into the works at many important junctures in the present life.

The Martyr may suffer in silence, her stoicism and reserve serving to anchor the cloud above her head firmly in place. She is often cautious or overly cautious in her actions. She may willingly accept austerity and self-inflicted penance. She may wear her suffering as a badge of sacrifice in hopes that others will take notice of her journey up Mount Calvary. Her demeanor is generally serious in nature since she is weighed down by so many responsibilities, most of which she bears on behalf of others. Martyrs with years of practice can eventually become cold and distant with their joie de vivre withdrawn into permanent hibernation. She becomes trapped in the winter of her discontent!

The Martyr archetype can truly empathize with the needs of humanity. They can be friendly, compassionate and helpful. Their homes may well be a gathering place for friends, family, neighbors and various group activities.

For the Martyr, the life path is usually a hard one, fraught with trials and disappointments. She has two options - to continue with this behavior pattern for the remainder of this lifetime and hope that the martyrdom and its ensuing circumstances will run its course. Or she can wait for a fresh opportunity in her next life, in the hopes that she will have paid off her negative karmic debt. Her second option is to change her outlook, her life path and her existing reality from this point forward but this requires tremendous courage and determination which unfortunately most Martyrs do not possess.

7. The Lover

The Lover archetype cannot live without love. She must have a mate or lover upon whom she can shower her love and affection and in turn she must be the recipient and focal point of the love of her beloved. The Lover's raison d'etre and the measure of her happiness is defined in terms of her relationship. It is very difficult for her to live in a world without love.

In the evolved Lover, her love becomes focused on humanity and social causes. In the spiritually evolved Lover, her love is directed toward the Godhead and she seeks a reciprocal relationship with God. This is more easily achieved with God in his personal form than it is with God in pure energetic or formless spirit.

Whatever level the Lover is on, she must learn to love unconditionally. The wife must love her husband through his flaws and inadequacies. The humanitarian must love humanity in spite of its prejudices and cruelties. And the devotee of God must love her paramour through great tests of faith. Since she cannot see Him, she will at times feel neglected or abandoned by Him. From God's standpoint, this serves to strengthen her belief and increase her desire to be with Him which ultimately leads to the soul's liberation from the cycle of repeated birth and death or samsara.

Back down here on earth, the fundamental requirement of the Lover is her emotional well-being for without that in place, she may lack the motivation to meet the challenges life may offer. This is best found in a stable domestic circumstance which affords her emotional security. A marital or conjugal relationship which is adversarial or inharmonious may eventually have a detrimental effect on her health.

Highly sexual, sensual and romantic in nature, the Lover seeks satisfaction and fulfillment in loving exchange. She enjoys being touched, embraced, kissed and made love to. She delights in being told she is beautiful and that she has captured her beloved's heart.

In the Lover who is particularly unbalanced, we find various kinds of compulsion in which love degenerates toward co-dependency and sexuality slips under the shadow of obsession. Such a person may find herself with an addiction to romance, relationship or sex. Romance addiction is the need to repeatedly fall in love. For her, new love is always in bloom. Relationship addiction is the desire to always be in relationship even when it is detrimental to her well-being. If she feels her relationship will soon end, she will usually have another man waiting in the wings or sometimes two or more relationships on the go simultaneously. Sexual addiction is the compulsion to have secret sexual encounters with strangers, sometimes in dangerous or risky places when she should instead be attending to other responsibilities.

The Lover archetype enjoys the good life. She appreciates the finer things including gourmet foods, attractive clothing and fashion, art and sculpture, tasteful home decor, landscaped gardens and beautiful design in its myriad forms. Subsequently, financial stability and security are a necessary component in providing her creature comforts. She herself may demonstrate a proficiency in horticulture or gardening. These women may be involved in the arts as artists or creators themselves or as aficionados, gallery owners or promoters. The unevolved Lover will define herself in terms of wealth, status and designer labels. She will be attached to material things and unhappy when they are unavailable to her or when she can no longer afford them.

The Lover archetype is loyal in love and steadfast in her determination once she sets her mind to a task. When focused, there isn't much that can oppose her strong will, what to speak of her irresistible charm and charisma.

Beautifully appointed in her personal presentation and comportment, the Lover archetype woman is courteous, gracious and kind to all. Her warmth and appeal is infectious. However, she may often be too dependent upon the opinions, attitudes and approval of others, particularly her partner or her loved ones. The Lover can 'work the room' like no other. Her social skills, conversational repartee and complimentary nature easily win over hearts and minds and add new friends to her extensive list of acquaintances.

Born to love, the Lover is a joy to be around. Her talent, beauty, refinement, radiance and charm irresistibly draw people to her like bees to honey. After all, "Everyone loves a Lover."

As you can undoubtedly observe, a true Renaissance woman may well identify with several of the archetypes due to her expansive nature and worldly experience. These, then, are the Seven Faces of Woman.