Podcast – Episode 0236 – Gods In Everyman — The Father God Archetypes

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia continue a short series talking about the god archetypes that show up for some people. This episode details the father gods in everyman.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Women: Girl, Woman, Grandmother (crone)
  • Men: Father, Son
  • Some men always express father energy whereas other men may gravitate toward son energy even late in life.
  • Tension points exist between these two energies that are not present between the goddess cycles
  • No matter how powerful a man is, his son will succeed him.
  • Ego is self-referential and understands its existence.
  • At some point, we will die, and our ego sees that as the most horrible thing that could ever happen.
  • We pass our genes on to our offspring since we cannot survive but we tend to want to download our ego into our children, so they replicate our experiences.
  • Lots of stories are told about the push and pull between father and son
  • Bolen’s perspective of the patriarchal archetypes may be colored by her time.
  • Father Gods:
    • Zeus
    • Poseidon
    • Hades
  • One Father God Energy expressed in 3 ways.
  • Zeus is the God of the sky
    • His brothers are Poseidon and Hades
    • Their father was Cronos who swallowed all his children so they wouldn’t overthrow him
    • Zeus mother gives Cronos a rock to swallow instead of Zeus
    • Zeus and his brothers kill their father and divide up the world
    • Zeus gets the sky
    • Poseidon the sea
    • Hades the underworld
    • Zeus has more compassion for his offspring than his father
    • He also has some dark aspects
    • He liked to establish his realm, which may show up as alpha male tendencies
    • He sees the forest over the trees.
    • Might makes right
    • Fear of being targeted or overthrown
    • HBO “Succession”
    • Zeus archetypes have a protective streak for anyone under their domain
    • The Old Testament God from the Bible has a very Zeus-like quality – obedience or punishment
    • “Game of Thrones” – Ned Stark is a positive representation of a Zeus archetype
    • There are elements of this archetype that make people uncomfortable
    • These god archetypes come from a time where rape and murder were common.
    • These attitudes can be recontextualized to our modern day as someone who takes what they want.
    • Ambition
    • The difference between father gods and son gods is that son gods are all marked by a need for approval, whereas father gods do not seek approval from anyone but themselves.
    • The father god doesn’t check in with anyone but himself.
    • When a man embodies the archetypical Zeus energy he doesn’t feel accountable to anyone else but himself
    • His path to growth is to have some rigor around his character and avoid the tendency toward tyrannical ownership.
    • Zeus is a sky god, so he tends to intellectualize everything which prevents him from engaging directly with his choices.
    • Zeus archetypes need to remember not to be too disconnected
    • Zeus feels very Te/Fi (Extraverted Thinking/Introverted Feeling)
    • He sees the world as a resource then sees himself as the center of the universe
    • Code of conduct
    • Growth for Zeus comes thru a crisis
    • Could be a literal heart attack that sets off a shift or a heart attack of love that forces him to reevaluate
    • Growth is forced upon Zeus. He isn’t out looking for growth.
    • Zeus needs to be less judgmental and distant.
    • Foster better relationships with family.
    • Willing to be foolish and vulnerable
  • Poseidon is almost the exact opposite of Zeus
    • He is swallowed with his siblings and later vomited back up
    • He is the god of water which symbolizes emotion
    • Poseidon can barely contain fits of rage or lust
    • Bearded and holding a trident
    • Ill-tempered, violent, vindictive, dangerous, womanizer, philanderer
    • Children have many of the same characteristics as he does
    • Still waters run deep
    • Poseidon archetype is driven to be somebody important, but he doesn’t have what it takes to create a kingdom as Zeus does
    • Eye for an eye
    • He also has a capacity for deep loyalty and emotional depth
    • Deepest levels of human emotion
    • Hollywood has a high number of men who depict this archetype – actors, writers, directors
    • Zeus archetype will be more likely in banking and big business
    • Bolen may be a bit harsh to Poseidon
    • In a context where emotion is approved, there is no reason why a Poseidon shouldn’t be emotionally stable
    • Poseidon’s gift is that he can be in touch with his emotions without attaching it to the approval of others.
    • Authentic emotional expression
    • Men can be masculine and emotional at the same time
    • Steve Jobs could have been a Poseidon – intense emotion channeled toward his visions
    • Bolen paints Poseidon as perpetually insecure because he played second fiddle to Zeus but that isn’t always the case
    • These leadership qualities as represented in these God archetypes are incredibly important
    • There is some hostility toward father god energy right now
    • These archetypes keep coming up over and over again. We can’t wash them out of society
    • We can express greater kindness through these father god energies
  • Hades
    • Brother of Zeus and Poseidon
    • Eaten by father and vomited back up to overthrow his father with his brothers
    • Given the underworld
    • He was feared as sky god energy began to dominate
    • The underworld wasn’t initially a dark, dangerous place, but it became so as the sky god became more prominent
    • Hades had no children
    • The biggest mythological story of Hades is the abduction and rape of Persephone
    • Hades is reclusive. He doesn’t have a persona. He feels invisible, unseen, depressed
    • A man who embodies Hades can be very recluse with men and women
    • Not a lot of friends but can be deeply connected to somebody if he finds a soulmate
    • Rich fantasy life
    • Struggle with being a loner
    • Distorts reality based upon his inner world
    • Hades is that introverted quality inside of us that understands significance and death
    • Ask significant questions about themselves and go deep into the shadow of the self
    • Poseidon would be more like a Feeler whereas Hades would be more IJ, or using Introverted Intuition.
    • A rich inner world doesn’t have to be voyeuristic.
    • Tolkien created an incredible world based on his inner vision
    • Such a rich world inside that the outside world starts looking colorless
    • A Poseidon might gain more territory in art and expression, whereas Hades territory is the inner world
    • Lots to explore inside the human psyche
    • Hades archetypes are usually into writing, history, psychiatry, etc.
    • They are willing to touch on things that others consider macabre
    • Edgar Allen Poe
    • Willingness to go to the places others are spooked by
    • Bolen’s growth strategies for Hades are creating an interface with the world to be more acceptable.
    • Partner up with a Persephone that can help Hades interface with the world
  • All of these Father God aspects are complementary to one another
  • If one of these fathers gods seem predominant than balance it out with some of the other two
  • One way a Zeus can grow is by getting more in touch with the emotional aspects of their personality
  • Or grow some awareness about the deep unconscious as in Hades
  • Trinity of 3 different energies in one. Trident
  • These archetypal energies are a bit under attack
  • When they are expressed aggressively, it is hard to remember that there are good aspects of these energies
  • Leadership is important
  • The greatest gift this energy can give us is the positive leadership qualities that are attached to good character
  • Men or women can manifest these energies
  • This father god energy represents the encouragement to self-approve
  • Remember to honor this energy. Control it. Don’t let it overpower you. Do it for good. Be accountable
  • If we take, we also have to give
  • The best way to create territory is by having people want to follow you.
  • Being a good leader will get you the domain you desire.
  • Sky, ocean, underworld – not much on the earth
  • If you identify with one of these, remember you need to come up from the depths of the world or the ocean and get real
  • Or you may need to come down from Mt. Olympus and be more pragmatic
  • What can bring you up from the surface or down from the mountain to be the leader we need?

In this episode, Joel and Antonia continue a short series talking about the god archetypes that show up for some people. This episode details the father gods in everyman. #podcast #Greekgods #archetypes

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Showing 18 comments
  • Jonathan

    In reference to trying to find real-life Poseidons, I am one, though not necessarily like the two men you described in the podcast.

    I am an INTP, and I studied English, and I’ve always wanted a megaphone to make my voice heard. I’m frequently frustrated by the irrationality I see in the world (very INTP), yet don’t have access to the proper channels. I’ve always wanted to be a journalist or writer so I could shake the earth with my incisive ideas (Homer did call Poseidon the “earth-shaker,” after all).

    However, I have difficulty expressing myself with out anger, and this occasionally undermines what I am trying to get across. I have that sort of no-one’s-going-to-listen-to-me type of insecurity, which makes me come across as contrarian, grumpy, and volatile.

    Essentially, I feel like a sky god who was cast into the waters, which both drown my voice and overwhelm me with furious emotion. And I believe Poseidon would feel the same way: “I could’ve been a Zeus, but instead I got demoted to the oceans.”

    • K

      Wow. I’m an INTP as well and know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. Sometimes it actually seems like my voice is literally muffled, because no one hears me when I speak, and I’m not soft-spoken. In the past I often found myself believing that for some reason I was not worthy enough in other peoples’ eyes to be heard (or comparably, in Poseidon’s case, inexplicably ‘cast out’), and they therefore unconsciously ignored me. My friends have many times called me the ‘Contrarian’ of the group. It’s always such a pleasant surprise to hear my thoughts spoken by another person! Thanks for sharing.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Great example, thank you.


  • Ben P

    Nice to find other Hades archetype-people here! You know what keeps occuring to me; the Greeks had socialized gender norms just as much as, or even more than, ourselves. Due respect to the Ancient Greek Storytellers and Bolen’s work, but isn’t it the height of patriarchal thought to assume that psychological depth, self-examination, and inner world-building is exclusive to male beings and female animuses? It’s that same line of thinking that’s made it difficult for female authors to sell their work without pseudonyms; just look at J.K. Rowling and D.C. Fontana, women with incredibly detailed constructed worlds who felt the need to write under their initials because their work wouldn’t sell otherwise. Maybe this archetype is only stronger and more common in men because men are historically the only ones allowed to explore it; something I suspect is also true for many (if not all) of the other archetypes. The “animus/anima” concept is cute, but it feels more and more like the idea of “epicycles,” invented to explain planetary retrograde motion under the geocentric solar system model. It seems simpler to say that most aspects of these archetypes are only socialized to be masculine or feminine, and are not innately so. We just don’t notice the socialization, because we’re right in the middle of it all the time. Like Joel and Antonia say, a fish has no idea what water is.
    Of course, it has to be said that even in today’s new encouragement of women to fill powerful roles, so-called masculine archetypes are still being elevated far more than the feminine ones, so if these archetypes ARE innately masculine or feminine, it’s possible our masculinity-obsessed culture is causing some women’s animuses to grow larger than even their natural feminine energies. Even as I type this it seems silly, but it’s worth considering, I guess.
    None of this is simple (or really provable), but the debate is fascinating, no? Thanks to Joel and Antonia for bringing the discussion of this framework!

  • Caty

    Hello, this podcast has been very useful for furthering my understanding of the archetypes as well as my own life circumstances. I also wanted to share these ideas i read in this very cool book called archetypes-a complete history of the self by anthony stevens

    archetypes as

    “the river beds through which circumstances might induce libido to flow”


    “the instincts perceptions of themselves”

    it seems like all archetypes are written into the human psyche and it’s just a matter of the life circumstances that happen to confront us which determines what energies we draw upon. i like this series because now i feel like i have more internal freedom in knowing that these perspectives and energies are lying dormant in me and i have a higher chance of awakening them because i know they exist. whereas without this knowledge my circumstances would awaken archetypal experiences in me and i would participate blindly.

  • R

    As an INFP woman, I listened to all the Goddess archetypes and could not truly relate to any of them. But Hades fit like a glove. What might be the cause for a woman identifying so strongly with a male archetype as a dominant energy?

    • Ben P

      A couple thoughts from another Hades:
      1. Maybe Hades himself is only socialized to be a masculine archetype at all, and is actually gender-neutral
      2. Maybe your animus, Hades, is being encouraged much more in today’s culture than whatever your feminine archetype is.

  • Emily

    There are two books that really describe Hades energy, “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” and “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” by a novelist Haruki Murakami. Main characters literally go into the underground in the novels. After I read his most famous novel “Norwegian Wood,” based on how he writes, I was pretty sure that Mr. Murakami is INTJ. Mr. Murakami always had “underground” as his theme, and it crystalizes in his two books, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Hard-Boiled Wonderland. I learned a lot about this types of energy or people by reading Murakami’s novels.

  • Patricia Eddishaw

    Perhaps some of the discomfort that you were voicing and I was also sensing is that once we get to the male archetypes we are forced to come face-to-face with patriarchy and how it has played out throughout our history. I identify with Athena and Artemis and also with Zeus, probably appropriate for an intj female. And yes I have come full circle and do I identify as intj.

    One thing that struck me as I was listening to this podcast is how the male archetypes were able to be in relationship with a woman and still retain their power and agency. For a female archetype to have power and agency, e.g., Athena and Artemis, she had to stay single and unattached. Once she attached to a male she lost her agency. It’s the old story, and still somewhat current, that a man can have both career and family but a woman cannot, though in truth men were never able to have both either. We see things starting to change but our societal structure has not yet realigned itself.

    The second thought I had goes deeper than societal structure and gets to our internal psyches.
    As I understand Jung, he defined anima and animus as those unconscious alternate gender components inside us that reveal themselves to us through dreams and other semi-conscious vehicles. My sense is that we are living in the midst of a major cultural upheaval where those unconscious components are coming into our lived consciousness. Women are leading the way but both genders are struggling to deal with new realities and new opportunities.
    I identified strongly with several attributes of Zeus. Throughout my career I loved expanding my territory and power. I enjoyed having responsibility for everyone within my sphere, both work and family, and I always had a strong internal sense of integrity for how I executed that responsibility. Very te-fi. What I struggle to accept is that this is somehow a part of my animus because to do so necessarily describes these attributes as male gendered. When I was younger I think I was okay with that concept – outmanning the men so to speak . But now having lived 75 years, it seems so intuitively clear, looking back, that I displayed these attributes in such a uniquely female gendered way that to define them as male attributes does them an injustice. I don’t have answers here, just a lot of questions.
    After drafting this response last night I had an urge to draw a single tarot card though I am not necessarily a follower and have limited knowledge. That said I drew the Sun card and it was so eerily appropriate that I am still spooked about it this morning. My version of the tarot speaks about the Sun card as our desire to return to our androgynous whole self. It tells the story of how Zeus was so threatened by the power of the androgynous person that he split Humanity into two gendered halves, thereby reducing its power. The Virgin goddesses remained as the one set of entities that attempted to live as an androgynous whole.
    This post is too long already so I need to stop. Probably all I can say in closing is that I guess I am now a Tarot follower. Sometimes the universe speaks and we ignore it at our peril.

    • Ben P

      I find that story of the androgynous original being to be really interesting. Can you say more about it? I think your post ended too soon! 🙂

  • Tine Putzeys

    I think one element you may be overlooking when trying to find examples of these energies, is that in order for them to be clear, you are looking at extreme versions. If a character or famous person is not almost a charicature of the god/energy, they probably wouldn’t illustrate your case very well.

    In reality, the men that identify with these energies will likely display a more moderate and thus less controversial version of them.

  • Kristen

    Has it already been elaborated upon in a past podcast, or could it be in a future one, exactly why I/J’s are classified as using an introverted perceiving dominant functions, and I/P’s as introverted judging? It seems to contradict itself how the attitudes of these functions are defined, wouldn’t Perceivers use perceiving dominant functions and Judgers judging functions? In the part of the discussion about Hades and his use of an introverted perceiving function (Ni or Si), I kept coming back to this question and would love to better understand the dichotomy. I’m an INTP and would have to say Hades must be my ‘animus’. I identified strongly with certain aspects of his archetype. But the differences in which I couldn’t identify myself could possibly be due to my dominant function being introverted judging (Ti).

    I can’t wait to hear the rest of this series, it has been so interesting to delve into these god/goddess archetypes and find bits of myself in each of them. Even the “super feminine” ones like Hestia and Aphrodite that I always assumed were my opposite. Thank you for all the research and clear concise explanation, as always!

  • Steve Alden

    Perhaps one reason there aren’t a great deal of positive representations of these archetypes in media, is the conflict their negative traits bring makes for awesome drama!

    I’m reading Jane Eyre at the moment, and could see a positive Hades in Mr Rochester. A character who is brooding, intellectual and prone to nutty outbursts directed at everyone, but who finds a calm, loving equilibrium when Jane rocks in.

    • Ben P

      What my Creative Writing professor used to say: All happy families are the same. Write about the unhappy ones!

  • Drew

    During the segment on Zeus, my mind inexplicably jumped to Atticus Finch as a positive example of the archetype. He was obviously a great mind, and oversaw his domain through his career and a willingness to expand his nature of thought throughout the county. Though he had sort of a quiet, nurturing way about him, he seemed to relate to everyone at a distance. Even Scout and Jem were more “means to an end” for him. I think of when Go Set a Watchman was released and there was major controversy over Lee’s decision to mark Atticus as racist. I find this significant because, of what we know from To Kill a Mockingbird, he probably knew this full well, and had even accepted it as a part of his generational influence. The incredible thing here is his insistence of grooming his children—his legacy—to grow beyond that. He had a bird’s-eye view of what he wanted his influence to be, and while he was a progressive of his own generation, he wanted his children to be the progressives of theirs, and so on. (I could go on and on, but I won’t!)

    Another thing I found amazing in this podcast was how much more I related to the Hades archetype than any of the goddess archetypes. Though I firmly identify as a woman, I could /sort of/ see myself in Persephone and Aphrodite, but when I heard the description for Hades, I got that feeling of “oh my god, Big Brother has been studying personality theory.”

    Great episode, and I can’t wait for the rest!

  • Ash

    I wonder if being judged a bit more harshly for one’s mistakes is part and parcel with identifying strongly with an archetype that packs a lot of real-world punch? For instance, if Hades messes up, does it really happen if no one sees it? But for people who tend to manage large quantities of people and resources, SO many people are affected by it, it’s tough not to perceive them as “worse” for it. (Athena, Zeus, etc)

    Maybe it’s one of those “with great privilege comes great responsibility” things. If the high-profile Zeuses who came before a person were responsible, you get to enjoy an immense amount of unearned respect/privilege/trust when you show up with that energy. And if the Zeuses who preceded you were terrible, (perhaps equally unearned and unfairly) new people with that energy have to dig themselves out of the crater.

    Maybe it’s just part of packing thunderbolts ;P

  • Mona

    I’m INTJ girl and I strongly identify with Hades and Zeus, even stronger than with goddesses in previous podcasts.
    Although I see myself in Athena and Hera as well as in Hestia and Artemis. This will explain why at the age of 31 I’m childless and my ambition is to help the world through business and projects that are align with my values of clean environment and clever food management.
    My partner is ENTP and he identifies himself with Poseidon and Hades. He has desire of making strong emotional impact through games and music and chemistry.
    This relationship is interesting because we are the shadows of each other due to MBTI.
    I found this podcast especially useful as recently I’m looking to embrace and appreciate our differences.

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