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Using archetypes to find strength

ENCINITAS — When a woman is called a “goddess,” her admirer most likely is referring to Venus, the goddess of love. 

But there are hundreds of goddesses celebrated in mythology.

Sandra Rogers, MA, LMFT has identified six in the Greco-Roman pantheon that she discusses in her Goddess Archetype Workshop scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 22 at Holistic Hideaway in Lake San Marcos. They include: Hera (wife), Venus/Aphrodite (lover), Athena (wisdom), Artemis/Diana (huntress/wildlife protector), Demeter (mother) and Persephone (visionary/psychic).

“Myths consisted of psychological patterns that the Romans and Greeks projected on to gods and goddesses,” she said. “I use goddess archetypes to help women discover the many facets of their personality. If a woman is living well, she can have a well-rounded life and be all six.”

A more intimate connection with these archetypes, she added, can enrich and deepen an understanding of one’s self.

After enjoying a successful business career, Rogers made a decision mid-life to return to college and in 1996 received her master’s degree in counseling from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.

“I was always interested in Carl Jung because I didn’t want to practice psychology that didn’t recognize the soul,” she said, adding that another influence was James Hillman, who took it a step further by using Jungian concepts to pioneer the field of archetypal psychology.

Jill K. Thomas took the Goddess Archetype Workshop a few weeks ago. She is a certified hypnotist and author of “Feed your real hunger: Getting off the emotional treadmill that keeps you overweight.” She took Rogers’ first workshop.

“What I loved about the class was being around powerful women,” she said. “Too often we talk about women as victims. That was not the discussion in this class. It was powerful women, talking about powerful things, in a way we don’t talk about in society.”

Thomas said she embodies several of these archetypes.

“At times I identify with Venus, like on Saturday night when I’m with my husband,” she said. “When I have to speak about my book, and answer questions, I am in a position of authority. I think of Athena — I am personifying a strong, powerful warrior position and I’m backing it up.

“There is this idea of a coin, that we can either be sensual, or powerful, but we can’t be both. The class is a celebration of that feminism that says we can.”

The first half of the workshop is a presentation of the goddess archetypes, accompanied by a written explanation, and followed by discussion. The second half consists of a guided meditation to get participants in touch with the archetype they are feeling at the moment.

“I found that really powerful,” Thomas said. “The biggest thing for me was being around powerful woman and the way we present it to the world.”

In her private practice, Rogers works with women in mid-life and older. As women age, she explained, life gets better.

“Women should celebrate the shift from mother to elder,” she said. “Older women are crowned with wisdom.”

Rogers moved to North County in 2009, after working for many years as a psychotherapist, both in private practice and in the HIV/AIDS community in Los Angeles and with at-risk children. She studied hypnotherapy with the Southern California Society for Clinical Hypnotherapy and guided imagery at an ongoing symposium at UCLA’S Neuropsychiatric Institute.

For more information about archetypal psychology. Rogers suggests the books of psychiatrist Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.

Holistic Hideaway is located at 1132 San Marino, Lake San Marcos. Cost for the workshop is $30. To make reservations, call (760) 214-3815. Space is limited. For more information, call (760) 846-6650 or visit


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