Virgin

(see also Celibate)

This archetype is associated with purity, applied primarily to young girls. The Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome lived in service to a goddess and were often severely punished if they lost their virginity. The Virgin Mother of Jesus represents the purity of motherhood, bringing forth the perfect form of male life, a god. Your identification with the Virgin needs to be explored symbolically as a pattern that represents as association with purity as well as the beginning point of creation. To bring forth virgin ideas is as much an aspect of this archetype as is its application to maintaining virginal aspects of Mother Nature, as in virgin forests.

The shadow side of the Virgin is the prudish disgust with or fear of genuine sensuality. Resisting sex not to save one’s energy for other endeavors, but because it seems inherently repellant, is not a virtue but a denial of an essential aspect of oneself. Celibate Monks or Nuns ideally learns to channel their sexual energy rather than merely repressing it.