While I think it’s important to have imagery of powerful women to balance the overwhelming number of powerful men in the world and in our mythologies, there has to be a place for women which isn’t defined by superlatives. This is especially important in spirituality. We cannot be always looking at perfect or idealized women.
We cannot always be goddesses or priestesses or Earth mothers or wise women. We must be allowed to be simply human.
I’m not saying that there is no place in many neopagan or other paths for normal, imperfect humans to thrive. But what that looks like needs to appear in the myth, in the imagery, in the practices. That role – average human – needs to be modeled as acceptable and valuable.
If we spend our energy constantly striving for some kind of ideal role, aspiring to wisdom and power and leadership, we are destined to fail. It unintentionally conveys the message that to not rise to such standards is to miss out on the fulfillment of spiritual ideals.
In spirituality and elsewhere, any time we push women to reject their basic humanity and instead work to fit an idealized identity, it’s detrimental. Empowering women doesn’t happen when they’re pushed to become something other than who they are.