Hera Teleia, the Perfected One
JEAN SHINODA BOLEN
Goddesses in Everywoman
I read this passage Monday night before bed and I’ve been thinking about Hera ever since ... and how she was venerated in all three of her roles, as the maiden, the queen, and the widow, and that none of these was seen as less important or powerful than the others.
I'm also fascinated by this word teleia, which Dr. Bolen wrote means 'The Perfected One' or 'The Fulfilled One'. When I looked it up, it does mean a combination of these things: like fulfilled, but to the utmost degree, to perfection or a point of completion. And it’s interesting that another meaning attributed to the word is ‘full-grown’.
Dr. Bolen implies that Hera becomes fulfilled and is transformed into Hera Teleia when (because) she weds Zeus, but I’ve been wondering if it has more to do with her own ascendance to her queenhood, with her own internalization of her full power.
Now this is an archetype I can look to with awe and admiration: a model for the grown woman who may not yet be ’full-grown’ in her sense of Self, in her empowerment or her maturity, but who, in the summer/autumn of her life, is growing in her selfhood, in her power, and toward a sense of ‘perfect fulfillment’ within herself ... an archetype that inspires me to internalize my full power and step into the role of Jessica Teleia.