HESTIA: THE MYSTIC AND THE BETRAYER

Behind the flickering light of the hearth fire, Hestia blesses a home with feminine compassion and family unity. Her spirit brings joy, peace and happiness to all those in her presence. In the quiet of the night she meditates near an open window, sharing in the joys of the nighttime creatures that wander the woods as everyone else lays sleeping.  She sits for hours reflecting on the inner journey of her mind, forever at peace no matter what the world brings to her doorstep.

The Mystic                                                        

Hestia is the woman of peace and mysticism. She loves to be alone with her thoughts and finds bliss in solitude.  Her calm nature and quiet disposition leave her a mystery to all who meet her.  How does she live without any stress?

She graces a home and performs everyday tasks with ease and pleasure. She finds honour in baking the bread families will eat.  No amount of feminist discourse could every make her feel inferior to other women who have high-powered careers.  Her mind isn’t easily manipulated; she was one of few goddesses able to resist the lure of Aphrodite into sex and marriage.  She is at one with herself and proud of her choices.  She’d choose the spiritual life of a nun before choosing marriage or external earthly desires.

She sometimes plays in the mystical realm with meditation, shamanism and divination. Her internal world is rich, and her sensitivity is extreme.  She can feel the thoughts and emotions of others, which gives her great compassion but also makes her wary of public places.

What Does the Mystic Care About?

  • The Mystic cares about simplicity. Give her a nice home base that provides space for her to be herself, and she’ll do anything to protect it. She’s gentle mannered – but don’t invade her quiet space! She needs room to be creative; a studio or garden is perfect.
  • She flourishes in a house where she can perform all of the household chores alone. She never wants a maid.
  • She doesn’t have a strong desire to have children. She loves solitude and probably wouldn’t mind being in prison as much as an Amazon woman would.
  • She takes her time in everything she does. She performs one task at a time with joy and concentration in each step. No task is beneath her and time is of no consequence.
  • Recycling and being “earth conscious” is important to her but she doesn’t preach to others. She loves to be in nature and mixing herbs is a favourite pastime.

What Does the Mystic Fear?

  • The Mystic strives to overcome her fears but isn’t always successful. She fears not having a place to call her own where she can be herself and escape from other people’s drama.
  • She’s fine with having someone else provide for her but she’s somewhat uneasy that her ability to do what she wants depends on another person.
  • Losing her home or sanctuary would devastate her, but she knows she can make a home wherever she goes. To the Mystic, home truly is where the heart is.
  • Anything that takes away her privacy and her solitude is her enemy.
  • She deeply fears being in a large group of people because she’s so sensitive; she feels the emotions of others and is overwhelmed in public places. She does her grocery shopping at midnight to avoid crowds.
  • She hates being in the spotlight and stays as far away from competition as possible. She doesn’t like to see someone else lose on her account. She feels everyone should be honoured for his or her efforts.

What Motivates the Mystic?

  • The aesthetic need for balance – a sense of order in life, a sense of being connected with something greater than herself – is what drives her. She has a spiritual need to connect or create. She knows she’s not alone on earth and sometimes senses the life force around her.
  • The reward of being left alone, having free time and obtaining security are great motivators. She’ll do anything to sustain a quiet and calm home life. She’d rather fix her own faucet than call a plumber.
  • The plight of others can sometimes motivate her into action and to taking up a cause. She believes everyone has their own karma to bear.

How Do Others See the Mystic?

  • Others see her as quiet, calm, unhurried and definitely not a multitasker.
  • She has great patience and often listens to other people’s problems for hours at a time even if they’re not quick to return the favor. Some may see her as a pushover or a gullible woman, but beneath the surface is an understanding woman with wisdom to share. At lot goes on behind her eyes, but most people don’t realize it.
  • She usually wears clothes for simple comfort, not to stay with trends. She likes wearing thrift store clothing that shows her unique earthy style and frugal sense of recycling.

Developing the Character Arc

Look at your character’s main goal in the story and then at the fears you’ve selected to use against her. What can she learn to overcome her fear?  Does she need to learn how to stand up for herself?  Does she need to speak in public in order to save her home?  Does she want to get married but is afraid of commitment?

Very often a Mystic needs to learn to be assertive or her needs aren’t met. She needs to go out into the world and experience life.  She needs to learn that to be in love doesn’t mean she has to lose her identity, which is why she stays away from commitment.  She also needs to realize that there are other Mystics out there and she doesn’t have to be alone.  Like Phobe (Lisa Kudrow) in Friends she can be herself regardless of what others think.  She needs to find and express her free spirit.

What happened to her at an early age to make this archetype dominate her personality? Was she abused, pushing her into her own world?  Did she see so much pain she opted out of ordinary life?  Was she encouraged to be psychic?  Was her mother interested in the paranormal?

To grow, this archetype is best paired with one of the following:

  • The Gladiator – can teach her about feeling and expressing intense emotions.

 

    • The Seducer or Seductive Muse – can teach her about sexuality and loosening up her shy, quiet nature.
  • Messiah – can push her further into the spirit realms, giving her a chance to act out her convictions.

 

The Villainous Side of the Mystic: The Betrayer

As a villain, the Mystic is the nice old lady who secretly poisons her husband. She can use her quiet nice nature to disguise her dark side so well no one would ever guess she was capable of doing anything wrong.  Her sunny disposition can mask a monster lurking beneath the surface.

She’s so unobtrusive people assume she’s nothing more than a sweet shy person who could do no wrong. When people learn that she isn’t what they expected they fell deeply betrayed.  They set a higher standard for her than most women.

When she feels trapped by a family member she snaps and tries to regain control of her life and home. Rejection can also make her lose control.

She has a tendency to avoid people and social situations. She’s so afraid of doing something wrong that she tries to please everyone in all situations.  This causes her so much stress she snaps.  She feels inadequate and is terrified of rejection.  She has no close relationships, is inhibited and socially inept, and is reluctant to take risks.

She thinks people never really look at her and never try to see the real woman inside. She happily gives them the “quiet little woman” stereotype to hide her deviant nature.  If married she may feel her husband is a pain who takes away all her peace and quiet.  She justifies her actions by saying she may kill someone but they won’t feel a thing.

THE BETRAYER

  • Usually feels trapped.
  • Uses the “quiet little woman” stereotype to her advantage.
  • Thinks of herself first and foremost.
  • Has no problem taking a life or breaking a commandment because she goes to church and pays her dues.
  • Relies on the kindness of strangers.
  • Lets others feel good about helping her so they let their guard down.
  • Is an expert liar.
  • Maybe a sociopath. Very often a mental illness can be the cause of her deviant behavior.
  • Is socially inept.
  • Is afraid to take risks and make friends.
  • Wants to be alone.
  • Feels inadequate and fears rejection.
  • Tries to please everyone around her and may snap under the pressure.

THE MYSTIC

Assets:

  • Loves to be alone most of the time.
  • Tries to keep the peace no matter the cost.
  • Values her home life and solitude.
  • Works carefully and slowly on one task at a time as if there’s more than enough time.
  • Is able to resist others who try to manipulate her.
  • Takes part in a spiritual life.
  • May be into the occult.
  • Lives without material desires and expensive possessions.
  • May be a vegetarian.
  • Is into recycling and saving the earth.
  • Doesn’t care if others see her as eccentric or spacey.

Flaws:

  • Doesn’t know how to have fun with others.
  • Lives in isolation even if others are around.
  • Is shy and somewhat timid at times.
  • Needs to learn assertiveness.
  • Lives in her head too much.
  • Doesn’t really want to be “here” and may dream of other planets or dimensions.

Hestia in Action

Mystic/Betrayer TV Heroes

Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) in Friends

Dharma Freedom Finkelstein Montgomery (Jenna Elfman) in Dharma & Greg

Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Mystic/Betrayer Film Heroes

Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) in Serial Mom

Marina (Demi Moore) in The Butcher’s Wife

Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) in Annie Hall

Mystic/Betrayer Literary and Historical Heroes

Aunt Jet and Aunt Frances in Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Dolores Claiborne in Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

Grandmother in Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Julia in Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud

Eugenia Alabaster in Angels and Insects by A.S. Byatt

Beth March in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Muriel Pritchett in The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

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