As this is a continuation of an earlier post, click here for an intro and the relevant links to the Myers-Briggs personality test.
This time I'll do only four divinities, since I had an email from a reader saying that my previous one with six was something of a laborious slog.
Athena, INTJ. I admire INTJ's. They are highly intelligent and proud of their learning. They are also sure of themselves and can be know-it-alls. They are the opposite of the neurotic self-doubter. They work relentlessly for practical good. They can make excellent mentors and-- hey, wait a minute. The goddess Athena is all these things. She turns theory into practice. As mistress of the cash economy (olive oil, textiles) and military strategy, and inspirer of heroes, Athena uses her intelligence to make civilization better. Of course, if she were to read this, she would think this was all a bunch of psychobabbling hooey.
The negative INTJ is a "Crackpot." "Ever been kissed? Ever been on a date?" [No!] says the Brutally Honest Myers-Briggs test. Check. Athena is a virgin.
Apollo, INTP. The INTP is a know-it-all who tortures himself with the possibility that he doesn't quite know it all or totally measure up. He is an absent-minded professor with a neurotic streak. He is logical boy strikes again. Apollo is the master of many intellectual and theoretical arts-- music, mathematics, prophecy, medical diagnosis (which is a kind of prophecy), and religious purification. He is not so concerned as Athena with the practical world and making it better. His love life is a disaster. He never marries, and his human lovers often meet a terrible end.
The negative INTP is a "Loser," which seems strange for Apollo, apparently the Ideal of Ancient Greek Humanism and God of the Sun. But if you look at Apollo's actual myths, you find a set of mostly unhappy endings, brutality, and lonerism.
Artemis, ISFP. The major trait that Artemis shares with the ISFP is love of nature and animals. Artemis is a great protector of the wild, and a shy being who "sees much but shares little." Artemis' nature as a hunter and taker of revenge on transgressors leans away from the ISFP type, however, which does not have a need to control. Artemis thus has a kind of split personality that is more like nature-- which both protects and destroys-- than a human being.
ISFP on the negative side = Loner, with a hint perhaps of the revenge factor: "And woe and behold if it betrayed your intense values system!"
Hephaestus, INFP. The INFP's major traits are creativity and a desire for harmony in relationships. INFP's are extremely imaginative and sometimes seem to live in a world of their own creation. They are the original neurotic artist and writer type. They also hate conflict and want to maintain harmony at all costs, except when they've been pushed past their limit. Hephaestus is one of the only Greek gods who does not inflict pain and suffering on human beings. Just the opposite-- he was thrown out of heaven by Hera and smashed his leg on the ground, permanently disabling him. In the Iliad, he is the god who attempts to restore harmony by clowning.
And his inventions and creations made of metal are legendary. He creates a set of metal robots as helpers, is an crafter of exquisite metal weapons (the shield of Achilles is his handiwork), and he also creates an intricate trap with near-invisible wires that trusses up his wife Aphrodite and her lover Ares, catching them in the act of adultery. Hephaestus is less hung-up and more accomplished than the usual INFP, and good for him.
Hephaestus is not just handy, like the village blacksmith. He is a true artist, and is celebrated along with Athena as a patron of Athens, the original city of artisans and creative people.
The Brutally Honest test calls INFP's pollyannas, which makes sense for Hephaestus. Peacemakers always get a raw deal.