On Maenads and Their Subtypes

There are a few questions that continue to arise regarding the Maenad type of Fantastical Beauty, and I'd love to address them.

1. What is a Maenad?
2. What do Maenads (and their subtype possibilities such as Vampires and Succubi) have to do with the bohemian feel of the Maenad archetype?
3. What if I'm an introvert? 


1. What is a Maenad?

For those of you who are not already best friends with Wikipedia, I encourage you to check out the very informative article there about the mythic Maenads. In short, I would say Maenads are female devotees of Dionysus/Bacchus, the god of wine, ritual madness, ecstatic dance, and freedom from self-consciousness. 

Women of Amphissa


2.  What do Maenads (and their subtype possibilities such as Vampires and Succubi) have to do with the bohemian feel of the Maenad archetype?

This question contains a connection of bohemian to Maenad in both mood/imagery/essence as well as clothing recommendations. What connects bohemian to Maenads? A focus on the outdoors, group revelry, celebration, consumption, and debauchery- the freeing of oneself from self-consciousness and worry which is essential to Dionysus. Does this not sound bohemian? This can mean an intoxicated bonfire party or rave, sure, but it can also be a picnic in the woods or a tea party for two. 

The Grecian clothing that comes to mind in thinking about Dionysus has parallels in 1910 bohemia as well as the 60s and every other bohemian iteration. Maenads are not in the least trapped into a look that is gauzy and flowing, but it is one possible direction to go. The images on the pinboard for Maenad, like the other types, tries to cultivate the mood by going with dominant imagery. The easiest vision of Maenads is of very bohemian looks. Two other dominant Maenad images are not represented on the board. One is of funky, fun, tight, bright dresses with equally fun accessory that plays to a modern image of party. The other is darker and plays to stereotypical imagery of vampires. 

What about Vampires and Succubi? How do they connect to Maenads? The Maenad and her wine goblet is the Vampire to blood and a Succubi to sexual consumption. They each have something that they consume and celebrate in an ecstatic way, and there is usually an in-crowd to their kind.


3. What if I'm an introvert?

Part of the Maenad vibe involves sisterhood and group celebrations. Two can be a party, and it doesn't have to be frequent or loud or noisy or any of that. Celebrating and partaking socially really can mean a picnic or tea for two. Or maybe you're celebrating alone, but with the memory of loved ones blazing lively. The bonding glue of the Maenad archetype is celebratory consumption in a way that is freeing and somehow socially tied to at least one other person. This is only as restrictive as your imagination.


Jean-Simon Berthélemy - Reclining Bacchante Playing the Cymbals - WGA2096


Like each of the types, there is a wealth of variation to Maenads. Air, fire, water, earth, metal, light, dark, soft, bright, cold, hot, shy, daring, quirky, sensual, and so on. There are basic recommendations of lines and color to get at the dominant mood of Maenad, then there are subtypes and leanings to give a strong secondary flavor, and finally there are the many personalizing factors that give you your highly unique version and vision of the Maenad archetype that we develop during personal analysis.


For specific Maenad recommendations, see their type guide.