Fortuna: Roman Goddess ‘Lady Luck’ Provides Metaphors for Sustainability

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship,” Louisa May Alcott, beloved author, once wrote. Within this sentiment, one finds the Roman Goddess Minerva, also known as Fortuna. The fate of this goddess, shrouded in the irony of men unhappy in their poor fortunes, has resulted in a figure of divine femininity seen as fickle, indeterminate, and unreliable. To the contrary, Fortuna offers divine feminine entrepreneurs guidance as they set and hold true to a course of action – and create a sustainable marketing plan for future successes.

Fortuna is often depicted with a horn of plenty, like her sister goddesses of abundance, but additional symbols unique to her likeness assist us in understanding how divine feminine business leaders may access this archetype. With her hand on the rudder of a ship, or depicted with the wheel of life, Fortuna teaches of the necessity to adjust to changing conditions, to adjust our course intuitively, as with the wind and weather – metaphors for supply and demand, storage and stability, need and provision.

From Fortuna, women entrepreneurs learn to plan ahead to mitigate the ebb and flow of natural cycles from which the cycle of creation, manifestation and abundance result. Thus, they may find prosperity and happiness.

Goddess Fortuna, sometimes known commonly or derogatorily as Lady Luck or Dame Fortune, enjoys ancient origins as a goddess of agriculture in Greek, Roman, and Etruscan civilization. Her signature contribution perhaps suggests the wisdom of making provision for the future in the present. Aligned with the wisdom and the mind, creative arts, and the healing of the body, she finds a unique audience among 21st century cultural creatives and alternative health practitioners who see the entrepreneurial path as a spiritual experience with divine flow.

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Driving a nail into the outside top of the entry door of Fortune’s temple fixes the ending of the year, and welcomes a new cycle. This idea of endings is carried to spinning and the cutting of a thread likened to the premature ending of a person’s life. Images associated with spinning wheels, when metaphorically likened to ship’s rigging, suggest a divine order that guides difference into replication. Here, one finds to begin anew, she must consciously mark an ending.

An oracular goddess, Fortuna draws those in need of reassurance. Individuals seeking healing would make clay votive offerings in her healing sulfur basin; those seeking answers would draw a message from the Goddess’ jar or accept a stick portending their outcome from a small boy within her temple. Thus, they would receive hope for the future.

Spiritual entrepreneurs may wish to invoke the wisdom of Fortuna in order to access the wisdom of their mind to further the work of their hearts. To access the power of this goddess, ask by what means can one honor the currency of the present by stabilizing, storing, and self-correcting?

Fortuna’s Wheel & Deal

When working with the archetype of Fortuna/Minerva, many entrepreneurs discover working with a wheel of the year actually serves as an excellent basic marketing model to track sustainability in business practices.

  • First, chart the business in a circle at the center. Then, create a “concept map” with arrows to represent marketing and programs.
  • Working quickly, chart the programs and offers radiating from the center.
  • Next, add circles and lines to attach the ways clients find the business. These spokes need to be more numerous than the outgo.
  • Finally, ask what spokes can be added to the wheel to radiate attention inward to the core of the business?
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As thoughts flow, the innovative entrepreneur jots down inspired ways to act now to create sustainability in business.