The Meeting With the Goddess the point in the hero's journey when they meet with all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love, or, in many instances, a domineering, critical, antagonistic crone figure. I speak primarily of the male archetypical hero in this discussion, though for either a male or female hero to accept their "other side", their anima or animus, as not separate but inclusive in the totality of their being, is really what this stage is about.
Prof. Joseph Campbell: "This is the crisis at the nadir, the zenith, or at the uttermost edge of the earth, at the central point of the cosmos, in the tabernacle of the temple, or within the darkness of the deepest chamber of the heart. The meeting with the goddess is the final test of the talent of the hero to win the boon of love (charity: amor fati), which is life itself enjoyed as the encasement of eternity. "
The goddess symbolizes what is at the heart of the hero's journey, which is the promise of a better life from the one they had known before starting their quest. More than representing just the physical incarnation of the object of the hero's libido though, the goddess really represents the innate 'perfection' at the heart of the universe. She is the promise that there is "more" to life than suffering or pain. After battling with the threshold guardian and overcoming obstacles on the road of trials, the goddess is a sign from the universe to the hero that they are in fact on the right path.
However, The goddess may not be a beautiful maiden in all cases. Often, she is depicted as a terrible or destructive mother figure. This symbolizes that that which can nurture us can also destroy us. Perfect bliss may exist, but one can never reach it; the closer one gets to it, the further it moves from their grasp. The unattainable goddess is just another illusion though, unattainable only when the hero is not wise enough to accept her for all she is. As the symbol of the “totality of life,” the destructive goddess reminds us that things worth having are often difficult to obtain. When they don’t come easily, it’s not hard for the hero to lose trust in themselves and the Universe.
Ultimately, the goddess represents dichotomies of existence: bliss and suffering, male and female, nurturing and annihilating. Accepting the goddess in either of her forms, be it beautiful love or scornful hag, means accepting the totality of existence. This ultimate boon allows the hero to move back into their old world a better realized person, no longer motivated under easy, dismissive concepts such as "good and evil".