Taken from my new book Pagan Portals The Triple Goddess:
In some of the writings and explanations the Goddess appears in three ages, that of the young maiden, the mother and then the elderly but wise crone. I want to put to you the suggestion that they weren’t always set in family generations but were in some cases, sisters. Also think about the idea of having a triple goddess but all three being maidens, or all three being crones. And of course, there is the idea of having all three phases within one goddess. I also personally like to include a fourth phase in between mother and crone, that of the matriarch (more details in the book).
Please don’t let the phases limit how you see them or work with them. You don’t have to look at them as three generations if you don’t want to. And whilst I have specified particular attributes to each one there are of course lots of crossovers between them. The crone is considered to be wise but of course the mother and the matriarch bear that wisdom too. The maiden represents new beginnings, but we can all start afresh at any time of our lives.
Also, important to note is that you don’t need to use the maiden, mother, crone names. You could create your own. Mother in particular leans towards the idea that every woman must become a mother at some point. Obviously, this is absolute tosh, not everyone wants to be a mother, not everyone can be a mother. This takes a bit of thinking outside the box and moving away from the idea of what the word ‘mother’ conveys. If it helps to think of her as a creator, nurturer, teacher or something else, do it. Maybe even look at it as being the mother to your own inner child? The idea is to separate the stages of life into bitesize workable chunks. The names are perhaps a little irrelevant. It is the meaning of working with the goddess in different forms and indeed delving into your own spirit and soul that matters. We have become very hung up on labels and putting people and ideas into individual boxes.
See your own reflection in each of the stories the goddess brings, which parts relate to you and your own life story.
And…just in case you were wondering about gender…don’t get too hung up on the feminine. Obviously, the Goddess is portrayed as the divine feminine and my personal belief is that she, is a she. I see her as a strong feminine life force. But she also has masculine energies too. I work with her as a strong feminine energy and I balance her with the God for the masculine. But that is my personal choice. I am a proud woman and feel honoured to be a mother. That isn’t going to be the case for everyone. You must work with this in a way that you feel comfortable. What if you just looked at these phases as reflections of yourself and your life? You don’t have to slot them into male, female or any kind of gender boxes. Working with this energy can help you with all aspects of your life.
There are masculine and feminine energies in all of us. They are the opposing energies, but also balancing and complementary to each other. They are biological, both being needed to procreate but they also exist in spiritual, mental and emotional forms too. Perhaps even more so than physical.
And whilst we are here, let’s throw out the idea of ages too. There isn’t any set date on a calendar that says ‘today I turn into a crone’. Some like to work with the idea that the maiden phase is before the onset of menstruation, once the menses has begun you move into the mother phase and menopause signals the shift into crone. That idea doesn’t work for me, but it may do for you. Some girls start their periods very young, shoving a ten year old girl into the ‘mother’ category seems very wrong. Similarly a woman moving into the menopause early in her mid thirties is way too young for the crone phase, in my opinion anyway. It must be your call, you will know when the time is right to move into the next phase of your life. It will be different for each and every unique individual person. Just remember that it doesn’t stop you working with any of the goddesses in the other phases. Neither does not having a womb! Don’t let boundaries or the ideas of others restrict your journey.
For information more see:
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