I, like many other Pagans, began my journey with the Triple-Goddess – Maiden, Mother, Crone. I began as a Maiden and was happy with my Path, though always learning, always changing and expanding my beliefs. Indeed, when I look at it now, that was my Maiden Path, the Path of discovery and knowledge. It still is that now, but more emphasis was placed on the learning then, as I was still discovering myself, not just my spirituality.
But the day came when I was no longer a Maiden, but I was not yet a Mother. I was at a loss, desolate, I had no place within the Triple-Goddess. The Triple-Goddess had no place for me, no interest in me, stuck in-between those two feminine stages. Oh, there were deities for me, there were Goddess’s who were interested in me, but they were not part of the Three. I was empty, lost and rejected. Why would the Ultimate Feminine have no place for me? Was I not still a woman?
It took me a while to move past the loss and begin to look for a way to fit again. I certainly wasn’t ready to be a mother yet, so there was no way to go with that one. But I could not believe that I was simply in some transitory state, abandoned by the Feminine.
I researched the idea, but didn’t really find anything that fit me. There is the Four-Fold Goddess, with Maiden, Mother, Dark-Maiden and Crone. But from what I could understand of the Dark-Maiden, she was not what I was looking for. There are other versions of the Four-Fold Goddess, but usually she is a mature woman, after Mother and before Crone. Really not what I was looking for. I could not understand it really, why was she missing, why was there no place for me. This led me to a few different questions regarding the Triple-Goddess.
– Why was there no place for a sexually active non-mother?
– Why, if a woman is barren, does she become a Crone, when rarely would a 20 year old wish to be named a Crone?
– Why does it begin with a pubescent Maiden? Is there no place within the Goddess for the pre-pubescent Girl?
These were my questions, and there is no answer that I have found. It simply seems that certain things are ignored. So I decided to find something for myself, something more fitting, at least to my mind and life. So, I found the Pentadeia or Five-Fold Goddess.
Girl – Pre-pubescent child. This fits the New Moon, as life is beginning.
Maiden – Pubescent virgin, non-sexually active. In this I also count those who were sadly molested as children, for though they are not physically virgins, in many cases they are still such mentally and they are generally not sexually active. This fits the Waxing Moon, as life is growing and expanding.
Mistress – The sexually active non-Mother. This includes those who are barren, especially those who still menstruate, though they cannot bear children, they have not yet reached menopause and so don’t truly fit the Crone. This I suppose is a choice of the individual woman though. This fits the Full-Moon, a woman of her own choosing, controlling her life, living for herself and her own fulfilment (hopefully).
Mother – A woman who has a child. Does this include adopting a child? Misscarriage or stillbirth? That is up to the woman in question, if they feel the Mother within them, then they are a Mother, if they do not, then they are still the Mistress. This fits the Waning Moon, as the Mother devotes herself to the children, to giving her life to others, grooming someone else. The life is not actually waning, but the focus is another life rather than her own.
Crone – A woman who has gone through menopause, no longer able to bear children, no longer menstruating. This fits the Dark-Moon, the last stage of life, the darkness can be powerful or sad. But that is up to the individual.
Do they fit the seasons of the year? I suppose it depends where you live, in some places they will in others they may not, as happens with a 3 or 4 Fold Goddess. The elements? Again, it is dependant on your belief in elements, but I know that many follow the 5 elements, Water, Earth, Air, Fire and Spirit. The Deities? That of course depends on your pantheon, but there is always a deity to fit any situation and stage of life. I also really like that it fits the pentagram perfectly.
To me the Pentadeia is the perfect fit, though I am a Mother now, so anything would fit, but the Pentadeia is my comfort. I do not expect anyone to follow as I do, to believe as I do. I know the Triple-Goddess is well loved, and that is wonderful. The Pentadeia is for me, and anyone else who feels they need it, but it is not for everyone, perhaps not for many people at all. Indeed, I expect some people to hate the idea completely. I just feel it is important to share what I went through and my basic thoughts on the issue.