The Triple Goddess (pt 1) Maiden. Mother. Crone
Updated: Sep 27, 2018
Name: The Triple Goddess
From the earliest ages, the archetype of the Great Goddess has been a trinity. She appears in multiple cultures and called by many different names. She is commonly associated with the Wiccan Triple Moon Goddess; Maiden-Mother-Crone. The three phases every woman will go through in her life. In Hinduism, she takes on three separate forms as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer called the TriDevi. Other times she shows up as (what we like to call) The Goddess Girl Group. A group of three separate Goddesses, bound to work together to reach a common goal. Examples are the Fates, the Norns, the Graces, the Cranes, and so on. Regardless of how she multiplies herself, or the names she is given, they are all aspects of one supreme entity.
When you hear of The Trinity, most of us will automatically think of the Christian trinity of The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, just like the Ariana Grande song “ God is a Woman”, not only has God been a woman for over 2,000 years, she was also the original trinity. Since she has multiple forms from many cultures, we are going to first concentrate on the foundation and the common symbols that represents the archetype of the triple Goddess such as the magickal number three, The Triple Moon Symbol, Maiden-Mother-Crone and an introduction to the the phases of the Moon.
In Part two, we will introduce you to Lunar Goddesses from across the world that represent the Maiden-Mother-Crone aspects of the Triple Goddess. In part three we will talk about the “Goddess Girl Group” working together and abiding by their own rules, because even they are more powerful than some of the greatest Gods and Goddesses of their time.
The Triple Moon Goddess. The triad is associated with sacred feminine energy where each ⅓ represents a phase, a transition, or a cycle. The Wiccan triple Moon Goddess is one of the most identifiable Triple Goddess forms. Her three phases are classified as Maiden, Mother and Crone and correspond with the three major phases of the Moon: Waxing, Full and Waning. In Wicca, she is the counterpart of the Horned God. She was made popular by Robert Graves book “The White Goddess” where he talks about the three phases of womanhood and the stages of becoming a Witch. Graves may have popularized the Triple Goddess, but no means did he invent or create her. The triple Goddess archetype can be found in pre-Islamic Arabia, all over Europe, Asia and Africa, you just need know where to look.
She is the beginning of the cycle. Young and beautiful like the first rosebuds on a bush. She goes by the names of Persephone, Freya and Parvati, just to name a few. She represents springtime, fertility, flowers and freedom. To watch the sunset or stop and smell the roses, are all aspects of maiden behavior. She is virginal but not in the sexual manner of being untouched, but that she is young and independent spirit, enjoying the moment of enchantment and erotic behavior. Think of her as a young woman, carefree, bra less, flowy dress in soft colors and flowers in her hair. That's the maiden.
She is represented by the new crescent moon, the very first sliver of moon after its dark period. The new moon represents new beginnings, creative spirit, intention setting and inspiration. You are told to shoot for the stars when you are settings intentions.This is the time to be free and open with your heart when asking for all of your desires.For cultures that follow a Lunar Calendar, the new crescent moon this is the start of the new month.
The Mother represents the very name; nurturing, stability, and growth of power. She goes by the names of Aphrodite, Bast, Gaia, Demeter and Isis, just to name a few. She is associated with the adulthood and parenthood of a woman. Her season is summertime and she is the fully bloomed rose bush.She represents fertility and procreation. As the mother, she is at the highest point of the cycle. She begins to accept and understand her powers and responsibility as a healer. The mother also represents menstruation and your overall moon cycle.
The Mother is represented by the Full Moon. Glowing and fertile, just like the womb of a pregnant woman. There is an old wives tale that dictates if you want long hair, you cut it at the New Moon and if you want full thick hair, to cut it at the Full Moon. Because she symbolizes the full moon, her mana concentrates on fertility, marriage, guidance and manifesting.
The Crone is the final stage womanhood. She is the matriarch. The wise woman, the witch and the head bitch in town. She is your grandmother. Not because of age but because of the level of experience she has acquired needed time. She has been there, done that and can smell a fake friend from a mile away. She goes by the names of Kali Ma, Hecate, Baba Yaga and Lilith, to name a few. She represents wisdom, repose and the final stages of life. As the Goddess of magic and the spirit realm, she is the way to death and in return, it is through her that we can be reborn. She is the final harvest and the cold of winter. Sometimes called the dark Mother or the hag, she has a reputation for being described as ugly or mean, however I’d be careful to to talk about the Dark Goddess in such a way.
Her Moon phase is the waning/ dark moon. The waning moon is a time of reflection and releasing rituals. So it is no surprise that the Goddess of death would be aligned with the time of releasing things that no longer serves us before we breathe life into our new intentions with the coming New Moon.
The Triple Moon Symbol is a Wiccan symbol of the Goddess represented by the three phases of the Moon. As previously described, the triple Goddess aspects are directly aligned with the three phases of the Moon. The symbol has since been adopted into mainstream spirituality and a representation of female energy or the Goddess herself. It's a lesser known symbol than the pentacle, however it predates Christianity and Judaism.
The number three has always been special. It is the first number to which the meaning "all" was given. It is a perfect number spiritually speaking. It has a beginning, middle and end. Mind, body and soul. Our life has three cycles: birth, life and death. There are 3 major phases of the moon. We get three wishes, 3 god mothers and 3 strikes.
The Moon has always represented female energy and the Goddess. For centuries our menstruation has been directly linked to the cycles of the moon that runs on the same cycle every 28 days. Typically, to be synced up with the moon, you will menstruate around the Dark / New moon and ovulate during the Full Moon. Interesting that the “mother” aspect is represented by the full moon, which (if you are synced up with the moon) is your peak fertility period during your cycle. There are many traditions of women gathering together during their lunar cycle in ritual. There is of course, traditions that have equally shamed and banned women from interacting with others during menstruation that has caused taboo around a natural process.
Next week we will dive deeper in the archetype of the triple goddess and introduce you Goddesses from different cultures of who represent the maiden, mother or crone aspect, how to connect to the Goddess and how to use the lunar phases to connect and strengthen your Mana. With every Goddess there are stories, symbols and ways to connect in order to work our Mana through aspects of the Goddess.
She is the Great Goddess. The Creatress. It is from her womb that God emerges and sets the Universe in motion. She is the creator of time and fate and the mother of all there is and all that will be.
Food for thought:
What part of the triple Goddess archetype do you find yourself currently in?
How do you find yourself connecting to the maiden aspect?
How do you find yourself connecting to the mother aspect?
How do you find yourself connecting to the crone aspect?
Just because you are not currently in a specific phase or have grown out of one, does not mean you no longer connect to that phase. For us at the Goddess project, we feel we are now entering our “Mother” phase. We have been nurturing and mothering ourselves and our environment. We have been creating and cultivating a part of ourselves that no longer connect wholly to the carefree maiden aspect, but a little bit more rooted, a little bit more understanding, a little bit more full.
We hope you enjoyed this journey into the triple goddess and check out part 2 of the Triple Goddess to gain more knowledge and insight to awaken your Goddess within.
Sources for more Info
The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. By Barbra G Walker
The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects By Barbra G Walker
Moon Magick by D.J Conway
Written By: The Sisters of the Goddess Project
Franchesca De La Cruz