Maiden, Mother, Crone:
the three faces of the Goddess
Many of us worship or honor the Goddess, and yet know so little about Her and the story of Her creation. How did She come into being, why? She is old, older than even the Crone could ever even hope to be. From the beginning of time She held a sacred place, for She is the Mystery of Life. Her worship is never-ending, only transforming. She beautiful beyond the dreams of all who worship Her. She is the very essence of Life, for without Her there would be nothing. She arose from the red clay of the Earth, gave Life form, sustenance. She would catch the wind and breathe into it. She would teach it, show us how to live, to exist, to grow. She gave it Her passion, and it multiplied into infinity, and the planet Earth was abundant with Life. All five of the elements flowed together to bless us with the creation of Life.
Life has not always been so very scientific. Lines were not easily drawn between what was and what was not. From the beginning life was a mystery, mystical things happened and babies were born, animals gave birth, seeds gave life. It was very simple, not complex like today, life was the religion, in fact it was just life. The word religion didn't exist! The people were grateful when the sun came up to warm the Earth, and for the Moon, it was amazing to see that bright orb float across the sky. There were no scientific explanations, they simply were. Today we rationalize and separate our religion from our lives, it goes into a compartment, to be taken out for ritual, or to celebrate. For our ancestors, it was life, it was like drinking water, or any of the other daily functions, there was no separation. Many of us have a difficult time grasping the concept of Maiden, Mother, Crone, they do not relate to one's sexual experience, but rather to the cycle of one's life. Men, as humans also cycle as the Warrior, the Father, and the Sage.
The Maiden: In essence she is the innocent daughter, the child of puberty. She is fresh- faced, virgin, pure of thought and mind. She probably doesn't exist in today's society for very long! We don't encourage our young women to remain quite this innocent, as pretty as the picture is, it is probably not safe today. Unfortunately, she learns altogether too early about sex and frequently is thrust into motherhood before she gets to experience her maidenhood. We encourage our young women to take up the other role of the Maiden, the fierce protectoress, the hunter. In this role today's young woman is still the Maiden. It is important that she be able to protect herself, she need not rely on men to do it for her as in the past several decades. Today we work hard to educate our young women, empowering them to take control of their lives, create careers, and explore themselves as human beings. Many young women are becoming great athletics and scholars and then going on to explore their next role in life. The traditional role of the Maiden is the young and innocent lover, the one who protects the animals, and who is busy learning from her teachers. We all have passed through this phase in our lives, many women spend a long time in this phase, never wanting or seeking the role of the Mother. Some women (or men), even seem to be the ever terminal teenager, never growing up or accepting responsibility. However, usually Nature perseveres and the need to procreate calls to her, so the young woman moves on to grow into yet another stage of her life.
The Mother: This is an easily identifiable stage with many of us, for we all have had Mothers, good or bad. This stage is a hard one, filled with pitfalls, and amazing growth, and comes with n manual for instruction. What seems to come naturally is the desire to protect, to nurture the young. This happens even to those who are not "natural" Mothers, the act of birth can be almost incidental for them. Many women who do not have children still experience this role by becoming teachers, nurses, doctors, healers, or even caregivers to help them fulfill their destiny. The role of the Mother is the protectoress, the nurturer, personified to the nth degree. She is fierce, she frequently is a master of shapeshifting, (piss one off, threaten her young, and then watch out)! This role can take up many years of a woman's life. By many in our society this is considered to be the "reason" we exist. Sadly, in the past several centuries many women have bought into this reasoning, feeling useless when their function as a mother is completed.. The Mother is a beautiful woman in her own right, earthy, loving, caring, and yet the ultimate temptress, when she is sexually fulfilled.
The Crone: This is the older woman, she may or may not have had children. She is the very intuitive and wise teacher, knowledgeable, older, and accomplished healer. She can also get very cranky and frequently vents emotions that she has held in all of her life. She is the GrandMother of everyone and of all children. Hopefully, she has led a full and rewarding life, giving much back to her family and to society. She is also the "who waits while we sleep," she knows of death and will assist you with it's acceptance and understanding, as she searches for her own truth. She is the storyteller, teaching the stories and myths of creation. As the keeper of her families memories, she is the keeper of the knowledge of the family tree and frequently she has stored many secrets of the Craft, many times even unbeknownst to her. She lights the way for others to follow. She metes out justice, frequently swiftly and is the fiercest protector of all. Her wrath is legendary, not many would care to cross her. She too is a lovely woman, many times in the Craft these women's appearance can belie her age, for she is young at heart!
Take a few moments and think about whe re you are in your life, and
where you want to be, who should you follow, ask for advice?
Last updated Friday, September 18, 1998 08:19 AM. Copyrighted Temple of The Triple Goddess, P.O. Box 38113, Phoenix, AZ 85069-8113. All rights reserved.