Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

I had an embarrassing question at one of my Wicca classes last week. It wasn’t embarrassing for the student; it was embarrassing for me because I realized that I hadn’t yet explained to this poor young lady who and what the Triple Goddess is. If you’ve been wondering that yourself, hopefully today’s message will enlighten you.

The Triple Goddess is a conception of the Great Goddess that helps us to understand her in all of her forms. She is split into three aspects – Maiden, Mother and Crone. These aspects relate directly to the phases of the moon. The Maiden represents the Waxing Moon’slim and full of promise. The Mother is the Full Moon, bursting with new life. The Crone is the Waning Moon’regal as she fades into darkness. The Moon, of course, has another phase’the dark moon, which some identify with a Dark or Unseen Goddess. Personally, I see this phase of the moon as the extension of the Crone into the Afterlife.

The Gardnerian witches most definitely focused on a Moon Goddess, and spread the concept of the Triple Goddess that permeates Wicca today. However, this does not mean that every Goddess is a Triple Goddess. The Triple Goddess example can be used a template for our understanding of the Deity and ourselves. The Goddess reminds us that despite our differences, we are part of a whole. We are connected, just as the different phases of Goddess are part of the same Deity.

The three aspects of the Triple Goddess have separate correspondences. The Maiden Goddess is associated with childhood, adolescence, purity, virginity, new beginnings, independence and courage.

The Mother Goddess is motherhood (obviously), fertility, growth, protection and sexuality. Many of us do not associate our mothers with sexuality, but how do you think mothers become mothers in the first place?

The Crone represents old age, wisdom, change, transformation, death, rebirth and banishing.

There is one thing I want to clear up that I have heard countless well meaning but misinformed intermediate Wiccans repeat over and over again. I know a lot of people see the three parts of the Goddess and make the connection between that and the Trinity used in Christianity. This then leads to some kind of convoluted logic that eventually results in a declaration that this is yet another things that the Christians ‘stole’ from Paganism. And then that leads to a rant about the burning times, religious persecution and the like.

While I’ve had my fair share of heated debates with Christians, I’ve also had my fair share of debates with Pagans regarding the previously mentioned assumption. In actuality, the Celts viewed many (that’s right, many) of the Goddesses (and Gods too!) in a triple form. However, they weren’t divided into maiden, mother and crone. For example (I knew you’d want one!), The Morrigan was a Triple Goddess whose parts were Badb, Macha and Nemain – which were all goddesses of war and death.

For the record, there are over 400 Celtic deities on record. To suggest that the Celts were a monotheistic religion, worshipping a Triple Moon Goddess which the Christians ripped off is fallacy.

The Triple Goddess that is present in Wiccan theology is a completely Wiccan concept. Pagan cultures didn’t divide their goddesses into the categories of Maiden, Mother and Crone. There are female trios in mythologies from around the world, but they aren’t necessarily triple goddesses. For example, the Three Fates of Greek Mythology are a trio, but not aspects of one goddess. They were three closely related Goddesses nonetheless. For Wiccans, however, our Goddess follows the Moon through the phases. We see her in her three aspects just as we view the Moon in the sky. Each month pay vigil to the transformation that the Goddess makes and think about the transformations you go through as well.

Brightest Blessing,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Posted by Rose Comment 1

1 Comment

  1. Kandy says

    :grin: Wow this is so cool I never knew about how the celtic viewed it before and of course now!!!!! Awsome.

    February 17th, 2008 | #

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