Women's Goddess Retreat
September 10 - 12, 2010


Triple Goddess

Triple Goddess

The Lessons of Women's Cycles & Change

The Triple Goddess is one of the two primary deities found in the neopagan religion of Wicca. She comprises three separate goddesses united; a Maiden Goddess, a Mother Goddess and a Crone Goddess, each of which symbolises a separate stage in the female life and lunar cycles. She represents the feminine part of the religion's duotheistic theological system, the other part being the male Horned God, although in the tradition of Dianic Wicca only the female deity is worshipped.

According to historian Ronald Hutton, the concept of the Triple Goddess with Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects and lunar symbology was Robert Graves' contribution to modern pagan witchcraft. Many witches and other neo-pagans believe in the "Triple Goddess" of maiden, mother, and crone that originated with the first neo-pagans in mid-twentieth-century England. In their view, sexuality, pregnancy, breastfeeding—and other female reproductive processes—are ways that women may embody the Goddess, making the physical body sacred.

  • The Maiden represents enchantment, inception, expansion, the promise of new beginnings, birth, youth and youthful enthusiasm, represented by the waxing moon.
  • The Mother represents ripeness, fertility, sexuality, fulfillment, stability, power and life represented by the full moon.
  • The Crone represents wisdom, repose, death, and endings represented by the waning moon.

Many neo-Pagans and Wiccans believe that women can identify with the deity in ways unachievable by "patriarchal" religions by echoing the normative model of the female life-cycle which is represented by the Triple Goddess. This model is also supposed to encompass a personification of all the characteristics and potential of every woman who has ever existed. Other beliefs held by worshippers, such as D. J. Conway include that reconnection with the Great Goddess is vital to the health of humankind "on all levels" and that the Goddess stands for unity, cooperation, and participation with all creation, while in contrast male gods represent dissociation, separation and dominion of nature. These views have been criticised by members of both the neopagan and scholarly communities as re-affirming gender stereotypes and symbolically being unable to adequately face humanities current ethical and environmental situation.

Neopagans assert that the worship of the Triple Goddess dates to pre-Christian Europe and possibly goes as far back as the Paleolithic period and consequently claim that their religion is a surviving remnant of ancient beliefs. They believe the Triple Goddess is an archetypal figure which appears though various different cultures at throughout human history, and that many individual goddesses can be interpreted as Triple Goddesses. This multiplicity of identity has led to neopagans adopting the images and names of culturally divergent deities for ritual purposes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



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