The Triple Goddess for the Modern Witch
Who is the Triple Goddess?
The Trinity. But we're not talking about the Christian Trinity, we're talking about the Trinity of goddesses. A belief that dates back to centuries and centuries before Jesus was ever born. She is also known as the Triple Goddess by modern Pagans and Wiccans. She is essentially the sacred Mother Goddess but in all of her three aging forms.
Though many modern Pagans and Wiccans simply work with the Triple Goddess, there were many Triple Goddesses of ancient times in various cultures. The Morrigan, an Irish Goddess, was also considered to be a Triple Goddess as she was said to be made up of three forms - Badb, Macha, and Anand. In addition to The Morrigan as a Triple Goddess, the Irish Celtic Goddess Brigid was also thought to have been worshiped as a Triple Goddess as she was a deity of poetry, smithery, and healing. Hecate, the Greek Goddess of the Crossroads, was also thought to be a triple goddess and associated with the three aspects of the life cycle - birth, death, and rebirth.
Just as there is a Christian trinity, there are also many pagan trinities. For me, this is a balance and I am able to see myself in the Triple Goddess. Every woman has her seasons, and the Triple Goddess is representative of this. Let's find out some more about the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone...
The Maiden is a young woman who has just come to womanhood and therefore is getting to know her sexuality. One could compare The Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess to a blossoming flower in the Spring. She is a new tree, a field of budding crops, a young woman in her late teens to twenties. The Maiden has also been representative of virginity, and this symbolization can be seen in the ancient Greek virgin goddess Artemis (her Roman counterpart being Diana).
You can call upon The Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess for many things that need new growth in your life. Keep in mind that the Triple Goddess in Maiden form corresponds to the Waxing Moon and generally to Spring and early Summer. You can call upon a particular Maiden Goddess (Artemis, Diana, Eostre, etc) or simply call upon the Mother Goddess in her Maiden form. Some aspects of which the Maiden Goddess will aid you magickally include: excitement and enthusiasm, new love, new friendship, luck, wealth, and health.
Participate in a poll:
Which of the three goddess forms are you most connected?
The good mother. The great mother. She's the mother you always had, and the mother you've always wanted to be. She is the nurturing, protective and warm energy that surrounds us in love and comfort in our darkest hour. She is the one who fights for us when we need it most. The Triple Goddess in her Motherly form...a little bit older than in her Maiden form and more mature. She can be looked at as heavy with child, or she can be looked at as the Mother with children all around her...trailing behind her or sitting on her hips.
The Triple Goddess in her Mother form represents the fields ripe with grain and ready to be harvested. She is also thought of as the Full Moon. Every culture in the world has had some type of Mother Goddess in their belief system...if even in ancient times. Some of these mother goddesses include: Isis, Danu, Hestia, and Demeter. After all, if there's a Father God...wouldn't it be balanced to have a Mother Goddess too?
Call on the Mother Goddess on a Full Moon and during the Summer and early Fall for everything but particularly things such as protection, peace, prosperity, fertility, love, beauty, and health.
Learn More about the Goddess:
The Triple Goddess in the form of the Crone is the woman who is passed her child-bearing days. An older but much wiser woman with all the knowledge of the Earth and of the Universe in her pockets. In many cultures and especially in the Western world, the goddess in her Crone form has been distorted into what many refer to as an old "hag" or an "evil witch". This is the image that pops into many peoples' minds when someone says "hag" or "witch" - an older woman with a wart on her nose, hunch-backed, leaning over a cauldron with her cats on either side of her. This is a mutated view of who the Triple Goddess really is within her Crone form. The Crone should be viewed as a friendly but powerful, wise Grandmother.
The Crone goddess might be ugly to some, but to me she is beautiful because she represents years of learning and experience. Just because a woman is older doesn't mean that she is ugly...that is another misconception that society has put on women. A few of the crone goddesses from various cultures include Baba Yaga, the Cailleach, Spider Grandmother, and more.
The Crone goddess has been seen as various goddesses including Sheela Na Gig, the Morrigan, and Hecate (among hundreds of others). The Triple Goddess in this form can be seen and invoked during the Waning Moon and in the Winter. Call on the Crone for knowledge, power, wisdom, healing, dealing with death, and magic.
She's got the whole world in her hands...
Set Up a Triple Goddess Altar
To connect with the Triple Goddess, why not try setting up a Triple Goddess altar? Or you could even set up three separate altars, one for each aspect of the Triple Goddess.
On Your Maiden Altar:
- decorate in brighter and pastel colors like pink, blue, yellow, and white
- place symbols of the Spring season on the altar such as flowers, plants, birds, etc.
- you can also use statues or pictures of the waxing moon.
- place a statue of the maiden goddess on your altar or any other items that represent the Maiden to you.
On Your Mother Altar:
- decorate in colors such as deep reds, greens, browns, golds, and dark oranges.
- place symbols of the late Summer and Autumn seasons such as dried leaves, corn dollies, gourds, pumpkins, wheat, corn stalks, etc.
- you can use statues or pictures representing the Full Moon.
- place a statue of the Mother Goddess on your altar or any other items that represent the Mother to you.
On Your Crone Altar:
- decorate in colors such as black, gray, dark purple, silver, and dark blue.
- place symbols of the Winter season on your altar such as pinecones, twigs, snowflake representations, pine needles, etc.
- you can use statues or pictures representing the Waning Moon.
- place a statue of the Crone Goddess on your altar or any other items that represent the Crone Goddess to you.
This is but one small way of recognizing the Triple Goddess' connection to you and your life. Every time you walk by each of your Triple Goddess altars (or altar), you will think of the meaning that the Triple Goddess has in each phase of your life. The goal is to be the Goddess within yourself...in every age and stage of womanhood, just as the Triple Goddess.
© 2012 Nicole Canfield