Triple Goddess

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Triple Goddess

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Goddess of Wicca is looked upon as being in triple form: Maiden-MotherCrone. A young man or woman in love might relate to the young aspect of the Goddess, while a married woman expecting a child might feel more comfortable with a maturer aspect. Elderly people generally relate better to older aspects of the deities. So Wiccans speak of the Maiden-Mother-Crone, the young, mature, and older aspects of the Goddess.

The Maiden is virginal (unmarried but not necessarily nonsexual), pure, and very much her own woman. The Mother is Creatrix, sensuous and full-bodied, whole and ripe. The Crone is wisdom and knowledge, still sexual, but purely for pleasure, not procreation.

These different aspects of the Goddess were sometimes given different names in ancient Greek and Roman mythology, and even in some traditions of Wicca. For example, the Roman maiden goddess Antevorta had her mother aspect as Carmenta and her crone aspect as Postvorta. The Greek Artemis is the Waxing Moon, young and energetic, aligned with the Roman Diana as goddess of the hunt. Selene is the Full Moon and Mother. Hecate is the Waning Moon, goddess of the nocturnal hunt, of death and destruction.

In Greece, at Stymphalus, stood three temples to Hera. One was to her as the child-goddess, another as the wife-goddess, and the third as widow-goddess. Bhavani, of the Hindu pantheon, is known as the "Triple Universe," while the Chinese Buddhists have a triad associated with Kuan Yin, known as the "Triple Pussa." The Irish Celtic mythology of the Tuatha Dé Danann includes Éire, bride of the sun, the Maiden; Fodhla as Mother, spouse of the Earth; and Banbha, the antediluvian Crone mated to the primordial Deep. In Norse mythology the goddess is Freya, of love and beauty; Frigga, the mother; and Hel, of the underworld and of death.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
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