maiden

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maiden

1. Horse racing
a. a horse that has never won a race
b. (as modifier): a maiden race
2. Cricket See maiden over
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Maiden

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Triple Goddess is viewed as Maiden, Mother, Crone. In the Maiden aspect, she is considered a virgin, representing youth and innocence, with potential for growth and learning. She is allied with the waxing Moon. As Janet and Stewart Farrar say, "She is the adventurous young flame that banishes indifference and leapfrogs obstacles. . . .She is springtime. . . she is excitement."

Maiden is also the title given to a young Wiccan Priestess who is training to become a coven leader. In a degree system she would be Second Degree, training to eventually take over the position of High Priestess when that lady feels it is time to retire. In this respect, the Gardnerian tradition is criticized for its chauvinism in demanding that a High Priestess retire when she is no longer young and beautiful. The Priestess is a representative of the Goddess, but the Goddess is in three aspects, including the Crone, so many feel that there should be no such pressure. In fact, most women in the position of Maiden are simply training for when they will eventually break away from the mother coven and form their own coven, as a High Priestess in their own right. In family traditions of Witchcraft, the Maiden is usually the daughter of the Priestess.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
His son seemed likely to follow in his steps, and was meanwhile applying the same arts to the conquest of the Starkfield maidenhood. Hitherto Ethan Frome had been content to think him a mean fellow; but now he positively invited a horse-whipping.
Come, civil night, Thou sober-suited matron all in black, And learn me how to lose a winning match, Played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods. (3.2.5-7, 10-13).
However, the other day, while trying to flip the remote to an exercise program on PBS, I happened across one of those shows, the theme of which (as nearly as I could tell) had to do with how these female guests had forfeited their maidenhoods.