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T is for Triple Goddess

The triple Goddess is a familiar symbol and figure in many pagan and Wiccan traditions. Alexandrian, Gardnerian, Dianic, and solitary followers of Wicca often honor this form. To me, the triple goddess can have two meanings. For this week’s Pagan Blog Project post, I’d like to explore both.


Triple Goddess Image - Public Domain


First I’d like to look at the modern interpretation of the triple goddess as the Maiden, Mother, and crone. Many well-known pagans such as Robert Graves, Ronald Hutton, and Aleister Crowley have written a great deal on the goddess's maiden, mother, and crone aspects. Crowley actually focused the Crone aspect onto Hecate, calling her “the woman past all hope of motherhood, her soul black with envy and hatred of happier mortals.” And “a thing altogether of hell, barren, hideous and malicious, the queen of death and evil witchcraft” in his novel “Moonchild”.


From this perspective, the basics of the triple goddess are that the Goddess forms and the moon forms mirror each other. In that, the waxing moon represents a new beginning and youth which would be evident in the Maiden. The full moon would be power and ripeness, such as the round full belly of the Mother. Finally, the waning moon would be the dead, darkness, and death, which would be the final or Crone aspect of the Goddess.


We can see this influence throughout much of modern Wicca and paganism through the art of Mickie Mueller for example. The following image reflects the Maiden, Mother & Crone aspect of the Goddess.




Photo Credit - Mickie Mueller

A few months ago I saw this picture show up on my news feed. I was very familiar with Mickie’s work but was unaware that she was hand-painting items and dealing directly with her fans who loved her work. I watched the progress of this piece and was astounded as she shared new pictures each day. I watched the new owner proudly share the final product on Mickie’s page. With the mass marketing and pagan supermarkets that have littered the internet, I was extremely pleased to see how truly appreciated and how gracious Mickie was to her client.





I have the pleasure of owning this pendant which is based on the same Maiden, Mother & Crone aspect. To see more great work by Mickie Mueller please visit her shop at - http://www.etsy.com/shop/MickieMuellerStudio


Triple form goddess

Another aspect of the triple goddess that I have encountered in my studies is the triple form goddess. These are goddesses that are represented as having three forms, three heads or from the tree ways.


Hecate, illustration by Stéphane Mallarmé, in les Dieux Antiques : nouvelle mythologie illustrée (Paris, 1880). A Neoclassical rendition of a late Hellenistic or Roman original – Public domain


Hecate is depicted throughout history as having three bodies. Unlike the Maiden, Mother, and Crone representation, she appears as three females of the same age. She appears to be a young woman and carries torches, rope, and daggers. She is often accompanied by dogs.


Hecate by Richard Cosway


This triple form of Hecate is said to be a representation of the areas of her dominion, the heavens, the earth, and the sea. The three forms are said to watch each direction because she is said to be the night wandering goddess of the crossroads.



Antonine Imperium issued a coin in honor of Hecate (Hekate) available for purchase.

I found this coin online a few years ago and finally decided to order one. Side one shows Hekate in her triple form with the inscription “Hekate Soteira” and the reverse has a crescent moon at the top, a key at the bottom and the minting information inscribed on the bottom.



I like to think of the triple-formed goddess Hecate as watching in the three directions at the crossroads, torches held high to light the way. I’ve tried several times to create my own Hecate Triformis. Thus far I’ve only been able to come up with this abstract version. I’ll certainly keep trying.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

May her mysteries be revealed in your dreams,


Sosanna


Originally published on Blogger - 11/14/14 8:11 AM

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