The Triple Goddess
It should be noted that in most Wiccan traditions, the Earth is also viewed as a representation of the Goddess. Given the co-creative relationship between the Earth and the Moon, there is no inherent contradiction in this overlap—both are essential to sustaining life.
However, where the Earth is typically seen as a “Mother Goddess,” the Goddess of the Moon actually has three different identities, or aspects: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.
This expanded form is the Triple Moon Goddess: the multifaceted deity whose diversity of roles both mirrors the cycles of the Moon—waxing, Full, and waning, and personifies the three phases of the lives of women—before, during, and after the childbearing years. And although women experience these events in a linear sequence, their lives are also part of a cycle, because Wiccans believe in reincarnation. After the death of the Crone comes rebirth, and the new journey leading back to the realm of the Maiden.
While the concepts surrounding the Triple Moon Goddess (also known simply as the Triple Goddess) largely originate with the work of spiritualists in the mid-1900s, there is precedent for a three-fold feminine deity in ancient written and pictorial artifacts.
Among Wiccans, two well-known goddesses with triple associations are the Celtic Brighid, goddess of healing, poetry, and smithcraft; and the Greek Hera, who appears in some myths in three different roles: Girl, Woman, and Widow. Neither was particularly associated with the Moon in ancient times, but there are some links between three separate Moon goddesses who form a kind of trinity, such as Artemis, Selene and Hecate.
Many Wiccans worship the Triple Moon Goddess in a similar fashion, whether they are all from the same ancient pantheon or “borrowed” from different cultural groups. For example, she may be Rhiannon in the Maiden aspect, the Greek Demeter as the Mother, and Hecate as the Crone.
These designations are based on the characteristics of the goddesses and their roles as they appear in their native mythologies, and are not generally interchangeable.
Furthermore, each goddess has her own magical domains, also rooted in original mythology, and so can be called upon for assistance with related magical goals. These correspondences are linked to both her identity and her archetypal role.
If you’re interested in learning more about working magic with any aspect of the Triple Goddess, it’s worth reading the rich mythology surrounding these ancient deities and exploring connections with any you feel intuitively drawn to. Like the individual goddesses who represent them, each aspect of the Triple Goddess has her own archetypal identity.
Each symbolizes various elements in Nature, including animal and plant life, seasons and times of day, and different characteristics of the human experience.
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