Phases of Womanhood
The view of the Goddess, as triple aspects, goes back as far as recorded history (and maybe further). The concept of Maiden, Mother and Crone is embodied in many myths, and legends, and throughout many cultures. Fiona Morgan in her book
Wild Witches Don't Get the Blues: Astrology Rituals and Healing
lists the names of some of the Triple Goddesses: ... The Three Fates, The Norns, The Gorgons, The Erzulie, The Graces, The Furies, The Zoryas, The Maries, The Morrigan, Bhavani and Triple Pussa. ... The energy of the Triple Goddess is alive in the universe and inside of each woman. It is transforming energy, just as the seasons transform, so we transform and change from Maidens, to Mothers, to Crones, then back to Maidens again. In the wheel of the year the Crone of Samhain becomes the Maiden of Spring Equinox. Maiden, Mother, Crone represent time periods in a woman's life, but primarily are archetypal energies that also correspond to the phases of the New, Full, and Dark Moons. [n.1] From the Witches' Goddess by the Farrars:
"The theme of the Triple Goddess is found in the mythology of all lands... She is Maid, Mother and Crone; Enchantment, Ripeness and Wisdom; the waxing, full, and waning moon."
Behold the Three Formed Goddess;
She who is ever Three - Maid, Mother, and Crone.
Yet she is ever One;
She in all women, and they all in her.
Look at these Three who are one, with fearless love,
That you too may be whole.
[n. 2] The Farrars suggest visioning the Maiden Mother Crone as a rainbow in order to hold all three in your awareness at one time. "Realize that the whole spectrum, with its shifting colors, is the one glowing rainbow. To pursue the analogy further - red orange for the Mother, yellow/green for the Maid, and blue/indigo/violet for the Crone... Which wavelength predominates for you at any one moment depends on your own tuning. But make the effort to grasp the whole rainbow, and you are face to face with Woman, the manifested feminine principle..." [n. 2]
The Triple Aspects and Amazon at Elderflower Womenspirit
To increase our understanding of the natural phases of our lives, and to deepen our inner growth and connection to the Goddess of Many Names, we honor the aspects of the Triple Goddess in many ways. Not all women identify with just one aspect of the divine female, some can't identify with any of these aspects. This information is provided to show the wonderful variety of how she touches our lives.
If you have another experience, we encourage you to bring that experience to the festival and show it off, teach it to us, and we will incorporate it into our growing traditions. That is how Mothers and Amazons were added to our initiation rituals. In the beginning, there was no crone program, someone came, and took charge to start it. Then we noticed we needed to encourage the girls, and the Maiden initiation was born when a grandmother took the initiative to start a menarche ritual for her granddaughters. One year, a woman in the full strength of motherhood, but who had no children said - "Hey! What about us Mothers?" - and the Crowning/Mothering Ritual was manifested into the festival. And finally an Amazon who had been attending the festival said - "The protectors of all women and the earth need an initiation ritual here too." - and the Amazon Ritual was born at Elderflower Womenspirit.