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Forums -> Wicca -> Triple Goddess

Triple Goddess
By:
Post # 1
I saw a lot of debate about this topic around the internet. Some said example of triple goddesses are Brigid, Isis and Hecate. I'm not really a fan of triple goddess concept but this interests me so much and I'm very curious with your thoughts c:
Maybe also an example of other triple goddess?
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Re: Triple Goddess
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 2
The idea of "triples" is very old; if you look into how many times the number three crops up, it is mind boggling.
But, the idea of a triple Goddess is rather new and modern. The idea that a Goddess (as the Seasons of the year) can appear as Maiden,Matron, and Crone. But that sort of thinking only arose in the past hundred years or so.The old belief was that Goddesses and Gods never grew old! Even the ones portrayed as "old". Many Gods were " old men"; but they never got any older!
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Re: Triple Goddess
By:
Post # 3
Ah thank you! So it's a quite new concept.
I read that The Fates, Norns and Morrigans are triple goddesses as well. Is that right?
While I disagree with Hecate as triple goddess honestly.
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Re: Triple Goddess
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 4
A triple Goddess is rather new, but triples go back a long way! Isis was not a triple Goddess! She was a triple Deity; Isis,Osirus, and Horus. The Christian triple Deity is God the Father,God the Son,and God the Holy Spirit. There are many such examples; but the concept of a triple Goddess is perhaps "new" in comparison to beliefs that are thousands of years old.
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Re: Triple Goddess
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 5
The number 3 is deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Children will automatically say"One,Two,Three.go!". The game of Paper,Scissors,stone;3. Christ on one of three crosses.Three Wise Men;almost every joke is about three men,or three women.The fairy grants three wishes. Over and over again, the number 3 crops up in the human experience.It's quite fascinating! How many times have you heard,"Third time lucky" ?
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Re: Triple Goddess
By:
Post # 6
That idea clicks with me, thanks a lot. This topic can be confusing indeed.
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Re: Triple Goddess
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 7

There's a lot of confusion about Triple Goddesses and much of it comes from trying to jam Goddesses in other cultures into the Maiden/Mother/Crone concept that comes from Neo-Wicca.

The whole idea of the Goddess as Maiden/Mother/Crone is drawn from Robert Graves' book of poetry "The White Goddess" that was written in 1946 and published in 1948. This book is entirely about a fictional Goddess that Graves created as the focus of his poetry.

At about the same time that Graves was writing, Gerald Gardner was putting together the liturgy and beliefs of what would be come Gardnerian Wicca. In Gardnerian Wicca there is a specific God and Goddess whose names are never revealed to non-Initiates. Gardner liked the Maiden/Mother/Crone archetype put forward by Graves and applied it to the Goddess of The Wica (as members of Gardner's coven were called).

The concept of Maiden/Mother/Crone is entirely a modern concept and was not present in ancient cultures.

There are some cultures where there are what seem to be Triple Goddesses, but they really are not triples at all. Take Brighid for instance in Irish mythology. Some believe her a Triple Goddess and some even try to shove her into the Maiden/Mother/Crone framework. But the fact is that Bridget is three different Goddesses who rule over quite different things; namely poetry, medicine/midwifery, and smithcraft. The same holds true for The Morrighan who also is made up of three completely different Goddesses, Nemain, Badb, and Macha. This sort of thing happens when a belief system lasts for thousands of years over a wide swath of territory and Goddesses sort of get smashed together. But neither Brigdhid nor the Morrighan can or should be viewed as Maiden/Mother/Crone.

Some will also try to smash together Hecate, Persephone, and Demeter. But the Greeks never viewed them as Maiden/Mother/Crone. They are completely separate deities with completely different roles to play in Hellenic beliefs.

So the quick answer is that ancient cultures really didn't have a Triple Goddess concept; certainly not in the way that modern Wiccan books talk about it. Maiden/Mother/Crone is entirely a modern concept and should not be applied to any deity other than the Goddess of The Wica - one who is worshipped only by initiates of British Traditional Wiccans.

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Re: Triple Goddess
By: / Novice
Post # 8
while explained better above, the triple Goddess is the Goddess of Wicca. some tend to use three Goddesses associated with or similar to one another but the Triple Goddess is a Wiccan concept. She is one person who [as the Wheel of the Year turns] ages from Maiden, to Mother, then finally to Crone. it is the same Goddess, just older as the year turns. she is also seen as the moon [waxing = maiden, full = mother, waning = crone] and while three has always been seen as a symbol with great power, and there are Goddesses people will call upon to represent her, The Triple Goddess is a recent deity [if you will] and not found in history. [but if some view Hecate or Isis, or Brigid or whoever as the Triple Goddess, whats the harm?]
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Re: Triple Goddess
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 9
The Morrigan is made up of more than one female and you can choose to work with all or one. Morrigan, Macha, Badb, Nemain, Anand, Fea, and the list goes on. They are nothing like the maiden, mother, and crone archetype. I won't go through them all, but here is a few. Macha is connected with the land, the political power of a queen, and the horse goddesses. Badb, the battle crow/raven is all about war. Nemain is like a Greek fury. Fea is believed to be connected with fate. Way different right?
The first and best known three were sisters in legend, but one person. So the Morrigu is more of a group of high spirits, united under a specific position (great queen) of authority governing land, war, fertility/motherhood, death, and fate/prophesy, much like it is equally believed that names like Michael and Gabriel are titles not names.
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Re: Triple Goddess
By: / Beginner
Post # 10
In the same vein that's been said about combined goddesses, Hecate is represented as a triple goddess herself with three heads looking down the crossroads. She has an extensive purview in Hellenic religion, but the maiden mother crone paradigm doesn't really apply to her since she is always historically depicted as youthful (in appearance). She's not a crone component of anything bigger contrary to what some new age spiritualists might say.
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