In Defense of Maiden, Mother, and Crone

I love this Triad, and while not all women can identify, for me it has been
an incredible affirmation and fulfillment. Maybe it's different for me
because I discovered MMC back in the early 70s when I was the only one I knew
was finding the Goddess. I first learned about the triad from The White
Goddess by Robert Graves who spoke of it's great antiquity and that it preceded
other male pantheons like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and Father, Son and Holy
Ghost.... in fact is the root of these, and was ripped off and twisted by
patriarchal interests. I do believe it is ancient and authentic; I can feel it
in my bones. Maiden Mother Crone to me illustrates so many things about the
Universe... how things are Born, then Live, then Die... and are again
Reborn... how each of us goes through our stages of life, being born, growing
creating and loving, aging and dying, and then reincarnating once more... how
everything has a Beginning, a Middle and an End.. how everything is Created,
Sustained, and Dissolved. And I loved that it affirms me as a Woman... that
there exists an archetype like this that says all my stages are holy, good, and
beautiful. Empowered by the Triad I don't have to feel that any stage of
myself or my life are invalid. In my youthfulness or maidenness innocence
adventurousnessm growingness and playfulness I am holy. In my motherness or
creative and nurturingness and passion I am holy. In my crone-ness or my
wisdom, solitude, darkness, teaching, I am holy. No matter what negative
things society says about all my parts..whether it be that my childlikeness is
ignorant and unable...that my motherness is undesirable or controlling or
entrapping or that my croneness is too old or ugly...whatever prejudices have
been foisted upon me and my sisters about any parts of us... I still know that
these are sacred and good and infinitely worthy.... knowing that there was a
time when whole societies felt this way, and that all stages of a woman's life
were revered and adored and loved.... a supreme liberation and revelation.

One thing that I feel has happened as this triple archetype has become
popular in the mainstreaming of the Goddess is that it also seems to have been
reduced to some kind of limiting view of woman. For me it was never that way.
To me the Goddess is vast vast vast beyond comprehension, and no matter what
archetypal visions we have of Her we will ultimately find our minds boggled
by the enormity of Her. I feel this way about each of the aspects of Maiden,
Mother and Crone. They are not limmited, but unlimited to me... wider than
planets, deeper than stars, yet encompassing all.

I also love the threeness. In a world trapped in duality I have found the
MMC triplicity an incredible tool for transcending the sexist diads of
patriarchy. MMC has become a model for me of a way to dissolve either/or
MMC is a circle... duality is a line. MMC is inclusive, dualism is
either/or... one must choose one over the other. MMC is egalitarian... all
parts are
equally divine. Dualism is heirarchy and leads to powerover domination,
rich over poor, white over black, male over female. I have seen that diads
be replaced by triads, starting with the gender split.

This doesn't mean I am fixated on this one way of viewing reality. It is
one way, and there are many others. I think Womanspirit has room for all the
ways of understanding Goddess. Sisterhood is still the bottom line for me,
and that means whatever sisters believe in, as long as it is woman-positive it
is respected, loved, honored. In my early years of discovery I made lists,
showing how dualities could be changed to triplicities, using MMC as my
model... a circle where one thing changes to the other, around and around
forever... all included, all worthy of respect and admiration.

MMC became an integral part of my circular understanding and the thealagie I
have built over the years. Circles of women, where everyone on the Rim is
seen, fully present, fully participating...where the energy spins, connects,
flows, exalts because we see and feel and trust and love each other equally.
Circles of Three, of Five (the elements) of Seven (The Directions) of Eight
(the seasons and the holy days) of the Thirteen Moons. Circles upon circles;
a cosmology that makes sense, that includes, that soars. Circular buildings,
and it was a circular yurt that I was living in with my children in the
woods when all this began for me. Circular communities where all contributions
are welcomed and recognized.

I was so enchanted and empowered by the MMC triad, back in a time when
hardly anyone knew what I was feeling or talking about. I made many
Maiden/Mother/Crone chants that became the basis of many rituals, a way to build
sisterhood, to do magic. MMC is magical to me, a vehicle for conjuring

It comes as a shock to me that nowadays so many women seem to dislike MMC.
I wonder, if I had had more of a voice in the movement all these years, if I
had not been so silenced, would sisters still feel this way? Or maybe it's
because the movement has gone mainstream and become somewhat commercialized,
and MMC has become a buzzword, trivialized, a slogan, emptied of it's original

Well it's out of my hands now...the movement has gone on in its own way, and
women will go their own way. And of course I support them to do so. But I
still hope and pray that sisters will consider the possibility that there is
beauty and value in this archetype... that it is a genuine part of our
heritage and worthy of our respect. I pray we will not trash any part of our
magnificent legacy, as patriarchs have been doing for so many centuries.

Maiden, Mother, Crone in me
All Three in harmony....

Blessed be the Maiden within me
For She bringeth Courage and Freedom
Blessed be the Mother within me
For She bringeth Love and Life
Blessed be the Crone within me
For She bringeth Wisdom
And Understanding....

In the forest on my knees
Breaking brittle bones of trees
O Mother, I feel Thee
Raising up the breath of fire
Thy wondrous gift of true desire
I now to Thee....

In the starry sky of night
Flying through thy spinning light
O Maiden, I think of Thee
Crystal clear thy wisdom sings
Joy of knowing truth it brings
I now to Thee....

In the darksome cave of sleep
Flowing floating down and deep
O Wise One, I move through Thee
Thy imagery will ever wend
Dreaming to the dreamer send
I now to Thee...

Oh red and rosy Mother
Oh black and velvet Crone
Oh silver crescent Maiden
In thee my soul is One...

From my soul to yours, sisters...

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